Tuesday, June 26, 2012

AREA 123

Dolly Madison

 Highway 123 is one of our major roads here in Northern Vlrginia. In the war of 1812 it was the road that President Madison and his wife traveled to get out of Washington before the British captured them. To this day it's called, Dolly Madison Boulevard.

 According to my own personal research I discovered that the road has been vexed from the very beginning.  It goes right through the middle of the town of Vienna and that's where, according to my calculations, James and Dolly got separated.   They didn't find each other again until the next day when they rendevoued at a prearranged location.. Otherwise, it would have been named the James and Dolly Madison Boulevard.

A more appropriate name for it would be the Bermuda Triangle Blvd.

The fact that the highway has been troubled (some say  haunted) at that spot from its very beginning  is bad enough, but to make it worse, in the 1950's the city fathers of Vienna had the brilliant idea that to protect their rapidly growing bedroom community from traffic cutting through their neighborhoods they prohibited through streets.  In other words, there's only one road that leads into and out of the town of Vienna:

Highway 123,  Dolly Madison Blvd.

But that's another story.

This one is about my first visit there.

It was in the Spring of 1962 and I was assigned to cover a story about a flying saucer that was supposed to land there.


George Adamski

 Yep, there was a man named George Adamski who had announced that he was going to “call down” a flying saucer that would be in the area the following night, and have it land in Vienna.  I was to interview Adamski and, of course, any of the aliens who might exit the spaceship.

Now, I don't think anyone at the station really believed that a flying saucer would be landing per Adamski's instructions, but some thought that we had to cover it...just in case.

And remember, UFOs were pretty big news in the '50's, just a few years earlier.

UFO's Over the Capitol in 1952
Still, to this day, there are a few sightings that have not been “explained,” or “solved.”

One of the most well documented events happened here in Washington.

On July 19, 1952. Edward Nugent, an air-traffic controller  at Washington National Airport , spotted seven objects on his radar . The objects were located 15 miles south-southwest of the city; no known aircraft were in the area and the objects were not following any established flight paths. Nugent's superior, Harry Barnes, a senior air-traffic controller at the airport, watched the objects on Nugent's radarscope. He later wrote:
"We knew immediately that a very strange situation existed...their movements were completely radical compared to those of ordinary aircraft"

At this point, other objects appeared in all sectors of the radarscope; when they moved over the White House  and the United States Capitol , Barnes called Andrews Air Force Base , located 10 miles from National Airport.  ( -Wikipedia)

Studying Crash Debris

And then, there was the famous “UFO Crash” in Roswell, New Mexico and all the “Area 51” conspiracy theories.

Area 51 is a part of Edwards Air Force Base located in UTAH some 80 miles from Las Vegas.  It's where the US develops and supports experimental aircraft and weapons. The intense secrecy surrounding it (the government denied it existed until 2003) made it a prime target for conspiracy theories, particularly UFO tales.

Adamski on NY Television

Now, back to George Adamski.

He claimed the he and several friends were in the Colorado Desert  one day and spotted a large submarine-shaped object hovering in the sky. Believing that the ship was looking for him, Adamski said he left his friends and headed toward the object, which had now landed. He described it as a scout ship made of a type of translucent metal. He said its pilot, a Venusian named Orthon disembarked and greeted him. 

He described Orthon as being a medium height humanoid  with long blonde hair and tanned skin wearing reddish-brown shoes. He said they communicated via telepathy and through hand signals.  Orthon then invited him into the space ship and proceeded to take Adamski on a tour of the Solar System, including his home planet Venus.
We didn't know at the time that Adamski was only the first of many New Age UFO prophets and so-called “abductees.”to follow.

Apparently it was Orthon on the other end of  the telepathic line as about 15 Adamski followers along with three other reporters and I stood quietly in the backyard of a home on Lawyers Road in Vienna.and watched Adamski stare at the sky and mentally listen to messages from a yet unseen spacecraft. The silence was broken only by the sounds of the cars of first time visitors making U turns looking for a way out of Vienna.

