Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

The Passing Parade - Program 57

The Passing Parade

Program 57

Aug 03 1944

T H E  P A S S I N G  P A R A D E


Thursday, August 3, 1944 

CBS 4:15-4:30 PM PWT 

CBS 8:15-8:30 PM PWT 

Script #368C


ANNCR: CHESTERFIELD brings you.......John....Nesbitt! in.....THE PASSING.....PARADE!


ANNCR: Chesterfield, the cigarette that satisfies because of RIGHT COMBINATION-WORLDS BEST TOBACCOS presents each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening the "3000 YEAR NEWSPAPER OF HUMAN ADVENTURE" which stars the celebrated story teller of our time - JOHN NESBITT! 



NESBITT: Good evening ladies and gentlemen...for August 3rd, 1944 and the Fifty seventh Edition of our PASSING PARADE....for CHESTERFIELD.

With the great news of the time going so well for us and so rottenly for the enemy, we take tonight as a chance to pick up a number of very human stories that during the past week or two have been shouted down by the Headlines... 

...a little item from a New Hampshire newspaper giving an account of witnesses reporting having seen the WHITE WOMAN OF THE ISLAND OF SHOALS again this summer. The WHITE WOMAN is a first class American ghost. 

The figure of a woman in a white gown has been appearing there, so they say, for more than two centuries. No one knows her name, but history records that on the second of August, 1716, she was kidnapped from her native home in Scotland by a buccaneer, and taken to the ISLE OF SHOALS, off New Hampshire, which was at that time a refuge for pirates. The man who kidnapped her cheerfully broke into her house, shot her father through the head, and carried the girl off to his ship.

After a few weeks at sea, the story goes, the girl came to accept facts as facts, and by the time the pirate reached the coast of America, and landed to bury his spoils on the ISLAND OF SHOALS, the two were in love.

During the month of May, this pirate and his sweetheart roamed the Island. Returning to the beach one evening, they saw the ship was being attacked by a British Man o' War. The STRANGER, as this pirate was known to his friends, told the girl to stay on the Island...

on the Island...made her swear to remain there until he returned...and under cover of the night, he paddled out alone to take command of his ship. The pirates fought well, but they were outnumbered, and the British crew boarded them. Seeing defeat and sure sentence of hanging in the English courts ahead of him, THE STRANGER leaped down the companionway, down into the hold of his own vessel, poked the muzzle of his pistol into one of the powder kegs and pulled the trigger. In the explosion that followed both the pirate ship and the Man of War were blown to bits.....relics of them were found along the New Hampshire coast for a hundred years....and with the explosion, all but three of the men were killed. These survivors escaped only to die of starvation on the lonely ISLAND OF SHOALS, as did also the woman who had been left to wait THE STRANGER'S return. 

But her ghost, now called THE WHITE LADY, still sits on the rocks by the sea, and watches for THE STRANGER to return......and there are men who live along that coast today in 1944, and camp on the Island in summers, who will black your eye if you call them liars for insisting this story is true.


And since the WHITE LADY has carried us comfortably back to the past, we might note from the PASSING PARADE calendar that it was seventy four years ago that the Mayor of the wild and woolly town of ABILENE, TEXAS began looking around for a new Sheriff to take the place of the last one, who had suddenly resigned the job. He had resigned, you might say, under pressure, because he was as full of bullet holes as a sieve and had just been reverently buried in the town cemetery.

The Mayor of ABILENE found a tall, handsome, blue eyed young man of 32 years of age, who had the reputation of being not only the best looking but the toughest hombre in Texas. Six feet one inch tall, broad shoulders, straight as a guardsman, one of the best riders known, his name was Wild Bill Hickok. "How tough are ya"? asked the Mayor. "Why", said Bill, "just to give you an idea, in that little fracas up at Rock Creek Ranch, I walked away with 11 bullets in me. Ten men charged me. I killed 'em. Everyone, singlehanded." "Pretty good," said the Mayor, "how good a shot are ya?" "Well, sir, up at the Wilme Creek fight a while back I had just 50 cartridges left. I fired fifty times. Killed fifty men." "You're hired," said the Mayor. "From now on, watch out for yourself:".

