Friday, October 22, 2010

Pre-CHOICE (1964): The Billboard Prank


Goldwater Atlantic City Billboard  
It began as a master stroke of in-your-face campaigning: The Republicans rented space on Atlantic City’s largest billboard just in time for the nomination of incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. As a result of the GOP brainstorm, thousands of devoted Democrats were welcomed to town by the stern visage of LBJ’s opponent, Republican nominee Senator Barry M. Goldwater, and his slogan: “In your heart, you know he’s right.” At some point, Goldwater himself slipped into enemy territory for the photo op seen above.

Billboard News Item

The billboard and news coverage of the clever coup was the one PR hiccup in an otherwise smooth coronation of Johnson. But a small group of LBJ supporters weren’t about to let the Republicans have the last word. On the morning of Monday, August 26, 1964, the sign’s tag line was given a creative postscript: “Yes---extreme right.”

Lo-Goldwater-Billoard-Amended  
According to a New York Times account of the prank, the idea for the partisan rejoinder came from a cadre of influential Democrats: Robert Benjamin, a New York delegate and chairman of the board of the United Artists film studio; Newton Minow, the former head of the Federal Communications Commission; Robert Tish, president of the Loew’s hotel chain, and Minow’s brother-in-law, Stanley Frankel, vice president of the Ogden Corporation, a public utility holding company.

minownewtonNewton Minow, prankster 

Originally, the group conspired to get an adventurous teenager to climb the structure and paint in a caret and add the word “far” between the words “he’s” and “right.” But cooler heads prevailed and the men negotiated with the owners of the pier hosting the billboard to accomplish their goal in a more legal manner. The proto-tagging was then quickly executed by a local (and presumably Democratic) painter.

Mr. Frankel’s final quote on the matter for the Times was a twist on another famous Goldwater phrase: “We feel that extremism in pursuit of a sign is no vice.”     

The impact of the prank was short-lived, but the episode does help explain why Mr. Minow agreed to his famous cameo in Woody Allen’s 1977 film, Annie Hall—the man clearly has a sense of humor.

REFERENCES

“Giant Picture of Goldwater Greets Demos,” Daily Plainsman (Huron, South Dakota) via Associated Press, August 23, 1964.

“Democratic Postscript Carries Goldwater’s Billboard to an Extreme,” New York Times, August 27, 1964.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CHOICE (1964): The Scrapbook

 

__Lo-Choice-AdMat

On April 8, 2008, Raymond R. Morgan, Jr., the executive producer of the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign film, Choice, granted an exclusive interview to CONELRAD about the movie at his home in Southern California.  

After our lengthy discussion of all-things-Choice wound down, Morgan unexpectedly gave us his professionally bound scrapbook in which he kept press clippings and other ephemera related to the controversial film (the image seen above is a mock-up of a newspaper advertisement that appears on the first page of the scrapbook). What was even more surprising to us was that the retired television producer and advertising executive (and orange farmer) did not want his extraordinary keepsake from the ‘64 campaign returned.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
CONELRAD humbly accepted the gift and then spent the following three days photographing and scanning its amazing contents. After we had completed our thorough review of the book, we decided that other scholars deserved the opportunity to see the physical artifact.

Because the Ashland University Archives in Ashland, Ohio had been so helpful to CONELRAD in its initial Choice research, we decided to donate the scrapbook to their John M. Ashbrook Collection of Papers (which contains some of the papers of the architect of Goldwater’s 1964 Republican nomination victory, F. Clifton White). Our donation, which Mr. Morgan approved of in advance, was received by archivist David Roepke on December 12, 2008. Students, visiting researchers and the general public can now view a unique piece of history at this university.

But why should people in Ohio have all the fun? Following the vintage photo below of Morgan (at right with a martini), are highlights from his scrapbook.

Lo-JackPohle-Morgan-Martini-1964

CONELRAD’S ALL-TIME FAVORITE “CHOICE” HEADLINE

NYDailyNews-Headline-10-21-64 
If ever there was a headline that captured the upside-down political strategy of Choice, this is it. From the October 21, 1964 edition of the New York Daily News.

“CHOICE” HANDBILL

Choice-Scrapbook-DemChoice-Flier
The above flier was handed out by fun-loving Democrats during the brief period that Choice was being shown at Barry Goldwater’s San Francisco campaign office (as seen below). The handbill was published as part of an article entitled “Barry Kills Film – S.F. Shows It,” San Francisco Examiner, October 22, 1964.         

“CHOICE” VENUE

Lo-Choice-Scrapbook-KearnyStPeepShow
Looky-loos catch a glimpse of the controversial Choice outside the Goldwater campaign office on Kearny Street in San Francisco. The photograph was published as part of an article entitled “Barry Kills Film – S.F. Shows It,” San Francisco Examiner, October 22, 1964.

“FUROR ON BARRY FILM”  

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA     
As hard as it is to believe today, the controversy over Choice vastly eclipsed the coverage of LBJ’s Daisy ad. The headline seen above is from the October 21, 1964 edition of the Beverly Hills Citizen-News.

“FILM ON MORALITY HELD UP BY BARRY” 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   
Headline of October 22, 1964 edition of the Los Angeles Times

“GOLDWATER SCRAPS MORALS FILMS”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   
Headline of October 22, 1964 Washington Post.

GOLDWATER CANCELS OUT GOP MOVIE ON MORALS”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   
Headline from the October 21, 1964 edition of Santa Monica, California’s Evening Outlook.

“GOLDWATER CANCELS MORALS FILM”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA   
Headline from the October 22, 1964 edition of the New York Herald Tribune.

“STRIPPER WANT GOP FILM PAYOFF”

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Exotic dancer and actress Carol Harrison (aka Caroll Harrison, aka Exotica) added to the Choice hoopla by threatening to sue the Republican National Committee. She was angry that the Choice filmmakers used stock footage of her without her permission and without paying her. CONELRAD will be posting a separate article about Ms. Harrison in the near future. The above headline is from the October 24, 1964 edition of the Evening Outlook (Santa Monica, California).

“STRIPPER TO SUE GOP!”

Glendale-News-Press-Headline-10-24-64

Another article about Carol Harrison (see above description).  From the October 24, 1964 edition of the Glendale (California) News-Press.

GOP FILM WITHDRAWN”

SFChronicle-FullBanner-10-22-64 
The San Francisco Chronicle published an image from one of Choice’s most talked about scenes (Carol Harrison modeling a topless bathing suit) on its front page on October 22, 1964.

TOPLESS GOLDWATER CARTOON

HerBlock-10-22-64-WashPost-Cartoon
This Herblock editorial cartoon pokes fun at the topless bathing suit controversy from Choice. From the October 22, 1964 edition of the Washington Post.

