I am left-handed. When I was still in elementary school learning how to write, we had to have a writing pad to practice with.
These pads were set up for right-handed people, because one was supposed to “slant” ones letters to the right. And my mom was determined that when I wrote, first, I would not right with my left hand all twisted around (bad enough I was left-handed), and second, I would make those letters slant the right way. My mother was right-handed and had beautiful hand-writing. I still don’t think my writing slants correctly, but I do not write with my left hand curved around in a circle. Only because I got hollered at if I did. Anyhoo, my mom was just doing what she thought best, and I do not have a problem being left-handed. Except when I have to sign one of those machines at the pharmacy after I slide my card-they are only made to turn to the left to make it easy for right-handed people to sign.
The other day I went to lunch with my daughter, Melony and my grandson, Edward, because Edward is moving to Nevada. We had a ball. As you can see, Edward is right-handed so I couldn’t sit too close to him as our elbows would crash together, My original idea for writing a book about my father, Eddie Green, came to me when Edward was about six years old. You can see how long he has been waiting for me to write this book.
Of course, today, in regard to writing my book, I don’t actually write anything.
It has all been done on my trusty laptop. And I think I am happy to say that I hope to be ready to hand over my manuscript for outside editing by the end of the month. I think I am happy because I feel slightly queasy. Although, this endeavor has never been about fame and fortune, only a way to share with Edward and others, that a person can achieve their goals against all odds. Eddie did.
I am deep into writing my book about my father, Eddie Green, and his life as a star of Stage, Screen and Radio, and how he has become literally wiped from most people’s memory, I believe, because he died in 1950, and when he died his works were put aside by those who knew him, and life moved on. Now, for me as an adult with a grandson, I am trying to document Eddie’s time on this earth because Eddie contributed much to society, despite the poverty of his family, and the segregation of his time. As I began to discover, through my research, what my father had accomplished, I was rather upset that even though Eddie worked with some of the greats of the 30s and 40s, he is not remembered as they are remembered. So I am trying to change that with my book.
Unfortunately, I wind up putting my posting aside. I know there is no one I need to apologize to for not posting more often, but I also know had I not started this blog, I may not have started actually writing my book. The research began some years ago, and, for someone who may be contemplating book-writing, research is on-going.
Over the past month I have discovered a Paramount Contract Eddie had in 1945, I have read scripts from some of his movies (I will get to those later), and I have found about fifteen original photos from the sets of Eddie’s movies. It’s fascinating and absolutely unexpected.
But before I get to that part of Eddie’s life, I will share with you what I found today. I have been searching the World Wide Web for just the right thing to share and lo and behold, I came across the best picture.
Eddie lived in New York for a large part of his career. He lived in Manhattan and worked in Harlem. He was called “The Harlem Funster”. In 1937 Rudy Vallee had a Radio Program on NBC-Blue Network and when Mr. Vallee went on his summer vacation, he convinced his sponsor, Fleischman’s Yeast, to hire Louie Armstrong to host the show for the summer. In 1937, at Vallée’s insistence, Louis Armstrong hosted the show during Vallée’s summer vacation. This made Armstrong the first African American to host a national network program. Guess who shared billing with Mr. Armstrong as one of the shows comedians.
According to BALLSTON SPA DAILY JOURNAL, BALLSTON SPA, NEW YORK, FRIDAY, APRIL 9, 1937:
A new variety show, an all-negro revue, makes its debut on* WJZ-NBC revue, at 9 p.m. Based on the hot rhythm of Harlem as dispensed by Louis Armstrong’s orchestra, together with his trumpet, it will present Eddie Green and Gee Gee James, comedy team, and guest artists. The script is being put together by Octavus Roy Cohen.
Below is the picture I mentioned, celebrating this huge event.
RECEIVE CONGRATULATIONS FROM COAST-TO-COAST
APRIL 17, 1937
T h e Pitttburgh Courier
The first time I have ever seen this picture. It’s too bad Mr. Armstrong is difficult to see, but it’s an old picture and I have a cheap printer. Anyhow, there they are. Making history. But who remembers Eddie Green? Well, I guess I do and I am sharing him with the world of today, not just because Eddie became “somebody”, despite the obstacles, but because there are still people who believe they cannot achieve their goals because of seeming obstacles.
Of course, we have to put in the work, acquire as much knowledge as we can about our pursuits, and if we have a talent, put it out there. I read that my father said that talent is respected in his business, and you have to keep at it because all the work and practice and time you put in pays off in the end.
Speaking of work. Right after the ending of the Fleischman Yeast’s Summer Program, Eddie was off to Hollywood where he appeared on “Showboat” a radio program which I talked about on my previous post. But before he left New York, Eddie had another bit of business to attend to, per the Pittsburgh Courier “Eddie Green, the radio comic, has gone Into the restaurant bis. He’s now the proud owner of a Bar-Bee-Q eatery off 139th” street on Seventh avenue. .”