Hi there-I’ve headed this post with a still from the 1975-1985 tv sitcom “The Jeffersons” just to let you know that I am still in the process of interviewing guests/writers from this series-for instance, I have been in touch with a lady by the name of Lydia Nicole who played a young female gang member who stabs George! I chose the above picture though because Zara Cully was a favorite of mine, I always thought she was so good as George’s mother. And I liked Paul Benedict as Mr. Bentley. He was a part of the show from the beginning all the way to the last episode. It will be a good couple of months ’till I begin my first rough draft.
In the meantime, I will post more articles about my father, Eddie Green! New articles. I have found a new internet source to get articles about Eddie’s entertainment life. It’s taken me 4 years to find this in print:
Hazel Scott was a classical pianist, singer and actor. She was married to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (I was baptized by Rev. Powell). I wish I could have heard Eddie and Hazel on “The Bishop and the Gargoyle”. Hazel was a music prodigy and was given scholarships to Juilliard School from the age of 8.
The Bishop and the Gargoyle was a 30-minute old-time radio crime drama from September 30, 1936 – January 3, 1942. Bishop and the Gargoyle focused on the combined crime-fighting efforts of a retiring bishop of a church and a convict called the Gargoyle. As a member of the parole board at Sing Sing Prison, the Bishop met and befriended the Gargoyle. In return, the inmate helped the bishop “to track criminals and bring them to justice”. I can’t even imagine how they decided to cast Helen and Eddie-a pianist and a comedian. Richard Gordon played the part of the Bishop. I could not find much on Mr. Gordon until I discovered a podcast by J. Widner-apparently Mr. Gordon was a character on many radio shows; in 1933 he played S. Holmes with Leigh Lovell as Dr. Watson.
I also found an article in the Brooklyn Citizen newspaper from 1943 about Eddie being in a play with Mary Martin, you know, the lady who played Peter Pan. Mary was an award-winning actress, singer and Broadway star. At the time of this post Eddie had become a filmmaker, a well-known radio star, a music publisher and had been signed to appear in a Paramount movie.
Eddie was a hard-working show biz man. As I continue to write about him I am able to feel a part of those days when my father was alive. I no longer think of him as my father who died when I was only 3. If I could have a twilight zone episode or a one step beyond I would love to step back into those days and follow him around. I guess my research and writing about him helps me do that.
Hey, thanx, for stopping by.
To my new friends, the title of my father’s biography is Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.
Today, watching Social Media, it has occurred to me that there are not many Black celebrities from back in the day remembered/celebrated for their many successes. The fact that I wrote my father’s biography was the best thing I could have done for his memory. People are so glad I wrote it! My father’s life story includes the fact that he sent one of his songs to a publisher in New York asking him to give it to the Mills Brothers or some such quartette. So I did a bit of research on the Mills Brothers. How many people remember the Mills Brothers? Probably a lot, but not as readily as they remember Doris Day. Maye it’s because no one talks about these Black giants of entertainment. And the Mills Brothers successes were phenomenal. The Mills Brothers made more than 2,000 recordings that sold more than 50 million copies and garnered at least three dozen gold records.
They became local radio stars and got their major break when Duke Ellington and his Orchestra played a date in Cincinnati and he was able to hook them up with Okeh records, the same company that recorded my father.
“Tiger Rag” became a number 1 hit on the charts. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They were a hit on CBS in 1930–1931, particularly when they co-starred on the popular The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour hosted by Rudy Vallee (where my father would perform 1934-1937).
In 1934, The Mills Brothers became the first African-Americans to give a command performance before British royalty. They performed at the Regal Theatre for a special audience: King George V and Queen Mary. It was during this time that they lost their brother John, Jr. and their father took over his spot.
“I’ll Be Around” became a hit, and then a disk jockey played side B and “Paper Doll”, (written by Johnny S. Black) recorded in fifteen minutes, became a hit. It sold six million copies and became the group’s biggest hit 1943. “I’m gonna buy a Paper Doll that I can call my own”.
They appeared in movies in the 1930s and tv programs in the 50s (The Perry Como Show, The Tonight Show, The Dean Martin Show).