DAISY VERSUS CHOICE CARTOON 

Lo-Choice-Scrapbook-LBJ Daisy Cartoon 
One of the few (perhaps the only) contemporaneous comparisons of the Daisy ad and Choice controversies. This editorial cartoon by George Carey is from the October 20, 1964 edition of the Valley Times (Los Angeles). Carey expected the paper’s readers to draw the linkage between the early September blow-up over the Daisy spot with the current outrage over Choice

“CHOICE” PREVIEW CARTOON          

 Lo-Choice-Cartoon 
We thought we’d conclude our electronic scrapbook with this priceless cartoon by Ed Valtman of the Hartford (CT) Courant. It sums up Goldwater’s frustration with the controversy over the film that he himself approved production of. And in a wonderfully obscure reference, Valtman lampoons Citizens for Goldwater PR director, Rus Walton (the forlorn looking character to the left, next to the Choice poster), who was the driving force behind the movie. The die-hard political nerds who caught this gag no doubt laughed themselves silly. Yep, we count ourselves in that crowd…

CHOICE (1964): The Story Conference


Lo-Rus Walton

On September 22, 1964, Rus Walton, the director of public relations for the Citizens for Goldwater-Miller Committee,[1] convened a “secret” meeting in suite 217 of the Beverly Carlton Hotel in Los Angeles. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the themes of a campaign film on the moral decline of the United States. The  hush-hush confab was, in Hollywood parlance, a story conference.[2] Choice, the movie produced in the immediate aftermath of the meeting, was never officially shown.

In addition to Walton, those who were in attendance were Queen for a Day executive producer, Raymond R. Morgan, Jr., production company owner, Henry Ludwin, and a local TV director, Joe Agnello.[3]

Also on hand, to the chagrin of Mr. Morgan, was a stenographer named James W. Golden from the firm of Noon & Pratt, Certified Shorthand Reporters.

Morgan, who did not think a meeting was necessary, was even more alarmed that Walton wanted a transcript recorded. In an exclusive interview with CONELRAD, the retired producer recalled his feelings about the conference and the stenographer:

I went on record at the time: “this is a horse shit idea.” Particularly, the transcript – “that’s dumb!” “Let’s not have a lot of stuff written down. If we’re going to do this.” But Rus [Walton] says, “No, we’ve gotta be sure everyone understands and so forth…” And I was very much against the idea of the transcript. I thought that was the stupidest damned idea I’d ever heard because it didn’t seem to me to be necessary. So when this meeting started out it was basically a speech by Rus and I thought to myself, “I’m not going to say anything” and I didn’t. I think I said one or two words… Basically, it was Rus’s big vision for what he thought this morality project was supposed to be. So we listened and we listened. I don’t know where the hell the transcript ever went, frankly, because I didn’t pay for it…[4]

Lo-Morgan-Cntr-1964 Raymond Morgan, Jr. center

As it turned out, Morgan’s instinct was dead-on because less than a month later embarrassing quotes from the transcript found their way into Drew Pearson’s influential syndicated newspaper column.[5] The resulting torrent of negative publicity over the film forced Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater to ban Choice from being aired (the movie can now be viewed in its entirety on CONELRAD’s YouTube channel; and the script for the film can be read here).[6]

Pearson 
The following is the entire Choice story conference transcribed from a copy obtained by CONELRAD from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum:

Lo-CHOICE-Noon and Pratt-Cvr

Noon & Pratt

Transcript of informal conference held at the Beverly Carlton Hotel, Suite 217, 9400 West Olympic Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California, commencing at 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, September 22, 1964.

Present:

Mr. Raymond R. Morgan, Jr.
Mr. Russell Walton
Mr. Henry Ludwin
Mr. Joe Agnello

Reported by James W. Golden, C.S.R.

Noon & Pratt
Certified Shorthand Reporters
707 S. Broadway – Suite 1120
Los Angeles14—Madison 66811

Beverly Hills, California, Tuesday, September 22, 1964

- - -o0o- - -

Opening

MR. WALTON: The basic purpose of this documentary, and it supports the whole thrust of this project, is to very strongly and effectively depict the national prevalence of juvenile delinquency, crime, moral degeneration, narcotics, and the facts that women are afraid to walk on the street at night, the parks are empty after dark – parents are fearful for their children, husbands for their wives. This spastic child which was attacked by six or seven teenage boys yesterday; the fact that in Fremont, California on Saturday night, another woman was attacked, screamed and screamed while ten people stood by without doing a thing to help her; this same situation has occurred in New York City numerous times; all these things; we want to show that the country’s moral standards are in a serious decline.

Now, we have another basic problem, and that is the Senator’s national image, rightly or wrongly, has become that of a warmonger. This has scared a lot of women.

We find that there are three major issues in this campaign: 1. The nuclear syndrome. 2. The cost of living. 3. The whole moral issue, juvenile delinquency, crime, violence, immorality in government, immorality in the highest places, influence-peddling. How do we get back? We want to make them angry. Of immediate importance is the threat involved, the fact that they have to lock their doors at night; it may have been their child who was walking home from school yesterday. We find this fear in the minds of almost everyone, and particularly in the minds of women. It is felt very strongly by the independent voters, strong with Republican voters, strong with the Conservative Democrat voters, this issue of immorality in government. We want to incite the people to feel that Lyndon Johnson is incapable of coping with these problems because of the Bobby Baker scandal, because of the Billie Sol Estes affair, because of the $14 million that was made while he was on the public payroll, because of the McCloskey kickbacks – all of this, plus the fact that when you go down the list of major cities where there have been riots, Jersey City, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rochester, these cities are in the control of big-city political machines, machines that stood back and did not do a thing to stop the riots. Now, we have documentary evidence for you to show that the police of Philadelphia were told not to interfere with the looters; and we also know that Lyndon Johnson is looking to the Mayor of Philadelphia to deliver Philadelphia to him, therefore he cannot interfere at this time. There is a whole background of big-city machines closely involved with the Johnson Administration, so there is a tie-in there.

At any rate, let me sum this up by saying that the public does not feel that Johnson can cope with the morality problem and they also feel that as long as you have immorality in government at the top, that person, that administration, cannot solve the problem of immorality at the lower levels. Therefore the purpose of this film then is to portray and remind the people of something they already know exists, and that is the moral crisis in America, the rising crime rate, rising juvenile delinquency, narcotics, pornography, filthy magazines, which is all a part of the same package. We want to just make them mad, make their stomachs turn.

This is not particularly a situation involving race. Although what they call civil rights may be a part of it, this is not a racial thing. The Seaside, Oregon thing, the Newport, Rhode Island Music Festival thing, Jersey City, these we can use, but it is broader than race. I mean, it is just a sinus sickness of society itself. You will portray that, and you remind these people what is happening, and you bring it right down to them and make their stomachs tighten. Then you will suddenly turn around and focus their anger on Johnson and this administration. This is based on the theory, which is a proven fact, that people tend to vote more against something than they are for something. Unless they are very zealous they are not motivated to go out and get it, but if they are mad and angry, then they go out and work. This was illustrated by the Rafferty thing in 1962. The people were damned sick and tired of the way the schools were being run, and they went out and did something about it. It is the same feeling now, but instead of being confined to a schoolhouse, it is a society in general; it is their kid, it is their wives and daughters, it is their homes. That is what we are trying to get across in this thing.

MR. LUDWIN: Appeal to their basic emotions.

MR. WALTON: Yes, raw naked emotions arouse them. You know better than I how far you can go. You might want to read Eugene Burdick. His first work was called THE 9TH WAVE, and in this book he points out how this candidate, an old colonel, went down to Olvera Street. He was addressing a very hostile crowd, so he just fed their hostility and anger and made them madder and madder, and at a certain point in his speech he began to turn this anger against his opponent, and the first thing you know, the crowd was just rabid against this opponent. This is what we are going to have t do in this movie: take this latent anger and concern which now exists, build it up, and subtlety turn and focus it on the man who drives 90 miles an hour with a beer can in his hands, pulls the ears of beagles, and leave them charged up to the point where they will want to go out and do something about it. They will see all this on television, and there is only one way they can go, and that is with Goldwater. This should include scenes of the riots in Harlem and Philadelphia, and out here in San Francisco, the sit-ins at the Palace Hotel; it should include the Seaside, Oregon thing, et cetera.

