Gracie Allen Reporting!

The Pittsburgh Press (April 23, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

HOLLYWOOD – Did you read the account of that argument in the Senate, about the state in which people lived the longest?

Sen. Chandler of Kentucky admitted that people lived as long in California as they did in his state, but no longer. Sen. Pepper said they lived longer in Florida than anywhere else; and Sen. Tobey practically declared that when anybody died in New Hampshire it drove the war off the front page.

Of course, as a Californian, I believe people live longer here than in any other place – if they can find a place to live. My husband, George, has narrowed it down even more than that. He says that people live longer in our house than in any other place – especially my relatives.

That’s a husband for you. Your mother comes for a little ten-year visit and he complains.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 24, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I think it’s reassuring that President Truman gets up at 6:30, because there probably isn’t anyone in Washington able to get up early enough to put anything over on him.

Mr. Truman is used to early rising, having lived on a farm, where the alarm clocks are running around all over the place – grunting, crowing, cackling and neighing, making the same kind of noises human beings do in nightclubs or in Congress.

I see that when Mr. Truman was walking to work early in the morning he was greeted by a taxi driver. So that’s when taxi drivers are around!

Anyway, I think our new President is setting a splendid example. Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

I’m glad he didn’t say “a woman.” I can still sleep late.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 25, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – Well, here I am in San Francisco where the most brilliant minds of our time are gathered for the world security conference.

I told my editor that I don’t belong here but he said he was sending me to get “color.” That shows how much he knows – it’s so foggy I haven’t got one bit of color.

My goodness, this city simply is teeming with delegates from all over the world. No matter where you turn, you bump into a Russian. It’s just like being in Berlin.

There’s been talk of a food shortage so maybe it’s fortunate the Russians sent that shipload of caviar and vodka. I can just picture all the delegates down on the docks, standing in a caviar-and-vodka line. Probably much nicer than a bread line.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 26, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – Well, sign language has really come into its own here. With representatives of 46 nations speaking almost as many languages, it was a case of necessity.

There’s one sign that means “Have you any steak?” another that means “Where Can I Find a Taxi?” and another to ask “Have You a Vacant Hotel Room?”

The San Franciscans have no trouble with the sign language. All they have to learn is to shake their heads “no.”

Not only do these foreign delegates have strange languages, but even stranger beards. Old settlers say there haven’t been so many beards here since the days of the “Forty-Niners.”

I didn’t know which hotel to try to get into when I first arrived, but when I saw the Egyptian delegation go into the Palace Hotel, I realized that was the place for me. From what the Egyptians were wearing I knew they must have sheets there.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 27, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – My, I’m proud of my hometown of San Francisco. I sat in the Opera House here today and listened to the World Security Conference going on in 46 different languages. I’m afraid I didn’t understand much of it. It was just like the old days when I listened to opera here.

But, oh girls, just before the conference I met our Mr. Stettinius and Britain’s Anthony Eden. I honestly think they are two of the handsomest and most distinguished-looking men I have ever met. I like to be around that type of man. That’s why I married George Burns.

Mr. Molotov is one of the most important figures here. They say he brought his own chef and waiter. Everyone is pulling strings to get an introduction to the chef.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 28, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – Well, girls, I predict we’re going to be in for some new fashions as a result of the World Security Conference.

Personally, I don’t think I’d care for those veils up to the eyes that the Egyptian women are wearing. But I’ve learned from the Russian women how to solve the nylon stocking problem. They just wear boots that come up to their dresses.

Yes, there are many different fashions here, but girls, we all have something in common. There is not a pre-war girdle in any language.

Seriously, we’ve got to quit feeling that other people are strange just because they’re different. I never could understand how a person speaking only English thought it funny to hear broken English spoken by a foreigner who spoke ten other languages, too.

The Pittsburgh Press (April 30, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – Lately, I’ve thought I was lucky to get a taxi in English, but here at the World Security Conference you can get foreign ones. They carry signs in different languages saying “Greek (or Russian or French) spoken here.” At least that’s what people tell me the signs say.

And this “share the ride” plan is certainly exciting when nobody knows what the other sharers are talking about.

Sometimes they get fooled, though. Yesterday, my companion and I were battling away in our own language when an Oriental veiled lady sharing the ride turned to me and said “Oh, so you like Charles Boyer, too?”