The rise of rock and roll in the early fifties did little to decrease the Mills Brothers popularity. “Glow Worm” (Johnny Mercer version) became the 5th million selling record in 1952, they had a hit in 1958 with a cover version of “Get a Job” by The Silhouettes. Their last hit was “Cab Driver”.
In 1998 the Recording Academy recognized the Mills family’s contributions to popular music when it presented Donald, as the sole surviving member, with a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
These four gentlemen were HOT. For quite a while. And it gives me great pleasure to know that my father wrote a song that he thought might work for The Mills Brothers. Doris Day was cool, I memorized “Que Sera, Sera” as a child and have seen almost all of her movies; but I love listening to those Mills Brothers. (“Shine little glow worm, glimmer, glimmer”) – Johnny Mercer version.
What makes you smile before you even know you are smiling? It’s a nice thing to have happen. It’s nice to know that in a world where bad things happen, there exists happenings that make me smile, automatically. My lips turn up at the corners by themselves. For instance, a few days ago I got up, turned on my laptop and checked my mail. There was a message from a friend in England. She started her message with “Hello Dearest Elva”. Since it was early morning I hadn’t had time to become grumpy so I was able to receive this greeting as I know it was meant. My friend is such a nice lady. Someone I met during my book writing journey. She is a good-hearted person. And I know she is genuine. And so it made me feel good to hear from her. It was like an “Awwww” moment. While reading the rest of her message my lips began to smile of their own accord. She had found an article in a book that was a copy of correspondence my father, Eddie Green had, probably in 1949, with a man by the name of Joe Davis. The article stated:
Early in April, Davis heard from one of his old contacts from the 1920s, Eddie Green. Now managing Sepia Productions in Los Angeles, Green had written to offer a song: “I am sending you this record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart.’ This was taken from the sound track of the picture Mr. Adam’s Bomb’ which I have just produced. This was a short subject produced by us primarily for the Colored theatres. I think I mentioned this to you when I was in New York last summer. This tune should be a great tune for the Mills Brothers or a quartette like them. I am sending it to you because I believe that you, being there in the big City, could reach them better than I can out here.”
Addressing him as Eddie, Davis wrote back immediately: “You know how it always gives me great pleasure to hear from you. As soon as I receive the record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart,’ I will be only too pleased to go over it, and if you have any other songs, please send them to me, as I sure would like to publish a few things more by you.”
The thing is, I have been looking for the copyright of that song since 2014. Or a copy of the lyrics. Or something to prove that Eddie did indeed write the song. So, talk about pleased, I was so happy to see that my friend had actually found a letter from Eddie stating exactly what he did with the song he wrote for his movie! It was amazing to me. When I took my eyes off the page, I realized I had been smiling the whole time. That is such a blessing.
The song was sung in the movie by Margaret Westfield. I snapped this while watching the movie on Youtube from the Internet Archives. Unfortunately I have not been able yet to find anything on her. Though she had a lovely voice.
According to the internet “Joseph M. “Joe” Davis (October 6, 1896 – September 3, 1978) was an American music producer, publisher and promoter in jazz, rhythm and blues and pop music. I might have found him had I known about him in the 70s.
I am in the process of gathering all of Eddie’s songs for possible re-release. Though it is a process. I have to verify copyright and also deal with folks who may claim copyright falsely. I don’t want Eddie’s work to stay hidden. I also want to have the paperwork for my grandson. Any money I make will be minimal-for me, it’s mainly about showcasing my father’s many talents. It’s about what I feel in my Heart. And what makes me Smile.
May you become more aware of what makes YOU smile.
Welcome. Thank you for visiting my Blog about my father, Eddie Green, and other stories of inspiration. Welcome to my new friends. I’ve been posting here since 2014 and it has been a wonderful experience on line. Unlike other social media sites, I get to say whatever I want without having to expect “backlash”. I voiced my opinion on a question once on Twitter and I got so many mean responses I almost quit the site. But I realized it was not me or my thinking, just a lot of trolls. I have good social media connections now and I love it.
