The cream of Hollywood's maritime fleet have been challenged by Captain Humphrey Bogart and the "Santana" to a yacht race from Long Beach Harbor to Catalina Island, this Saturday!

Picturesque Catalina Island lies 22 miles southwest of Long Beach Harbor, a very short run (under two hours) by yacht, but certainly a challenge for the screen legends who will be manning the ships!

Bogart's 55-foot schooner will be crewed by Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, William Holden, and Pat O'Brien; the following ships and crews have taken up the challenge...

"True Love", a 65-foot ketch, with Bing Crosby, Captain; his crew will be Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, Johnny Holiday, Phil Harris, and Alice Faye...

"China Seas", a 65-foot cutter, with Clark Gable, Captain; his crew will be Carole Lombard, William Powell, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Loretta Young, and Gary Cooper...

John Ford's "Araner", a 64-foot SWAN, with John Wayne, Captain; his crew will be Ward Bond, Victor McLaglan, Maureen O'Hara, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, and James Arness...

"Lonely Heart", a 67-foot ketch, with Cary Grant, Captain; his crew will be Jean Arthur, Randolph Scott, Deborah Kerr, Irene Dunne, Fredric March, Rosalind Russell, Dick Powell, and June Allyson...

"Dragoon", a 67-foot ketch, with Ronald Colman, Captain; his crew will be Benita Hume Colman, Richard Barthelmess, Robert Montgomery, Laine, Greer Garson, Ginger Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, and David Niven...

"Zaca", a 118-foot sailing yacht, with Errol Flynn, Captain; his crew will be John Barrymore, Clemmie, Tyrone Power, Olivia DeHavilland, Basil Rathbone, Alan Hale, Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, and Johnny Weismuller (a crew size waiver due to his yacht size)...

The Judges are John Ford, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks, Cecil B. DeMille, Ida Lupino, Frank Capra, Preston Sturges, and Alfred Hitchcock, aboard Duke Wayne's 136-foot converted minesweeper, "Wild Goose", which will also house support personnel for the race.

This promises to be the industry's premier sporting event of the season, and you'll all be on hand for the festivities, before, during, and after the race!

Further details will be posted!

Ronald Colman


May 8, 5:30 PM

"Good Evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America, by Shortwave overseas...Let's go to press!

FLASH! HOLLYWOOD: Screen bad boy Bogart has challenged screen Kings Gable, Bing, Cary, Flynn, Colman, and Duke Wayne for the title of 'King of the High Seas', with a yacht race to Catalina on Saturday! The boats will all be manned by major stars, and Mayer, Warner, Cohn, Zanuck, and Goldwyn are fuming! And why not? One ship goes down, and America might see the Three Stooges in 'The Best Years of Our Lives'! Bogie's laughing them off, though, and told me if Jack Warner gets a boat and beats him, he'll extend his studio contract until 1999!"


May 8, 10:18 PM

"HOLLYWOOD - The biggest scoop in town is the Catalina Yacht Race, Saturday; it's shaping up as a 'David and Goliath' yarn between Bogie's tiny "Santana" vs. Errol Flynn's giant "Zaca"...but Bogie's not worried. "Yeah, Flynn's over double my size," he told me, over cocktails at Ciro's, "but size only helps on a long race; to Catalina, we'll outrun him." What does he think of his crew? "First-class! Betty's a great sailor, Spence (Tracy) and Kate (Hepburn) are old hands, too, and half of Ireland is aboard, between Spence, Jimmy Cagney and Pat O'Brien! Eddie Robinson has experience, Bill Holden has muscle...and do you think Bette Davis will let Crawford beat her at ANYTHING?" He isn't concerned about the rest of the field; "Colman and Duke Wayne are salts, but Gable prefers hunting, and Cary and Bing are weekend skippers...No, Flynn's my only competition, and I can handle him."

My money's on you, Bogie!"


May 9, 11:53 AM

by Tony Thomas

'The Outrigger' bar in San Pedro may not have the glamor of "21", but when three of film's sexiest leading men...Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, and Robert Taylor...are in town, preparing a sailing ship to race, Saturday, the temperature certainly rises a few notches!

"I've always been a sailor," Errol says, a wide grin lighting up his almost too-handsome features. "Growing up on a island certainly gives one an appreciation of the sea. I stowed away on a schooner when I was nine or ten, which did NOT please my parents! When I finally chucked school, and after a bad time in New Guinea, I knew I was going to see the world from a ship."

Power and Taylor both agree on Flynn's seamanship. "Errol's definitely at home on a ship's deck," Taylor says, with a laugh. "I'm an outdoor type, but into hunting and fishing. Oh, I've sailed a little, so I don't embarrass myself, but my captain, here, is the best seaman I've ever seen."

Power, of the dreamy eyes, agrees. "Errol knows ships, currents, weather, you name it. He's more in tune with the ocean than with land, I swear! I love planes, and flying...if I learn aviation as well as he knows the sea, I'll be a pretty fair pilot."

"Well," Flynn adds, "Fletcher Christian of 'The Bounty' was an ancestor, which doesn't hurt!" Lighting a cigarette...all three men smoked heavily during the interview...he continues, "I even played Christian in my first movie, in Australia, you know. Terrible wig, terrible performance, but I was better suited to the role than Gable was!"

I asked if Humphrey Bogart's comments about his ship's size advantage, in the race, was true. "Bogie's been jealous of me since he had to play a Mexican bandit in 'Virginia City'!" Errol laughs. "In theory, he's right," he admits, "Getting in and out of harbors will be tougher for the 'Zaca'. But on the high seas, it's all about sails, and muscle. We have more of both!"

"Errol took a lot of flak for not choosing his best friend, David Niven, for the crew," Power continues. "But he explained to me that he wanted the strongest, hardiest crew he could assemble. Rathbone is a superb sailor, and look at Bob, here, and Johnny Weismuller, even Alan Hale. That's a lot of muscle to handle the sails!"

"What about Barrymore and his monkey?" I ask.

"I couldn't leave Jack!" Errol says. "And Clemmie is actually a terrific sailor, in the crow's nest."

Taylor nods, and adds, "When she's not trying to kiss me!"

"Or me," Power laughs.

Finally, I bring up the ladies. "Olivia DeHavilland and Barbara are they working out?"

"Well, I'm married to Barbara, so I haven't any complaints!" Taylor laughs, joined by Flynn and Power.

"It's great being with Livy off the set," Flynn says. "All we need is Claude Rains, and we could do 'Robin Hood', with Basil and Alan aboard!" He stretches, and adds, "the girls are both good, hard workers...I warned them that they'll finish with blisters and bruises, but they're certainly game!"

"So who will win?"

"The 'Zaca'", all three answer, in unison, then we all laugh!

May 10, 3:53 AM

Hello, my friends, from Hollywood!

My friend, Clark Gable, was swearing, lustily! As I entered the dry dock where the "China Seas" was being prepared for Saturday's big yacht race, I discovered him on a scaffold, in grease-stained overalls, inspecting the hull and using language that would certainly make your children blush! Finally, his lovely bride, Carole Lombard, noticed my presence, and shouted, "Oh, Paw, hush! We have company!" He turned, saw me, and grinned sheepishly, and asked Carole to take me to their leased apartment, near the marina, until he cleaned himself up.

As we waited for him, and played with their Siamese cats, Carole apologized, and admitted they have been taking the race very seriously. "Clark is nuts about motorboats, and barely uses the sailboat, but Victor Fleming has been boning him up on sailing. He'll be ready...and I will, too!"

Clark arrived, much cleaner, and in a gorgeous black shirt and bluejeans. He plopped down on the couch with Carole, and they played with the cats, as we spoke.

"Louella," he said, "It's going to take every minute until we sail to get my boat seaworthy...I loaned it to Robert Benchley, who ran it aground in Monterey during a squall. It wasn't his fault, the weather turned lousy, but there was damage."

"Oh, Clark," I said, concerned, "Should you withdraw from the race?"