We have put out telegrams to all of our State and County committees, and they are sending us every day the front pages of their hometown newspapers wherever there is a story of violence, crime, murder, rape, and so on and so forth. So you can use this.

MR. LUDWIN: Would it be straining to make use of whatever organizations you have built up, which is considerable at this time, to have them contact people that they know within the news media business in their cities, using their weight to procure this? Otherwise, it becomes the product of a Hollywood producer making a film. I don’t want to go into a four-hour detail on this, but these things may have occurred to a friend, these people know these people in these cities.

MR. WALTON: We can do that, but I think a lot of your work in this area is going to have to be done by those people who know how to get into that, doing their own work, and going through the canned stuff, picking out what we need.

MR. LUDWIN: This is a monumental project.

MR. WALTON: We can do the basic research, pinpoint acts of violence, those riots, when they occurred and in what cities, so you are not shooting in the dark. You see, I want to see the sight of Harlem on August 15th and 16th.

MR. LUDWIN: I think in most instances, the people who will release it to you will allow you to get a scratch print or something – they refer to it as a scratch print – so that you can see what they have, and then you order what you want.

Core

MR. WALTON: I think one of the most frightening things is when the head of CORE during the Harlem race riots, wanted to get 1,000 Negroes, and he said, “There are only a thousand policemen, and I want a thousand Negroes who are willing to die,” and he wanted them to go out and kill the policemen. This is pretty violent. These kids up in Seaside, Oregon, white kids – it doesn’t make any difference, this is violence – and they were attacking the police with beer bottles and logs. Perhaps we could have a police figure in there or something.

MR. LUDWIN: You are not attempting to find the cause?

MR. WALTON: You just show me the solution.

MR. LUDWIN: One thing that happened one night in Encino, which is quite a residential area our here, big movie stars live there, and a friend of mine who is a TV personality, his daughter was riding her bicycle down past a very new supermarket we out there, a Piggly Wiggly, and four kids came up, one of them had borrowed his father’s Cadillac convertible, which his dad lent him often. These kids, having nothing to do, bought four dozen eggs, at 68 cents a dozen, and they went around throwing them; there was nothing to do, and they hit this girl in the eye. What the hell is happening in this country when things like this can go on? They take them up to the police, and this boy’s father is a very influential man, and the kids are remanded to their parents’ custody. The first time they can get away with it, and that is pretty bad.

MR. WALTON: We will have to some research to point out specific instances where the laws have been altered or impinged upon to the point where the law enforcement officers can’t protect society. As a matter of fact, you could read this month’s Readers Digest. There is an article entitled “Take the Handcuffs of the Police.” Things like that. For example, if you stop a guy who runs a red light and you find he has narcotics in his possession, you can’t do a damned thing about it because the violation was running a red light. Therefore, the police can no longer protect society.

MR. LUDWIN: We also have the case of the 400 San Quentin convicts appealing their cases because there was some new ruling regarding the confession angle, and they were appealing on the grounds of being illegally convicted.

MR. WALTON: That is right.

MR. LUDWIN: Also the Caryl Chessman case. How many years did he procrastinate? There are many single items such as that.

MR. WALTON: And I want you to concentrate in part on Washington, D.C., where the crime rate has gone up, skyrocketed.

MR. LUDWIN: Are you interested in the aspect of perhaps an interview with the police chief or something like that?

MR. WALTON: If we could get a couple of cops on there.

MR. LUDWIN: Police chief Parker of Los Angeles or somebody like that?

MR. WALTON: You have to make sure there that you handle yourselves so that it could not be determined a police brutality. You have to have calm, dedicated police, law-enforcement officers who are really trying to protect the public as opposed to a Bill Connor who doesn’t give a damn, he just wanted to beat some heads.

Reagan

MR. LUDWIN: Within the realm of support for Goldwater, I know there are many prominent people, and what I have in mind is the possibility of procuring one of these Ronald Reagan types to do the narration. I don’t know where he is hard enough or crisp enough.

MR. WALTON: I don’t know. He has quite a reputation of political association. One aspect which I think is very important is the rural aspect. Now, it is a fact that American political life, sociological life of the people who were brought up in the small towns and on the farms, especially in the Midwest, have a built-in prejudice against the big city. They think that the big city is something evil, that it is a sinkhole, it produces narcotics and crime. This film will obviously and frankly play on their prejudice. “You damned right. I remember when Old Joe went to New York and they rolled him, I remember that.” This has got to be this sort of thing. We are catering to the Midwest. We should carry that Midwest like nothing. They have a very high level of morality in the Midwest supposedly, so we are just going after that too. But the basic emotion is the fear and the anxiety of parents for their children’s safety, for the safety of their wives, the safety of their homes. “Tonight maybe the glass will shatter and someone will come into our bedroom.” Then we provide them with the solution for it: Morality must start at the top; it must start with the White House, with the Administration.

(There was a discussion of the record.)

MR. WALTON: One important issue for California is the narcotics issue; the narcotics crossing the Mexican border. The Governor cannot do anything to stop this, he cannot close the border; the President can close the border. I would like some strong shots of the Border Patrol uncovering some H stuff under the hood of an automobile crossing the border. That is one thing.

MR. LUDWIN: The narcotics problem is a real major one as far as California is concerned.

MR. WALTON: It is a major American problem, allowing narcotics to cross the borders. It is coming in from Cuba into Florida. It is also an important issue in Texas.

MR. LUDWIN: For instance, the girl at the airport not too long ago who was carrying a suitcase from Miami containing narcotics. She had brought in the suitcase two or three times before. How can a person bring in a suitcase full of narcotics so many times?

Sally

MR. WALTON: Also, all these dirty books.

MR. MORGAN: Pornographic literature?

ME. WALTON: Right. “Sally Slut’s Deal,” or whatever the title is. All these things.

MR. LUDWIN: They are sold over the counter, not sold under the counter. Although it is actually pornographic, it is within the letter of the law so that it isn’t pornographic, and the guys are smart enough that if sexy black stockings gets knocked out this month and sexy black undies next month, they watch it, but the point is it is still pornography.

(There was a discussion off the record)

MR. WALTON: Rape, crime, the increase of the crime rate, the increase in juvenile delinquency, that is what we want.

MR. LUDWIN: Public indifference.

MR. WALTON: Wife-trading, the jet set, and that whole damned rat-pack situation. Incidentally, I forgot to mention that this thing has gotten to the point in some cities where the people are so disturbed that they are setting up Vigilantes. The people in New York have the same thing now as in San Francisco. Some guy’s wife is attacked, the police won’t do a damned thing, so he sets up his Vigilantes. This indicates the depth of this emotion.

MR. LUDWIN: This is fine to illustrate the general rebellion against organized authority, but if it becomes general vigilante in the true sense, many vigilantes operating outside the law, this can be a detriment.

MR. WALTON: That is right maybe you can’t touch on this too much, the point being is you cannot take the law into your own hands; you have to give the law authority t protect the public. Maybe this wouldn’t come off, but if you could get some footage of the girl in New York where she was attacked and screamed for 15 minutes before she was murdered, and the people said that they didn’t want to get involved. We want to get them uncomfortable enough to the point where they will reject this sort of thing, where they will want to do something about it.

