Radio stars (May 1933)

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RADIO STARS How Sherlock Holmes Cot On the Air which she writes each week. Or how many of you drink the coffee branded George W ashington because of her. THE work she does is amazing, and the way in which she does it. One of her first programs was a thing called "The Adventures of Polly Preston." Sort of a "Perils of Pauline," if you remember back to that early movie thriller. So enthusiastic was Miss Meiser about Polly and a secret service pal of hers, that she took them abroad, (in the Radio Story, of course) hurried them all over Europe in a mad, bad ad- venture . . . and realized too late that she was an immoral influence to Amer- ican youth. You see, Polly and her boy friend were unmarried, yet here they were going places and doing things in Europe without even a chaperone. Fortunately, Edith discovered her error before an army of aroused mamas rose to wreck her studio. (Continued from page 38) Probably, you have heard "Evening in Paris" on the air. She wrote those scripts. Or "Dromedary Caravan." Those, too. But they gave her trouble; the latter, I mean. For instance, she took her hero and heroine into the Arabian desert, a region never before visited by white men. What was the locale of the place? Were there sand dunes, mountains, lava, rock scrub, bush, oasis? She didn't know and no one in the libraries or museums could tell her. Fretting and worrying, she tried to write the story. Her sponsor insisted on having the scene in this particular unexplored locality. She was on die verge of a jitter-jag when she got relief. It was a book just off the press from the pen of Bertram Thomas, a fine thick book. Bertram Thomas had just crossed the Arabian desert, the first time in history. With that fine, thick volume, Edith locked herself in a room. And read and read and read. The next programs she wrote for Dromedary Caravans were amazing masterpieces. I wish you could see her at work. "Two days in bed," she explains when you ask how long it takes her to do a script. She won't work anywhere else. Once, she had an office. But it was too small for a desk and a bed, too. When she writes, she is alone except for Doctor Watson. He supervises everything. Doctor Watson is a Scotch terrier. When he first became supervisor, he was a sort of censor, too. Chewed up scenes Miss Meiser had carefully prepared and left the mangled scraps on the carpet. Nowadays, he's more considerate; just chews the eras- ers off her pencils. Which is evidence of a high critical faculty, I think. Erasers on pencils are for people who make mistakes. And Edith Meiser, like Sherlock Holmes, doesn't make many. Seth Parker Goes to Sea This past year, I think most of his friends have wondered what Phil Lord would do with his money. He had never earned much, remember. His humble start in a small Connecticut town had given him no background of wealth. Would it spoil him? Or would he, like so many others, become its slave? To- day, I can answer that question. Not in so many words, for words are slip- pery, deceptive things; but in telling you what Phil Lord has done. First, he bought the "Georgette." All 186 feet of her, all 866 tons. He set a date for his departure—this summer, certainly. And then he wrote letters to his old friends, inviting them to go along. With this result: one of his passen- gers will be the man who was principal of the Plainville, Connecticut, school when Phil first played hookey. The fel- low who coached Phil's first football team is going along. So is Phil's col- lege roommate. And a handful of the home-town boys with whom he used to play marbles and run-sheep-run. Do you get what I'm driving at? It is just this: Phil Lord is doing so much more than just bringing his own dream into reality. He is taking these others who would never have had this chance. He is making their dreams come true. I THINK such generosity is typical of the man America loves as Seth Parker. Here is something else you probably don't know. Not that it has anything to do with Seth's going to sea . . . but it reveals the man. In the United States and Canada are approxi- mately 300 Seth Parker Clubs, groups formed to listen to his Sunday night programs, to sing and worship with (Continued from page 19) him. Last month, those clubs distributed 1,500 barrels of food to hungry people. And 2,550 articles of clothing to un- employed sufferers. They gave fifty-four entertainments for raising more funds with which to buy more food. They gave school children 12,000 free meals. And 8,400 quarts of milk. These are things you can put your hands on; con- crete evidence of the man's inspiration. And now, you must be wondering what will happen to Seth Parker's Sun- day programs while he is away. This is his plan: they will continue as before, with but one small change. Ma Parker, is not going with Seth, you see. She remains behind, just as the womenfolk of Jonesport always remain behind when their men go down to the sea. She will lead the hymn sings in Seth's place. And each week, possibly by short wave radio which his schooner will carry or by telegraphy or cable, Seth will speak or send a message to those friends of his who have gathered for the evening at his home. That is the plan, now. It may be altered in some way on account of later developments, but you'll still have Seth Parker. AAORE, much more, than a mere de- sire to travel sends Phil Lord across the meridian. With him, he will have motion picture apparatus, sound recording machines, all the gadgets and whatsits that science can provide for catching the essence of other civiliza- tions and canning it. He wants to observe other breeds of men and women in their villages, sing- ing their own folk songs as his Jones- port neighbors sing theirs. He expects to bring these songs back and it wouldn't at all surprise me to hear them played on the air next year as a part of his Sunday night hymn sing. Well, he will come as near to realiz- ing his dream as any man ever does. As master of the ship he owns, he will direct Captain Flink, the Esthonian sea- dog who has driven "The Georgette" through all of the seven seas, to most of the world's forbidden paradises. THE schedule . . . July 1, Morocco; August 1, Cairo; then the Suez Canal, Yemen in Arabia, and Aden; September 15, Columbo in Ceylon; then to Burma and up the Irawaddy past Rangoon to Mandalay; Siam and Cambodia with its lost cities; November 12, Nicobar Island, where the natives live in trees; Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, and Bali, called "Lost Paradise"; Australia in January; Guinea, and Rennel Island, ruled entirely by women; Fiji, Samoa, and finally, before returning to New York, he will visit South America. Before the salt-crusted "Seth Parker" or whatever he may call his ship, comes rolling home from Rio, Phil and his friends will have had many a soul- stirring experience. Fishing in mid- ocean, whale-chasing in the speed boat he plans to swing aboard the "Georg- ette," filming head-hunters in their na- tive haunts. And to the gods of many a race and creed, during his absence, will be offered many a prayer for his safe return. For Seth Parker knows no creed or caste. His philosophy is the philosophy of hu- manity. And Phil Lord, his creator, is just that kind of man. To him, we say, "God speed, and may His blessing go with you." 40