I Dare Say -- Parryscope (3-13-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 13, 1943)



By Florence Fisher Parry

When Anne Lindbergh’s North to the Orient came out, a lot of people wondered “Why NORTH?” Now of course we all know. Aviation has given us new concepts of directions, distances, and when we hear that an attempted air raid by the enemy would not necessarily come from across the Atlantic, but more plausibly down from the North to some place like Detroit, Buffalo or Pittsburgh, we take the news in stride.

I’m scared, though, about our complacent assumption that our enemy could no longer break through and invade, by air, in a last-minute convulsion of desperation. There is a growing uneasiness in high quarters about the whereabouts of the main body of the Luftwaffe. It has been practically inactive for too long a time. It seems to have learned its lesson from the inspired strategy of England during the Battle of London, when the RAF couldn’t be made to spend itself, but kept scattered, and WAITED TO BE BUILT UP INTO RETAILIATORY STRENGTH.

Clear call

Now what has brought all this to mind this morning is that I just heard something I could hardly believe; and that is that our local filter center – the aircraft warning center – is actually in serious need of MORE PERSONS to activate it! Its early night shift (from 6:30 to 11:30) is filled. That means that it is the employed women who, at the end of a tough day, go down and serve another five concentrated hours. But the other shifts are crying out for more volunteers. The 8 to 1 mornings; the 1 to 6:30 p.m., the 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., and the 4 a.m. to 8. The very hours when UNEMPLOYED women could definitely contribute their time!

Is this war going to be manned and won only by women ALREADY at work? Or are the still “useless” women going to wake up to the need of THEIR OWN instant active participation?

Are you between 18 and 50 years old? With time to make up the hours lost serving on night shifts or on early morning shifts? Then report for service at the filter center in the City-County Bldg. That is, of course, if you are an ALERT woman, with good eyes, hearing, voice and lively coordination.

It’s challenging work, exciting work; not dull or routine, but a call upon every quick resource of brain and nerve.

Work – or else!

Thousands of our fine young women are hustling into uniforms; and the WAACs, WAVES, SPARS and MARINES are holding a field-day in enlistments. That’s fine, that’s as it should be; but it doesn’t take a uniform to make a woman as USEFUL in this war. There are countless ways to serve – yes, and still be supporting the home front.

The boys in uniform stationed here or even passing through here need pretty young girls as well as motherly matrons to assist at the canteens and other social centers. The filter center is SOS-ing for bring young women for their alert job. While industry, all along the line, is crying out for competent women to fill the places left by their trained men.

WORK FOR THE WAR ON ELSE! And if your only – or even your best – accomplishment is looking lovely and feminine and bringing a brief glow of companionship to boys hungry for a normal time – such as they’d have back home – with girls of their own class who speak their same language – for heaven’s sake, get a move on, girls, and turn on the charm wherever your sweet smiles and healthy words of cheer will be likely to do the most good!

Wishful thinking

At the J. P. Harris Theater this week, there is showing one of the most delightful of Walt Disney’s cartoons: Saludos Amigos. It is a 40-minute “long short” and completely entrancing. Obviously, it is fated to take its place on a double feature program. This week, it has The Great Gildersleeve, which, I offer, is a picture which a true Disney fan would run miles to avoid.

Now how charming it would be if, when a slight little gem like Saludos Amigos is offered, it could be coupled with something on the same level of excellence? I am sure countless movie fans will miss this delectable treat just because nothing else on the program invites their patronage.

I idled with the thought, as I was seeing the Disney masterpiece. How charming if, coupled with this, we could have had a really fine, lengthy, magnificently edited newsreel such as One Day in Moscow or one of those peerless World in Action series; and, instead of the orthodox travelogue, a nostalgic flashback travelogue showing Vienna and Paris and Prague and Stalingrad – as they once were, and as they are today? Or would that be too hard to bear? Too unutterably tragic?