MR. LUDWIN: The whole thing is public indifference. They say, “It is not happening to me.” For example, the guy who had the heart attack and laid there for three days and then somebody finally notified the ambulance. Here is a guy who lay on the sidewalk for three days without aid.

MR. WALTON: You have touched on a real important thing here, public indifference.

MR. LUDWIN: This is the cause of it all.

MR. WALTON: This is going to backfire on the people, the people who don’t like to get blamed.

MR. LUDWIN: It is not “we” the public; it is “we” through lack of leadership because the leadership is covering these aspects, not making us aware of them, by allowing them to happen.

MR. AGNELLO: Just for my own information, is this going to be a network thing? How are we going to handle it?

MR. WALTON: There are two phases, Joe: The first is the documentary which may well be a network deal, but will certainly be placed in all the major cities. For example, maybe on October 23rd at 7:30, across the board, on NBC, CBS, every outlet will show this thing; and on the night of October 24 the Mothers of America will march into the precincts, all the porch lights will be turned on. It is this type of thing. It will be played right here in Los Angeles. These people will buy their own time on replays.

MR. AGNELLO: In other words, it will be a thing that will work nationally.

MR. WALTON: Yes. In addition to television time, we will make 100 prints available, maybe ten in California and only one in Arkansas, or maybe none in Mississippi. Who the hell knows? They will use them at their local level, in the precincts, the community clubs, womens clubs, Rotary clubs, stirring up the pot at the local level. Phase 2 will be as you produce this thing, there should be things pulled out of it for strong 30- and 60-second spots. Those are the two phases of it, Joe.

MR. AGNELLO: Are you going in any way to touch upon the Johnson Administration since he has been in office, what has happened since he has been in office?

MR. WALTON: And what he is: he is a child of this thing, he walked with this thing, Bobby Baker, Billie Sol Estes, $14 million – you know, that is pretty good for a Senator.

MR. AGNELLO: All these things, the budget in itself since he has been in office, how it has increased, the national budget.

MR. WALTON: The capper here is the situation in America and how it has been allowed to happen, because of immorality in high places, they haven’t done anything about it, and how can you expect them to do anything about it when they are creatures of this thing? There is only way out: Goldwater.

MR. AGNELLO: Are we going to touch upon the various overseas problems also?

MR. WALTON: I don’t think so, just internal problems. You see, the problem is, as we outlined before you got here, we have found that there are three strong issues in the United States right now, three things that are bugging the people: this nuclear deal, the threat of war, the red button, the economic thing, the straight jacket, the cost of living, you cannot make ends meet; then finally, the moral disintegration and juvenile delinquency. We cannot play up the nuclear thing because every time we play it, the Senator gets hurt, but that is not as emotional as juvenile delinquency and the moral crisis, and the public by and large feels that Johnson cannot cope with the moral problem because he is immoral himself, so there it is, there is the issue.

MR. AGNELLO: How do we come to the conclusion that he is immoral himself?

MR. WALTON: First we attribute it to the fact that he stole his first election, the 87 votes in Jim Wells County, Texas. Next, Bobby Baker was his strong right arm, the first man he saw in the morning, the last man he would see at night. “I know I should him the Secretary of the Majority, but he is my Bobby.” These are quotes. And Billy Sol Estes and that whole situation in Texas of which he was an important part; the fact that the only major state with a television monopoly is Texas, and he owns it in Austin, Texas; the $14 million, $13 million by his own admission, but the press thinks it is maybe closer to $14 million, but even $13 million is big on the salary of a Senator. Also, we base it on the McCloskey affair, the Washington Stadium, the Hospital, the kickbacks, the big-city machines. You go down the list of the various cities where the riots have occurred, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Rochester, Jersey City, every one of them is controlled by a machine and every machine is geared in to Johnson. They did nothing to stop the riots. He cannot make them stop the riots because he is in bed with them. It is all there. You don’t have much to develop it, but there it is.

Adjourned

MR. AGNELLO: We want to find film on all of this?

MR. WALTON: Yes, powerful film, real gut film.

(Whereupon at 4:30 p.m. the conference was adjourned)

Addendum

A D D E N D U M

(After the conference was adjourned, there was an off-the-record discussion, after which Mr. Morgan requested Mr. Walton to summarize the conclusions.)

MR. WALTON: The basis of the thesis is this: John F. Kennedy, whether you agreed with his polices or not, was moving America to a period of greatness. It was a period of challenge, and he had a bright promise. Then this guy, Johnson, by an act of God, moves in and has not only allowed all this immoral stuff to start, he has literally destroyed all the work that Kennedy had started to accomplish, and the Kennedy people feel this. They want no part of Johnson. Kennedy was an idealist, he was a philosopher, he had great visions, and this guy Johnson is nothing but a political animal. Kennedy was primarily a principled man, and I think you can hit a lot of Democrats right in the guts with this. You see, this 63% that Johnson has is there, but it is real soft, it is like a house of cards, you pull a couple of those cards out and the whole thing is going to collapse.

MR. MORGAN: He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

MR. WALTON: I think you can twist that, but it has become: “To hell with America, what can I get for myself? $14 million?” You can twist it subtly because Kennedy is respected in both parties, and his respect is growing.

MR. AGNELLO: There are many, many Democrats who intend to vote for Johnson on the strength of the Kennedy background, but they don’t know if they want to vote for Johnson or note.

MR. WALTON: That is right.

MR. AGNELLO: They are Democrats, but they are borderline cases.

- - -o0o- - -


[1] Citizens for Goldwater-Miller was a wing of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign apparatus led by F. Clifton White (1918-1993). See page 480 of Rick Perlstein, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus [New York: Hill and Wang, 2001].

[2] “Transcript of informal conference…” September 22, 1964, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series I, Box 325, folder: Goldwater, Barry: Mothers for Moral America Campaign, 1964.

[3] In-person interview with Raymond R. Morgan, Jr. conducted by Bill Geerhart, April 6, 2008.

[4] In-person interview with Raymond R. Morgan, Jr. conducted by Bill Geerhart, April 6, 2008.

[5] Drew Pearson, “GOP To Pin Rising Crime On Johnson Administration,” October 20, 1964, Salisbury (Maryland) Times (Syndicated Washington Merry-Go-Round column).

[6] Laurence Stern, “Morality Film Scrapped On Goldwater’s Order,” Washington Post, October 22, 1964.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CHOICE (1964): The Screenplay


choice_ad_image_
Choice was so close to airing, ads were taken out
As part of our month-long salute to Barry Goldwater’s controversial thirty-minute political advertisement, Choice—which would have aired on October 22, 1964—CONELRAD is pleased to present the screenplay for this unforgettable campaign cult film. As produced, the movie resembled a Frank Capra propaganda production directed by Russ Meyer. Not surprisingly, after several days of negative headlines, it wound up being banned by the candidate himself.

Before we present the script, a little background on the writer and what he was trying to accomplish.
SCREENWRITER OTIS CARNEY

As the 1964 presidential campaign was in full swing, Hollywood writer Otis Carney (1922-2006) received an urgent call from a faction of Barry Goldwater’s staff to help crank out a screenplay for a movie that would portray Lyndon Baines Johnson’s America as a declining empire of immorality, corruption and sleaze—contrasted, naturally, with the riot-free promise of a Goldwater presidency.

