Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
2A Thf Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wed.. Auk. 7. 1974
Sen. Charles Percy
Bv Boh (onsidine
BKHMIIDA - One of the more remarkable things about this coral gem. regally afloat in the blue Atlantic, is that a goodly number of writers who reach its powder-white and powder-pink beaches are able to write
K. Van Wyck Mason, a colonel on General Eisenhower staff in World war ll. gets up every morning at his place, Hampton Head, on Southhampton Bay. overcomes the temptation to plop into an easy chair and enjoy the splendid view. has his tea. dons his proper Bermuda shorts, shirt, tie and jacket, picks up his briefcase and tools to his office in Hamilton. 21) minutes away.
There, promptly at IO and with stern discipline, he starts dictating to his beautiful Bermudian secretary. Carol Bas-den The colonel, as hearty and clipped as any of his British counterparts, is at work on his HHth novel. "Trumpets Sound No More**, which Little. Brown, publishers, will bring out next spring It is a founded-on-facts novel about what happened to some of the Confederate officers who returned to their ruined estates after Appomattox
With the Bicentennial approaching, four of the Harvard-bred colonel's books with a Revolutionary War motif are being republished in England In all. his works have sold more than 7.(Kill.(Min copies and are in 15 languages.
Mason dictates from his notes and record books until about I o’clock, then marches off to his club or favorite restaurant for lunch, then back to work until 5.
As one who has dictated news stories over the phone to rewrite men. mundane things sui h as wars. floods, an electrocution. takeoffs for the moon. etc.. I asked the colonel. "How the hell can you dictate a fictional love scene?’’
"No problem whatsoever.** he said over a superb rockfish at Water Lot Inn "I also have a system for turning off the dictation and calling it a day I go forward to a point where I’m not sure the heroine should Im* pregnant or not "Then, off to Hamilton Head. to proofread Carol s first drafts of the day’s work. and next day bv the* time I return to the office I generally have the answer to the problem of the evening before
No fioll V jew
Terence Hattigan was able to write his pla>s "Separate Tables' and "The Winslow Boy here but only after moving to a secluded house which did not command a view of one of Bermuda's emerald golf courses Sinclair Lew is ( ame hen to write a play forgot what it va a* about and found himself spending time cycling around what he (ailed "this gorgeous island He sometimes walked long distances, preceded bv a boy he had hired to strum a guitar
Mark Twain was able to write a bit here, but not much He found it easter to sit on the terrace of a tiny tea room named the Green Door with his friend William Dean Howells. arid talk Howells, who had a rented cottage nearby made one of the (aider business deals in Bermuda commerce He rented half a dozen chickens to assure him (and Twain) of fresh daily breakfast eggs
Eugene O'Neill wrote ‘‘Strange Interlude'* at his magnificent place named Spit head, a pink vision of loveliness built by a privateer who must have had extremely good taste O'Neill would compose all morning before surrendering to the temptation to go sailing in Hamilton Harbor and the Great Sound with a legendary professional yachtsman named Joe Powell, descended from an English sea captain and an American Indian.
Noel Coward leased O'Neill s neighboring ‘^cottage” and worked on sortie of his musicals there But so many of his talented friends from Britain and the C S descended on him that he was forced ti* rent a much larger place, to put them up in comfort. Part of their comfort was Coward's installation of two grand pianos
Hervoy Mien rented an old Somerset house called Felicity Hall, and there wrote his classic novel. "Anthony Adverse’*. Probably because of the v iew from all windows, it took him five years.
Many others simply succumbed to the scene, and their typewriters and pens went limp Among them were Philip Barry . C. S Forester Hugh Walpole. Christopher Wren and Anita Loos — whose rollicking new memoir. ‘ Kiss Hollywood Good-By” was written in her apartment in New York, just above the roaring traffic's boom at Fifty-seventh and Seventh avenue Tom Costain was able to work in Bermuda, as his "The Tontine” attested So could Kenneth Roberts, who brought a divining rod wizard with him. But the wizard could find fresh water only by pointing the rod straight up toward the heavens There isnt any underfoot.
