Tribute To A Super-Man
If I’d been a raw enlistee headed for basic training in 1943, I can’t think of a more reassuring prospect than having George Reeves for my company sergeant. That was his rank at the time, and if ever there was the personification of a steady and dependable leader of men, George was it. If he’d lived into the sixties and become a campus ROTC recruiter, every branch of the service would have filled to capacity with boomers who’d grown up watching and admiring him. These photos were taken at the time of Winged Victory, and they’re authentic shots of George on duty as a supply sergeant in the Army Air Force. He was only incidentally featured in this fan mag profile of actor Lon McCallister, who was in George’s company. The captions barely mentioned Reeves. Sixty years later, we could care less about Lon, but at the time, he was the bright young star being groomed at Fox, while George Reeves was struggling along in short subjects and "B" pics, such as Man At Large (1941), shown here. The war interrupted a lot of promising careers. Who knows what might have happened for George had his progress not been stymied by the greater conflict? Anyway, he looks relaxed and confidant in these camp shots with Lon. They’re trying to put across the impression that Lon’s instructing George in this one shot, but I’m not buying it. I figure George probably saved Lon’s life at least once while he was in basic, and might have even talked him out of going over the hill, just like Jack Webb did with Don Dubbins in The D.I.
There’s a George Reeves tribute coming up this weekend, June 16 – 18, in Woolstock, Iowa, George’s birthplace. As you may recall, it was June 16th 1959 that George died. The purpose of the festival is not only to celebrate his life, but to also help raise money to restore his birthplace home and convert it into a museum to showcase memorabilia associated with the actor. It is also an effort to help stimulate the economy of the area. The George Reeves Memorial web site (HERE) can give you the information you need. Thanks to good friend Carl Glass for passing along the info about this event (his terrific Glass House website is HERE), and thanks too for the neat Superman image created by Jim Bowers, John Field, and Ramon Casares.