Life on planet Earth can be troublesome. These days, in America, is seems much more dangerous than in the past. So much anger and depression. Recently I received 2 messages from fans of my father who discovered my book and love the fact that I have shared my father’s life for their enjoyment. I received such positive compliments regarding the good that has come through my book, that I got this idea of a post for today. My father grew up and became successful during a truly dangerous period for Black Americans. Eddie was able to flourish even in this environment because Eddie was a nice guy. He was dependable, helpful, willing, well-read, respectful, hard-working and easy-going. He was kind and able to get along with anybody. He liked people. And he made them laugh. I believe we can have a sweeter life if we strive to show more concern and courtesy to our neighbors. As an example, here is an item from the Billboard from 1920:
“Help Everybody by Distributing Useful Information
The following letter from Eddie (Simp) Green, (he dropped the nickname by 1924) who is with Barney Gerard’s “Girls De Looks.” burlesque show is beyond doubt the most unselfish communication that has come to us since the department has been started. His little note Is an illustration of the many services to one another that actors may accomplish thru the instrumentality of this page. The letter:
Buffalo, N. Y., Nov. 9. Jack—Just a line to tell you that the boys playing this town find it so hard to get rooms that I think it would benefit all of them greatly if you would say in your notes that when they play Buffalo the most convenient place to stop is the Hotel
Francis directly opposite the New York City Depot. We re here this week and the show is a “riot as usual.” at the Gayety Theater.
Yours respectfully, EDDIE GREEN
(Editor’s Note—Eddie Green writes something besides letters. He wrote “A Good Man is Hard To Find,” “Don’t Let No One Man Worry Your Mind,” “You Can’t Keep a Good Girl Down,” “Algiers” and the “Blind Man’s Blues”. He also has written himself into the class of regular fellows with the above letter. Billboard December 4, 1920
It must have been very difficult to think of others and to be funny to boot. Life in those days was rough. While Eddie was at the Gayety in Dec. of 1920 trouble was brewing in St. Louis. The upheaval associated with the transition from a wartime to peacetime economy contributed to a depression in 1920 and 1921. The Tulsa Race Riot took place on May 31st and June 1st of 1921. The attack, carried out on the ground and by air, destroyed more than 35 blocks of the district, at the time the wealthiest black community in the United States. It began over a supposed assault of a White woman by a Black man. A group of armed black men rushed to the police station where the suspect was held; there they encountered a crowd of white men and women. A confrontation developed, (Picture courtesy of The Library of Congress)
How does one stay on point and continue to get along with whoever they encounter and also continue to progress in the business of being a comic. The good news is: In 1996, seventy-five years after the riot, a bi-partisan group in the state legislature authorized formation of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, searching for truth and honesty and respect. Members were appointed to investigate events, interview survivors, hear testimony from the public, and prepare a report of events. There was an effort toward public education about these events through the process. The Commission’s final report, published in 2001, said that the city had conspired with the mob of white citizens against black citizens; it recommended a program of reparations to survivors and their descendants. The state passed legislation to establish some scholarships for descendants of survivors, encourage economic development of Greenwood, and develop a memorial park in Tulsa to the riot victims. Buck Franklin is best known for defending African-American survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race riot, On October 27, 2010, the City of Tulsa renamed Reconciliation Park, established to commemorate the victims of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, as John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park in his honor.The park was dedicated in 2010.
Then there is this little item written by Gilbert Swan, of the Saratoga Springs, NY Saratogian “Sidelights of New York”, Jan 27, 1930: “Up to Harlem for a gay party in connection with the opening of the latest swanky way-up-town resort: the Plantation Club. And Eddie Green, the comic, doing an Ad Lib song about the columnists present with a verse about my modest self. . . . Which Is the first time it ever happened and left me trying to hide under my stiff choker”.
