Jewish World Review April 17, 2013/ 7 Iyar, 5773
My Bill Mauldin story, or: A tale of two vets
By Paul Greenberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Vet,
Thanks for the memories, specifically the biographical sketch of
I worked in a cubicle across from his office when I was an editorial writer at the
Those were the days when we had 'em coming and going, morning and evening, the working stiffs on the South Side in the morning, then at the end of the workday the snap-brim commuters on the
I never exchanged more than a respectful nod with Mauldin, not wanting to trouble him. To me he was still the glorious cherub who gave us Willie and Joe, the two dogfaces who were the real faces of his war. And he was still uncompromising -- and giving the brass fits.
The cartoonists were the best parts of the Field papers' opinion section. (
I was tickled when Mauldin backed a rugged old Marine named
My boss thoughtfully arranged for me to have lunch with Mr. Percy -- so I would be suitably impressed and wax a little more enthusiastic about Our Candidate.
When I returned, he asked me, expectantly, how I had found Mr. Percy. "Easy," I replied. "I just looked down and there he was."
My admiration for Sen. Douglas was scarcely enough to influence the paper's choice of candidates in that election. I still shudder at the memory of those daily editorial conferences, which were never complete until any and all original ideas had been drained of any bite, and sufficiently diluted to achieve the correct degree of blandness that seemed required of our editorials. Until they had the drone of conventional platitudes, the taste of beer gone flat, the sound of sonorous nothings. The best that could be said of them was that they were inoffensive, which is also the worst thing that can be said of an editorial.
As you can imagine, I didn't stay long at the
When I got back to
Lest we forget: The experts, the sophisticates, the David Halberstams and Sydney Schanbergs and the rest of the Pulitzer Prize-winning crowd at the
We would leave, all right, and the boat people and "re-education" camps and killing fields would follow.
What a team they made, grizzled old Sen. Douglas and ever-young cartoonist Mauldin. The old battle-hardened giant with hands the size of catcher's mitts and the baby-faced kid even in middle age.
I better quit now. Just thinking about those two, I'm starting to tear up. And that won't do for an
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