"I thought about it," he admitted. "But Bogie challenged me BECAUSE he never thought I'd agree to it...and I'm not going to make things easy for him!" He laughed. "We'll have the ship ready, Saturday...and Vic Fleming is a hell of a sailing coach!"

"Don't forget Ronnie, dear," Carole interrupted.

Clark smiled. "Ron Colman is a square guy! He had planned to have Bill Powell and Jean Harlow on his team...Bill is a great sailor...but when he heard about my problems, he asked Bill to join my team, and give me a hand, in repairing and sailing it."

I nodded. Colman's unselfishness is legendary, among the film community.

Clark added, "Bill, Jean, and Myrna Loy have been here all week, working like crazy each day, and clowning for photographers, at night, to keep them out of my hair."

"What about the rest of your team?" I asked.

"They all arrived together, today," Carole answered. "You know, Franchot (Tone) has done some sailing, Gary (Cooper), even more."

"What about Loretta Young and Joan Crawford? Have they any experience?"

Clark shrugged. "Not much...but the rules said at least three crewmembers had to be female, so I don't think anybody will be much better off than me...and Joan hates Bette Davis, who's on Bogie's ship, so she's promised 100%!"

I had to run, to meet my deadline, but Clark gave me a quick peck, and said, with that famous crooked smile, "Sweetheart, we may just surprise everybody!"


May 10, 2:09 PM

Hello, my darlings!

You would think, with all the press coverage and pressure of Saturday's epic Yacht Race, that Cary Grant and his movie star crew would be in a state of nervous exhaustion...but, in fact, the opposite is true! When I visited their San Pedro mooring, this morning, the "Lonely Heart" was as shiny as young June Allyson's nose, and Cary was smoking a pipe, and sipping a wine cooler, as fashionably dressed as always!

"Hedda, darling!", Cary greeted me, "Thanks for visiting!"

"Always a pleasure, Cary," I replied. "Obviously, you aren't overanxious about the race."

He laughed. "I'll let you in on a secret...When I saw Bogie doing practice runs to Catalina, four days a week, I suspected he had an ulterior motive, and I got the "Lonely Heart" prepped, just in case!"

It was my turn to laugh. "Cary, you dog!", I said, "You cheated!"

"Me? Cheat?", he replied, in all innocence. "No more than Bogie did!"

"You know, you are being both praised by some feminists for having more women than men in your crew, and condemned by others for simply playing up your image as a 'ladies' man'."

" 'Damned if I do, damned if I don't', eh?" he replied. "Well, both sides are right...other than June (Allyson), I've worked with all the ladies in my crew, and know their capabilities...these are very strong women! But I admit, they are pleasant to look at, as well!"

"Humphrey has said in a interview that you're just a 'weekend sailor' and no do you feel about that?"

"Hedda, when Randy Scott and I shared a bungalow, we sailed constantly, and raced nearly every weekend, often against Freddie March and Dick Powell...and this was long before Bogie even owned the "Santana"...Now we're all together, in one crew, so I think he's in for a shock!"

"Who do you think may be your greatest competition, besides the "Santana"?"

"Well, Flynn and the "Zaca", of course," he admitted. "If Errol can get out of the harbor fast enough, and raises all his sails, the race might be over." He looked thoughtful, for a moment. "But if we can get a big enough lead, starting out, we may just give him too much distance to catch up to! Duke Wayne? He's great with the "Wild Goose", but that's not a sailboat, and he may not be a threat, sailing the "Araner"...Gable's got ship problems, we all know...Ronnie Colman is a fair sailor, but too conservative...Bogie and Flynn, they're the ones to beat!"

"What about Bing Crosby and the "True Love"? Young Johnny Holiday says they have a surprise, planned..."

Cary laughed, and held my arm. "Hedda, I love Bing, Bob, and Dotty, but this isn't a 'Road' picture! Bing doesn't sail much, and they could attach every studio wind fan in Hollywood on the "True Love", and they couldn't beat us!"

"What do you plan to do, after the race, assuming you do win?"

"Why, give you an exclusive, of course!"


May 10, 7:42 PM

SAN PEDRO, CA: Perhaps the most surprising participant in Saturday's big Catalina yacht race is big Duke Wayne...not because of his qualifications (he is a respected sailor; with his converted minesweep, the "Wild Goose", he's cruised to Hawaii and back), but because he's not known for any skill in commanding a sailing ship.

"Yeah, I'm being called a novice," Wayne said, as we sat down to chat, this afternoon. "I actually had to talk Bogie into letting me run, but I think he liked the idea of a lifelong liberal whipping the pants off this right-wing conservative!" With a chuckle, Duke lit a Chesterfield, and continued. "But I started sailing with Pappy Ford back when I was moving props, in the '20s. Worked my way up from cabin boy, on the "Araner", and I know that ship like the back of my hand. Oh, this old boy can sail!"

"Did John Ford have any misgivings about loaning you his yacht?"

"Well, he did say if I broke anything, he'd send me back to 'Singing Sandy' westerns!" We both laughed at the reference to the low point in Duke's career. "He trusts me...and I'm loaning him the "Wild Goose" as the Judges' Ship, so he has to be as careful as I am!"

Beautiful Maureen O'Hara walked in, and Duke invited her to join us.

"Will Ford be impartial, as a Judge...after all, his ship is in the race..."

"Pappy is the most unbiased Judge you'll ever meet," Duke replied, and Maureen giggled, adding, "He'll probably be harder on us than anybody else!"

"How is the crew working out?"

Maureen answered, "We all are old friends, except for Jim Arness, who is Duke's protege, and a giant," adding, poking Duke in the ribs, "even bigger than you!"

Duke laughed. "She's right, we're family, in the best sense of the word."

"Let me tell you, Jim," Maureen said, with a laugh, "these are not adults, they're overgrown kids! Ward Bond always keeps a flask of whiskey as a bracer...last night, while he was sleeping, Duke RELIEVED himself in it! This morning, Ward has been very...colorful ...describing what he's going to do to this guy!"

"Aw, Maureen!" Wayne groaned, "that's going to be in all the papers!" We all chuckled!

This evening, I had cocktails with lovely Lana Turner, and asked how she's faring up, so far.

"Very well, Jim," she replied. "Duke is really a big teddy bear! I won't say getting ready has been easy, but Vic McLaglan patiently answers any question I have, and Jimmy Stewart and Hank Fonda are like brothers to me."

"What's working with Marlene Dietrich like?"

Lana smiled. "She's amazing!" she replied. "No 'Screen Legend' airs, at all! She and Maureen have cooked breakfast every morning, and she can even beat the Duke at chess!"

So who is going to win the race?

"Well, I wouldn't bet against the 'Araner'!"


May 10, 11:29 PM
Edgar Bergen: Well, Bill, you must be disappointed no one picked you for their team for Saturday's yacht race!

W.C. Fields: Simply an unfortunate oversight, obviously the result of impaired judgement!

Charlie McCarthy: Yours or theirs? Ha-ha!

Fields: As I was saying, an oversight! If they only knew of my illustrious ancestors...

McCarthy: Which ones? Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker?

Fields: No, you animated pinecone! My Great-Uncle Horatio was on the "Maine"...

Bergen: Uh, Bill, the "Maine" sank...

Field: Not before he saved the liquor cabinet! Why, the Fields are all born sailors! We arrive in this world dreaming of the sea with our first bottle...

McCarthy: ...And dreaming, period, after the second one!

Fields: Have I recounted the tale of young George Washington and the Cherry Tree? Chop-chop!

McCarthy: BERGEN!

Fields: Anyway, I have decided to rectify the situation, and, unheralded, enter the race in my dinghy!

Bergen: Bill, the Judges would never give you permission...

Fields: Why ruin a noble gesture with a mere technicality? Still, I need a crew...Bergen, how would you like to be my first mate?

Bergen: Me? I'm flattered, but...

Fields: Good, you're coming!

McCarthy: What about me? Can't I come? I can be a cabin boy!

Fields: More appropiately, a 'cabinet boy'...still, you could be useful...if I need greater speed, I can always hang a sail on you!