Regarding that party, about a month after Eddie’s appearance at this all-White club there was a break-in as per this article:
“THUGS INVADE PLANTATION CLUB New York, Jan. 17 — (UP) — Casting aside the usual method of intimidation and assault, a band of racketeers used pickaxes and crowbars to put Harlem’s newest night club, the Plantation club, out of business. The club was invaded yesterday by ten men who destroyed the furnishings, dance floor, costumes and electrical equipment”. The Daily Argus, Jan. 1930
America was a dangerous place in those days. For a lot of people. And dangerous today. But men like Eddie and Buck were here to show us how to thrive amid chaos. How we can strive to write ourselves into what the Billboard termed as “the class of regular fellows”. We have the ability to foster a kinder world.
Hey, thanx-for stopping by 🙂
Peace & Love
On Amazon: Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer
Hi there you all. Well, I’ve spoken to my first person who guest starred on the tv sitcom, The Jeffersons. Mr. Willie Tyler, ventriloquist. Lester, his dummy, was not available. I spoke with Willie for about 20 minutes via cell phone regarding this appearance. I got a big kick out of talking with him. Willie told me he thinks of Lester as real, that way it’s easier to make him real to the audience. About Lester, according to a newspaper article I found on Fulton Postcards: “You would never know that the little fellow is not human once Willie Tyler sets the flashy little man on his knee and commences an act that has been applauded all over the world.”
Writing a book about The Jeffersons is going to give me the opportunity to talk with many more “staras” as my brother would say, and I’m loving it. I get to research these people and bring back an awareness of their works in the entertainment world. A lot of the people who worked on The Jeffersons are gone now. But not all of them. Some are still doing their gigs to appreciative audiences. As is Willie Tyler and his buddy, Lester. Mr. Tyler is currently preparing to perform on a Cruise Ship. It’s amazing to me how this gentleman has done his ventriloquist act for more than 40 years. And he still loves doing it.
Willie Tyler and Lester appeared on The Jeffersons in 1978. I intend to share more in my book but I will tell you I found an old tv ad that reads: “George’s stockbroker is a ventriloquist, but is he a dummy? Only Louise knows the answer to that one.” Starring Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley. Tarrytown NY Daily News(1978)
Willie Tyler and Lester appeared on the David Letterman show during “Ventriloquist Week” – take a gander, and, please, keep coming back.
Lately I have taken to signing my emails with my first name italicized, like this. I have also begun to use a different font from what’s used in the body of the message. Today I noticed that italicized letters give the illusion of movement. Elva. Which then reminded me of the fact that at one time the Elva racing car was quite popular. According to Wikipedia, Elva was a sports and racing car manufacturing company based in Bexhill, then Hastings and Rye, East Sussex, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1955 by Frank G. Nichols. The name comes from the French phrase elle va (“she goes”). I have obviously started to think of myself as someone who is going forward. So my name is appropriate for this time of my life. My mother told me that my father chose my name and I always wondered how he came up with Elva. I know he took my mom to Paris once, maybe he heard it there. And I do love pairing it with a cool racing car.
This past week I had a library presentation in Los Angeles. I shared about the biography I have written about my father, Eddie Green. The book was published in 2016 and I am happy that I am still being asked to do these presentations. When I started writing the book I never even considered the possibility of appearing before a group of people to talk about the book. I just wanted to write it.
I have gone on to do presentations at libraries, Rotary Clubs, and clubs whose members are in the Entertainment business. I have done podcasts and radio interviews. Here I am at Mark Twain Library, still going, doing my thing-I think I am listening to a member of the audience. (I look just like my father!).
In the meantime, I have added to the process of going forward by starting the research on my second book by interviewing the producer of the tv sitcom, The Jeffersons. Yes, I had a 20 minute phone convo with Mr. Norman Lear. For those of you who don’t know, Norman Lear is an American television writer and producer who produced such 1970s sitcoms as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons,Good Times, and Maude. I wrote out my questions beforehand, went to the park and made the call. The cell phone didn’t cut off and Mr. Lear was easy to talk with. My second book will be about The Jeffersons 1970s-1980’s television program.
I have started to watch all the episodes of The Jeffersons (DVD), and I have even begun to try and get a cast member to do a foreword for the book. My wonderful publisher thinks I am just right for this book writing project, so I must be! ELVA–SHE GOES.