Rudyard Kipling and Christopher Morley came here to prove to their own satisfaction that Shakespeare was inspired to write "The Tempest” from accounts by William Strachey English colonial historian ( 1572-IH21). of the "still vex’d Bermoothes
lames Thurber loved Bermuda so much that, to the annoyance of his explosive Imiss. Harold Boss of the New Yorker magazine, he gave HO illustrated articles to the Bermudian magazine for free One was his hilarious "Extinct Animals of Bermuda" Illustrated by his wavering pen and affectionately described were "The Common Thome the "VYuffle t rested Bly and the "Woan or Larder Fox ’.
Percy Wins Fans in CR. Visit
Bermuda Charms Not Silencing All Writers
By Frank Nye
One way the federal government could help fight inflation would be to cut $1 billion out of the defense budget bv reducing U.S. support forces in foreign lands 2 4 percent.
That’s the opinion of I S Sen Charles Percy of Illinois, delivered at a news conference in Cedar Rapids last week Percy, a candidate for the 197H Republican presidential nomination, was in town to thump the tubs for the Second district congressional candidacy of State Sen Tom Riley of Cedar Rapids, at a fundraising dinner at till' Town House motel
And. though lie kept directing attention to Riley throughout the afternoon and evening, he also drew a lot of attention to himself as a prospective nominee
He comes across as a mon* " warm and appealing human being than he did when he first went to the senate in 19H7 following his "wonder boy” presidency of Bell and Howell Co.
In fact, Riley flatly declared that if Percy "meets enough people he’s a shoo-in for the 1978 nomination.”
Riley made the statement to reporters at the news conference in Percy's presence. Riley said he arrived at that conclusion after watching Percy operate at a cocktail party before the $25-a-plate dinner.
Among those attending th*' cocktail party were Republicans who. in the past, have considered Percy too much of a liberal for them, Riley said But after meeting and visiting with him, Riley went on, many came to tell him they had changed their impression of the deep-voiced Illinoisan Reporters found Percy to be highly articulate and willing to tackle any question they posed They were impressed with the manner in which he handled the questions, too
For example, he developed his reasoning why the defense budget could be cut without sacrificing strength by showing how one reduction already has developed strength.
A World war II navy vet. Percy said one thing that bugged him in service was that personnel were transferred often "Everytime I got to know a job well.” he said." I was transferred.”
This prompted a study on his part. which showed that professional navy personnel are transferred on the average of once every 17 months front the time an ensign leaves the naval academy at Annapolis until retirement.
That was a waste of manpower and experience. Percy said Thanks to his prodding personnel are now transferred less frequently, staying on a job once it is learned to the jaunt where experience pays off
As a result. Percy said, the military has been strength-
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Asked for his reaction to President Nixon's address on the national economy in California last week. Percy said the chief executive could have lieen "much more sjiecific and more inspirational — by letting people know we've get to do something about this together "
Once during his news con
ference hi* said the nation Kicks leadership. When reporters asked him to expand on this line, lie said "We can’t overlook tin* fact that Watergate is taking its toll when the President has to cancel an economic meeting to listen to the tapes before turning them over to the court."
Percy also displayed his ability to field questions when he took a mike and roamed
through the fund-raising dinner audience after completing his address.
Typical was his reply to one by Dudley Taylor of Cedar Rapids
Taylor wanted to know where Percy stands on retaining the right-to work law Percy said he feels this is a question for each state to decide on its own
There wouldn’t be a chance to [lass such a law iii Illinois, he said, but Iowa already has
one and should continue to have tin* right to have it without federal interference.
Asked from the audience if he is a 1978 presidential candidate, Percy replied:
"In I DUH at a private meeting Richard Nixon asked me lf I was going to run that year
"I told him I wasn’t because I didn’t feel I was qualified.
"I don’t foci that way now."
Apparently in the interests of his 1978 candidacy, Percy
sjierit Friday night in Des Moines so he could touch base with Gov Robert Kay in a tennis match they had scheduled for 8 a rn Saturday.
He predicted in Cedar Rapids (hat "Ray will win by a landslide” this fall If that happens. Ray will be Iowa s first fourth-term governor and in a commanding poaition to give Percy’s candidacy a lift if the Iowa chieftain decides to cast his lot with the Illinois senator.
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