 Then suddenly Adamski said, "There it is! “Look closely at the sky....right up there.  See that blinking light.......that’s it....that's the space craft.  Orthon is saying “Hello.”

Spaceship saying "Hello."  Look closely.
(Me neither. -Ed)

“Yes, I see it.” shouted someone behind me.

“Me too,” echoed several of Adamski’s followers.

To me, it didn’t look like a blinking spaceship at all. It looked like “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”

Adamski stared knowingly at the sky a bit longer, then said, “Apparently there’s a problem.”

A few tense moments later he added,

“They think there’s someone here, who is very skeptical and could potentially bring them harm”

"Uh oh," I thought, "Orthon knows I'm here."

But being  a mild mannered reporter, not unlike Clark Kent, I certainly wasn’t going to do anyone any harm. In fact I was already fantasizing about the fame and fortune that would come my way if I were to become the first Earthling to interview a space alien on TV!

I wanted Orthon and his buddies to land in that backyard more than I had ever wanted anything in my life...with the possible exception of a Red Ryder BB gun, when I was in Miss Terry's class at Elizabeth School.

The  reporters and I were beginning to get strange looks from the other invited guests as
Adamski continued to try to convince Orthon to come join us for cookies and cokes.
After about 20 more minutes of telepathic pleading, Adamski announced that because of
the negative vibes coming from Earth, the spaceship’s crew had decided not to land at that time.


 Now, don't think for a moment that I was naive enough even back then to believe that a flying saucer was going to land that night at that gathering in Virginia.


Route 123, Dolly Madison Blvd entering Vienna, VA
No indeed. I knew  all along there would be no spaceship landing that night.  It was totally predictible.  As everyone knows, any society advanced enough to build spaceships that could traverse the universe in a matter of hours would certainly have known that it was almost impossible for anyone, even a spaceship, to get in or out of Vienna, Virginia.   -Ed

(During the early 1930's when Prohibition was still the law of the land, Adamski founded a monastary in Long Beach, California. Where upon he was able to make sacramental wine, for religious services. Wagging tongues claim that he made a lot of money  selling the wine to thirsty dry Californians. 

How was Adamski able to become the premier UFO celebrity of the 1950's? At that time, the American public was very trusting, and Adamski's tales hit home with the public. Adamski, painted himself as Joe Everybody, and his encounter at first seemd real to certain segments of the population. but as his tales became more and more bizaar his popularity declined.

Adamski wrote many books about his alien encounters and became a lecturer and celebrity.

One of his followers swears that he once saw Adamski with his shirt off and noticed that he didn't have a naval. )

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The Central High Class of 1954 did meet for the June luncheon at Jimmies in Mint Hill on Tuesday, June  12, 2012.  The entire production crew offers apology for the delay in this report as communications between the photo and text departments hit a glitch.   

As always, we were welcomed by a brightly decorated check-in area and our tables similarly decorated.  Many thanks to Mary (Sue Banks) Burnett for providing a pleasant surrounding...

Parks and Carolyn Reinhardt

 We were delighted to have several classmates in attendance whom we had not seen for a while.  Carolyn and Parks Reinhardt made the trip up from Apopka, Florida to be with us...

Warren and Becky Sparrow

Becky and Warren Sparrow made the visit from Winston-Salem...

Kay and Tommy Hurt

It was good to see Kay and Tom Hurt...

And...Carole Bennett Gilland brought friend Norman Kinsey (CHS'54).  This couple dated when in Central High School and after each lost their spouse have rekindled their long ago relationship...

Because of email pixel limitations, there will be an addendum to this report to be sent soon.

Now wasn't that fun?  Plan to join us sometime.  CHS'54 meets every month on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  Plan to be with us at our next gathering on July 10.  We look forward to seeing you.  -JG

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


(Parental Discretion Advised. -Ed)

Planet Earth
You don't have to have a college degree to know that man's fascination with women's bodies is Nature's way of insuring  the continuation of the human race on Planet Earth.

 It's what makes the “world go 'round.”