Once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, then you develop some confidence. ~Rosalynn Carter.
Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. (Me, this is me)
Once in a Psych class we were given an assignment, to question our friends and relatives as to how they view us. One question was “describe my level of self-esteem.” Two people got me spot on. Johnny said that my level of self-esteem was not as high as I would like it to be, and that sometimes I am not happy about it. Karta said “I have seen you consciously make an effort to raise your level of self-esteem, unfortunately you still struggle, because a person cannot live up to impossible standards.”
My self-esteem is tied in with a desire to be flawless. So of course I am never quite satisfied with me. The class assignment was in 2004. Two days ago I fully realized the meaning in Karta’s words. I want to be perfect. A mundane thing opened my eyes to this big realization.
I called the office of the producer of the tv sitcom The Jeffersons to speak with him to try and get some quotes for the new book I am writing on The Jeffersons. His assistant told me she would get back to me and let me know when he would be available. Thinking they would certainly not call back that same day, and needing groceries, I went to the market. I turn my cellphone off when I drive and when I shop. When I turned it back on later, they had called me and said I had 40 mins. to return their call before the producer went into his next meeting. Of course, that time had passed. Then began my “critical self-evaluation”. What a maroon!! I should’ve known they would call!! I blew it!! I’m a big dummy!!.
Then, from out of the blue, something occurred to me. I had to eat and there was no food in the fridge so I needed to go to the store. They will call again, she said so. This is not a bad thing, it’s simply a timing snafu. And then I realized that I had wanted the situation to work out perfectly. The way it had worked in my head. I want to be perfect in every thing I do. If something involving me does not work out my level of self-esteem plummets. Then it hit me. Aha!! I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I don’t even know what perfect is, so if I reached it I wouldn’t even know! Right after I acknowledged that fact I DID begin to experience a feeling of confidence as Rosalynn Carter said. Now I will no longer spend 3 hours trying to find the perfect pictures to go with my posts!
So, I called the producer’s office again. I told them I just could not wait for them to call me back. I now have an appointment to speak via cellphone to the producer of The Jeffersons on the 29th of this month for 30 minutes!
I do get to experience things in life that I see as perfect. We have a new in-law and a brand new baby in our family. I think this is a perfect picture. Say hello to Mr. Spivey and his son Kaison.
To quote (or misquote) a line from a movie “What a year it’s going to be!” I’ll open my house in Malibu . . .ok, never mind this post is actually about beginning a new venture that will make the transition from my first book writing journey, smoother.
2019 I will be focusing on two adventures. I will be saving money for my first trip to Baltimore where my father was born. I will be attending a convention while there and I hope to see some friends I’ve made since writing a biography about my father, and maybe I will be able to visit the part of town Eddie lived in. I am not a flyer but I have decided that being in a plane does not mean I may die, living definitely means I am going to die, so I might as well put in the effort to realize my dreams by getting on a plane to Baltimore. Plus I will be giving a presentation at the convention. How cool is that?
I will also be focusing on writing my second book. This will be a non-fiction about the 1970s sitcom, The Jeffersons. I am so tickled!! Someone actually gave me the chance to write another book! Now, when anyone asks me what I do I can say “I am a writer.” I spent my early years pursuing a singing career, then worked 30 years as a Secretary then retired. And now a whole new career has blossomed. I love it. And, I have actually found a connection between one of the characters from The Jeffersons and my father, Eddie Green.
Sherman Hemsley played the part of George Jefferson. While doing a bit of research I found this excerpt from an interview done in 1975, Mr. Hemsley was asked if he watched other Black tv shows. His reply: “Listen, I don’t even watch my own show, because I don’t own a television set. But I used to like ‘Amos and Andy.’ I loved them. ” Olean Times Herald May 9, 1975 by-line Arthur Unger. If you have followed me for a while you know that my father was a character on the Amos n Andy radio show in the 1940s. I don’t know if Mr. Hemsley heard the radio program or watched the tv show of the 50s and 60s but he says he “loved them”.
