Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Few Words from and about Charlie

This book has a series of articles in it from a British magazine called Red Letter. In 1916 it began a series of 37 articles about Charlie Chaplin.

This is an excerpt from an article that ran on April 29, 1916.
Thanks to Dan Kamin for bringing this book to my attention, and for putting it together. The articles were written by Fred Goodwins.

From Red Letter Days:

I had scarcely returned from mailing my last article, and settled myself to a perusal of the English papers when the telephone bell rang. It was Leo White.
"Come down to the office right away," he stammered excitedly. "Charlie gets in on the 4:30 train. There's a car waiting here to take us to the station!" And he rang off.

Charlie coming back! It sounded too good to be true, but I knew White too well to suppose he was "kidding," so I hastened to the comedian's office on Broadway. Outside was Charlie's big, seven-passenger touring car, containing eight actors and a chauffeur. They sandwiched me in somehow, and the way we cut by those cross-town streets was a caution.

Our waste was scarcely necessay, however, for when we arrived at the track and hurried into the station we were met by Harry Caulfield, the manager of the new Chaplin Mutual Company, who had arrived from New York the previous day.

"What's your hurry, boys?" he questioned round the corner of a fat cigar, which was tucked, American fashion," into his face. "She not on time; you've got ten minutes to spare."
"Here he is!" yelled one.
"No, he's in the Pullman at the rear end."
"Nonsense! That's a day-coach down there."
Right in the middle of it, a small figure, all alone, alighted from the steps of the end coach, 'way down the line, and strolled up towards us at the station. There was no mistaking that quiet, thoughtful stroll or the neat hang of that nifty little New York suit upon his dapper frame. It was Charlie at last.
It was fully ten seconds before he realized that we had come down to meet him, but when he finally "came to earth" and saw us - say, didn't he let out a whoop!
"Hi!" he shouted, his high-strung temperament overcoming for the moment his habitual calm. "Hello, boys! Home again!" Then, as we started to run towards him, he greeted us all in rapid succession.

The article runs on for another 2 pages in the book and is worth the read. I'll post excerpts from other articles in the book in the weeks ahead.

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