There are always younger men coming along who also have what we old geezers were born with. It's known as the “Wow, look at that!” gene, which is a good thing since older men eventually outgrow that instinct.

Usually by around the age of 95 or so.

What made me think of that is all the construction going on around the Capitol this spring. I'm not sure what all they're building, but this town is getting pretty crowded, so logic tells me that for everything they build, they have to tear something down.

1960 Magazine Ad
An example of this is the fact that there's no longer anything to even suggest that there ever was once a very popular hot spot for Washington's “upper crust” called the Gaslight Club. The club closed many years ago, and the building itself is long gone. But at one time, during prohibition,it was this town's most popular speakeasy. Later, during the early 50's, it was  transformed into a Playboy type Club, but with class!
The White House Correspondents Association held their dinner with the President there in 1963.

 That was also the night I was looking forward to an adventure that I fully intended to brag about for the rest of my life! And it was to begin at the Gaslight Club!

But first, let me set the scene:
Paul Niven, Pat Peyser (CBS radio producer) and Ed Myers

I've mentioned my friend, Paul Niven of CBS news before. He and I were among a small group of single men at the TV station back then and since both of our radio shifts ended around 11 in the evenings we palled around a lot enjoying what was left of the evening's social scene, which was pretty much limited to the late night watering holes in DC and in nearby Baltimore, where Paul's special friend, Blaze Starr performed nightly.

Niven at Kennedy-Nixon Debate

Niven, was the host of “Face the Nation” during that time and I was the announcer. He was one of the“Murrow Boys,”at CBS ; which meant that he was personally hired by the undisputed king of radio and TV news, Edward R. himself.  (There were two groups of "Murrow Boys;" those he hired during WW2 and the second group he hired after he became Director of News at CBS following the war.)

Paul had told me about the time in 1956, I believe it was, after NBC had beaten CBS in the ratings at the Democratic National Convention. This was the very first time it had ever happened, and many believe it was the moment the “Tiffany “network began to lose it's once dominant hold on America's broadcast news and entertainment

Murrow and Monroe
on set of "Person To Person"
Paul said he was with Murrow and a group of other corespondents the day they learned of those ratings.and had adjourned to a “Go Go” bar, as they were called back then, to drown their sorrows. The booze flowed freely and he recalled that Murrow was as “well oiled” as everyone else sitting at his table, but he was nevertheless still eloquent.

“This is a sad sight indeed." (I'm paraphrasing now, but this is close) "Here we are,” he intoned, “the once invincible, after having our heads handed to us by an upstart network (NBC)... with strippers dancing on our grave..”

Murrow in London
Frankly I was a little surprised that my childhood broadcast idol, whose voice from WW2 still rings in my ears...”THIS....IS LONDON!”...would ever spend time in a strip joint.,but according to Niven, Murrow and “his boys” often spent time after work at such places near the CBS offices in New York.

But obviously I was still carrying around my “little boy” image of the great man, long before I learned of nature's “Wow, look at that” gene, implanted in all men.

Paul knew how much I wanted to meet the  greatest of all my  broadcast heroes and mentioned that Murrow had once told him that he would like to meet Blaze.

(The stars were beginning to align...Dear Reader........continue on....)

Paul said he would be seeing Murrow at the Corespondent's dinner the following week and would invite him to go to Baltimore with us after the festivities.

CHS Radio Club 1954

I refused to allow myself to get too excited over something that would have been unimaginable to that young boy sitting in Mr. Ballance's radio class only a few years earlier. But, so far, my life in Washington had been one surprise after another!

Nevertheless, just before his first radio newscast the evening before the dinner, Paul mentioned to me  “By the way, Ed called and said he'd go with us tomorrow night.”

Now, it was time to get excited.

According to the plan, the two of them would be waiting on the corner in front of the Gaslight Club on 16th Street (right across the street from the Russian Embassy at exactly 11:30 pm.

As I drove down 16th street I remember thinking how unbelievable this night is going to be!   I'll never be able to convince my old Central High School buddies that this really happened. In fact, I could hardly believe it myself.

