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