Lo-Carney-Headshot
Carney, a successful network television scribe (Dragnet, Zane Grey Theatre, The Dick Powell Show) and Goldwater supporter, obliged with a script that became the blueprint for one of the most amazing campaign movies ever produced. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the completed work streaming on YouTube. And the thought of his screenplay being published on the Internet probably never even crossed his mind. But for the Choice completist, it is the only place to start...
Choice Script

Monday, October 11, 2010

THE ‘SHROOM: THE ODYSSEY OF ROBERT LEWIS’S ATOMIC SCULPTURE


“The piece itself is kind of ugly, but so was the deed.”

--Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey assessing Robert A. Lewis’s mushroom cloud sculpture, 1983
[1]

“He was an entertainer and would always want people’s attention.”

--Dieter Rosellen assessing the late Glenn Van Warrebey, 2010
[2]



INTRODUCTION

Decades ago, Dieter Rosellen dubbed an unusual piece of art acquired by his best friend as “The ‘Shroom.” He still refers to the white Italian marble mushroom cloud sculpture by that nickname.[3] The artist’s more formal (and thought provoking) title for the work is etched into its base: ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima?[4] The sculptor, Robert Lewis—the co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb in warfare—died in 1983 and Rosellen’s pal, author and psychologist Glenn Van Warrebey, passed away twenty-one years later.[5] The ‘Shroom survives both of them.

This is the story of the sculpture’s evolution: From its birth in the tortured imagination of an atomic veteran to its current state—an unsettling curiosity that has to be seen to be believed. It is also a tale of the intersecting lives of the man who created it and the man who exploited it.


THE UNLIKELY CONSCIENCE OF THE ATOM AGE


The Brooklyn-born Captain Robert Alvin Lewis was not the sensitive artist type when he and his fellow crewmembers dropped what they called “The Gimmick” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The brash flyboy’s first spoken reaction to the mushroom cloud rising over the devastated Japanese city was: “Look at that sonofabitch go!”[6] But on paper and removed from the immediate reaction of his peers, the co-pilot was more contemplative. In an in-flight log that he was keeping as a favor for William Laurence of the New York Times, Lewis wrote the immortal words, “My God, what have we done?” Ten years later, this phrase was nervously delivered by its author to a viewing audience of millions on This Is Your Life. On both occasions, it is reported that Lewis’s initial incentives for providing his impressions of the historic mission were financial.[7]


Regardless of the motive, there was undoubtedly genuine emotion behind the many words that the airman committed to paper on that epochal day. That most famous line from the notebook may have emerged slowly into the public consciousness, but it has since come to serve as history’s reaction to the first combat use of an atomic weapon. Indeed, in 1985 Time magazine quoted Lewis’s profound-with-age rhetorical question on the cover of its fortieth anniversary of Hiroshima issue.[8]

Time Magazine-1985
In the heavily censored and patriotic aftermath of the A-bombings and the war itself, however, the co-pilot’s words proved to be too strong to use in their entirety. In the initial newspaper coverage of the Hiroshima mission reviewed by CONELRAD, the phrase was truncated to “My God,” if it was used at all.[9] William Laurence—the man who asked that the log be kept in the first place—also cut the quote down for his 1946 book, Dawn Over Zero.[10] A quarter century after Hiroshima, the logbook was auctioned off for $37,000. At the time of the sale, the complete quotation, along with other excerpts, appeared in newspapers around the world. [11] Lewis, who was then the plant manager for the Henry Heide Candy Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, used some of his profits from the auction to buy marble for his art hobby.[12] He was no longer the skirt-chasing hell-raiser of his World War II days—he was a married man and a father of five.[13] But August 6, 1945 clearly still haunted the former co-pilot.

Robert and Mary Eileen Lewis with a growing family, 1957

SALVATION AND THE ‘SHROOM

Lewis Sculpting-Lo
Robert Lewis had been sculpting for a time before he sold his Enola Gay notebook in 1971. In fact, the previous year he had won a local prize for a piece he called Salvation which he described as “the hand of God grabbing another (hand) of man.” During the same period, the artist completed the mushroom cloud sculpture.[14]

As recounted in Glenn Van Warrebey’s book, Looking Up, Looking Down: The Psychology of the A-Bombers and Survivors of Hiroshima, Lewis explained that he was unsure about whether to call the sculpture ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima or ‘The Devil’s Wind’ at Hiroshima. The inspiration for the title came when he visited Japan shortly after the war. Lo-Sculpture-Title A Japanese dentist there had told him that he felt that the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima was “God’s Wind” because it effectively ended the war. Lewis, though, wasn’t sure if the breeze might have come from a more malevolent source. Van Warrebey writes that, in the end, he settled on a more ambiguous variation on the dentist’s sentiment: ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima? The question mark—emphasizing the artist’s own ambivalence—is significantly larger than the other lettering.[15]

There are also “streams” that are prominently featured running down the “stem” to the base of the statue. Van Warrebey quotes Lewis’s explanation for this macabre flourish in his book: “It comes down and makes a flowing form like liquid. In my own mind this liquid is the blood of human beings flowing from the bomb.”[16]


Sculpture-base
With this monument to therapeutic art officially completed, the ‘Shroom sat in the back of Lewis’s garage for the next seven years.[17] But, as we shall see, he was never able to keep it in the back of his mind.


Lo-Sculpture-Lewis Name-Best
THE BLACK BELT PSYCHOLOGIST

Before Glenn Van Warrebey met the co-pilot of the Enola Gay and, indeed, before he was even born in 1950, his family had a connection to Robert Lewis. Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. and Lewis went to the same school in New Jersey. Lewis graduated from Ridgefield Park High in 1937 and Van Warrebey, Sr. received his diploma in ’35.[18] Glenn, Sr. is said to have reminisced about Lewis in some of his well-worn dinner table stories. They were not, as one member of the Enola Gay crew later claimed, in the service together. Glenn’s father was in the Merchant Marines—far removed from the B-29s of Lewis’s war experience.[19]

Lewis-Van Warrebey HSLewis (left) and Van Warrebey, Sr. 

In 1969, shortly after Glenn, Jr. graduated from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served most of his time aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear submarine. After getting out of the military in 1971, Van Warrebey earned black belts in karate and judo and opened a dojo with his friend, Dieter Rosellen. At the dojo, Glenn would stage elaborate power demonstrations such as board breaking and ice breaking.[20]

At the same time, he was pursuing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Rutgers University and making extra money as a body guard for touring celebrities such as Johnny Cash. He would later move to California to earn his M.A. in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and his Psy.D. from California Western University (now known as Alliant International University).[21]

Lo-Glenn Board Breaking.jpeg
By 1977, Dr. Van Warrebey was making a substantial living from his psychotherapy practice and from writing and lecturing on the subject of hypnosis. That year he put out a book and a spoken word album on the topic.[22] He was also profiting handsomely from savvy property investments. Glenn was not content to simply have money—he liked to flaunt it and he reveled in cruising around in his Rolls Royce or one of his many other luxury automobiles. In other words, he was not your average mental health professional.[23]

Lo-Van Warrebey-Rolls
Dieter Rosellen neatly captures the relentless drive of his friend in one paragraph:
Glenn, as I said, was out to promote himself and capitalize on every opportunity he could. He would become what he needed to be in order to make things work. He was a bit ahead of his time in my eyes and would always amaze me at some of the things he would come up with and do.[24]
THE SHRINK AND THE ‘SHROOM

Glenn Van Warrebey and Robert Lewis first became acquainted at Krogh’s, a popular local tavern in Sparta, New Jersey where they both happened to be regulars. It was a casual beginning to a very unusual relationship. At some point in 1977 Lewis became Van Warrebey’s patient.[25]

According to Looking Up, Looking Down, it was approximately three weeks into their therapy sessions when Lewis mentioned his mushroom cloud sculpture. Van Warrebey quickly convinced him to bring the fifty-pound, sixteen-inch tall statue into the office.

