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hospital. He went to a hotel, got a good night's sleep and tried to report for work the next day, even if he did have a broken arm too. And the worst of it was that his injury was all for nothing. The Mollisons cracked up in Bridgeport and never did get to Langley Field.
"Oh, yes ! Remember the stockyards fire in Chicago? Well, our boys there had a pretty hot time, too. They managed to get the sound truck inside the area and parked it next to a fire engine — a pumper, it was. Suddenly one of them got a hunch that it was time to get out of there. They had to get a bunch of firemen to pick up the truck bodily and help them carry it over the hose. Just a few minutes after they left with their pictures, a wall caved in and fell on the fire engine, which was burned to a cinder."
Then I left and went over to Paramount. There John Beecroft took me in tow.
"Have you got any men who've had experiences like Joe Gibson?" I asked him.
"Did you ever hear about Al Mingalone?" he asked. "The man who drove across Cuba with two of the revolutionary students?"
"No. What about him?"
"Well, Al was on the other side of the island when we assigned him to Havana, and he didn't have any way of getting there fast, so he found a couple of fellows with a car who said they were going there. After he got into the back seat, he found he was sharing it with enough ammunition to run a full-sized war. And the two students up in the front seat were a couple of playful cusses. Their idea of fun was to take their machine guns and mow down every horse or cow they passed on the road. When they got hungry or thirsty, they'd stop at a farm house and one of them would go in and ask for whatever they wanted. If they didn't get it, they'd cut loose at the house with their machine guns as they drove away. The farmers didn't take it lying down, either, but shot back, and Al was pretty busy ducking bullets.
"After about forty hours of this, they reached Havana, and Al got some good pictures of the riots.
SPEAKING of Havana, recently there was an attempt to assassinate Mendiega. Somebody took a bomb and put it in a camera case. Then they sent it to his office. I guess they knew that the government was friendly to the news men and didn't search them much. There was plenty of excitement when the bomb went off, though nobody was killed. But the next time the cameramen came to make some shots of an ABC demonstration, the police mobbed them and smashed all their equipment. They even arrested them and held them in jail for about five hours while they investigated their credentials.
"Hold on a minute ! Here comes Al Mingalone now. He'll tell you all about that trip with the students."
But Al was too modest to talk. Being a hero embarrassed him. "Aw," he said, "it wasn't anything. Just a wild ride."
We insisted that he tell us something, some narrow escape from death. Finally he agreed.
"It was at the auto races out in Indianapolis," said Al. "I had a camera set up outside on a bad turn. One of the cars got a blowout there and stopped, so a bunch of the crew started pushing it off the track. Then another car got a blowout about the same place and hit the first car. I didn't see any of this, because I was looking in the finder of my camera, and the first thing I knew something white blocked it out. It was one of the guys who was pushing the first car, and
the other car knocked him way up in the air. I didn't realize what happened until chunks of car began falling around me. I got dirt and oil all over me, but I wasn't hurt any. It wasn't anything to talk about. So you've got your story. So long."
Beecroft took up the story again. "There was Henry de Sienna," he said, "who had a pretty wild time of it during the last strike in Pennsylvania. Henry set up his camera on the roof of a building, and both the cops and the strikers took after him. They must have seen the tripod and thought he had a machine gun. The cops figured he was a striker and started shooting at him, and the strikers thought he was a Company Guard and began tossing rocks at him. Finally both the strikers and the cops got together and chased him out of town."
AND then I went on to Fox, where I had the good luck to run into Jack Kuhne, who heads their staff of flying cameramen.
"Oh, nothing much ever happened to me. I nearly fell out of a bomber once, though. It was like this.
"I went down to the government proving grounds, where they make the tests of ordnance, in Aberdeen, Maryland, and looked up a friend of mine, Major Daniels. I told him I wanted to get a good bombing shot, and he agreed to let one of his planes bomb an abandoned twostory house that was on the grounds.
"I'll let you in on a little secret, too. We put a three hundred and fifty pound demolition bomb in the basement of the house, with wires running to a control box a few hundred feet away, just to make sure of getting a good explosion, in case the bombs missed.
"Well, I had to take my picture from the bomb bay, right under the bomb rack, with two good hundred pound bombs and two duds for range finding. The legs of the tripod were pulled out as far as they would go and strapped tightly to the rack, and I was leaning out as far as I could, with a good broad safety belt holding my weight, and just my legs from the knees down inside the plane. I leaned out once and set the camera, came back in while we circled for altitude, and then leaned out again. Somehow or other, the patent catch on my safety belt had come undone, and I just fell out of the plane.
"I was stopped by the crank of the camera catching in my 'chute harness. But there I was, held fast. I couldn't get out and join the Caterpillar Club, and I couldn't get back in, and the pilot up front couldn't see me, so he didn't know anything was wrong. It seemed like an hour that I hung there, before I was able to grab hold of the bomb rack and gradually work my way back into the plane, and the people below were mighty lucky I didn't catch hold of one of the bomb releases.
"No sooner was I back in than the pilot waggled the plane to signal that we were approaching the house, and I had to snap that same untrustworthy buckle again and trust myself to the belt.
"Funny, we dropped a dud first for range and made a direct hit on the house. Then we dumped one of the live bombs, missed the house by a hundred feet and blew a thirty-foot crater in the road. The next two bombs whizzed by my head right to the house, the boys below touched off the demolition bomb and we got a great picture."
YOU fellows always get your picture, don't you?" "Not quite always. I'll tell you about one time a cameraman missed out. An