A Gift to Remember From

It was a few months after I finished my book RECOLLECTIONS OF A JOURNALIST at Christmastime that I got a terrific gift from my lovely and attentive wife Gert that I'll enjoy for the rest of my days. A classic film entitled 'Bob Hope Entertaining the Troops'. It's a terrific documentary of the Hope that I remember at various military posts all over the world.

Bob was on scene whenever the camera was running. He could do that. Not everybody could. I saw it up close, on board a C-47 heading to Okinawa. He was with a group of Hollywood people, musicians and a few others to do a few days of shows. He was engaging, direct at times, humorous - and at the same time inspirational. He could do that, too.

There was no script, just Bob and others. I was there to write two reviews for PACIFIC STARS & STRIPES. There were scenes with Patty Thomas, a longtime trouper from Hope's past. Great pieces involving Mel Blanc with his cast of voices like Bugs Bunny, and Private Snafu and Sad Sack. There was also Dinah Shore, Lou Costello and Bud Abbott along with many others. If you remember your parents or relatives talking about him this is a great memory bag.

In today's Dr. Strangelove world of make believe and the absolute horror of four years of war, he talked about the near misses he encountered. He made you a part of the scene too. I became "Jockamo" the guy he passed on the way to his seat on the military plane.

As my book describes, I saw him a few times on my tour of duty. I saw him a number of times on screen. He was the real thing. No fake anything.

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Copyright - John Behrens - 2018