Man About Town

Walter Winchell

St. Petersburg Times/July 5, 1945

Washington Grapevine: Judge Fred Vinson (the rumors persist) is slated to inherit Secretary H. Morgenthau’s treasury secretaryship. And that Undersecretary Grew will exit from the State Department by being kicked upstairs as “special political adviser” to the joint army-navy command in the Pacific. The same sort of job Robert Murphy had with Gen. Eisenhero . . . John Bricker’s pals say he will try again in ’48 but only if he can run in the top spot . . . After 13 months in the Pacific war area (and extensive sea duty in the Mediterranean) Lt. Comdr. F. D. Roosevelt (USNR) is now trying to transfer to the regular U. S. Navy, where he will stay for his career. If the request is granted, he will study at Newport Naval college and then Annapolis . . . The probe of Gen. Elliott Roosevelt has uncovered his whereabouts for a great part of the time, 470 combat hours behind enemy lines in an unarmed plane.

A Dr. John C. McKim has been writing letters to N. Y. newspaper editors suggesting that it is “un-Christian” to fight the Japs to a finish. Naïve publishers have been printing them. A recent letter included this gem: “Every atrocity attributed to the other side (the Japs) has now been practiced by our own.”

For the enlightenment of gullible editors, this is the same Dr. McKim who regularly contributed to the pro-Jap propaganda mag, “Japanese-American Review.” McKim’s attack on William Shirer’s best-seller, “Berlin Diary” (which first appeared in that mag), later was reprinted in Fritz Kuhn’s Germanazibund rag, “The Deutsche Weckruf,” in N. Y. Gentlemen, wake up.

Steve Early had a checkup and rest in a Maryland naval hosp . . . The Dook of W. raised eyebrows at the swanky Colony when he conversed with a famed con man, although the Dook may not have been acquainted with the fact . . . The Atlantic Beach club (Long Island) dropped an internationally known rogue from its membership . . . Darling-I-am-growing-old department: Virginia Weidler, former kid star, is now posing for leg art . . . June Sitarr, of Broadway’s lovely department, is now Mrs. George F. Newman Jr. (Newman Machines) and dwelling in Greensboro, N. C. . . . Arlene Francis may have hers Mexicanned.

This story is from Asia Minor, where out men in khaki vouch for it. The Sultan of Oman and Muscat has leased to the Allies airfields in the city of Salala. It is located in the southern part of the Saudi Arabian peninsula. The Sultan, however, will accept payment of only one kind of currency for the airport rights—namely, Marie Teresa silver coins, dated from the 17th century. Such coins are difficult to obtain, but the Allies give him a steady quota of them dated 1600 and umpty-two. They are minted in San Francisco.

You can hardly tell there’s a war on with Japan in Manhattan newspapers from the space given to murders and juicy divorce cases now. The big gossips! The “most respectable gazettes” featured Ciano’s diary hokum, which alleged that Hitler often had pretty girls in his bed, to quote them exactly . . . Since his return from Russia, Harry Hopkins has had three blood transfusions . . . The gendarmes are working on a new theory. That hop-heads did the Langford murder when one of them got trigger-happy. A news-mag staffer claims his editor has the real story . . . Safe-cracking and high-jacking activities around New York city are said to have reached an all-time high. Not all are written up. The most recent job got $60,000, and around police headquarters they buzz that a former high official may be the fingerman.

The Cleveland Press recently exposed that ex-Sen. R. R. Reynolds has two “patriots” who raised coin for his nationalist group, to use a cleaner name for it. One was Joe McWilliams (McNazi): the other was J. Victor Malone. After the newspaper’s blasts Malone beat it back to Chicago in his motor car. In the past fortnight he has made at least six long trips to places near Chicago by auto. How come, Mr. OPA? From whence kums the koopons?

Johnny Johnstone, who resigned the newsroom post at the American B’casting company, is in Reno for the usual reason . . . Capt. Dick Fishell (ex-Variety sports ed) is now with the Armed Forces Radio Services after nearly two years overseas . . . Songwriter Lew Brown is doing a book called “They Forget to Remember.” About alleged ingrates he helped get started . . . Hamilton Fish Armstrong, the expert on foreign affairs, and author of “We or They” (one of the first books to explain what Europe was up to), did an outstanding job as adviser to our delegation at the Roosevelt conference in S.F. . . M. Todd’s “Up in Central Park” will profit $1,500,000 in its first year. Said to be a new high. Todd’s next opus will be “Mr. Winkle of Flatbush.” Starring Bert Lahr . . . This is worthy money item: Scotch’n’-water is the one drink that leaves no hangover.

The Merry Macs (real name McMichael) are direct descendants of John Adams. Virginia Rees, their newest member, is a descendant of John Marshall, Adam’s secretary of state and also chief justice under Adams’ administration . . . Tip to smart spot scouts: Teddy Rodriguez and Phyllis Paul’s new rhumba-samba, jitterbug, tango dance act (at the Troc in H’wood) is a show-stopper for any N. Y. place . . . You will be spellbound by MGM’s soon-due film, “Anchors Aweigh,” especially Katherine Grayson’s remarkable singing, playing and class; Gene Kelly’s dance scene with an animated doll, amazing; Sinatra’s ballads; and the talented baby son of the Harry Stockwells. His name is Dean. Wot an actor . . . You can’t please everybody. New York clip-joint owners are now complaining because they made more money during the curfew.

Today brings the fourth of July and another birthday to the American republic. In a hundred thousand villages, cities and towns the American Flag will be peacefully raised but only because America’s fighting men have successfully raised that same flag in battle over Nazi Nuremburg and terrible Iwo Jima. The nation’s grief will match its respect for the men who died abroad to keep the flag flying at home . . . At the same time the nation should consider beneath its pity or contempt those useless American citizens who have never given a thought (much less a life) to their country’s fight. They may be American citizens in the town directory (or voting polls), but they are American nothings in their hearts.

Make no mistake about this: Normandy, Tarawa, Cassino, Midway and Okinawa will go down in history with Valley Forge and Gettysburg. All are payments in agony and blood on an open account for the liberty of the free American people. The Star-Spangled Banner will be played all over because they will be playing taps at Pearl Harbor, Casablanca, Tunis, Leyte, Guadalcanal, Saipan and Hyde Park, N. Y.

(Source: Google News,