Mortimer Snerd: Uh, what about me? I don't want to be left behind...

Fields: And what, pray tell, are your qualifications?

Snerd: Well, you need a dinghy, and everybody says I'm the dingiest person they know, yuk, yuk!

Fields: To quote the vernacular: "You're drafted!" As the poet says, "All I need is a fast ship, and a star to guide her by..."

McCarthy: Who needs a star, with THAT nose?

Fields: I'm going to enjoy teaching you the ancient art of keelhauling...

May 11, 2:44 AM
You won't see pictures of Ronald Colman and his crew prepping his yacht, "Dragoon", for Saturday's big race, or read a lot of interviews, either...and Colman prefers it this way! Because of our long friendship, he granted his only interview to me, and I'll always be grateful for the honor!

Visiting his berth in San Pedro, I found a busy, but very relaxed collection of stars, hard at work preparing the beautiful yacht. Richard Barthelmess, high in the riggings, was passing a line down to Robert Montgomery; Doug Fairbanks Jr, covered in grease, was repairing the winch; David Niven and Greer Garson were doing an inspection of the sails; and Laine and Ginger Rogers were harmonizing while 'swabbing the deck'! Not even Colman's beautiful wife, Benita Hume, was granted a reprieve; she was polishing the brasswork, while keeping an eye on daughter Juliet, who played happily with a doll.

"So," I asked Ronald, "What's YOUR job?", and we both laughed.

"At the moment, I'm the crew press agent," he said, in that velvet voice the world adores. "After you leave, I'll be checking the instruments' calibrations, finalizing the charts, getting the latest weather forecast for the route, and, happily, supervising everyone else!"

"Why the news blackout?" I asked.

"This whole race has become such a media circus," he answered, shaking his head. "How is anyone expected to get any work done, with reporters demanding interviews, and photographers asking everybody to drop everything and pose?" He sighed. "I had a meeting with the crew, and asked if they'd be heartbroken if we were 'incommunicado' until the race...and they all approved of my decision. You, of course, are the exception!"

"Have you been keeping up with the news about your competition?"

"Not really. Clark called me about his ship problems, before the crews were finalized, and Bill Powell and I agreed he'd be a big help on the Gable crew, with Jean Harlow accompanying him, which, of course, freed spaces for David Niven and Laine on my crew, but other than that, no."

"Are you worried about your competition?"

"Worried?" he asked, puzzled. "No, I'm not worried. You see, for me, this isn't some sort of test of manhood. I, and my crew, are simply planning to do our best, and enjoy the thrill of the race!"

"What is coming up, race-wise?" I asked, as Benita brought me a cup of coffee.

"Well, Friday morning our ships will leave San Pedro, where the city fathers have allowed us room to make our repairs, and proceed to Long Beach. Early Friday night, Johnny Holiday has arranged a 'Bon Voyage' party in everyone's honor, and, hopefully we'll all get a good night's rest! At ten or so, Saturday, there will be ceremonies, hosted by Johnny Grant and Army Archerd, that all the captains will attend, then the race begins, around noon."

"What are the race rules?"

"A crew of nine, except for Errol, who was allowed an extra crewman, as the Zaca is so big; at least three women have to be members of each crew; no motors may be used; all ships must remain on the designated course; recognized yacht etiquette must be complied with; and good sportsmanship must be maintained. Breaking any of these rules will result in an instant disqualification!"

I nodded. "How can these rules be enforced? The course is pretty large..."

"Duke Wayne's "Wild Goose", which carries the Judges, will run the course with us, with spotters assigned to watching each vessel; the Coast Guard will also be on hand, with their own spotters...Believe me, if a rule is broken, it WILL be seen!"

I grinned. "This seems like too much work to be fun!" I laughed.

"Sailing is rather like acting," Ronald replied. "The more work you invest in it, the more satisfaction it offers." Examining the new blisters on his hands, he laughed. "I'm feeling pretty satisfied, right now!"

Good Luck and God Speed, Ronald and Crew!

May 11, 8:48 PM
Johnny Holiday: Bing Crosby Race Report!
With the epic race only one day away, Johnny Holiday here to give you a report on last night's meeting of the team of the "True Love" with our Captain Bing Crosby, and his crew of Mr. Fred Astaire, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Harris, Miss Grace Kelly, Miss Dorothy Lamour, Mr. Bob Hope, and yours truly (Miss Rita Hayworth, with a late call time on her latest picture, was unable to attend, but will join everyone Friday and Saturday).....

We met at Trader Vic's, off of Wilshire and Santa Monica, right at the gateway to Beverly Hills. I arrived at Trader's a little after 6pm, which was our appointed meeting time, per Bing. After I gave my keys to the valet, I headed inside this bastion of South Sea cocktails and American/Asian cuisine, and found Dottie Lamour and Grace Kelly sitting in the lounge having Mai Tai's.

"Hi, ladies....Are we the first one's here?" I said.

"No, Fred's in the main dining room talking with Hermes Pan about a scene he wants to re-shoot" replied Dottie. I grabbed a chair and sat down, and couldn't help but notice how lovely Grace looked. "Grace," I said, "You look absolutely great!"

"Thanks Johnny, it's Mainbocher," she said with a smile.
A few minutes later, in walked Phil Harris and his lovely wife, Alice Faye. Phil, jolly as usual, patted me on the back and gave each of the ladies a kiss on the cheek. " living doll, you..." he said.

"Knock it off, Heathcliff!" said Alice. "Yes, Dear," he replied quickly, and sat down. The ladies started gabbing as Phil and I ordered drinks.

Then Fred walked in. "I was talking to Hermes, and I really need to re-shoot a scene we did early today....I just don't think it's right...oh, hello Phil...Hello, Alice, how are you?" he quickly said.

"Fred, how long is the scene you need to do again?" asked Alice.

"Oh, only about 3 minutes or so, but the steps are just not the way I want them to sync up to the track."

Phil asked, "Freddie, how many times have you shot the scene?"

"Oh, maybe 46 times,'s just got to be right, and its not. Hermes thinks it fine, but I watched the dailies and I think it needs more work," Fred explained.

"46 times!" exclaimed Phil, "My God, Fred, you need a drink!"

"Oh, no, not tonight...I hope to get back to the studio tonight and practice some more. Phyllis is with friends, so I am free as a bird..."

By this time, the hostess, "Mylene" took us to the Ship's Room, which is a private dining room with a large table for all of us. Dorothy sat down, and asked me, "Johnny, where is Bing and Bob?"

"I'm not sure," I replied. "I know that Bing was down in the harbor this morning, talking to some people who are working on the know polishing up the brite work and that sort of thing..."
"Who's talking about me?" came from the door as Bing strolled in wearing a dark green jacket, pale blue pants, and a pinkish sort of colored shirt.

"Hey, Bing...we've been waiting for you!" said Grace.

"Yeah, I know, but Hope wanted a ride, then he was gabbing with some of his writers, and I told him I was leaving and that's that." Alice got up and gave Bing a little kiss as he walked over to the empty chair next to her. "Kids," Bing continued, "this race is a pretty hopped-up deal. We have some mighty stiff competition and I have to tell ya...we need to have a plan to win this one."

Phil admitted, "Well, I don't much about racing and I am not sure what I can do...Brother Bing, just say the word, and Harris is with you all the way..."

"That's what I'm afraid of, my friend," laughed Bing.

About this time Bob Hope came in, greeted warmly by everyone. He immediately noticed Grace Kelly, and said, "I would have come sooner had I known someone from my generation was here!"

"Leave her alone, slouch pouch and grab a chaise and lounge!" said Bing.

"Sure thing, Hydrant Head!" replied Bob. Everyone laughed.

Bing continued, "So, as I was saying, all of us have to dig in and make this how many of you have been on a boat before?"

Fred asked, "Does "Follow the Fleet" count?"

Alice said, "Well, I sailed on the Queen Mary once".

"That's great, and Crosby looks like Queen Mary..." chimed in Bob.