Wild Bill Hickok thereupon became Marshall of Abilene, Texas and from that moment on he never sat with his back to a door: never played cards unless his chair was right against the wall: never went around a corner of a street without taking a wide sweep to avoid being surprised: never went to sleep at night without taking his two revolvers to bed with him and scattering crumpled newspapers all over the floor so that no one could get in without rustling them and awakening him. And because of all these precautions, he set something of a record for the Peace Officers of the Old West..he lived for six years before he was killed. 

Sixty eight years ago this week, Wild Bill forgot one of his own rules:...in the Mann & Lewis bar in Deadwood, North Dakota, he sat down with his back to the door playing poker..a moment of carelessness......

....one second later a shot rang out fired by Jack McCall over a $3.50 card debt, and the great Peace Marshall became one of the Legends of the American West.

But actually most of the stories of his prowess are nothing but yarns thought up by Wild Bill himself - he said he had killed over a hundred men, but as a matter of fact during his entire career as Marshall, he killed just two. He ruled his territory, you see, with the propaganda of his reputation, which is an infinitely mightier weapon than a gun.

So the bullet fired into his back took out of the Parade not only one of its greatest Peace Officers, but one of its most delightful liars of all time!


And we'll come to the Chesterfield minute here, and then move to the chief figure of tonights review.


And speaking of Chesterfield, if you are a person who would like to make a fine living from the soil, you might try growing tobacco. We sometimes think that the necessities like wheat or fruit are the most profitable crops to a farmer, but as a matter of fact tobacco is, for the amount of land it covers, one of the most valuable living things ever grown here in America.

However, if you got some tobacco seed, scratched around in your backyard and planted it, and got some of it growing at last..you'd find that no expert would buy it from you at all; it takes some of the world's beet farmers to grow tobacco satisfactorily.

Yet Tobacco Farming, like treasure hunting, has attracted men for centuries....though only the hard working and the skillful can survive. From the first burning over of the soil, to sterilize it for the seedbed, to the hanging of the last leaf in your curing barn, there are a hundred and one things that can go wrong and hurt the quality of your crop; and when it comes to auction time a Chesterfield buyer will pass your tobaccos by entirely, if they are not virtually perfect. 

This has come about through the American demand for gentle, cool smoking blends of tobacco, and the fact that such cigarettes as Chesterfield have led them to expect it.

A Chesterfield will fulfill that desire, every single time..because its buyers are restricted to the WORLD'S BEST TOBACCO, and its famous secret blend insures a RIGHT COMBINATION of them before they become the cigarette we know. So always...THEY SATISFY!


Returning to the Parade, I suppose that one of the saddest feelings that nearly all of us share together, is the knowledge that comes to you after your hair is getting grey, that you have never had time to do the things you really loved the most. Whether you drive a taxi in Brooklyn or push a plow across the great plains or are so rich that you can't even count your money...there is always that thing...the trip to South America you could never make; the pictures you wanted to learn how to paint; the house you wanted to build...and all the rest of it. 

So I like to think about Bill Edmondson, of Tennessee. White-haired, bent shoulders, his skin black as ebony, his eyes wrinkled from a long weary lifetime of hard labor in the sun. No schooling, no money...not a chance. Only an old colored share cropper with his corn to hoe.

Yet, and this is not as I tell it, but as he explains it himself...forty-three years ago, Bill Edmondson was chopping away at the weeds in a Tennessee cornfield when he straightened up to get the kinks out of his back, leaned on his hoe and looked up at the sky. And way up there, says William, up on the east side of a big bright sunlit cloud, was none other than the figure of the Lord.

William, of course, was astonished, and he says he began to tremble. But then the Lord spoke to him. 

"William" said the Lord, "I want you to mind what I say. For if you mind me now, someday when you are old enough and smart enough, I'm going to show you how to work some miracles."

So the little negro boy listened. He decided to obey the Bible and be a very good man all of his life.

When he was young he says that once he was offered a drink from a bottle of gin. And the voice of the Lord sounded in his ears. "NO! William! Don't you touch it!" So William didn't. The Voice stopped him from all kinds of trouble and wrong doing.

