Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Monday, September 18, 2017
Destination Tokyo is one of my favorite double wartime movies, being both about and released during WWII. One of the subplots involves a seaman diagnosed by the pharmacists mate with acute appendicitis, and who will certainly die without surgery. The captain (Cary Grant) convinces the pharmacists mate (William Prince) he can perform the surgery. The tension builds as the operation takes place, but the surgery is a success, and the seaman recovers. The entire film is a morale building vehicle for the folks at home, and this story was part of it.
This story, however, was based on fact. As I learned from This Day in World War II History, on September 11, 1942, a pharmacists mate on board the U.S. submarine Seadragon performed an emergency appendectomy on a fellow crewmember in circumstances essentially like those depicted in the film. More details at the U.S. Naval Institute Naval History Blog.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
The Commercial Appeal recently ran an interesting story about Bob and Laura Coleman, who in 1948 or thereabouts, moved into a little house that sat beneath the wooden structure of the Pippin, the Shelby County Fairgrounds roller coaster that later became famous as Elvis Presley's favorite ride. Until it was "disassembled" in 2010 and shipped to Green Bay, Wisconsin, it was the oldest surviving roller coaster in the U.S. Mr. Coleman maintained the Fairgrounds rides until 1960, including the Pippin. Dinner conversation at home may have been difficult during operating hours.