"That's enough out of you, you purveyor of Pepsident," said Bing.
"Oh, that's rich, coming from a man who sells cheese on his program! Who listens to your Kraft show, rats? By the way, what's with that outfit you have on? That's the first time I ever saw a rainbow cover a pot....hey, and what's this I hear about you being Captain? I mean, I should be the Captain...after all, I am first at the box office!"

"You're only first at the box office becase you want to be in line before they raise the prices of tickets," quipped Bing.

Dorothy was looking pretty irritated, and said, "Boys, save it for our next picture...Bing, I am worried. I have never sailed before and I am scared of drowning."

"Dottie, don't worry, if the yacht sinks we can always use Crosby as a flotation device!" replied Bob.

This went on for another 20 minutes. Alice and Phil finally told us they had a Rexall broadcast to do that night, so they would need to leave soon. Bing explained what we needed to do Saturday morning, and who would do what on the boat.
"You know, Bing, I was thinking," said Fred, "Don't you think we would fare better with this race if we could know, take the boat out a few times and sail...just to get it down..."

"There you go with the rehearsing angle of yours Fred!" Phil said. "The race is SATURDAY...we can't rehearse! Its make or break time..."

"Yes, I know Phil, but really, I just would feel better if we could do some practice runs...just to get it right."

Bing interrupted, "Fred, as much I wish we could, there is simply no time. It's sink or swim on Saturday."

Bob jumped in. "There he goes again with all this talk.....look, Crosby, I happen to know that Colman, Flynn, Bogie, and the others have a lot more experience at sailing than you do. Besides, I don't know about you ladies," referring to Alice, Grace, and Dorothy, "but if you want to know where the term "bitter end" came from, wait till you see Crosby in a swim suit!"

About this time we decided that we would meet at Bing's home on Club Drive Friday morning, for a very early breakfast that Dixie wanted to provide. He told us that Paramount was going to provide transportation for us both to and from the "True Love", so we all started to finish up our drinks to get going.
Bing pulled me aside, and said, "Say, ummm, look, kid....I hear some talk about this 'secret weapon' of yours and I want you to monkey business! We win or lose based on our own merit, so whatever scheme you have in that head of yours...drop it." I could see the seriousness in his bright blue eyes.

"Bing, my goodness, your eyes ARE blue!" I said.

"Look, I am not Jack Benny so knock off the eye cracks. I mean what I say. We win fair and square. You got it?"

I nodded, and said, "Yes, Sir."

"Now, I am heading home, you want to have dinner with me, Dixie and the boys?"

"No, thanks," I said, "I have a date with this gal out in Glendale."

"Oh that's nice, what's her name?"

"Veda....Veda Pierce...her Mom bakes cakes and pies for the locals...she's swell!"

"Ok, I'll see you tomorrow bright and early, kiddo...." and off he went.

I headed outside to get my car with the others, when guess who pulls up in a handsome Mercedes Coupe, but Al Jolson!

"Hey, wait a minute....where are you kids going?" he said.

"Al, its great to see you, but we just wrapped our pow-wow for the race," said Bing.

Everyone gathered around Jolie and said hello. "Johnny has me flying over to Catalina on Saturday to sing for you folks...sounds like a good time and I am happy to do it!" said Jolson. After a few more minutes chatting, everyone headed out.

As I said good night to Al, he walked up to my car and said, "You know, Johnny, I heard a lot of talk about this soap you've been pushing....this LUX...and well, I sort of wondered...well, you know I like to be out in the sun, and Jolie isn't gettin' any younger...and well, do you think I would get anything out of using this LUX, 'cause you know, when I was on the air for Lifebouy, that soap gave Jolie hives!"

"Al, let me tell you, LUX Toilet Soap will change everything for you, because...well, you're a big star and people expect you to always look your best. Well LUX is the best. Its loaded with essential oils and moisturizers that will give your skin a magical glow. In fact, I happen to have a cake here in my glove box..." I reached in and grabbed a bar for Al and handed it to him.


"Thanks, pal!" he said. "If this LUX is what you say, then I will tell the Lever Brothers to let Jolie be their spokesman...and watch that soap jump off the shelves!" We spoke for a few more minutes, and then I pressed on to Glendale to see Mrs. Pierce's daughter.

As I drove off, I thought about the epic race on Saturday, but also about the fact that little old Johnny Holiday may very well change the life of Al Jolson, "The Worlds Greatest Entertainer", just because of a little bar of LUX soap. Oh well, if it could happen to me--why not Jolson?
Ronald Colman, here, with a footnote: Bing and his crew did, in fact, get a practice run, this afternoon, joining the rest of the ships in taking the "True Love" to Long Beach, from San Pedro, about a seven-mile journey. After a VERY shaky start, Bing (who has far more sailing experience than Hope claimed), was able to coach his crew sufficiently well that they performed quite capably! I'm certain Fred Astaire will still bemoan the lack of practice time, on Saturday,  but I believe the "True Love" will not embarrass itself! 
May 12 3:16 AM
This is Lowell Thomas, and I will be the commentator for the Classic Hollywood Long Beach-Catalina Race, beginning at noon, Pacific Time, Saturday.

At sunset, the festivities officially began, with a press introduction of the Race Judges, eight of Hollywood's finest directors. It was brief, and CBS recorded the transcript...

"I'm John Ford, and I'm the Chief Judge. I don't do interviews, and I don't answer stupid questions."

"I'm Orson Welles, and I do! The race will run at noon, between seven yachts: Humphrey Bogart's "Santana", Errol Flynn's "Zaca", Bing Crosby's "True Love", Clark Gable's "China Seas", Cary Grant's "Lonely Heart", Ronald Colman's "Dragoon", and "Araner", captained by John Wayne, owned by an anonymous..."

"It's my ship, dammit, John Ford's! But Duke knows I'm not doing him any favors."

"I'm Cecil B. DeMille. This will be a journey of adventure, on the high seas, as men and women are pitted against the forces of God and Man! And there are rules, Commandments, if you will, that must be obeyed: First, each crew must consist of no more than nine members. Errol Flynn has been granted a waiver to allow one extra crew member, due to the size of his vessel..."

"I'm Ida Lupino. The second rule is that there must be at least three female crew members on each ship...a damned good rule, if you ask me!"

"I'm Howard Hawks. The third rule is that absolutely no motor or engine can be used for propulsion during the race. This is a sailboat race, not a Grand Prix."

"I'm Preston Sturges. The fourth rule is that all competitors must stay in the designated route...No side trips to Palm Beach or Morgan's Creek."

"I'm Frank Capra. The final rules are most important: Correct yacht etiquette must be maintained, and good sportsmanship WILL be observed. Maybe we all can show the world some good old-fashioned kindness!"

"I'm Alfred Hitchcock. Violations of any of these rules will result in an automatic death sentence and execution...oh, excuse me, automatic disqualification...I prefer my way, more colorful."

"Welles, again. Activities will begin at 10am, at the Long Beach Marina, with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, performing the National Anthem. A ceremony will follow, hosted by Johnny Grant and Army Archerd, introducing the ship captains, concluded by a benediction, by the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale. The race itself will begin at approximately noon, with a flare fired by Admiral Byrd, as the ships sail from Long Beach Harbor, to Catalina Harbor, where the winner will be congratulated, the losers praised, and the race will move into the realm of legend, where everything in Hollywood eventually finds a home."

"That concludes our statement."

So, the pre-race excitement is in it's final stages...In just a few hours, a winner shall emerge!

This is Lowell Thomas...So long, until tomorrow!


Hello, America, this is Lowell Thomas!

Well, the anticipated race is less than two hours away, and the Opening Ceremonies are, as I speak, concluding.

It's a picture-perfect day, with the high to reach 82 degrees, by this afternoon, and a brisk wind...perfect sailing weather!

This morning's Ceremonies were full of the pomp and glamor one has come to associate with Hollywood. A trumpet fanfare brought the 3000 spectators gathered to watch the race to their feet, and the crowd went wild when Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy introduced themselves! They performed a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted, for this special event, by Max Steiner.

