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Five women

Jackie Robinson's Sports Shots 
Five women 

circa 1959


JACKIE ROBINSON, host/interviewer




ANN EASTHAM, heavy Southern accent


NOTE: Transcripts of brief interviews (less than three minutes each) from the syndicated series (also known as "Jackie Robinson's Radio Shots") hosted by baseball great Jackie Robinson.


Miss Greta Andersen gets greased.

ROBINSON: Today my guest will be Miss Greta Andersen, one of the greatest distance swimmers of our times. I'll be talking with Greta Andersen about her plans just as soon as we have this important message.


ROBINSON: Well, Miss Andersen, I'd like to know just a little bit about your plans of swimming the Channel both ways.

ANDERSEN: Well, I tell you, Jackie, I'm gonna leave for Italy and I'm gonna swim from Capri to Naples -- sort of a workout swim. You can't just go and decide you want to swim the Channel over and back; you have to have quite a few races behind you and a couple of thirty-mile workouts in. So I'm going to take the opportunity to swim the Capri-Naples first and, from there on, I'm going to go to Copenhagen where my parents live and train in the colder water. I tell you, the water over here in the United States is sort of warm and the Channel is anywhere from fifty-five to sixty degree'. So if I train in Copenhagen's harbor where the water is usually fifty-three, fifty-four, even the Channel is going to feel warm after that.

ROBINSON: Mm hm. Well, let me find out this, then. You're talking a great deal about training. How much training does it take for a person to prepare themself for the swimming of the Channel both ways?

ANDERSEN: Well, I've been swimming now fifteen years. Uh, ten of the years was in amateur swimming; a sprinter. Now I'm bein' professional. This is gonna be my fifth year. I feel lots of training, lots of experience -- it was count'. I've had 'proximately five races a year, so approximately twenty-five races I have been in now, and they're all anywhere from twenty-five to forty-two miles.

ROBINSON: Mm hm. Now, the interesting thing to me about the swimming of the Channel both ways is that you say the tide changes, uh, every six hours or so.

ANDERSEN: Yes, in the Channel the tide would change every six hours, so that means if you're gonna swim one way-- I'm gonna start from Cap Gris Nez and go to Dover. That is the way the race go', because I like to go in the competition. I've been fortunately enough to win it and beat the men two years in a row, and I like to try if I can do it again. Uh, you ask me about the currents. Well, every six hour, it change, so it's a matter of - of getting over there fast. I hope not to do it slower than ten hours, ten and a half hour', because if I do, I'm gonna have quite a bit of trouble in the middle. I'd like to be pretty close to the French coast when I meet the strong currents because apparently I can't get around not being able to stand still maybe four to five hours without moving. See, the currents might go two - two miles an hour and I swim two and a quarter, so I'd only move maybe a quarter of a mile an hour for three to four hours to be able to make it until the tide would die down again.

ROBINSON: Miss Greta Anderson, I want to wish you continued success and when you get out there in the Channel against the men, I hope you do come in first, and I hope that the currents won't be too rough on your return trip.

And that just about does it for now, fans. See you soon.



Miss Pat Suzuki and Mr. Frank Sinatra.

ROBINSON: Today my guest will be popular Miss Pat Suzuki, the Broadway star who is also a recording and television favorite. Pat and I are not gonna talk about show business because Pat wants to talk about her favorite sport -- baseball. We'll begin talking about baseball right after this important message.


ROBINSON: Pat, the thing that amazes me here-- I was told by your manager that, uh, you have somewhat of a - a sports background. This interests me here. How tall are you anyway?

SUZUKI: (CHUCKLES) I'm four eleven, and he kids about my hitting a single off of Freddie Hutchinson.


SUZUKI: But, uh, I really don't play that well.


SUZUKI: It was a lucky--

ROBINSON: Yeah, well, I'm told also that another sports figure played an important part in your first, uh, big-time performance actually -- Leo Durocher.

SUZUKI: Oh! Well, I didn't know that it-- That this person was Leo, but it was my first network show and it was with Frank Sinatra, and this fellow with a pale yellow cashmere sweater--


SUZUKI: --and I should have recognized it from that -- came over and he said, (DEEP-VOICED DRAWL) "Don't worry about a thing, son" -- you know?


SUZUKI: (DEEP-VOICED DRAWL) "You're gonna do all right, and this is big league now, and there's nothin' to do but just relax and sing."


SUZUKI: And I thought, (WHO IS THIS GUY?) "Ohhhh, well--"


SUZUKI: (CHUCKLES) But he was very, very nice and - and very encouraging, and it turned out to be Leo Durocher.

ROBINSON: When I was in Japan, I had a great time. Um, we were over there with the Dodgers and - and I've never seen a more friendly and a more warm, uh, group of people--

SUZUKI: (HIGHLY AMUSED) They like baseball! 


SUZUKI: (CHUCKLES) You're a favorite of theirs, Jackie.

ROBINSON: That - that was very true, Pat, but, uh, I know when we were over there, we were-- We were worried because somebody said, "Don't go up into, um, uh, Hiroshima," where the bombings were--

SUZUKI: Mm hm.

