Well, as my dear sweet mama would say, into each life, some rain must fall. Actually, she would usually say it sarcastically, but it still means the same thing.
In the on-going saga of my father’s life, considering he was born a Black man in 1891 in the “poor” part of town in East Baltimore, Eddie, who, by 1941, had become a star of stage, screen and radio, owned two restaurants and a movie studio, had a good life.
Two years later…… In an article, dated January 2, 1943, an article was printed in the local newspaper, well, it wasn’t even an article, it was a paragraph:
Eddie Green the comedian, who once owned a chain of Bar-b-q places in Harlem, his own movie producing company and who ran the gamut of one stage and radio success to another, has filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy in the U. S. District Court. His listed liabilities are $5,119.00 and assets $473.00. He owes the government $445.74 that should have been paid weeks ago. Always a fine fellow, the misfortune of Eddie is not without sadness.
Imagine having your personal business in the neighborhood newspaper. Of course, today everybody knows everybody else’s business, whether we want to or not, but I still think he may have experienced some embarrassment. But, maybe not. He probably used it in his comedy routines, like the one he did three days later in the January 5, 1943 Duffy’s Tavern show with Milton Berle as the guest:
EDDIE: What is that sign you’re making, Mr. Archie, is it a welcome sign for Mr. Berle? ARCHIE: No Eddie, it’s a resolution, you know, one of those New Years things. Listen to it, “There is a well known golden rule, through the ages it’s been true, always be good to your neighbor, they may live next door to you.” That’s good, huh? EDDIE: Yea, it makes a lot of sense, too. How bout hangin up a sign for the waiter, me. ARCHIE: Like what, Eddie? EDDIE: Like this: “The golden rule has a fine intent, but a ten cent tip will pay the rent.”
I really do believe that it pays to have a good sense of humor.
So, Eddie did still have his job as the waiter on Duffy’s Tavern and two months later, in March Eddie was a guest on the Caravan radio show, along with the popular radio emcee, Gary Moore, who was also a guest on the program.
Some of you reading this may be too young to remember, but I know a few of us vaguely remember The Gary Moore Show, or I’ve Got A Secret or To Tell The Truth which Mr. Moore hosted till about 1976. I remember Mr. Moore as always having a smile on his face.
Despite Eddie’s setback, his success story was far from over. More to come….
Thanks, for spending some time with me.