Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Cel Vol 2, #7 5/14/1945 - I Killed My First German


At the last General Membership meeting it was decided to accept the Board recommendation allowing the artist from Willard Pictures and Loucks and Norling to become members for $5.00 initiation fee. The deadline will be May 31.

At the same time, the proposed contracts for those two companies were approved. These are basically the same as Fletcher Smith.

The Membership also approved the Board recommendation to retain Marvin Christenfeld as our legal adviser for $50.00 per month for a period of six months after which time the matter should be reconsidered for the purpose of increasing the retainer to $75.00 if the financial condition of the Union warrants it.

After many hectic meeting of the Negotiation Committee, the Business Agent, and the Attorney with the Management at Famous Studios, the Company agreed to grant the old West Coast minimums for Painters, Inkers, and Inbetweeners, that is $30, $32.50 and $35, provided the workers reach certain quotas to be stipulated in the contract. The Company, however, is willing to open the wag clause for those three groups once the WLB determines new minimums for the Hollywood studios. The Company offered about $130 per week in new increases, but basically the minimums do not change, as in the case of the animators, assistants, etc. The members decided to take the case to the WLB.

(BULLETIN: As a result of this action by the membership, the company has withdrawn all its offers.)

Next month we will have our elections. As was the case last year, the Stewards will pass ballots around in each studio. These will be tabulated at the next General Membership meeting. The New York studios made their nominations at last meeting with Terry making its nominations in a special meeting next MONDAY, May 14, at 7:00 PM.

"Oscar Morgan, short subjects and newsreel sales manage at Paramount has announced several radical changes in distribution policies. He also announced an augmented advertising schedule. Morgan said that sales figures indicate a definite trend to play more shorts than ever before. Besides a general overall increase in shorts sales over the previous year. Morgan said it had been noted that some large circuits in strong double feature territories had materially increased their use of shorts by replacing the second feature with shorts in many key points. The starts the 5 year of Paramount shorts as a separate department and the encouraging progress after its establishment in 1941 is attributed to the concentration on shorts. The policy has paid off, Morgan said, through the finest balanced program in the company's history. Instead of 6 George Pal Puppetoons, there will be 8. There will be 6 Technicolor Musical Parade, 30 Technicolor cartoons, including 8 Popeye, 6 Little Lulu, and 6 Noveltoons. 6 Speaking of Animals and 6 Popular Science and 6 Unusual Occupations. Jack Eaton will produce 10 Grantland Rice Sportlights." (from Film Daily)

Hugh Harmon has opened NY offices at 247 Park Avenue as first step in broadening his cartoon activities by going into industrial field. He will be affiliated with Stephen Slesinger organization in Gotham. Harman is setting up an independent department for making industrial shorts, entirely separate from the firm's 16 mm educational project and feature length animation pictures.

The Supreme Court has nixed a request that it review a decision of the NLRB ordering the reinstatement of Art Babbitt at Disney when he is discharged from the Marine Corps. Babbitt was dismissed for union activities and asked that he be paid for time lost as well as for reinstatement.


Anti-labor forces took a sound beating in the session of the Kansas Legislature. The Christian America Associations' right-to-work amendment outlawing the closed shop and a bill to prevent unions from charging more than $1 initiation fees and $1 monthly dues were both killed in committee.

Screen Players Unions has inked an interim agreement with 32 independent producers calling for use of SPU members only as extras. At the same time certification as exclusive bargaining representative for extras has been recognized by the major companies. The Union is now considering a counter proposal submitted last week by the Producers.

A new wage agreement between studio soundmen and major companies calling for increases ranging from 10% to 77.8% and involving approximately $700,000 annually, has been approved by the WLB. New rates are retroactive to Jan. 1, 1944. Among other conditions all members will receive paid vacations based on one day for each 20 days worked, with a maximum of 2 weeks.

"Industrial Films, is an organization unique in the annals of Hollywood on account of they make money and films fraught with social significance and educational value at one and the same. Started a couple years ago by some leaders in the Screen Cartoonists Guild (Steve Bosustow, Dave Hilberman, Bob Cannon, etc.), Industrial Films is now overwhelmed with more orders than they can handle. Latest subject to be immortalized in cartoons is that terrific booklet "Races of Mankind." (from Punching In)


V-E Day celebrated by Frank Crampton with a party, after Mr. Terry gave the remainder of the day off after the announcement. About 20 guests were present... Jack Willis is a father of a new boy, a 9 lbs. bambino... Art Babbitt back in Miramir CA after doing some instruction in the East... Sylvia Spitelnick and Tillie Lippman left Famous...Ed Starr released by the Navy on a medical discharge... M. Gollub visiting Washington and NY sorry we miss him... Lt. Paul Fanning doing very interesting work in China. Jim Carmichael "still banging out the junk for combat intelligence particularly tactical and operation sketches... Al Pross left Famous for greener pastures. S/Sgt. Leslie Garcia doing educational reconditioning at Barnes General Hospital in Vancouver... Birthday Greeting to Rhoda Grapek and Alice Rehberg... At Terry's the 13th floor has been enhanced 3-fold since Connie Quirk, Dolly Knicker Bocker, and Gloria Feriola have been temporarily opaquing.