ROBINSON: --because there was a great resentment of Americans. The only thing that we found is that - that they want to be tremendously friendly and warm--


ROBINSON: --and it was a wonderful feeling, as far as I was concerned.

SUZUKI: (VERY SERIOUS) Well, I think understanding does come through suffering, er, Jackie, and - and so when they come in contact with -- and you come in contact with -- people that - that we've lately had the great war with, it's something that - that, uh, uh-- They're grateful that it's over and - and they're willing and - and want, of course, peace and - and, uh, uh, security again--


SUZUKI: --and human relationships.

ROBINSON: I hope you didn't mind my getting, uh--

SUZUKI: Oh, no, it's very important to me, Jackie, because-- Of course, I was pretty young when the war happened and, uh, uh, it's important for me to understand how people feel about it.

ROBINSON: Pat, may I say that, uh, you have to continue being a tremendous success--

SUZUKI: Oh, thank you.

ROBINSON: I know it's been - it's been fun for me, and I'm sure my listeners will agree. I appreciate it very much.

SUZUKI: (VERY WARMLY) Oh, thank you very much for inviting me. I'm glad that I could finally meet one of my heroes.

ROBINSON: Well, this makes it all--

SUZUKI: And I admire you very much.



ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Pat.

That does it for now, fans! See you soon.



Jinx Falkenberg.

ROBINSON: Today I'm pleased to have as my guest Jinx Falkenberg, a beautiful woman of many talents. Jinx has been a tennis star, a movie star, and, with her husband Tex McCrary, formed one of television's most popular interview teams. Just seeing her handsome smiling face again brings back so many wonderful memories. I'd like to rekindle some of these memories and reminisce about the good old days with Jinx. And I will, right after we hear this important message.


ROBINSON: Jinx, thanks loads for taking the time to come by and say hello to our audience.

FALKENBERG: Jackie, it's so good to see you again. You know, many times we've been on opposite sides of the microphone, but I've usually been doing the asking--


FALKENBERG: --and I've enjoyed all the stories of your life, which I feel I know quite well, so it's very good to see you again.

ROBINSON: Well, we have had many, many wonderful interviews. I recall the most interesting ones, as far as I'm concerned, is when you would come over to the ballpark with the boys and we'd sit down and chat -- the boys in the dugout -- and real rabid Dodger fans. I've never seen anybody who was so interested in the Dodgers like the boys.

FALKENBERG: Oh, they were crazy about the Brooklyn Dodgers--


FALKENBERG: Not the Los Angeles Dodgers now so much. It was when they were in Brooklyn, when we were able to go to the ballpark and -- once in a while, as you said -- go to the dugout and interview the players and that was of course terribly exciting and I think added something special to their interest in the Dodgers.

ROBINSON: Mm. Jinx, you are sports-minded; tennis and very active. Are the boys at all active in sports?

FALKENBERG: Ohhh, boy, are they active! I'm so stiff I can hardly move today--


FALKENBERG: --from having played not touch football, as they used to play, but tackle football with them.


FALKENBERG: And Paddy, who's thirteen, was water boy for the Baltimore Colts, the football team. 


FALKENBERG: He was with them all summer for eight weeks and, uh-- Oh, it was a marvelous experience for him. I think now his interest has gone from baseball to football.

ROBINSON: Oh, fine.

FALKENBERG: But he's quite a good football player. He was on the PBC, Police Boys' Club team, last year that won the Eastern league--

ROBINSON: Oh, yeah. Huh.

FALKENBERG: --playing halfback.


FALKENBERG: And, uh, so I guess-- He wants to go to the school that has, you know, good football. Everything is in terms of sports for him.


FALKENBERG: And for Kevin, too, but he's a little younger and not quite as strong, so he doesn't have that rabid enthusiasm that Paddy has.

ROBINSON: Well, that'll never hurt 'em, I'll say that. If they can get interested in sports and learn at this very early age how to win, how to lose, it's very important, I think.

FALKENBERG: How to lose. That's - that's the most important, isn't it?

ROBINSON: Right. Well, I think Little League baseball, Jinx, is trying to teach this. Most of the kids in our particular league are learning this. Our coaches want to win, but they're teaching the importance of losing, too, and I think it can be very valuable for the kids. Well, Jinx, I just want to say once again how much I'm pleased that you would take the time to come by and say hello, and wish the boys well for me and give my regards to Tex, too.

FALKENBERG: Thank you very much, Jackie. And if I should go back to work, I want you to be my first guest.

ROBINSON: Well, I would love it. 


ROBINSON: Thank you very much.

Well, that just about does it for now, fans. See you soon.



Miss Ann Eastham and Dimah the Diving Horse.

ROBINSON: Today my guest is a very attractive young lady who answers to the name of Ann Eastham. You'd never know it by looking at Ann, but she has one of the most unusual and daring occupations around. I'll begin my interview with Miss Ann Eastham immediately following this important message.


ROBINSON: Miss Eastham, they tell me that you have one of the most unusual jobs in the world. Would you mind telling our audience about it?

