Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Passing Encounters - the V-J Day Nurse Kiss and Vin Scully and the Missus

Both are in today's newspapers - one because she died and the other for a final retirement coincidence.

Nurse Greta Zimmer Friedman, age 92, was the woman photographed in her nurse's whites being ardently kissed by a sailor in full uniform on V-J Day in Times Square.  That photo became so well known that by 1980 there were 11 men and three women claiming to be the persons photographed. 

When, years later, it was determined that Friedman and George Mendosa were the ones photographed, Friedman was quoted, "It wasn't that much of a kiss.  It was just somebody celebrating.  It wasn't a romantic event."

I never saw her kissing anyone in her years as an artist's model at the late George Gardiner sketch classes.  George knew her (I swear he knew the damndest people) and   prevailed upon her to pick up some cash as the model. 

She wore that uniform - it still fitted just fine! She was beginning to be "up there" in age and I remember one particular pose because my drawing of it put me in a (very) local art show where I had absolutely no business being.

She was seated in a wooden rocker, ostensibly reading a book.  I sketched that and then grinning to myself, put in the background a hospital bed with a patient prone, IV in one arm, waving the other for help (very cartoonish.)   I captioned it "And nurse thought she'd never read a better book."

George laughed, but made me fold the paper away from the background so the finished drawing was just her and the rocker and the book.

Vin Scully and his wife were guests on Tom Brown's yacht.  At that time, early '80s, he was a Vice President for TOSCO (The Oil Shale COrporation) and I was his Executive Assistant.   The outing was a benefit for children.  At that same time, I was trying to get started as photographer and Tom hire me to document the event (and paid me $200 to do it.)

After the ceremony with speakers and so forth ended, I found the Scullys sitting quietly on a bench that ran across the forward end of the yacht, all by themselves.  They were quietly enjoying the scenery, but affably smiled for my shots of them.   It was immediately noticeable that they were also quite content out there all by themselves.  There was a sort of childish awe on their faces at their being on a yacht out on the ocean.    

Today Richie insisted on reading the Sports section to me - the part where his career will end October 2nd in San Francisco.  Scully said, "As things turn out, the last game of the season, and my last broadcast, will be against the Giants in San Francisco, Oct. 2, 2016, exactly 80 years to the day I saw that Giant-Yankee scorecard.  That is a fitting conclusion, I think, to my career."  He saw this scorecard age 8 in New York. 

No comments: