When you're seven years old and not interested in much on television but
Hopalong Cassidy, the Cisco Kid and Uncle Miltie, the Cold War doesn't mean
a lot to you; nor does too much else going on in the world. I did occasionally
catch the evening news with John Cameron Swayze, but it was primarily to
see which U. S. military base was going to get the free Camel cigarettes
that week - Joe Camel wasn't even a gleam in an ad agency's eye, back in
And if it happens to be December, the upcoming holidays receive most of
So, what else probably passed me by that month? On the first, Army and Navy
faced off for their annual go at each other. Barracks at West Point must
have been pretty grim that night - they lost 42 to 7.
Sports was in the news again on the 11th, when Yankee great Joe Dimaggio
announced he was retiring from baseball. On the 12th our neighbor to the
north announced it was establishing a St. Lawerence Seaway Authority. The
next day President Truman and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover got together
and when their meeting was over, Give 'Em Hell Harry had promised J. Edgar
a purge of disloyal government employees.
The 14th brought good news when the U. S. lifted wartime restrictions on
rubber and tire production. The mood was shattered for New York City residents
two days later however; a disaster of unprecedented proportions struck.
Bagel makers walked off the job.
Four days before Christmas an explosion in a West Frankfort, Illinois, mine
left 119 workers dead. That was the sort of story that really makes headlines.
They probably heard about that one in Hamburg, Germany. But only a handful
there paid attention that same day when a Danish-born New Jersey captain
named Henrik Kurt Carlson left port with a cargo of iron, in a freighter
named the Flying Enterprise. The next day Carlson's vessel ran into
a hurricane in the North Atlantic. The world began to notice. And, in Batavia,
so did I. Especially when on the 26th, Carlson's cargo began to shift and
the freighter's hull began to split in two, under the incessant battering
of towering seas. Carlson ordered the passengers and crew to abandon ship.
He remained on board. Alone.
Of course, if you grew up about the same time I did and followed the Saturday
afternoon movie serials, you remember the phrase - Continued Next Week.
For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.
©1997 David Minor / Eagles Byte
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