My Father's Son

1959. Sangley Point Naval Air Station, Manilla bay. The family has finished dinner at the Officer's Club (fancy talk for big honkin' quonset hut). To exit, we have to go through the "theatre". Pandemonium rages across the screen. A man on a vine swings above the fray, lands on a log, and cries out "Welcome to Sherwood!" My six year old self stares in wonder. "Can we stay Mom, huh? Can we, can we, can we?" Mom looked at me, shook her head and sighed, "You are your father's, son."  Willi was assigned to escort mother safely home; Dad introduced me to "the Adventures of Robin Hood." Already hopelessly addicted to cartoons, this put me over the edge. No more reality for me, I'm living in Adventure Land. After that, Dad and I never missed an Errol Flynn flick until I struck out on my own.

This weeks drawing, Captain Blood himself, as done by my father at age 16. I've mentioned previously that Dad was my arts only champion. He'd tell me of the great strips of his youth: the Katzenjammers, Scorchy Smith, Pogo. Stories of flying Roy Crane around the Pacific as he researched Buzz Sawyer.  He never burned for it like I did but, he understood.

Thanks, Dad.

Happy Trails
Smitty

2 Comments so far

Steven Ng's picture

Hi Paul
Love your story. My brother Stuart and I love the Flynn movies, too. He used to work at the Warner Bros. Archives at USC and tells me he found original sheet music written by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Somewhere in my files I have the lyrics for The Sea Hawk song. 
Best,
Steven

Jim Ottaviani's picture

Captain Blood is one of the greatest adventure books, ever. (And in the public domain, which makes it even better.)
I hope there are some stories you can share about Roy Crane research trips!

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