The doctor was suitably wowed:
The mushroom statue’s presence immediately hit me with such an emotional impact that I had to censor myself in front of him for a few seconds. Psychologists might call my reaction a profound “uh-huh effect.”[26]

Warrebey-Back of Book-Photo
Dieter Rosellen told CONELRAD that his friend had confided to him during this period that he was extremely impressed with the odd piece of atomic art. It is Rosellen’s feeling that Glenn immediately recognized its cash worth.[27] Van Warrebey would later tell reporters that Lewis gave him the sculpture for the purposes of therapeutic closure (“Lewis had been carrying the mushroom as his cross and he gave the mushroom and his cross to me,” the doctor told one newspaper in 1981), but Rosellen says that it was exchanged “in lieu of payment for professional services.”[28] According to a Sarasota Herald-Tribune feature on Van Warrebey, these services included hypnosis to “force Lewis to relive” the Hiroshima bombing mission. “It’s the same thing you do with a person who has been raped or had some other traumatic experience,” Van Warrebey told the paper.[29]

Robert Lewis may have been pleased with the progress he was making with Van Warrebey, but his family—particularly his wife, Mary Eileen—was less enamored with the doctor. The Lewises were particularly incensed that Glenn was in possession of their patriarch’s very personal and potentially valuable sculpture. At one point, after they sought the ‘Shroom’s return, Van Warrebey resorted to hiding it even though it was his property. When asked if the family’s animosity troubled Glenn, Dieter Rosellen replied, “It didn’t bother Glenn. Nothing bothered Glenn.”[30]

THE ‘SHROOM ON TOUR

Desaturated-Shroom & Peace Dome.jpeg
Shortly after Robert Lewis’s death in June of 1983, his surviving psychologist began a protracted effort to sell the ‘Shroom. Dieter Rosellen confirmed his late friend’s strategy to CONELRAD: “He took advantage of it. He took it to Japan in an effort to build up its value and create interest in it. He wanted to make money off of it after Bob Lewis died.”[31] The doctor wasn’t the only one who tried to profit off of items connected to the Enola Gay co-pilot after his passing—the Lewis family did, too. In 1990, Mary Eileen Lewis, Robert Lewis’s second wife, attempted to sell what she claimed was the original navigator’s log through Christie’s in New York. When the Hiroshima mission’s navigator, Theodore van Kirk, came forward and said he was in possession of the original log, Christie’s investigated the matter and issued a statement that they could not vouch for the authenticity of Mrs. Lewis’s property. As a result, the item, which had at one time been valued at $100,000 to $150,000, did not sell, but a pair of binoculars used by the Enola Gay crew did fetch Mrs. Lewis $12,000.[32]

Publicly, Van Warrebey was playing the role of the respectful buddy. When the Kyoda News Service of Japan was trying to arrange for the sculpture’s display at the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, the doctor told the Associated Press: “I could see a museum, but…I don’t want to sell it. Some things don’t have a price. Bob gave me this, and I recall his saying something about ‘Don’t sell this.’ He was a friend of mine.”[33]

While it does not appear that the statue was ever formally showcased at the Peace Museum (there is, however, a photo of it in the shadow of Hiroshima’s famous A-Bomb Dome which can be seen in this post), Van Warrebey did cart the ‘Shroom all over Japan during the summer of 1984.

Lo-Glenn and Shroom on Japan TV.jpeg
He toured the country giving lectures on the research he was engaged in for his forthcoming book on the bombers who dropped the first atomic weapons and those who survived the cataclysmic explosions. The doctor’s experience with Lewis had inspired him to begin interviewing the crew members of the Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car from a psychological point of view. His barely disguised agenda was to find some evidence of guilt on the part of the American crews who carried out the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions. During the Japan tour, Van Warrebey also conducted interviews with the Hibakusha (Japanese bomb survivors). [34]

Paul Tibbets, the proudly remorseless commander of the 509th Composite Group and the pilot of the Enola Gay, had a delayed realization of Glenn’s “guilt” angle and said as much to him in a letter dated September 18, 1984: “Again and again you have come back to ‘innocent victims’ and my perceived position regarding them, to the point you seem intent on getting a statement from me that you can use for a specific purpose.”[35] The retired brigadier general, who initially cooperated with Glenn, was fed up and reportedly tried to block the book’s release.[36] Tibbets, who was accustomed to dealing with compliant biographers, had met his match in Glenn. The pilot’s portrayal in Looking Up, Looking Down is not always a pleasant one, but it has the ring of truth.[37]

Tibbets Ltr
Before returning to the United States, the doctor loaned the ‘Shroom to the Buddhist monks at the Kiyomizu-dara Temple in Kyoto, Japan. The photograph below shows the sculpture on display (on the table under the painting, in between the monk and Van Warrebey). The monks pondered its significance for a year while Van Warrebey finished writing Looking Up, Looking Down.[38]

Lo-Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto
GOING TOO FAR

As the fortieth anniversary of the atomic bombings approached, Van Warrebey lit the fuse on a publicity stunt to generate interest in his yet to be published book. Using bombardier Kermit Beahan’s statement to him that he had “regrets” and “remorse” over his participation in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the doctor sent a letter to the mayor of that city, Hitoshi Motoshima. The missive informed the mayor that Beahan wished to come to Nagasaki during the upcoming anniversary peace ceremonies and personally apologize for his actions. A month later, Motoshima politely turned down the psychologist’s astonishing proposition:

Mayor of Nagasaki
Dear Dr. Van Warrebey,
Thank you for your letter of June 11, 1985.

The letter provided me with a clear understanding of St. [sic] Col. Kermit Beahan’s feelings of remorse concerning the dropping of the atomic bomb; a weapon which brought unimaginable suffering to the citizens of Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

I would like to impress upon you the fact that although there are atomic bomb survivors who are willing to meet and speak with Mr. Beahan, there are others who say: “The agony of the hibakusha continues even today. I cannot find it in my heart to meet with Mr. Beahan.”
I must also inform you that unfortunately the city of Nagasaki will not be able to officially invite him to the Peace Memorial Ceremony.

In conclusion, please accept my wishes for your good health and continuing success in your work.

Sincerely yours,
Hitoshi Motoshima
Mayor of Nagasaki
[39]
The Associated Press broke the news of the rejection of Beahan’s supposed offer a week later[40] and, according to Enola Gay countermeasures officer, Jacob Beser, the whole episode caused his former colleague considerable distress:
I called Beahan. I couldn’t get to him. He pulled his phone for three days because he didn’t know what was happening. The whole world descends on him. He didn’t even know this idiot had done this. And I told him the whole story.[41]
Beahan pulled himself together in time for the fortieth anniversary of Nagasaki to issue a clarification to his hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle. He explained that it would be ludicrous for him to apologize. He also said: “I regret I had to drop an atomic bomb. For that matter, I regret the first 100-pound bomb I ever dropped. I regret the whole damn war ever started. Van Warrebey apparently didn’t understand the difference between ‘regret’ and ‘guilt’—I certainly feel no guilt for bringing World War II to an early conclusion.” Further down in the article, the psychologist’s conspicuous absence is called out in a separate paragraph: “Van Warrebey could not be reached for comment.”[42]

A year earlier, Beahan and other members of the 509th Composite Group had happily conversed with Van Warrebey at their annual reunion in Philadelphia. The pilots of the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car even posed for pictures with him.[43] But things turned chilly after the letter to Mayor Motoshima. Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Hiroshima mission, told CONELRAD that after the Beahan incident, several members of the crew regretted ever speaking to Van Warrebey.[44] Not that the burned bridges mattered much to Glenn—the book, after all, was done.