Army Archerd then welcomed everyone to the race, and introduced the Judges, who will soon adjourn to the "Wild Goose", to perform their duties. Particularly striking were John Ford, resplendent in his Naval uniform, and Orson Welles, in a sweeping black cape! Welles introduced Naval hero Admiral Robert Byrd, the polar explorer, who will fire the flare that will start the race.

Johnny Grant, the honorary "Mayor of Hollywood", then took the stage, and pandemonium reigned, as the celebrity Captains were introduced!

In my years of broadcasting, the only event that generated this kind of near-hysteria was the Atlanta premiere of "Gone With the Wind"!

Joining the Captains on the stage, the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale offered a prayer for a safe journey, then escorted the film stars off the stage.

Concluding the Ceremony, Grace Moore sang "America, the Beautiful".

I will be returning to the air in approximately an hour and a half, with colleague John Cameron Swayze, to give you up-to-the-minute race news!

This is Lowell Thomas...See you then!


May 12, 12:55 PM

Hello, America, this is Lowell Thomas, broadcasting aboard the "Wild Goose"! We've reached the hour, nearly the minute, of the opening of the highly-anticipated Celebrity Yacht Race from Long Beach to Catalina...The start has been delayed for a few minutes, as the Coast Guard moves the dozens of small boats hoping for a close-up view, out of harm's way. This will give me an opportunity to introduce my colleague for today's race, John Cameron Swayze, aboard the Coast Guard cutter "Sea Witch"...

Swayze: Good afternoon, Lowell! This is John Cameron Swayze, brought to you by Timex, "The Most Trusted Name in Watches". There are nearly forty Coast Guard vessels patrolling the route of the race, maintaining a mile-wide perimeter on each side of the course from uninvited guests. I've been told that the contestants will be well-protected during the run!

Thomas: I'm sure we all appreciate that! You're a veteran sailor...can you explain a yacht race to us 'landlubbers'?

Swayze: Today's race is a combination of two classic yacht races, the 'closed-course', which usually follows a triangular course, and the 'ocean race', the usual format of a longer race on the high seas. The route will not take a straight course to Catalina, which would run 22 miles, but will sweep outwards, with two sharp turns, making the run about 26 miles to Catalina.

Thomas: Like the song!

Swayze: Exactly!

Thomas: What is the strategy of the ships, for the race? Any ideas?

Swayze: It's pretty simple; with Errol Flynn's giant schooner, "Zaca", carrying the most sails, it's size must be used against it. The other ships must get out of the harbor as quickly as possible, and reach the turns before the "Zaca" can; the larger ship will take longer to depart, and to make the turns, which is the only chance the others have. The race finishes with a long 'straightaway', and if Flynn's ship isn't far enough back, it will simply blow past anything in it's way!

Thomas: A flag was hoisted, here, a few minutes ago...another was just raised. What is the significance?

Swayze: It means the race is about to begin! Since you can't 'line up' yachts on a 'starting line', they are moving into a starting area...the pennants show the participants how long before the race starts. Then, when Admiral Byrd fires the flare, the race will begin.

Thomas: What do you think...wait a minute...I see Admiral Byrd...He's firing the flare! THE RACE HAS BEGUN!

Thomas: What a beautiful sight, ladies and gentlemen! Seven yachts, moving majestically towards the mouth of the harbor!

Thomas: With my binoculars, I can see Flynn, Bogart, and Wayne, shouting instructions! There's Clark Gable on the "China Seas"...his ship was a question mark, today...and Ronald Colman, smartly directing the "Dragoon"!

Thomas: Cary Grant's "Lonely Heart" is gathering speed...and pulling up the rear are the "Zaca" and the "True Love"...Bing Crosby's going to have his hands full, today!

Swayze: What is most important, now, is who will leave the harbor first; that ship will get a real jump on everyone else!

...And it's the "Araner"! John Wayne and his crew have beaten everyone out of Long Beach! I see the "Santana" and "China Seas" coming out, now, with the "Dragoon" and "Lonely Heart" close behind, but the "Araner" has the early lead!


May 12, 2:51 PM

Thomas: Lowell Thomas, reporting...

As the yachts are preparing to make the first sharp turn on the course, some exciting changes have occurred; Clark Gable's "China Seas" and Ronald Colman's "Dragoon" have passed the rest of the field, and are in first and second place!

Swayze: That's right, Lowell; in a dramatic, even miraculous turn of events, Gable's yacht, which was considered doubtful to even be in today's race, has out-maneuvered the "Lonely Heart", "Santana", and finally the "Araner', to grab the lead!

Thomas: Colman's seamanship has been nearly as impressive as Gable's; he has perfectly 'read' the wind, according to the experts on the "Wild Goose", and has gotten the most out of every inch of his sails...

Swayze: Absolutely! We're seeing two performances for the record books, here!

Thomas: WAIT! Something's wrong! The "China Seas" is swerving off-course, away from the marker buoy! This is a tragedy, ladies and gentlemen...I'll see if we can listen in on the ship-to-ship radio...

GABLE (on radio): Yeah, that's right, the rudder split! Bill Powell tells me it probably first cracked back when the ship ran aground in was just too small to see, when we made repairs...we're adrift, and stuck!

COLMAN (on radio): Clark, it's Ronald...we're going to tie lines on you, and get you to Catalina for repairs...we're pulling up to you, as I speak...

GABLE (on radio): Ron, are you crazy? You're in the lead! Get the hell out of here and win the race!

COLMAN (on radio): Friends always come first, old chum! We can take the direct route to Catalina, and have you there in no time! Don't make me say, "It's a far, far better thing I do..."

GABLE (laughing, on radio) : Spare me! Okay, Ron, you're on! And as far as I'm concerned, you've won the race, too...

Thomas: Well, ladies and gentlemen, we've lost two ships early in the race! This will put Cary Grant's "Lonely Heart" in the lead, followed by "Santana", the "Araner", the "Zaca", and, moving up quite nicely, the "True Love"...

Swayze: This is an amazing turn of events, and what makes yachting so exciting! The race is wide-open, now, as the remaining ships move into a sprint towards the next turn...

Thomas: Wait, John, I'm being told there is an announcement...

"Good evening, I'm Alfred Hitchcock. I regret to announce there has been a disqualification...The "Lonely Heart" has exceeded the maximum allowed crew members, and is no longer a participant in the race..."

Thomas: John, can you see anything?

Swayze: I'm looking at the ship, right now...uh-oh, there's a girl with her arms around Fredric's Sarah, his girlfriend!

Thomas: Oh, dear...let's listen in, and hear what Cary has to say...

GRANT (on radio): ...she's been hiding since the race began...I guess she just found Freddie irresistable! Freddie is feeling pretty awful, but it's not his fault...Irene, go cheer him up! I'm leaving the course, and will meet everybody at Catalina...

Thomas: WELL! Three ships gone, four left...Who will win? Bogart's "Santana", Flynn's "Zaca", Wayne's "Araner", or Crosby's "True Love"?


May 12, 4:26 PM

Lowell Thomas, with a race update...

In this most unusual of yacht races, we've seen the lead change on several we approach the second, and final, turn, Errol Flynn and the "Zaca" have taken the lead, followed closely by John Wayne and the "Araner", and, further back, Humphrey Bogart's "Santana" and Bing Crosby's "True Love"...

Swayze: Yes, Lowell, and this was the scenario none of the other yachts wanted to see...

The "Zaca", with it's huge sails, could turn this race into a one-ship affair, if it can navigate quickly enough through the next turn!

Thomas: What about the "Araner"? It is fairly close to the "Zaca"...

Swayze: Well, it would be a long shot, but if it could make the turn more quickly than Flynn's ship, and the winds die down, a bit, I think Wayne could pull off an upset!

Thomas: And the "Santana" and "True Love"?

Swayze: Realistically, they're too far back! Crosby has a lot to be proud of, with his novice crew, and Bogart has been unfortunately caught in the wake of the other ships, far too often, but it would take an 'Act of God' for either ship to have a chance...

Thomas: John! Wait! What's that object moving towards the "Zaca"?

