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Monday, January 14, 2008

Bob Hope Christmas Show

The story behind the poor photos above took place on Christmas Eve 1969. I received a call up in the Sound Power Phone shop, where I was working at the time, from second class GS Luskin. He told me my name had been drawn to be one of the guys sitting up front for the Bob Hope Christmas Special being done on the USS Ranger. We all knew the Christmas Special would be taking place on the ship, but with 5,000 sailors and marines, it would be a little tough getting a close look. I lucked out and ended up in the front, although my Kodak instamatic makes it look like I was a football field away. I knew when the cameras would pan around the front where I’d be, the folks back home might see me when they replayed the show on TV. Naturally while in my spot, I did all I could do to get my mug on TV for all the family without blocking out my shipmates around me, which would have resulted in my being stomped on camera. :) It worked, and my Mom and Dad caught a glimpse of me.

Bob Hope, Connie Stevens, Teresa Graves, The New Christie Minstrels, and the Les Brown band combined with all the assorted dancers to put on a great show. Neil Armstrong, Miss World – Eva Staier, and Romy Schneider were part of the troop too, although their names probably don’t mean much to anyone anymore. Connie Stevens closed the show with Silent Night. I’ll leave it at that.


Bernita said...

"Connie Stevens closed the show with Silent Night. I’ll leave it at that."
You safely can.

Stephen Parrish said...

. . . although their names probably don't mean much to anyone anymore.

They mean a lot to me.

From one veteran to another, thanks for a poignant post.

BernardL said...

Thanks, Bernita.

Glad you liked it, Stephen. It was a real treat finding the pictures after all these years. Three buddies from the ship have e-mailed me after seeing other pictures I posted in a USS Ranger Album on another site.

raine said...

I recognize every single one of these names, and they bring back fond memories.
I always loved Bob Hope, and watching these shows as clips and specials on TV. How fabulous it must've been to see in person!

BernardL said...

I never missed the Bob Hope specials growing up either, Raine, and he could make thousands of sailors and marines laugh without a single four letter word. :)