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 1951.

And if it happens to be December, the upcoming holidays receive most of your attention.

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.

OUTRO
For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.


©1997 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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