New York Heartbeat

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald/May 3, 1940

Faces About Town: La Frazier tippling at The Beachcomber with “Shipwreck” Kelly, the Prisoner of Brenda . . . Alfred Lunt window-shopping with the Fontanne of Youth . . . Richard Greene, the man who laughed when Fulton invented the steamboat, chugging down 57th street.

Music Master Raymond Paige, who predicted that the Brooklyn Dodgers would be the talk of both leagues, screaming that he would walk a mile for a Camilli . . . “Legs” Grable flirting with Gargantua at the Circus—Betty and the Beast . . . Joan Crawford looking spring over and approving it—and vice-versa, on 5th in the 60s

Gertrude Lawrence with a mahtzer in Reuben’s . . . John Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson of the F.B.I., dining in The Stork Club and what does anybody wanna make of it? . . . At 50th and 6th, Robert Hutchins, Chicago university prexy, being handed one of those pamphlets which offers a reward for a job. . .  Peggy Joyce greeting the temperature of 65—dripping in mink!

Sallies in Our Alley: Erika Mann, the talented writer, was telling H. Dietz, of Metro, that she had been to Princeton to see Prof. Einstein.

And how did you find him?” asked Dietz.

“Oh,” said Erika, “I just pushed back his hair—and there he was!” . . . Oscar Levant bumped into the George Jessels as they were running across Broadway at 54th Street “Who’s chasing you,” gagged Oscar, “the truant officers?” . . . Brenda Forbes says Georgean Nathan, the critic, was home reading a play one night “and it was so bad—he walked out of his apartment!”

Memos of A Midnighter: Consuelo and Muriel Vanderbit have new romances—twin cowboys named Akerson. They own ranches in Carmel Valley, Cal. . . .The lowdown on Woollcott’s illness is that he really is The Man Who Went To Too Many Dinners . . . Did Beverly Barbish, the Texas heiress, elope to Elkton with Wm. Leslie, 2nd . . . Teddy Powell and Marguerite James, the chorus eyeful, will blend about June 15th . . . Plenty of mutual clerks were fired because of shortages at Jamaica. Hushed up, however . . . John Kieran, of Info Please, is having orb trouble. Not allowed to read or make dates . . . Loretta Dennison, Edmund Lowe’s stage pod’ner, has broken her 2-wk. engagement to Paul Dina of Montreal. Because he can’t rumba! . . . The Frankie (18 Club) Hyers are threeing. Spring sprung without a word of apology, but, oh, what girlish laughter!

Midtown Vignette: We’ve enjoyed looking at them both for a long time—she’s so very pretty and he keeps trying to appear indifferent to her magic. We first saw them in a West 48th Street scotchnsoda spot—one of the unimportant places—about two years ago . . . They sat at the bar looking at each other in the mirror ahead. An urchin walked in with a lone white carnation. “Flowers for your girl, mister?” he said. He gave the boy a coin for the carnation and presented it to her . . . From then on their romance seemed to float. If the event is a premiere of a play or night club she probably is the only gal in the bunch who won’t wear orchids. Pinned to her shoulder or stuck in her hair—is a lone white carnation.

Broadway Smalltalk: Another night club needs money right away—or it will have to do a fadeout . . . If your payday falls on Monday or Tuesday in 1940 you’ll be paid for 53 weeks in the year. Same thing happens to people who got paid on Sabbaths in 1939 . . . Elaine Bassett of the John Powers bunch has her own town car and chauffeur. That’s what happens to good girls who are good models . . . A 7th Avenue hotel has had a fair season, so it built a new marquee. It was completed at 2 p.m. Friday. Half an hour later a 16th floor guest bumped himself off by jumping through it . . . Sister Tharpe will do her Cotton Club hymns on a white mule starting Friday night . . . There’s a blonde cashier in the Criterion’s box office who is heavy competition for Lana Turner in the picture.

New Yorchids: Katharine Brush’s newest book, “This Is On Me” . . . Johnny Green’s new and amusing radio menu: “Swingo” . . . Ella Fitzgerald’s Decca-reccad of “Sugar Blues” . . . Eduardo Duchin’s version of the I. Berlin Score (from “Louisiana Purchase”) at the Persian Room . . . Eddie Davis’ rendition of “Let there Be Love” at Leon & Eddie’s . . . Lewis Galantiere’s thesis on Heine in Town & Country, exciting reading . . . David O. Selznick, for discovering a formula which makes gold out of celluloid. His “Rebecca” does a 6th Week at the Music Hall.

New York Noveletic: Broadway is flooded with ambitious youth. Such were this stage-struck girl and newcomer-wrighter—ambitious in love . . . You can see hundreds of them in New York making park benches their thrones, holding hands in movie balconies or chop-suey joints—walking along the Drive, drinking in the moon and stars—not saying a word—while music runs through their veins and their hearts dance . . . All they hope, pray and hunger for is success. They want life to hug them and make their cheeks bloom . . . Two young people in a strange town finding a home in each other’s memory. Well, one day she got a bit part in a show, clicked and was whisked off to Hollywood . . . He went into an ad agency.

For a while love letters were swapped at a fast clip, then the traffic slowed down, limped along, and finally ceased . . . Love had “taken a powder” . . . A run-out . . . They were riding to the moon on their careers, they couldn’t think of anything else. Soon, Christmas cards were their only contact. And now they both have everything they came to New York to get—dreams come true . . . But they are not as happy as they were when they had nothing—except each other.

Manhattan Murals: The old milestone on Beekman Place, which is only 2 blocks long . . . Sixth Avenue with pimples. They oughta put airline hostesses in the busses that have to bounce over it . . . The sign in the window of a 9th Avenue book-stall: “Improve your mind—and our business” . . . The signs on the grass and shrubbery at the Fair with just one word: “Please” . . . The passersby awed at the organist’s fingers flying from keyboard to keyboard in front of the Hammond studios on 57th  . . . The Chinatown youngsters gabbing about the late baseball news. They’re as American as a home run . . . The hot dog stand on 10th Avenue which proudly boasts: “No cover charge!” . . .. Broadway, the heart of the most civilized city—where people act as though they were in a jungle.

Sounds in the Night: At the Queen Mary: “Whatta bore! His gab is a s dull as a kiss by phone” . . . In the Biltmore Bowman Room: “I look at their legs instead of their eyes. You can’t put mascara on knees!” . . . In Barney Gailant’s: “Optimism, my eye! That’s worry on a spree!” . . . At the Pic-a-Rib: “She went to Reno so often—she married the train conductor!” . . . At Coq Rouge: “She’s got the kind of eyes that go with a red negligee” . . . At Ruben Bleu: “Tell me about yourself—I adore horror stories.”

Broadway Confucius Say: Tired-looking gal catch few winks.