W.C. FIELDS (on radio): Ahoy, ahoy! Yoinks! Yoinks! This is Commodore Fields in the "Bottle o Rum", here to win the race!

Thomas: Good heavens! It appears to be W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, and Mortimer Snerd, in some kind of little dinghy! How did they slip past the Coast Guard?

Swayze: With that nose, they probably thought he was a marker buoy!

W.C. FIELDS (on radio): Leave ME off the crew, you ungrateful Tasmanian tulip? Gangway, boy, I have arrived!

FLYNN (on radio): Bill, you idiot! Get out of here! We'll capsize you, if you try to pass us!

W.C. FIELDS (on radio): And sink my liquor supply??? Prepare to be rammed!

Thomas: John, could that dinghy cause any damage to the "Zaca"?

Swayze: Not really...a dinghy hitting a sailing schooner won't even muss Flynn's hair...I'm looking at it through my binoculars..."Manufactured by Merrimac Iron Works"...Oh, my God, Lowell, that's not a DINGHY, it's an IRONCLAD!!!!


Thomas: This is incredible! Fields' tiny boat just punched a hole in the side of the "Zaca"! The ship's masts are swaying...Clemmie, John Barrymore's pet monkey, is falling! She...just landed on Fields' hat, blinding him...his boat is spinning out of control!

CHARLIE McCARTHY (on radio): MAYDAY, MAYDAY, we're all going to drown!

EDGAR BERGEN (on radio): Charlie, you'll FLOAT! I'LL drown!

CHARLIE McCARTHY (on radio): Cancel that MAYDAY!

W.C. FIELDS (on radio): Godfrey Daniels, I've become vision-impaired! How will I mix my drinks?

Thomas: The "Zaca" is listing to one side, I see Flynn, Tyrone Power, and Basil Rathbone shifting everything to the opposite side...

Swayze: Lowell, there's a bigger problem...look where Fields' boat is headed...

JOHN FORD (on radio): Not the "Araner"!!!! Fields, you MORON, get away from my ship!!!!

W.C. FIELDS (on radio): Egad, I'm hearing voices in the darkness! Have I reached the Great Beyond?

Swayze: John Wayne is waving, and trying to turn the "Araner", and Victor McLaglan is shaking his fist, furiously, but I don't think it's going to work...


Thomas: Fields has accidently rammed the "Araner", ladies and gentlemen! The damage doesn't look as severe as the "Zaca's", but it is definitely out of the race!

Swazye: The "Araner" crew is helping Fields and his crew aboard their ship...his boat is sinking...Clemmie, Bergen, McCarthy, and Snerd are comes Fields...He is tipping his hat to Marlene Dietrich...She just HIT him with an uppercut, that knocked him flat! She and Maureen O'Hara are shaking hands...

Thomas: The Coast Guard is enroute, to tow the two vessels to Catalina...the unbelievable has happened!

The race is down to the "Santana" and "True Love"!


May 12, 6:27 PM

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, this is Lowell Thomas, reporting on the conclusion of one of the strangest yacht races in history!

The race began with seven ships, manned by Hollywood's brightest stars...Clark Gable and the "China Seas", Ronald Colman and the "Dragoon", Cary Grant and the "Lonely Heart", Errol Flynn and the "Zaca", John Wayne and the "Araner", Humphrey Bogart and the "Santana", and Bing Crosby and the "True Love"...and over the course of the last several hours, we've seen the "China Seas" drop out due to a broken rudder, the "Dragoon" forfeit to provide it assistance, the "Lonely Heart" disqualified for too many people on board, and, in the latest developments, both the "Zaca" and "Araner" wrecked by W.C. Fields!

Swayze: John Cameron Swayze, here. In the remarkable final leg of a remarkable cruise, only two ships that everyone expected to see here, Humphrey Bogart's "Santana", and one that nobody thought had a chance, Bing Crosby's "True Love"...

Thomas: Honestly, John, does the "True Love" have any hope of winning?

Swayze: Lowell, I, and nearly everybody in America, wishes it did! Truthfully, though, it doesn't. Despite a game crew, it simply doesn't have enough sail to beat the "Santana", on this last sprint.

Thomas: The "Santana" is quite a ship, as is it's skipper, the redoubtable Bogart! He has slowed his ship down, to only a few lengths ahead of the "True Love", as if to toy with Crosby!

We've been following the radio communications between Bogie and Bing...

BOGART (on radio): Aw, come on, Bing, just concede! You know everybody will love you for just making it THIS far!

CROSBY (on radio): Quit? Now??? No, no, no, my friend!

BOGART (on radio): But you're losing!

CROSBY (on radio): No, we're not losing...we're just not winning, yet!

HOPE (on radio): Yeah, listen to my pal, you cut-rate George Raft! Uh, Bing, how far will a bullet go?

BOGART (on radio): Look, pal, you're a sail too short to catch me, so why prolong the inevitable?

CROSBY (on radio): One sail...Look, Bogie, I'd love to chat, but it's time for Junior's five o'clock feeding...Say hello to Betty!

Thomas: In a bizarre turn of events, Crosby's entire crew went below deck, a few minutes ago, leaving him alone, running the ship. Any thoughts on this, John?

Swayze: No, I've never seen anything like it! Wait...they seem to be returning to the deck, with some kind of sail in front of them...OMIGOD! SHUT OFF THE CAMERAS!!!

Thomas: What is it, John?

Swayze: The sail is made out of their clothing! The entire crew are in their underwear!!!!...

Thomas: Do you mean...Rita Hayworth...Grace Kelly...Dorothy Lamour...

Swayne: Yes, yes, YES! I never realized Alice Faye was so...voluptuous!

Thomas: Steady, John, remember your reporter's objectivity!

Swayze: I'm...better, now, Lowell! They are hoisting the sail from the mast...the "True Love" is picking up speed...

BOGART (on radio): Bing, that isn't fair!!!

CROSBY (on radio): Hey, you gave me the idea!

Swayze: Bogart is trying to hoist more sail to increase his speed, but his crew appears distracted! Dorothy Lamour is doing a hula, in her skivvies, on deck...she's being joined by Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth, and Alice Faye...WHAT a SIGHT!

Thomas: What are Hope, Harris, and Astaire doing?

Swayze: WHO CARES? I mean, they are manning the sails...Crosby is passing Bogart, and, brother, is Bogie FURIOUS! I see him shouting at everyone, but Bill Holden, Tracy, Cagney, Pat O'Brien...are all leaning over the side, whistling and cheering!

Thomas: They've entered the Catalina harbor...Crosby is pulling away from Bogart...Something is happening...

Swayze: Johnny Holiday is passing Lux cakes and pails of water to all of the girls...they are all lathering up...My, MY! And Lowell, are their complexions glowing! That stuff really works! Well, Bogie's crewmen have gone completely nuts, applauding!

Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Lauren Bacall look completely livid!

I see Edward G. Robinson talking to Bogart...Bogart just tossed his cigarette to the deck, and is shaking his he's starting to smile, and is shrugging...THE "SANTANA" IS CONCEDING THE RACE!!!!

Thomas: It's a miracle! The "True Love" has won! THE "TRUE LOVE" HAS WON!

Crosby's crew has lowered their erstwhile sail, and have adjourned, below, as Johnny Holiday slips into a pair of trousers to help Bing moor the ship. A HUGE crowd have gathered, to greet the race winners, and Crosby is acknowledging their cheers with a tip of his captain's hat!

Swayze: Ronald Colman just appeared, at dockside, and tossed a bundle aboard Crosby's ship, which Holiday is taking below. It appeared to have a clothing label on it, so I assume the crew will be dressed a little more appropriately for the press!

Thomas: I just asked the judges if the actions of the "True Love" might constitute 'unsportsmanlike conduct'...Preston Sturges laughed, and replied, "Heavens, no! But somebody will use that trick in a movie, someday, I guarantee it!" Orson Welles then offered a strange comment; "Rita Hayworth looked quite...beautiful, dancing in her lingerie...I think I'll marry her..."