Bretton Woods' Ratification of the Bretton Woods proposals for international cooperation in world trade for it paves the way for full employment program at home. Bretton Woods is the first measure to test the readiness of Congress to carry out a program for international security and a prosperous post-war world.

Price control: The bill to extend OPA for another 18 months is now before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee. We want the law continued, and more money to enforce ceilings. Price control is the other side of wages.

FEPC: The House bill (HR2232) to make the Fair Employment Practice Committee a permanent government agency after the war is buried deep in the Rules Committee. Last fall this measure to wipe out job discrimination won bi-partisan support but the Republicans seem less keen about it now. A discharge petition may be needed to dig it out of committee.

65 cent Minimum Wage: Senator Claude Pepper has reintroduced his resolution calling for a 65 cent floor on wages, and a bill to the same effect has been introduced in the House by Rep. Holifield. The present general wage floor is 40 cents; the policy of the WLB is now 55 cents, although the WLB admits it is too low.

Time Magazine, April 30, 1945

"When the 5th Marine Division cemetery was dedicated on bloody, windswept Iwo Jima, the sermon was delivered by the division's Jewish chaplain Roland B. Gittelsohn. Said he:

"Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet... Now they lie here silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to consecrate this earth to their memory... Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor... Here are Protestants, Catholics and Jews... Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy. Any man among us the living who... lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it commemorates, and empty, hollow mockery.....'"


From Dick McDermot in Okinawa: "...Being on the Army front for two weeks, seeing mostly doggies all the time... I was getting depressed and down in the mouth seeing no Marines for a long time and finally came back up to our end of the island. I then took off for the Marine front. We swung around the bend and there, stretched away along the dusty road, at ease on their heavy packs and gear, bearded and dusty, tired and sweaty, was a battalion of Marine infantry! Their easy sprawl, their rugged lusty bantering manner, the very impudent, f--- you, mac attitude, told me that was back with "the boys", and it was like coming home. We moved on past these guys and along another road, and at a rise in the hill and suddenly the jeep was caught in the middle of a battalion moving back out of the line. I got out and just stood in the middle of a circus parade, thrilled to death at what I saw and speachless. It was a short glimpse, and insight that I think few people ever happen upon. All the old legends, the stories, the hoopla, the tough rugged killer, the clean cut boy from the high school gym, the corner toughs, the star athlete -everything was summed up in one brief instant you say it all.

They surged down the rocky path in two lines, bent under the wildest collection of packs and bags and raincoats and shovels and ponchos, shelter halves, helmets shapeless under camouflaged cloth covers, others with helmets black from cooking in them, -straps brunt off -Jap canteens flopping against their ammunition belts, BAR's, tommy guns, mortars, machine guns, mortar base plates, knives -every man with his own private and personal collection of lethal luggage until it seemed unreasonable that some of them could stand, much less stride along under such a burden. There were big guys and small, pasty faced and black beared, yelling at each other in the most profane way. They swung pact a group of their regimental headquarters boys digging in and they cut loose:

"Hey, you, goddam rear echelon, ------, wher's yer f---cake?
"Give us time, junior, we just got here!"

The whole thing dissolved in a welter of profanity and by then the rear of the line was taking it up as they passed. They swung off down the road and moved off into the fields, moving in perfect order, their smooth working maneuvers contrasting with their ragged, muddy, make-shift appearance. I felt that I had seen the real Marine Corps better than most people ever do. If I can get that down on canvas, I'll have something really worth while."

From Zeke de Grasse in the Philippines: "Just a brief note to let you know that I am still alive and kicking. I am in a beautiful tropic island much to my great delight and pleasure. I work at night and spend the day roaming about and spear fishing with several native friends. This is one of the few islands with hibiscus, oleander, cocoa palms, banana trees and so on -a veritable paradise in comparison we are extremely lucky. Tell Reggie his prediction is wrong. I still love the sea, after five years, and I find the tropic are wonderful, almost exactly as I expected and had hoped for."

From Bard Doe, in Germany: "We, of the 60th Infantry 'Go-Devils' pause momentarily in this rout of the German army in an easterly direction taking towns like mad. Rode into this one on a tank destroyer this morning and prisoners are streaming in. We had to fight a bit yesterday for another town -my first attack. While on a mission the other night, we barely missed being surprised by a jerry outfit coming along the road. We froze in the moonlight and they passed. Then we dug in and expected to take some shelling but the krauts are too interested in moving on. The big push is on and barring some fancy surprises tanks should go fast now. I shot my first German yesterday, but when they are shooting back at you you don't think about it. I didn't feel as bad as I did when I shot a jack-rabbit one time in the desert while hunting with DeGrasse. Please give Bill McIntyre my regards and tell him I'm not inbetweening very much these days. It's spring here and the country is beautiful. Maybe V-E Day soon and then poor New York can do away with that horrid old curfew. Poor, poor New York. Some ladies are fixing us chicken dinner to nite and that beats foxhole life. We also have a little wine.

Best luck to the Guild guys. Heard from Tom A. the other day. Your German correspondent...

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