Glenn. Tibbetts  SweeneyTibbets, Van Warrebey, Sweeney (pilot of Bock’s Car), 1984 

THE BOOK

Looking Up-Frnt-Cvr
No doubt realizing that it would be his most enduring vehicle for promotion, Van Warrebey made sure that the ‘Shroom was prominently featured in the art for Looking Up, Looking Down. The garish cover illustration by Henry Doren shows the sculpture practically dripping off the edge of the front of the book. Inside, there is the posed shot of Lewis “working” on the ‘Shroom in the 1970s. And, finally, on the back there is a photograph of the author sitting next to his prized art piece.[45]

Looking Up, Looking Down may not have helped sell the ‘Shroom, but until this article, finding a copy of the book was the only way to actually see what the thing looked like. Robert Jay Lifton references the sculpture and cites Van Warrebey in Hiroshima in America: A Half-Century of Denial (co-written with Greg Mitchell), but that book does not provide an image.[46] Needless to say, a mere textual description is woefully inadequate in conveying the weirdness of the ‘Shroom.

After Van Warrebey promoted his book and completed some leftover research connected with the project, he moved on to other things. In 1995, he or his publisher slapped a vaguely Halloween-ish orange sticker on the remaining stock and tried to sell copies as “Hiroshima Haunting: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.” As of this post, used copies of the book start on Amazon at $45.00.



Whatever his reasons (aside from profit) for writing the tome, he wound up producing an invaluable contribution to the scholarship on the violent dawn of the atomic age. Indeed, Van Warrebey’s hypnosis books and National Enquirer articles (yes, he wrote for the tabloid in the early 1980s)[47] may be all but forgotten, but his interviews with the people directly involved in one of the seminal events in the history of the world is the doctor’s true legacy. CONELRAD has examined a small portion of the research Van Warrebey collected for his book and we are convinced that it meets the standards of rigorous academic study.[48] It is ironic that the flamboyant psychologist’s ethically hazy relationship with Robert Lewis led to such an important work, but it did.

Lo-Van Warrebey-Interview TapesSmall sampling of Van Warrebey interview tapes 

WHITHER ‘THE SHROOM?


Glenn Van Warrebey, who always preferred writing books to practicing psychology, churned out a few more titles[49] before his personal demons got the better of him in Mexico in 2004. The doctor, who owned property in Puerto Vallarta, and taught for a while at the University of Guadalajara, died from complications of alcoholism that year at the age of 54. He left behind two ex-wives, a child from each marriage and…the ‘Shroom, which, at the time of his passing, was sitting on his parents’ mantelpiece in Sparta, New Jersey.[50]

After Glenn’s hometown funeral, his brother, Wayne Van Warrebey, took custody of the sculpture and some of the documents related to his most significant professional achievement: Looking Up, Looking Down. Glenn’s best friend, Dieter Rosellen, saved the majority of the audio tapes and one video recording that underpin the book’s conclusions.[51]

In 2005, James Ferrell, an appraiser with Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco, examined the ‘Shroom and told Wayne that there was no way he would be able to assign a value to it. When CONELRAD followed up with Ferrell in 2010, he explained that his specialty was not sculpture, but arms and armament. He reiterated his view that the piece is probably beyond appraising. It speaks volumes, of course, that this gentleman—who had probably looked at a thousand or more objects in the intervening years—immediately remembered the ‘Shroom.[52]

Mr. Ferrell went on to tell CONELRAD that one of the elements missing from the piece is something that is known in the auction trade as “tangibility.” That is to say, because Robert Lewis didn’t carve the ‘Shroom on the Enola Gay on the way back from Hiroshima, it cannot be considered a “tangible” part of that history.[53] The flight diary, on the other hand, was written during the actual mission and therefore has that special quality that bidding wars are made of.[54]

But if one looks at the back cover of that famous logbook, one can see the genesis of the sculpture that Lewis would create twenty-five years later. The budding young artist sketched the mushroom cloud from his vantage point aboard the plane and then recorded the hour of the rendering (0930), the date (8/6/45) and signed his initials (RAL).[55]

Sketch_Lewis_BW
It seems obvious now that it was the mental anguish that Lewis must have felt over his role in the killing of 100,000-plus human beings that eventually helped transform his amateur cockpit doodle into the ghastly, yet cathartic, ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima. If this isn’t “tangibility,” we don’t know what is.

History-Art-Collage 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS / NOTES

CONELRAD would like to thank Wayne Van Warrebey and Dieter Rosellen for their invaluable help in making this article as comprehensive as it is. Many of the images seen in this post are used with the permission of Mr. Rosellen and Mr. Van Warrebey. No image or video from this article may be reproduced without the written permission of CONELRAD.

CONELRAD would also like to thank the Ridgefield Park, New Jersey Public Library for their assistance in confirming that Glenn Van Warrebey’s father and Robert Lewis attended the same high school.

Finally, CONELRAD is grateful to Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew, for his generosity in speaking with us for this article.


[1] “Carving Shows ‘Ambivalence’ on Hiroshima,” Daily Register [Red Bank, NJ] via Associated Press, October 17, 1983.

[2] Dieter Rosellen e-mail to Bill Geerhart, October 4, 2010.

[3] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[4] The title of the sculpture is documented in Glenn Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down: The Psychology of the A-Bombers Survivors of Hiroshima [Winona, Minnesota: Apollo Books, 1985], p. 1. The title has also been confirmed by CONELRAD’s examination of images of the actual sculpture provided to us by Glenn Van Warrebey’s brother, Wayne Van Warrebey.

[5] John Edwards, “Lewis, Enola Gay crewman, dies,” Smithfield (Virginia) Times, June 22, 1983. Van Warrebey’s 2004 death was confirmed to CONELRAD by his brother, Wayne Van Warrebey, as well as his best friend, Dieter Rosellen. His death was also confirmed by a friend of his named Linda Wepner in an August 8, 2010 e-mail to Bill Geerhart. CONELRAD was unable to find any published obituaries on Van Warrebey.

[6] Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt, Enola Gay [New York: Stein and Day, 1977], p. 265. Lewis’s “sonofabitch” quote is also cited in Joseph L. Marx, Seven Hours to Zero [New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1967], p. 172.

[7] For Lewis’s favor for Laurence and his expectation of financial gain from the logbook see Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 240. For Lewis’s expectation of financial gain from appearing on This Is Your Life, see Rodney Barker, Hiroshima Maidens [New York: Viking, 1985], p. 94. For video of Lewis’s appearance on This Is Your Life see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/08/hiroshima-this-is-your-life.html.

[8] Time magazine cover, July 29, 1985.

[9] John R. Henry, “Men Aboard B-29 Atomic Bomb Carrier Were Amazed and Speechless…,” Port Arthur (Texas) News via INS, August 8, 1945. Henry’s article reports the utterance of the words “My God” in reaction to the Hiroshima bombing, but does not identify Lewis as the speaker.