Swayze: The crew of the "True Love" is coming ashore...certainly better-dressed than the LAST time I saw them! They are posing for pictures...

Swayze: Bogart is coming up to Crosby...He's pointing a finger at the singer, and shaking his head, and Crosby is shrugging...Now they're both laughing!

Thomas: And so, America, there is a new King of the Sea...everybody's favorite singer, Bing Crosby! There will be lavish entertainment, tonight, starring the legendary Al Jolson, before everyone returns to the mainland, tomorrow...One second...John has managed to get through a police escort to speak with W.C. Fields...

Swayze: Well, have you anything to say about your actions?

Fields: Actions? What actions? Where am I? Is this Philadelphia?

Swayze: Marlene Dietrich hit you pretty hard...Are you alright?

Fields: Indubitably! In the excitement, I thought I might have damaged my timepiece, but this Timex takes a licking, and keeps on ticking!

Swayze: 'Takes a licking'...say, that's very GOOD! Thanks, Fields!

Thomas: John? John? Any idea what will happen to Fields, John?

Swayze: 'Takes a licking'...hmm...uh, happen to Fields? Timex is about to make him a whole lot richer! '...and keeps on ticking...' WOW!

Thomas: So, that wraps up today's special Race broadcast! From the deck of the "Wild Goose", this is Lowell Thomas...So long, until tomorrow!



as reported by JOHNNY HOLIDAY

Last night's party at the Casino Ballroom on beautiful Catalina Island will go down in history as one the greatest gatherings of stars of all time! Let me give you the low-down on the entire night...

After the race ended, many of us changed aboard ship, or at one of the homes owned by Mr. Wrigley. I opted to change from jeans into my dinner clothes (which Ronald Colman delivered), aboard the "True Love", the winning yacht, captained by Bing Crosby.

Many of us arrived at the "Casino" early for the banquet, which was held for all of the race participants, as well as a few guests and friends.

Dinner was prepared by the staff of Mike Romanoff's posh eatery, and music was provided by Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, which now includes a 9 piece string section, which Tommy got from Artie Shaw (who announced earlier that he was taking a break from performing). I counted 31 musicians! Now that's a payroll to make!!!

The ballroom was beautifully decorated for the evening with flowers and glowing candles on all of the tables (set for 10 each). Behind the bar was Cosmo, and several of the bartenders that Mike had sent over--and I saw Barbara Stanwyck and Bob Taylor making drinks for some of the guests, as well. Barbara knows how to shake a mean martini!

In one corner I found Pat O'Brien, Bing, and Jimmy Cagney talking with Frank Capra...

...while in another area I saw Errol Flynn holding court along with John Barrymore, Bill Fields, Edgar Bergen, David Niven, and John Ford, who seemed a bit tipsy, thanks to John Wayne bringing him scotch after scotch after scotch . Happily, Ford only tried to strangle Fields for wrecking his ship, the "Araner", once!

Dorsey's band played for us starting about 6pm, when the cocktail hour began, and the music was perfect for dancing as I watched Ronald Colman moving across the floor with his lovely wife Benita, along with the Dick Powells, Marlene and Robert Montgomery, and yes even Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.

I danced with Greer Garson, and told her how glad I was that Gene Raymond, Jeanette's husband, and Ann Eddy, Nelson's wife, were not with us. Most of the "in the know" crowd is acutely aware of how miserable Nelson is with his wife, as he adores Jeanette, and that her marriage to Gene is a mess. Mr. Mayer, I am told by sources at Metro, can't stand Nelson becase he pushes and yells back at the boss. Louis B. never wanted these two to marry, as he thinks it will hurt the box office. But as I spied them as they held each other on the dance floor, they looked so happy and simply perfect together.

Ann Miller showed up with Fred and Phyllis of the rare times Mrs. Astaire has been seen in public, lately... and I saw Joan Crawford walk by in a lovely gown, with sort of a peach color to it, along with her handsome husband Franchot Tone who looked swell in his dark suit and silver tie.

Laine was dancing with Tyrone Power, Alan Ladd, with Myrna Loy, Orson Welles danced, briefly, with Rita Hayworth, and I saw Basil Rathbone dancing with Olivia DeHavilland. It seemed like everybody from every studio was there.

At 8pm KHJ began broadcasting live from the ballroom, and Dorsey introduced Frank Sinatra who sang "In The Blue of Evening". It was hard to see him when we stood behind the microphone, because he's such a skinny kid....Dorsey really should feed that boy!

The band then did "How Am I To Know", "East of the Sun" and "Blue Skies", and everyone danced. At 8:30pm, dinner was served, and Orson Welles introduced Admiral Perry, who presented the winner's Loving Cup to Captain Crosby. Bing then spoke for a few minutes...

Bing: I just want to say that my team and I are delighted, but we want to share this award with all the other teams. Sort of seems only fair, since some of you had some tough luck on the way over. Let me also say to you and to all of you listening to this broadcast, that we need everyone to dig down deep, and help with the second war loan drive. We have some mighty big bills to pay, and if we all chip in and do what we can, we can reach that million dollar amount that is necessary until its over, over there!

The applause was terrific. Everyone on our team stood with Bing, who was also presented with a little tin crown (which he quickly removed)

Bing: Let me also say that I plan on also doing my part for the scrap waste drive by donating Bob least Paramount can write off its loss and get something back for all of his flops....

Hope: Look Dad, that's pretty rich coming from the centerfold for National Hog Farmer. Say, does Farmer John own a piece of you?

Bing: Look, if you keep this up, I'll let everyone in the audience know that if it were not for me, you would still be plucking chickens at your Uncle's delicatesen.

Orson Welles: Gentlemen we really must move along, so thank you, Bing, and again, congratulations to you, your team and all of the other participants...Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now very happy to tell you that Johnny and Lever Brothers have arranged for a very special treat for all of us. In this room is a man who has done more for the motion picture industry, if not the entire world of entertainment. I can only think of two words to introduce this very talented gentlemen-----Al Jolson!

The audience stood and applauded, as Jolie took to the stage, looking very tanned.

Jolson: Thank you very much! I am very happy to be here... and at my age....I am happy to be anywhere! You know...the song that the kids like today seem pretty strange to me, and I know people's tastes in music has changed....but if you don't mind, I would like to do a couple of tunes that you might remember.....

The audience offered great applause as Jolson went right into a chorus of "Avalon", followed by "Is It True What They Say About Dixie". The audience kept asking for tunes, and Al sang for nearly 35 minutes straight. He had told me he planned to do 2 to 3 numbers, but that wouldn't sit with this crowd. They wanted more and more Jolson!


Jolie then invited Bing on stage to "Alexander's Ragtime Band", which they had just done on the Kraft Music Hall two weeks ago. As they finished, we watched Hope quickly walk up to the mic.

HOPE: Al, this must be a real thrill for you...I mean, here you are singing with the man whose voice you heard when yo were just a baby....Crosby!

JOLSON: Bob, you shouldn't say such mean things about Bing, after all he is your pal.

HOPE: Pal? Are you kidding? I have carried this old man in every picture we've done. It's gotten to the point where I have call Abbey Rents for a wheel chair, just to get him on and off the set.

BING: OK, that's it, fender hips! I think its time for the people to know that your first camp show was at Gettysburg, and I am told you laid a large egg there. President Lincoln banned you from performing for the army.

HOPE: That's rich, Grandpa...especially when you were the one Washington asked to rub down his horse at Tarrytown.

WELLES: Gentlemen, the hour is late, and we need to move on, but thank you for your fine efforts. And now we will close tonight's activites with some dance music provided by Mr. Bob Crosby and his orchestra, and we wish all of you a pleasant night.

The music of Bob's band filled the room, and the dance floor was very crowded with the likes of Fredric March dancing with Sarah, Ronnie and Benita Colman, and so many others.

Ann Miller and Joan Crawford told Bob they wanted to hear "The Charleston", and it was as if it were 1927 again....The band faked it well and all of us watched Joan and Ann dance, to be joined by Fred, Ginger, and even David Niven (who actually is a good dancer). Everyone got into the act, dancing, as if it were another era, and the band kept playing the song over and over.

