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Monday, September 12, 2016

The Writer's Life 9/12 - Fascinating People

Only the hard-hearted do not love that iconic photograph, which perfectly captures the joy brought by the news of Japan's surrender and the end of the carnage that was WWII. Greta Zimmer was on her way to her job as a dental assistant when she was grabbed by a total stranger, George Mendonsa, a sailor on leave. 92, she has passed away. What became of her after the picture was taken? According to an obit at the NY Daily News web site, she was involved for a while in the New York theater community and studied costuming at the New School's Dramatic Workshop. In 1956 she married a doctor, Mischa (Mitty) Friedman, and moved to Maryland, where she raised a son and daughter. Mrs. Friedman first saw Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph in a book in the 1960's. She contacted Life, but the magazine was not interested in determining the subject. In 1980 Life put out an issue asking for the sailor and nurse to come forward, and was flooded with dozens of claims, and declined to name one as definitive. In the 2012 book The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo that Ended World War II, the author, Lawrence Verria, was able to prove that Friedman and Mendonsa were indeed the couple. Among other evidence, the tattoo on the sailor's right arm matched one on Mendonsa's, and Friedman's height, hairstyle and uniform matched other photographs of her taken at the time. The subjects became friendly, even exchanging Christmas cards, after meeting in the 1980's. Mendonsa, 93, is a retired fisherman living in Rhode Island. Eisenstaedt passed away at 95 in 1996. Along with entertainers and celebrities, he photographed politicians, philosophers, artists, industrialists and authors during his career with Life, and by 1972 he had photographed nearly 2500 stories and had more than 90 of his photos on the cover. Here's another of his pictures. Even one of the world's greatest eggheads knew how to have fun:
RIP, Mrs. Friedman.

My contempt for Hillary is so strong that, realizing my bias, I hesitate to comment on her health and whether it should deter anyone thinking of voting for her. I will say that Trump handled the issue wisely by not attacking her. He is letting the video speak for itself. In 1974, when it became obvious to everyone but President Nixon that he had to resign, Republicans sent a three-man delegation to tell him he was finished: former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, House Republican Leader John Jacob Rhodes and Senate Republican Leader Hugh Scott. If the campaign goes south quickly because of Hillary's health and the rest of her immense baggage, would the Democrats send a delegation to tell her to step away? Even if they did, given the Clintons' history of hanging on, I suspect the delegation would be told to take a hike.

My thanks to the kind folks who bought books and DVDs today. I had a visit from a gentleman I hadn't seen in perhaps two years. I call him Kaline because his idol was the Detroit Tigers' Hall of Fame right fielder. He is retired and collects books on sports, mostly baseball. He says he has a quarter of a million, spread out at four locations. One wall in his bedroom has 38,000, stacked floor to ceiling. People never cease to fascinate.
Vic's Short Works:
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Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
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