EASTHAM: I work for George Hamid at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In his water show there on the pier, I ride the high-diving horse, which is a featured attraction of the water show.

ROBINSON: A high-diving horse?


ROBINSON: How high do you go up?

EASTHAM: Anywhere from fifty to seventy-five feet.

ROBINSON: And you dive into water?

EASTHAM: Into a tank, which is about twenty feet in diameter and eleven feet deep.

ROBINSON: Why would a young lady like you choose a profession like this? Are you supporting yourself? Are you trying to go to college with this money, or what is it?

EASTHAM: (CHUCKLES) I'm attending Florida State University in Tallahassee and I needed money for my tuition and books and everything at college and, uh, the job pays pretty well -- and I've always done things similar to this; I did trick horseback riding and work similar -- and I - I just needed the money to go to school.

ROBINSON: I see. What are you majoring in down at Florida State?


ROBINSON: (CHUCKLES) Majoring in speech to ride horses?


ROBINSON: Uh huh. Do you ride one particular horse or do you have a number of them?

EASTHAM: No, uh, we have three that are trained now. 'Course, every horse's style is different and until you get to know each style and know more or less what to expect from each horse, it's a little hard, but after you learn-- not exactly what to expect, but more or less what to expect, then it's easier to ride.

ROBINSON: Is it dangerous really?

EASTHAM: It could be, yes.


EASTHAM: Uh, but it's like anything. You have to take the proper precautions.

ROBINSON: Have you ever been injured?

EASTHAM: Yes, but not seriously. I've had a black eye, and bruises and scratches, and a pulled muscle. That's about it.

ROBINSON: Mm. How much time do you spend rehearsing for this particular act of yours?

EASTHAM: I didn't rehearse at all. She has a low tower that you can go off of -- the girls that are just starting -- but I knew I had to go off the high one sooner or later, so I just cut out a step and the first dive I did was in a show.

ROBINSON: Then, uh, it's the horse that needs the training, not so much--?

EASTHAM: Yes. Right. The girls just have to have nerve, I guess.

ROBINSON: Uh huh. Well, I want to say, uh, good luck to you, and I hope that you never have any problems when you're up there, and thank you very much.

EASTHAM: I'll really try. Thank you, it's been a pleasure.

ROBINSON: And that just about does it for now, fans. See you soon.



Mrs. Alice Lord Landon. 

ROBINSON: My guest today will be Alice Landon, a truly great aquatic star who established many swimming records in the early twenties. We'll meet this charming and active lady immediately following this important message.


ROBINSON: Mrs. Landon, I'd like to find out about this swimming across the, uh-- What channel was this? The--?

LANDON: This was Long Island Sound.


LANDON: Well, my father was sort of a - enthusiast for swimming, of sports of all kinds, and he taught me to swim before I could walk, I guess. And one year he decided it would be a smart thing to have me swim across Long Island Sound to show that women had endurance. So I was thirteen years old and this one day I went out with my coach and father and they rowed across to Glen Cove and they said, "Jump in, Alice, and swim partway over." So they never told me to get out, and the next thing I knew I was on the other side.

ROBINSON: How long did it take you?

LANDON: That time it took about five and a half hours. I was swimming uphill all the way. This cross-current kept taking me downstream and as I tried to get back to Rye Beach where I started, I just never made it. So when father and the coach said, "Alice swam the Sound," everybody said, (HAUGHTY SKEPTICISM) "Well, she left here in a boat and she came back in a boat!"


LANDON: "What do you mean she swam the Sound?" So my tongue was hanging out with thirst and hunger and I was tired, and father said, (JOVIAL CONFIDENCE) "That's all right. She'll do it again next week."

ROBINSON: (LAUGHS) You enjoyed that, I know.

LANDON: So the next week I did it. And, uh, I did it in three hours and forty-five minutes.

ROBINSON: You improved almost two hours?

LANDON: Well, I learned that you couldn't try and swim straight across. The first half you had to swim up and then straight across and the cross-current brought you down. You swam in a "V."

ROBINSON: Mmm. I - I think it was Florence Chadwick who was telling me that when she was trying to swim the Channel, there were certain parts of it that she would just be swimming and - and going nowhere.

LANDON: That's absolutely true, and it's most frustrating. (CHUCKLES)

ROBINSON: I can imagine. Especially when you're out in the water the number of hours you were. And certainly in trying to swim the Channel, the English Channel--

LANDON: Well, those days, before we had the six- and the eight-beat and ten-beat crawl, and-- I swam the Australian crawl, which is considerably, uh, slower.

ROBINSON: Was it--? Is the waters as cold here as they claim they are in the - in the English Channel?

LANDON: I believe not.


LANDON: I - I don't-- I think that English Channel, which I've never tried, was - is colder than most anything we'd have.

ROBINSON: Mrs. Landon, I want to certainly thank you very much for taking the time to come by here.

LANDON: I want to tell you that it's wonderful to talk to you, and I think sportsmen of all different -- every - every sport you can think of -- can get along together and just talk as easily as you and I, even though we'd never met before.

ROBINSON: And that just about does it for now, fans. See you soon.