Imagine, Edward R. Murrow, Paul Niven and me traveling up to nearby Baltimore in my 1950 Dodge (I was still without my stolen TR3) to attend a Blaze Starr hootchi-cootchi show!

You can't make this kind of stuff up.

However, I wish I could have made up a different ending to this story.

 When I got about a half a block from the gaslight club, I spotted Paul, standing on the corner...alone.

Ed Murrow as head of USIA
Murrow' s wife, Janet, had gotten wind of our plan and convinced her husband that Washington was different from New York, and as a high ranking member of the government (he was the Director of the USIA  at that time) being spotted at Blaze Starr's Two O"Clock Club could prove to be embarrassing.

"But," she added, " Do what you want."  

Which, when translated means,  "You'll pay for this later."

That was a perfect example of  the "Wow" gene colliding head on with the female "Wifespeak gene," which trumps the weaker of the species (the male) every time.

So, with my once in a lifetime, story for the ages, lying in tatters. Paul and I continued on to Baltimore to do our part to "save the planet!

You know, help "keep it turning,"    -Ed

"Computers can now keep a man's every transgression recorded in a permanent memory bank, duplicating with complex programming and intricate wiring a feat his wife handles quite well without fuss or fanfare."     - Edward R. Murrow)

WIFE SPEAK                                            TRANSLATION
You want.                                                      You want.
We need.                                                       I want
Do what you want                                         You'll pay for this later.

We need to talk.                                             I need to complain.
Sure...go ahead.                                              I don't want you to.
I'm not upset.                                                  Of course I'm upset, you moron.
You're...so manly.                                            You need a shave and you sweat a lot
I heard a noise.                                                I noticed you were almost asleep.
Do you love me?                                             I'm going to ask for something expensive.
I'll be ready in a minute.                                    Kick off your shoes and watch T.V.
You have to learn to communicate.                   Just agree with me.
Are you listening to me!?                                   Too late, you're dead.
No.                                                                  No.
Maybe.                                                            No


Monday, June 18, 2012

Over Worked Week?

Well, not really. But definitely UNDER NAPPED!

That's my excuse for being so late reporting on the events of last week's LDL extravaganza...and I'm sticking with it!

Thankfully, our roving reporter, Warren Sparrow and his sidekick Becky were on the scene......and here is that report:

"Becky and I went to the CHS Mint Hill lunch.  It was neat.

We went with Kay and Tommy Hurt, so in addition to the LDL pics, I took the opportunity to peek into the Hurt's garage and got a couple of shots of this beauty from 1957 ! 

They give new meaning to the Capital One line: "What's in your wallet?"

In addition to these two gorgeous old Chevies, the Hurts have another one at the house on the coast.  Tommy restored all of them ! 



Here is a trivia note from LDL 44.

   Remember that basketball game when your gang (Piedmont) held the ball and AG Coach George Powell pulled his team off the court?  Today there were three members of the AG team at the luncheon:  Tommy Hurt, Gene Lookabill and me.  It is also noteworthy that Gene and Tommy married Piedmont girls.  I married a Yankee.  The three of us have been married for over 50 years, I think.  I know Tommy and I have been and I feel sure Gene and Jackie Hart (She did go to Piedmont, did she not?) have been married that long, too.

Keep paddling.  Thanks for listening. "

(Editor's note:  Now we know the REAL reason AG lost that game;  the last thing the Bulldog players were thinking of that day was basketball.  They were too busy watching the Piedmont girls!  -Ed )

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Wanna have a good time ?

Well, here's your chance!  Meet us at Jimmies of Mint Hill....knock 3 times and tell them Jerry sent you.

 Once inside, make your way to the "fun room" and...........

meet with other like-minded "matured to perfection" Wildcats no longer concerned with pimples and pop quizes.

This website is not responsible for what happens after that!

The date:  Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Time:  11:30 AM

Place   Jimmies of Mint Hill

Address:  7024 Brighton Park Drive

Mint Hill, NC 28227
(704) 545-7750

Miss this one and you'll have to wait a month for another one!

Besides, you never know who's going to show up at these events!