In 1949, the year before Eddie died this article was printed. “Gosden still speaks the parts of Amos, Kingfish and Lightnin’. Correll enacts Andy and Henry Van Porter. Eddie Green is Stonewall, the lawyer; Ernestine Wade is Sapphire, wife of Kingfish, and Wonderful Smith plays various roles as needed.” Rochester Democrat Chronicle 1949
I began this blog as a companion document to the biography I wrote about my father. My findings went from 1917 with his song “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, into his Burlesque career in 1921, where to my horror he was billed as Eddie (Simp) Green, LOL. Articles like this one helped me verify I had the correct Eddie Green. “Eddie (Simp) Green, the acrobatic dancer, is singing his own songs with “The Girls-De-Looks” Burlesque Show. “Nelson’s comment on his act in the review of the show is very favorable. Eddie is a good business man and has his own publishing business at 131 West 135th Street. New York. He is contracted with the show for the next two years.”
I finished the book with news of Eddie’s last movie from 1949 and his death in 1950. The following article appeared in the Los Angeles California Watts newspaper:
Billed tor Two
Patrons of the Largo and Aliso Theatres will be pleased to learn that Mr. Berman, well known manager of both these houses, is now negotiating with Sepia Productions, Inc., who has just produced a new musical comedy featurette entitled, “Mr. Adam’s Bomb.”
Mr. Berman said. “I believe that my patrons would want to see this picture, not only because of the fact that it has an all Colored cast, but it features one of the best comedians in the country-— Eddie Green.
I am so proud of my father. And though I will continue to mention him here, periodically, I am too thrilled to begin a new book writing journey. I’m movin’ on up!!
During the past month I have gotten closer to beginning a second book and during my research on other star’s of the entertainment world I was reminded of a resentment I formed while writing the book on my father, Eddie Green. At one point in time Eddie was famous. It said so in the newspaper articles I found. In 1937 he opened his first Bar-Bee-Q shop in New York. According to the Pittsburgh Courier:
“Eddie Green, star of radio and stage and screen (RCA-NBC television program 1936) has entered another field with the opening of his swanky and cozy Bar-Bee-Q shop on Seventh avenue near 126th Street In the heart of the section frequented by sportsmen, actors and artists of all kinds. In the short space that it has been opened, this food emporium has become a rendezvous for celebrities of the theatrical world. Though well-known for his work on the stage and screen, Eddie Green is best remembered as the radio comedian who appeared for a number of weeks as the featured attraction on the full hour Sunday evening- NBC “Echoes of New York Town” program, sponsored by the light and gas companies of New York cities, and won a marked degree of success for his effort in this spot. Besides, his various guest appearances on any number of programs, including Rudy Vallee’s, Mr. Green just recently completed a week’s contract as star comedian (opposite Gee Gee James, of “Gibson Family” fame) of the Fleishmann Yeast Hour, which costarred Louis Armstrong. His portrayal of the characters selected for him to play, won the hearty approval of metropolitan radio critics.”
Eddie’s Emporium was listed in the local newspapers under the Café section: Listed under the Cafe Section – Manhattan, under American food: Eddie Green’s Bar-Bee-Q 2149 8th Ave., New York Specializing in Southern Bar-Bee-Q. Finest South’n hospitality. E. Green. Host. Mind you, Eddie was born in Baltimore and spent most of his years in New York, but he loved “South’n” cooking. (8th and 116th Street today).
My point is that he was well-known in 1937. By 1939, he had started his own film production company and had made two movie featurettes, Dress Rehearsal and What Goes Up.
My resentment came about as I realized that Eddie’s name was in the newspapers right along with other stars who are still well-known today! What began as an inspirational story morphed into a vehicle to get Eddie out of the shadows and back into the spotlight where he belonged.
Newspapers ran ads like these (minus pictures):
1941Buffalo Courier Express December 14 PLAZA THEATER – Michael Redgrave “SONS of the SEA”
1941 Buffalo Courier Express December 14 SHEA’S BUFFALO – Bette Davis “NOW VOYAGER”
“RIDERS OF THE NORTHLAND” Serial, “OVERLAND MAIL” – Also Eddie Green, Famous Colored Radio Star, in Featurette, “What Goes Up”.