All of his life, this colored man who cannot read or write says he has been guided by the Lord's voice, and he simply and trustfully waited for the promised time when he would be shown how to work a miracle. Cultivating a garden patch, he waited throughout the years.

In 1933 he was still bending over a hoe. Then he heard the Lord's voice "WILLIAM" The time has come! The aging Laborer bowed his head. "Now William, you go and get yourself a piece of marble, a piece of FINE white marble!

And William Edmondson, in the year 1933, took up a sculptors chisel and mallet, and began tapping at a block of marble. As he worked, the chips fell off and a figure slowly appeared in the stone. The heavenly Voice always seemed to him to be guiding. "No William, that's a little too big in the middle..Smooth it down fine, now! That's right..that's right William!"

Humming as he worked, and sometimes shouting out a happy PRAISE THE LAWD! the negro tapped away. And after a while, a little white statue of an angel developed under his chisel..which was to Edmondson's eyes beautiful beyond all words. Very proudly he set up the crude little statue in his yard. "It's a miracle sure," he said, "can't nobody do this but me. The LAWD shows me how!"

Of course I cannot say he literally heard voices, as he claims...but he certainly believes this, and is very strong in his faith.

More and more carvings grew under his dark calloused hands. He filled the yard with them. Cherubs and funny little ministers with plump stomachs, doves, ladies with bustles, little goats with woolly heads, and smiling angels with great spreading wings of stone. These all resembled, of course, the figures he had seen as a boy in the old cemeteries of the South, which are filled with examples of native craftsmanship.

The grass and weeds grew up around these statues, nobody bought them, and nobody paid any attention. William however, went on humming and carving. 

But in 1937, a long shiny black automobile drew up before his shanty, and some men in expensive city clothes stepped out. For two hours they stood in the yard among those stone figures, and when they left, the name of Will Edmondson went out on the teletypes of the news services of the world. Three newsreel companies arrived to photograph the work and record an interview with William which you might remember having seen at the movies.

The men were directors of one of the great art museums of New York, and they called the bent, aged negro one of the leading primitive sculptors of our time. 

I haven't heard very much about William Edmondson since then but on the last occasion I was able to check, he had simply gone back to his work in the yard, tapping away at chunks of marble, and now and then raising his head to shout...."PRAISE THE LAWD!"

Mr. Carpenter reminds us that its time for another smoke now, and we'll be back with a special announcement in just a moment.


ANNOUNCER: CHESTERFIELD gives you a genuine satisfaction that means a lot to you smokers. Yes, friends, CHESTERFIELD, more than any other cigarette gives you the things that count. Real mildness.....Better taste...and a Cooler more refreshing smoke. The reason can be told in just five key words -- RIGHT COMBINATION -- WORLD'S BEST TOBACCOS. Next time ask for CHESTERFIELD. It's the cigarette that really satisfies.


May I beg you all to listen, yet once more after all of these times, to the reasons that we should and must go out and buy another war bond now. And these are selfish reasons: that a War Bond is the safest investment in the world, and for every three dollars you lend to your struggling nation now, you will receive four dollars back.

If you have a soldier who is coming home, the bonds you are buying now will give him his chance in the future. That is quite a bit more of an act of love than waving a flag over him, calling him a returned hero, and then letting him sweat out penniless years. If you put your extra money into Bonds, you can buy bargains in the future years; if you spend that money now, you will buy at skyscraper prices, and you'll sell out at the basement. YES! Selfish reasons for buying War Bonds. But that is the one kind of self-interest, that is of the uttermost service to us all. In honor, in love, and in self-interest--BUY ANOTHER WAR BOND RIGHT NOW.


NESBITT: (continued) Until next Tuesday evening at this hour, when we broadcast again for CHESTERFIELD -- this is John Nesbitt, bidding a very good evening...to you all! 


ANNOUNCER: And this Ken Carpenter with a final reminder that one invisible ingredient in a CHESTERFIELD is the reputation of the maker who promises that you cannot buy a better cigarette anywhere! 

And if your preference is for a pipeful of contentment, you will find that GRANGER PIPE TOBACCO, made by the famous WELLMAN PROCESS is a winner every time.

For your pipe......buy GRANGER. 

This is C........B........S.

The Columbia Broadcasting System.