Notes of a New York Newsboy

Walter Winchell

Spartanburg Herald-Journal/October 2, 1942

The newstand owner at 49th and Broadway with a sensayuma: He pinned an FDR button on Willkie’s picture on Life’s current cover—but right on Wendell’s lapel! . . . Dave’s new 58th Street place will feature more than 1,000 likenesses (a la montage) of smellebrities as his chief decoration. Irving Edelson, the cab driver, who dashed into a flaming building the other day and saved two colored children, will be honored by the Mayor and Police Commissioner with The Valorous Deed Medal . . . Comforting Thought: The world will never belong to the Axis—because each member of the Axis thinks the world belongs to him.

It happened in West 52nd Street early yestermorning . . . Two garbage-wagon heavers paused to lean against a taxicab while a co-operative taxis driver turned up the volume on his radio which was giving the news roundup from the foreign correspondents  . . When they ended, one garbage collector jumped back onto his truck, rubbed his hands, and to his partner (who was lifting a refuse can) yelled: “Go ahead, Berlin!”

The story was making the rounds at the Algonquin the other brunchtime. An Italian mother wrote Mussolini that she had just given birth to triplets and had named them Benito, Victor Emmanuel and Italia. Il Duce acknowledged the letter with much enthusiasm, enclosed a cash gift, and requested that he be posted on every activity of the three babies. Shortly after he heard from the mother again . . . “This,” she wrote, “is my report: Benito eats. Victor Emmanuel sleeps. And Italia cries”

You see his name in the social columns and debby departments. He was wearing a Willkie button, and a girl friend of the column asked him why he wore it . . . “Oh,” he oh’d, “all my family wear them, so I do, I spose” . . . “That’s a silly reason,” observed the column’s friend . . . “Oh,” he oh’d again, “I spose it is. But I’ve another reason. My $1,000 per month allowance has been cut down to five hundred. Mother says that’s Roosevelt’s fault, so you can betcha life I’m going to be against him!” . . . The girl friend of the column told him that $500 a month was sure some fortune. And that lots of folks didn’t make that in five months and that it could feed many people . . . “Oh,” he oh’d, pursing his lips, “the way you talk, you’d think I didn’t know what poverty is.”

“Do you know what poverty is?” she cooed.

“Do I? Did you ever hear about the Philadelphia slums?”

“What do you know about the Philadelphia slums?”

“What do I know about them? My family owns them!”

An actress who played with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and was a favorite in her prime, has been on relief . . . She finally got a $50 a week job serving a clown as his stooge in a café . . . A comedown? Yes. But a living . . . Recently Ed Wynn’s show made her an offer to be herself and play on Broadway again—same wages–$50 a week. Just a bit—but Broadway! . . . She told the employer of the offer . . . “Oh,” he said, “I couldn’t let you go, you’re going on tour with me!” . . . That was three weeks ago . . . The other night he fired her . . . “Gotta cut down expenses,” he explained . . . He makes a mere $500 a week, it seems . . . The Ed Wynn show got another girl—so now she is jobless and trying to get back on relief . . . That’s why nobody in the café talks to him any more . . . That’s why they groan and hiss as he prepares to “go on” . . . When he reads this (which he will) perhaps he will sleep better.

Eddie Duchin hears that Mrs. Mefoofsky went to the movies, and when FDR’s picture flashed on the screen, she broke into violent applause. The man behind leaned forward . . . “Pardon me,” he said, “would you mind removing your hat?” . . . “Pliz, meester,” snapped Mrs. Mefoof, “I got only two hands!”

Chinese humor will defeat even the Japanese, to hear Jimmy Young, the International Newspaperman, tell it . . . Young offers this as an example . . . The Puppets were holding a big show in Shanghai, thousands attending. Japanese military officials were present by the thousands, also. The Chinese puppet mayor, in a morning coat and striped trousers (a la Nippon) read off a Japanese-prepared congratulatory speech on the new order in Asia . . .  The band struck up The Maine Stein Song—as all stood at attention . . .The Japs, it appears, thought it was a patriotic tune . . . The Japanese general, commanding the Expeditionary Forces, read his scroll as all bowed in “reverence” to the conquerors . . .The Chinese band then really went to town—and played “Listen to the Mocking Bird” . . .Four days later the Japs caught on to the slap and went looking for the belittlers.

Nations that refuse to talk straight from the shoulder always end up flat on their backs . . .This week the Dictators ganged up openly against the United States . . . It was only last week, you remember, that the oceans protected us. This week the Atlantic and Pacific surround us! . . .An ocean is always a protection if you nation has the best fleet. Today America alone is heavily outnumbered . . .For five years American isolationists have told us how to isolate America. The time has come for them all to tell us how to isolate both oceans

America now realizes that the road to isolation ends where it always ends, with the enemy on your doorstep. Ironically, the only way to get into this kind of trouble is to run from it . . .Czecho-Slovakia thought she had isolated herself from Austria . . .Poland thought she had isolated herself from Czecho-Slovakia . . . Norway thought she had isolated herself from Finland . . .Holland thought she had isolated herself from Norway and Denmark . . .But each had merely isolated herself from the help that would have saved her . . .European advocates of isolation today wear the medals of the dictators. Their own countries have disappeared.

Another smear campaign by the commys against the G-Men (and their admirers) was plotted in Chicago on Sept. 12. It is an attempt to intimidate the FBI, which is investigating Harry Bridges, the West Coast radical labor leader . . . If Bridges is deported, the commys (who met in that Chicago spot) will stage a national strike and demonstration . . .This is supposed to Scare Hell Outta the G-Men and the Public . . .This colyumist had the privilege of exposing the commys’ last plot of slime and smear against J.E. Hoover’s flock and their boosters . . .In fact, the commy’s mud stains are still on me . . .I wear them instead of medals.

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=SFOYbPikdlgC&dat=19401002&printsec=frontpage&hl=en)

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