You will notice that he was the last on the bill after the “Serial” and his movie was not in upper-case letters. Even though it says he was Famous. But Eddie was a Black man and the movie was a featurette and this was 1941.
My resentment has faded over time, because as I look at what Eddie accomplished in his life despite any negativity I am proud of him as a person. He was a hard-working man. He loved what he did and he payed it forward in how he got along with others and in helping those less fortunate. He was able, in 1941, to share his profits:
Eddie Green to Play Host To 250 Poor Christmas Eve
“Eddie Green will play host to 250 of New York City’s poor on Christmas eve morning. Along with Arthur Oliver, manager, and about a dozen of the girl employees of Eddie Green’s Bar-Bee-Q, they will assemble at the Eighth avenue link of this popular chain of restaurants where they will pack and hand out Christmas baskets containing roasting chicken and all of the fixings that go to make up a good dinner. Tickets for these baskets have been distributed among quite a few responsible persons who in turn are giving them to families that they know to be in need.”
My father was a Good Man. I only got to know him through writing his biography. And I have been given great insight into what it really is to be “Famous”. I love you, Eddie.
These days it is so difficult to write inspirational, motivating posts. Posts that bring smiles and laughter. Posts that are entertaining. The political climate sucks so bad right now it is impossible to ignore. I chose to watch an ad placed by President Trump recently. How disheartening. A Reuters headline read: “Sickening’: New anti-immigrant Trump campaign ad stokes outrage”. And it was sickening. And truly sad, to me. Sad and un-Presidential. Low. An article in the Politico talks about President Trump never being shy about branding female political enemies with “personal and demeaning” insults. How is this presidential? How can he even allow himself to communicate on such a level. He sits on the highest seat in the land, for Heavens sake. And I guess that is the point. He’s the President. He can pretty much do what he wants. Thank goodness he backtracked on that “consider it a rifle” statement about rocks being thrown by migrants towards U. S. military. The newspapers (Politico) printed that he has since said “I didn’t say shoot”.
But, truth be told, chaos, hatred, intolerance and violence are not new to 2018, and can be found in all walks of life, no matter race or gender or age. Mass shootings. Family murders. School shootings. Gangs. Road Rage.
Just as an example, I bought a Los Angeles Times this past week and was shocked to read an article about a happening on the Senate floor in 1856. I came home and looked up this affair on Wikipedia:
“The Brooks–Sumner Affair, occurred on May 22, 1856, in the United States Senate when Representative Preston Brooks (D-SC) used a walking cane to attack Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA), an abolitionist, in retaliation for a speech given by Sumner two days earlier in which he fiercely criticized slaveholders, including a relative of Brooks. Brooks beat Sumner severely on the head using a thick gutta-percha cane with a gold head. Brooks didn’t stop when his cane snapped; he continued thrashing Sumner with the piece which held the gold head. Brooks later boasted “[The pieces of my cane] are begged for as sacred relics.” Apparently, his constituents sent him hundreds of new canes. – “Caning of Charles Sumner”; Wikipedia”
One of Brooks buddies stood by and kept the other Senators from interring. One human being caning another, brutally. And getting kudos for doing so.
Another example closer to 2018:
“On February 20, 1939, the American Nazi Organization (The Bund) held an “Americanization” rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden, The rally, attended by 20,000 supporters and members, was protested by huge crowds of anti-Nazis, who were held back by 1,500 NYC police officers.” – June 2017 The Atlantic
My father lived in New York at the time. He had just returned from the Coast after trying out for a part in the movie Gone With The Wind. Three months later he was appearing on Broadway in a new play “Hot Mikado” with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. He had two bar-bee-que restaurants at the time in New York. As a Black man in 1939, who had been born back in 1891, this must have been a trying time.
Seems that there will always be some form of dis-unity on planet Earth. But we have not destroyed ourselves yet. Is that because the good is still outweighing the bad? Certainly no one man can destroy that which keeps us strong and resilient. Examples like my father show us that. Millions of survivors show us that. Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness exist. Share it.