KHJ wrapped up the broadcast at 11:30pm, and by midnight the banquet and night's festivities were completed.

To say the least, it was a swell affair!


Monday morning began, peacefully enough...after a delicious breakfast, Benita and Juliet went downtown, to shop, and then attend a radio rehearsal at CBS; I had an early afternoon meeting with the 'Atlantic Monthly', to discuss an article on the British film community's war efforts. Bing Crosby dropped in, enroute to record a new album, to discuss a fishing trip we're planning, in a few weeks. We were casually enjoying 'fish stories' when there was a knock at the door.

It was the notorious studio press liason, Howard Strickland! "Dixie told me you were here, Bing," he said, without preamble. "Ronald, Bing, we need you at the Metro front office, now."

"Metro?" I asked. "Why?"

"I'm just supposed to get you both there. I have a car waiting."

Looking at each other quizzically, Bing and I went with the diminutive 'errand boy'.

We were quickly passed through the MGM gates, and soon found ourselves in the waiting room outside L.B. Mayer's office, with Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and Errol Flynn.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"Hmmm...It has to be about the race, Ron," Bing replied. I stared at my friends; yes, we all had paticipated in the yacht race as competitors, Saturday, but it had ended, and, I assumed, life had returned to normal.

"Dammit," Clark exhaled, and shook his head.

Errol grinned, and said, "It was a great time, wasn't it? Even if my "Zaca" did get plowed by Fields!"

We all nodded. Flynn's yacht had, of course, suffered the greatest damage during the event, but he was having it repaired, and we all had enjoyed ourselves, immensely, nonetheless.

Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne arrived, still in costume and makeup, obviously pulled from their sets.

"Together again, eh?" Bogie laughed, lighting a cigarette. "Pals, I think we're in trouble!"

"Why?" Duke Wayne asked. "Everything turned out okay, right?"

"First-rate," I answered. "My biggest concern was what Pappy Ford was going to do to did bring the "Araner" back, damaged!"

"Am I back to 'B' westerns?" Duke said, with a grin. "No...Pappy was proud we got out of Long Beach first, I think..."

Mayer's door opened. Strickland waved us in, and the seven of us entered the darkened, foreboding opulence of the L.B. Mayer office.

The carpet was a deep plush you sank into...walls filled with awards and photos surrounded the distance (the office is very large), was the huge, raised desk of the studio head. "I hate this place," Gable whispered, and we all nodded in agreement, as we walked towards the individuals gathered behind the desk.

In throne-like seats were my ex-boss, Sam Goldwyn, Mayer, Bogie and Flynn's boss, Jack Warner, Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck, and Columbia head, Harry Cohn.

It was a gathering none of us had ever expected to see, outside the Oscar banquet!

Normally, there are low chairs for visitors to sit upon, but they had been removed...we were, apparently, expected to stand, before the 'kings'!

Cary was a picture of bravado! He lit a pipe, and asked, nonchalantly, "Morning, chums, what's up?"

"PUT OUT THAT PIPE!" Mayer snapped, and Cary, momentarily losing his composure, quickly shoved it back into his pocket.

Sam Goldwyn glared at us, but his voice was surprisingly quiet. "Did you boys have fun, on this weekend?"

Flynn grinned at him. "You bet! You should have joined us! I was certainly with some 'Goldwyn Girl' candidates..."

"Oh, shut up, Flynn!" Jack Warner interrupted. "Bogie, you put together this hair-brained scheme...what's your explanation?"

"Jack, it was just a little boat race between me and my friends, here. No big deal," Bogie shrugged.

"" Harry Cohn snorted. "Over five thousand spectators, the United States Coast Guard, national press coverage, the damned Hollywood Bowl Orchestra..."

Bogie grinned, sheepishly. "Well, it did get out of hand, a bit..."

"Out of hand???" Zanuck interrupted. "The 'Titanic' was 'out of hand'...Pearl Harbor was 'out of hand'...this wasn't 'out of hand', it was a...a...SPECTACLE!"

Mayer chimed in, "Clark, my boy, what would have happened if anyone had gotten hurt?"

"Dana Andrews and Bob Mitchum would make it to the 'A' list?"

"NO! Don't make a joke out of this! Productions would have been delayed! Projects would have been cancelled..."

"You'd have lost money," I finished.

"What's so bad about that?" Goldwyn snapped, and we all had to hold a laugh on his choice of words! "No good would it mean!" he finished.

"Look, fellas," Bing said, reassuringly, "Maybe the boat race was a poor judgement on our parts, but we all have lives outside the studio, and you run the same risks with us, whether we're on a boat, in a car, or even in bed..."

"More risk for me, in bed," Flynn smirked.

"Quiet!" Bing ordered. "What I'm saying is, you can't control our lives, every minute!"

"Can't we?" Cohn said, threateningly.

"Gentlemen, let's all calm down," I said, trying to diffuse the situation. "May I ask, did our little misadventure hurt your box office totals, last weekend?"

The executives all looked uncomfortably at each other.

Duke Wayne looked at me, then joined in. "I was told," he said, with his soft growl, "that I had my biggest opening, ever, this weekend."

"That's true," Warner replied. "Yates called me, to gloat."

"That has nothing to do with this," Mayer said, seeing the momentum shift. "The point is, WE run Hollywood, and you didn't go through us!"

"You run Hollywood?" Bogart sneered. "WE run Hollywood! Without us, you all would still be peddling fish and plugging nickolodeons in Brooklyn!"

"You're both wrong..." Gable said, quietly.

We all turned, surprised. Clark isn't big on making profound statements, and this was as deep as anything we'd ever heard him say.

"The people run Hollywood," he continued. "Those average joes shelling out hard-earned cash to watch movies."

"Clark's right," Cary said, nodding. "Without their support, we're all finished. If they accepted, no, approved our race, it helps the studios, it helps us, it helps everybody."

There was a silence, as we all stared at one another. Finally, I offered a compromise. "What if we apologize, and all promise to never do this again, without securing your blessings, first?"

The executives looked relieved. "That...would work," Mayer said, and the others nodded in agreement. "No more adventures!" he added, shaking his finger.

"Hey," Gable said, with a grin, "Gary Cooper has a little 'big-game' hunt in Montana planned...why don't we all..."

"NO!" all the executives shouted, in unison, and everybody laughed!






"The Dinner Party for Erich von Stroheim"

"The Misadventures of John Barrymore's Cheeky Monkey, Clementine"

"The All-Star Surprise Party for Laine"

"The Classic Hollywood Long Beach-Catalina Yacht Race"

"The Ronald Colman Seance"

"My "Lost Horizon" Surprise!"

"A Night at the Hollywood Canteen!"

"But I Thought You Were..."

"The People vs. Ronald Colman"

"The Epic Hearst Costume Party..."


"The Monkey on Ronald Colman's Back Saga" (A 9-Part Adventure):

"Introduction: A Day at the ZOO..."

"Chapter 1: A Most UNWELCOME Houseguest!"

"Chapter 2: Clemmie's BIG DAY!"

"Chapter 3: The Hollywood WOMEN'S CLUB Meeting!"

"Chapter 4: Clemmie and Juliet's Father's Day SURPRISE!"

"Chapter 5: The Legendary Mocambo BRAWL!"

"Chapter 6: The Colman CAMPING TRIP!"

"Chapter 7: Colman's DILEMMA!"

"Chapter 8: Ronald Colman's DAY in COURT!"


"ON THE TOWN with Clemmie and Juliet!"


"A MAN, A MONKEY, the MOB, and RONALD COLMAN!" (A 5-Part Adventure):

"Introduction: Broadway, 1920..."

"Chapter 1: A LONG Memory..."

"Chapter 2: Barrymore's Reply..."

"Chapter 3: Barrymore in Cement!"

"Chapter 4: A Desert Grave..."



"The RONALD COLMAN Banner Collection"

Finally, if you'd like to 'go to the source', with over 200 photos of Ronald Colman's life and career, please visit Colman...the page that started it all!