[10] William Laurence, Dawn Over Zero: The Story of the Atomic Bomb [New York: Knopf, 1946], p. 221.

[11] Deirdre Carmody, “A-Bomber’s Notebook Sold,” Corpus Christi (Texas) Times via New York Times, November 24, 1971. For more on Lewis’s logbook and subsequent auctions of it, see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/09/notebook-history-of-enola-gay-flight.html.

[12] Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 281.

[13] Lewis’s hell-raising is referenced in Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 76. His skirt-chasing is referenced in Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 26 and Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., The Tibbets Story [ New York: Stein and Day, 1978], p. 215. The size of Lewis’s family derived from the previously cited obituary.

[14] The detail on “Salvation” is found in Burt A. Folkart, “Co-Pilot on First Atomic Bomb Run Dies,” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1983. The completion date of “‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima?” is found on the sculpture itself.

[15] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 1.

[16] Ibid., pp. 1-2.

[17] Ibid. p. 1.

[18] Ridgefield Park High School “Idler” yearbooks for the years 1935, p. 33 and 1937, p. 35.

[19] Reference to Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. mentioning Robert Lewis derived from Bill Geerhart’s telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010. For erroneous assertion that Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. and Robert Lewis were in the service together see: Jacob Beser Miscellaneous Interviews, pg. 17.

[20] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[21] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010. Glenn Van Warrebey “About the Author” insert accompanying Looking Up, Looking Down, 1985.

[22] Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey, Self-Hypnosis and Post-Hypnotic Suggestion [Los Alamitos, CA: Hwong Publishing Co., 1977]; Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey, Hypnosis—For Self-Improvement and Actualizing Your Potential [custom/private label, LP-3079, 1977].

[23] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[24] Dieter Rosellen e-mail to Bill Geerhart, October 4, 2010.

[25] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Note: Van Warrebey, for obvious professional and publicity reasons, presented his initial meeting with Robert Lewis in differently when talking to the media. For example, in a November 2, 1981 Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune article by Jim Curtis, the psychologist stated that Lewis had sought treatment after reading about his hypnosis book and record album. Van Warrebey repeated the line to the Reading (PA) Eagle on August 6, 1989.

[26] Looking Up, Looking Down, page 1.

[27] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[28] “Mushroom as cross” quote derived from Jim Curtis, “Therapist Uses Over-Indulgence to Treat Smokers,” Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, November 2, 1981; On page 4 of Looking Up, Looking down, Van Warrebey states for the record that the statue was a gift: “…toward the end of our professional relationship, he [Lewis] rid himself of the symbolic mushroom statue and gave it to me. He seemed happy to be relieved of it.” “In lieu of payment” quote derived from Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[29] Jim Curtis, “Therapist Uses Over-Indulgence to Treat Smokers,” Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, November 2, 1981.

[30] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010. CONELRAD spoke with Robert Lewis’s widow, Mary Eileen Lewis, on the telephone on August 8, 2010. Before she made it clear that she did not wish to speak to us any further, Mrs. Lewis confirmed that her husband had given the sculpture to Van Warrebey and that the family was disappointed that he had done so.

[31] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[32] Accounts of the 1990 auction are found in: “Enola Gay Log at Christie’s Is Disputed,” New York Times, December 7, 1990; “A-Bomb Memento: Enola Gay’s Hiroshima Logbook to be Sold,” Pacific Stars and Stripes via AP, December 8, 1990; “Questions Discourage Bids on Enola Gay Log,” The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) via AP, December 8, 1990.

In an October 10, 2010 interview with Bill Geerhart, Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk stated that it was his opinion that Mrs. Lewis sincerely believed she owned the original navigator log. Van Kirk explained this conviction by recounting how immediately after the Hiroshima mission he created an exact replica of the navigator log for an intelligence officer named Colonel Hazen J. Payette. Payette required the copy for a report that he had to prepare. Because Payette had the replica, he allowed van Kirk to retain the original. Weeks later, after the unit had left Tinian and had moved to the base at Roswell, New Mexico, van Kirk said that he witnessed Lewis picking up the the duplicate navigator log. Payette had apparently discarded it after writing his report and Lewis retrieved it assuming it was the original.

Van Kirk told Geerhart that he finally sold the original log through a Dallas, Texas auction house in 2006 for his asking price price of $300,000. He had turned down a lower bid in a previous auction in 2002.  

[33] “Carving shows ‘ambivalence’ on Hiroshima,” Daily Register (Red Hook, NJ), via A.P., October 17, 1983.

[34] Van Warrebey’s tour of Japan in 1984 is discussed at length in his book, Looking Up, Looking Down.

[35] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 103; CONELRAD was also provided a copy of the actual letter by Wayne Van Warrebey.

[36] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk interview on August 9, 2010.

[37] For the mostly heroic depictions of Paul Tibbets, see the 1952 MGM biopic Above and Beyond starring Robert Taylor as the pilot; the previously cited Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt book, Enola Gay, and the TV movie based on it, Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb starring Patrick Duffy as Tibbets (with Gregory Harrison as Robert Lewis). Van Warrebey presents a more nuanced view of Tibbets.

[38] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 11.

[39] Copy of July 11, 1985 letter from Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima provided to CONELRAD by Wayne Van Warrebey.

[40] “Bombardier to apologize to Nagasaki bomb victims,” Pacific Stars and Stripes via AP, July 19, 1985.

[41] Jacob Beser Miscellaneous Interviews, p. 17-18.

[42] Cindy Horswell, “Regrets? Yes—But No Guilt,” Houston Chronicle, August 10, 1985.

[43] Van Warrebey’s participation at the reunion is documented in both text and photographs in his book Looking Up, Looking Down.

[44] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk interview on August 9, 2010.

[45] The art illustration credit to Henry Doren is found on the Acknowledgments page of Looking Up, Looking Down.

[46] Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell, Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial [New York: Putnam, 1995], p. 234.

[47] See footnote 22 for Van Warrebey’s hypnosis works; Examples of his tabloid work are as follows: Glenn Van Warrebey, “How Weather Affects Your Health,” National Enquirer, February 2, 1982; Glenn Van Warrebey, “Simple Breathing Exercises Can Cut Heart Attack Risk,” National Enquirer, April 20, 1982.

[48] CONELRAD review of Glenn Van Warrebey’s interview and tape records provided by Wayne Van Warrebey and his friend, Dieter Rosellen.

[49] Glenn Van Warrebey, The Jersey Girls Joke Book [Glenn Van Warrebey Publishing, date unknown]; Glenn Van Warrebey, Pancho Villa Sales and Marketing: The 21st Century Bible [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub., 1995]; Glenn Van Warrebey, Read My Lips: The Latest University Research Findings on Subliminal Advertising and Sales [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub., 1998]; Glenn Van Warrebey, E-COM: Easy, Fast and Impactful Internet Marketing [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub. 2001].

[50] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[51] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[52] Bill Geerhart telephone interview Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Bonhams & Butterfields appraiser, James Ferrell, on October 6, 2010.

[53] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Bonhams & Butterfields appraiser, James Ferrell, on October 6, 2010.

[54] For the auction history of Robert Lewis’s flight log see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/09/notebook-history-of-enola-gay-flight.html.

[55] Image of Robert Lewis’s flight log, including the sketch on the back cover found on the Christie’s auction website.