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More Stories - The Way We Were

"Dear Bess,  I just received an E-mail concerning movie stars who made contributions during WW2.  Clark Gable's name was amongst those.  He was a real hero during that war.  He was stationed at a base near where I lived, named Spanhoe.  Here is a humorous story which I wrote about it.  I might note that the movie (Gone with the Wind) had just recently been released at the time, so all the young girls were in love with Clark because of the role he played in this film.   Sincerely, Hilda Graham"  

Clark Gable or Just a Fable....

I had previously told you about all the American Air Bases in my area, mostly B17 bomber groups.  It so happened that Clark Gable (be still, my heart) <G> was stationed at one of the bases and of course every young girl and a lot of older ones were so thrilled.  We had seen "Gone With The Wind" and boy, was that a long movie, so every time we saw a GI we just knew it was going to be this dashing movie star. 

Every week we held a couple of dances at a dance hall named The Raven Hall in Corby.  I put this in just in case there might be one of those young GI's who possibly read this board and recognize the name.  Of course the rumours always got started that Clark was going to attend one of these dances and as I stated, all were excited at the thought of seeing this famous star. 

He never did show up, but one night a GI friend of ours came to the dance.  He was lucky enough to have driven one of his officers to a private party, so he had the use of his car for several hours until he was due to pick the officer up.  I told you in my previous post how dark it was and there was hardly any light in the car, just the dashboard was lit and not very well.  Now it so happened that this friend looked quite a lot like Clark Gable, mustache and all, so we got together with several of our friends who were attending the dance and decided to spread the news that Clarke was outside and had been gracious enough to sign a few autographs. 

It wasn't long until a long line formed outside the dance hall in the parking lot and our friend was signing slips of paper and anything that could be written on.  There was hardly anyone left dancing.  All the excitement was overwhelming, all scrambling to get this famous autograph, and I must admit in the dim light our friend with his head bent over signing his (or should I say "Clark's") name did look like the real McCoy.

To this day I believe a lot of those people who were lucky enough to get the signature still think they have the real thing, although a couple of months after this happened our local newspaper got hold of the story somehow and printed it, but I am certain many did not read or hear about it and still do not know the truth.  We were mean to do this, but it was funny and the Devil made us do it. 

This was one of the happier memories during the war and there were many more.
Copyright 2003 Hilda Graham

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