Francesca, Zev and I traveled to New Jersey with Gerard Mate’, a friend and the newest addition to our team. Gerard came along to take publicity stills and behind-the-scenes video for our grant funding proposals.
We arrived in Newark late Friday night. On Saturday morning we drove to meet Pete Wilson and his wife. Pete was an armorer in the 354th. He shed some new light on the ammunition and the P-51s. We are grateful that Pete had kept so much memorabilia. He also told us of his successful career as a high school coach. It was a very fun and productive meeting.
Take a look at some of our photos at Pete Wilson's home.
Although we wanted to spend more time with Pete and his wife, we had to get on the road.
After the interview, we drove to Philadelphia. We arrived there in the evening and spent time with some friends who live in the area.
On Sunday, Ray Bain took the four of us out to brunch at a restaurant at the golf course where he plays golf three or four times a week. It was fun getting to know him before we started the interview.
At his home we spent a few hours interviewing him about his time in WWII. He told us about his time as a POW.
He also had some great memorabilia, including his flight jacket. Ray told us the story behind the naming of his airplane. His airplane was named “Scatterbain.”
He told us that there was a very popular song in the late 1930’s called “Scatterbrain”. He had asked for the word “Scatterbrain”, but as a joke the painter painted “Scatterbain” instead. I think it is a very clever name.
On all my trips I take along an ipod with hundreds of radio shows from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I love listening to these shows right before I go to sleep. I had a feeling that somewhere on the ipod I would find a recording of the song.
It only took about an hour to locate the “Scatterbrain” song. It was on several episodes of "The Benny Goodman Show" in 1939. Click on the next icon to hear the clip.
Take a look at some of our photos at Ray Bain's home.
It has been so inspiring and uplifting to meet these men and their wives. Most of these couples have been married for over 60 years. They are still so active with either working, playing golf, painting or other activities.(It is not exaggerating to say most of these guys twice my age are in better shape than I am. I need to get to the gym.)
We flew back to Los Angeles early this morning. Luckily my boss let me have off Friday and Monday for our documentary. So it’s back to my day job tomorrow.