But don’t be misled by this movie nonsense, girls. Yesterday at the Conference I sat next to two sheiks in sheets. Did they try to carry off little Gracie to be a desert queen? Well, my address is still the Palace Hotel.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 1, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

SAN FRANCISCO – The officials of the World Security Conference thought of everything. When they hear loose talk that this nation or that nation is going to be made the “goat” of the conference, they just smile.

Because the conference is already provided with goats. The Egyptian delegation brought their own, for the milk.

I went to see the goats at the hotel where the Egyptians are staying and found them much more communicative than the diplomats. When I asked them if they thought there would be trouble over the Polish question, the goats said, “Bah!”

Speaking of goats, somebody certainly got the goat of a man with the American delegation. He was told the White House was calling him. He got on the phone, trembling – and found the call came from the “White House,” a local store.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 2, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, I’m back home from the World Security Conference, and am I proud of my cities – San Francisco where I was born, and Los Angeles, that big suburb of Beverly Hills where I live.

I just knew it would be a Los Angeles man who’d be the first to meet the Russians. They met in the heart of Germany, and that, as the old saying goes, is practically within the Los Angeles city limits.

That certainly was a joyous occasion. It couldn’t have been more dramatic if it had been arranged by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The Los Angeles-Russian meeting, by the way, has perked up our Chamber of Commerce as rain does a wilted flower. It wasn’t feeling so hot when San Francisco drew the world conference – but now California is happy at both ends.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 3, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

My goodness, I’ll never get to understand those Japanese. Did you hear about that Tokyo broadcast which declared that our air raids were good for their morale? The theory was that the more private property was destroyed, the less property they would have left to worry about.

This reasoning so impressed me that I made up a little poem:

Every time we bomb the Jap,
Cries the pleased, slap-happy chap:
“Honorable house has went–
So no more worry over rent!”

I don’t think that Japanese philosophy is going to work here, though. I tried it on George by suggesting that if he burned all his shirts he wouldn’t have to worry about their not coming back from the laundry. He didn’t say anything, but he keeps watching me suspiciously out of the corner of his eye.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 4, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

With the grisly news these days, it’s a relief to get your mind on something else for a few minutes.

George dives into the sports pages for escape. He says that when he sees the Philadelphia Nationals are still in last place, he feels there’s a little left of the old normal world.

I try to find release in the fashion magazines but the perfume ads frighten me almost more than the headlines. My goodness, according to those ads, a girl takes her life in her hands if she dares to use a modern perfume.

Just a dab of one brand and a mustached man with a violin grabs you. Just touch the stopper of “Don’t You Dare” and there’s a howling wolfpack on your trail.

Excuse me, girls, I’m going out and buy some perfume.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 7, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Since President Truman has signed that bill so the Kennebunkport, Maine, post office can have a new mural I won’t enter the controversy about the one there now. Maybe the bathing beach ladies are too fat and haven’t enough clothes, but after all, post-office art is still in its infancy.

Why, once the only art you saw in post offices were posters showing front and side views of men’s faces, labeled “Wanted! Reward!” – the most depressing kind of faces, too.

It wasn’t as if they couldn’t have put up nice attractive faces, like Clark Gable’s or Van Johnson’s. But I suppose the post-office officials just belonged to the modern realistic school of art, and never thought of what they were doing to the morale of their public.

George says he’s for less art in post offices, and more and better pens.

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The Pittsburgh Press (May 8, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

My goodness! They’re already talking of making a movie about Mussolini. It would have a moral lesson, of course, but I don’t think the hungriest actor in Hollywood could be coaxed to play the part, not even with a two-inch steak. Imagine being “typed” in that role.

But it just shows you how far some people in Hollywood would go with the biography cycle. First they filmed the lives of celebrities of long ago, then living celebrities, and now they even have scouts on the trails of those for whom great futures are predicted.

Well, I supposed they’ll end up doing the same characters over and over. Don Ameche should be able to look forward to at least three remakes showing him inventing the telephone. And the next time I hope he invents enough phones to go around in wartimes.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 9, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, it’s a relief to get even one war off our hands these days, isn’t it? However, a war of the size we’ve got left used to be more than enough, and I guess it still is.

