Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Some Skipper!

June 1, 1947

How did that doggie get in the drink? wondered Mr. and Mrs. Fred Linstrum of 444 ½ S. Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, when they slowed their boat so they could pluck the cocker spaniel out of the ocean off Catalina. The lucky foundling got his picture and story in the Times, and tonight was home with his owners Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Watson and daughter Dabney, 6, at 528 Locust Street. Long Beach.

The Watsons explained that Skipper has always been a scaredy-dog, hiding under a bunk on their cabin cruiser. But last week, as they lay at anchor off Catalina, Skipper took to promenading on deck. They figure he must have headed above decks during the trip back to Long Beach and fallen overboard without anyone seeing him, spending about an hour dog-paddling before his rescuers found him.

1 comment:

Larry said...

A group of Los Angeles men working at the Armed Forces Radio Service in Japan are in more trouble than even their fertile minds could have imagined over an elaborate hoax broadcast about a 20-foot sea monster overpowering U.S. troops on a destructive rampage through Tokyo.

AFRS Japan Director Dr. Wilson W. Cook of Los Angeles; scriptwriters Cpl. Arthur Bartick of 176 S. Vista St. and Pfc. Arthur Thompson of 611 S. Virgil Ave.; and announcer Pfc. Pierre Meyers of Hollywood were relieved of duty and several of them were sent to Korea despite an announcement during the broadcast that it was a joke marking the radio service’s fifth anniversary.

Bartick, 19, a former UCLA student, had warned his parents that he and his friend Thompson, 20, who attended Belmont High School, were writing a “War of the Worlds”-style script that would cause a sensation. And indeed it did, as the station’s switchboard was overwhelmed by calls from WVTR listeners, including Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

One soldier reminisced: “For the next three hours, until lights-out, we listened with fascination as the program was repeatedly interrupted by news flashes which eventually included on the scene ‘live’ reports with audio of the most amazing account of destruction, mayhem, gunfire, cannon shots, burning buildings, Army mobilization and an unknown "Beast From the Sea" roaring in the background….

“The report, which continued at a frantic pace, included harrowing rescues and escapes, remote radio links, movement of heavy weapons and tanks and all of the stuff of which the truly epic stories are made. Accompanied by the terrifying screams, roars and shrieks of both the beast and the panic-stricken populace. As well as the gun fire and bullhorns of the protectors.”

Thompson, who was at sea on his way back home to Los Angeles when the broadcast aired, said: “It was a good script, but it was so preposterous. How could it scare anybody?” Their original idea? A Nazi V-2 rocket that went out of control during tests at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and destroyed the U.S.

History does not tell us much about the fates of the sea monster crew. Bartick apparently worked for Art Linkletter in the early days of television. I’d like to think everybody retired on their “Godzilla” residuals, although I have absolutely no factual basis for saying so.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1947; May 31, 1947; June 1, 1947; June 22, 1947; Jan. 15, 1951;