It seems to be that we have good cause for rejoicing that the fire is out in the West Wing of the house, though still smoldering, of course. But we mustn’t forget that the house is still on fire – in the East Wing. Strangely enough, this is a fire that has to be fought with such things as gasoline and ammunition. So, let’s keep sending our firefighters more supplies – and send them faster than ever before.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 10, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, I see Japan is angry with the Nazis for quitting, and may break off relations with German Government if they can find it.

It was reported that just before Berlin fell, Hitler tried to reserve a room in Japan, but the Japs replied, “So sorry.” They said they were afraid of getting into trouble – as if they weren’t in enough trouble already.

Those Japs certainly have a realistic attitude. When a thing doesn’t work, and isn’t any good anymore, they’re through with it and throw it away. I wonder how soon they’ll come to that conclusion about their empire.

I read a while back that the Japanese Government had seized all the stopwatches used in timing athletic events. Realism again. If they’re going to break records losing territory, they’ll have the official time.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 11, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, girls, the silver lining is beginning to shine through the dark cloud of shortages. Our new washing machines, vacuum cleaners, autos and refrigerators are already in the blueprint stage.

And they say the new refrigerators will have large compartments for freezing meat. Of course, the government says it will be about a year before we can get any. I wonder, which they mean – refrigerators or meat?

But it’s wonderful how one thing compensates for another. I don’t miss a vacuum cleaner with no cigarette ashes to pick up, anyway. And what would I do with a new car with no tires? I don’t even mind waiting a year to get my clothes washed. The laundries have made me get used to it.

But there’s one thing we don’t have to wait a year to buy. That’s War Bonds. Let’s do it right now.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 14, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

It looks like the racehorses are going to be among the first to get their old jobs back. Peace in Europe has lifted the ban on horseracing.

I’ll bet those horses were plenty nervous… what with their jobs gone, and the meat shortage. But those thoroughbreds may find racing a little more strenuous than in the past. With the gas and tire shortage still on, they may have to carry the fans to the track before they can run for them. Of course, they can let the fans walk home… they’re used to that.

Bing Crosby got a telegram saying that the government would let his horses run… It gave Bing a lot of respect for the government because that’s more than he’s ever been able to get them to do.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 15, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

HOLLYWOOD – When our soldiers went abroad, the government gave them little dictionaries to help them get along in strange countries. Now that they’re beginning to come back, I think they should be issued a little book to help them understand things here. For instance:

“Don’t you know there’s a war on?” – stock phrase used by waiters, meaning “there isn’t any butter.” Also used by clerks too lazy to find what you ask for. Then there’s a sign which you soldiers will see frequently which says “sorry, no cigarettes.” Properly interpreted, this means “if we know you, you can have as pack from under the counter.”

Another sign, which may be very misleading to you boys who have been away, reads “butcher shop.” This simply identifies an establishment whose proprietor has been too busy to change the sign to “fish.”

The Pittsburgh Press (May 16, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

HOLLYWOOD – My goodness, pretty soon we may have auto-planes with folding wings that can both roll and fly. The Department of Labor Statistics Bureau told the Senate so.

Of course, the traffic cops will have to have wings then, too. How are they going to stop you up there in the sky? What will they say – “pull over to the next cloud?” And think of the problems a girl will have who goes for a ride with a fellow. She’ll have to take a parachute along with her “mad money.”

And I’ve just read that through electronics post-war autos will have stop-and-go signals right in the car itself. Also a gadget that makes a shrill noise to tell you when to stop. But I won’t need any of those things when I’m driving; not when George is along.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 17, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

HOLLYWOOD – My goodness, I just had a thought. With all the babies being born in hospitals these days, what are we going to have for national shrines in years to come?

Millions have thrilled at the sight of the humble log cabin where Lincoln was born. The birthplaces of many famous men have become national shrines. But I can’t imagine them putting a picket fence around some big hospital with a plaque reading “On this site were born 10,000 famous Americans.” It would have no individuality. I don’t think it would attract sightseers.

And many other babies are first seeing the light of day in apartments. Can you imagine thousands of people crowding in to look at an apartment?

On second thought, though, that’s a very common sight these days.