Bertrand R. Brinley Quotes
“The professor pointed out how he could drop a keel and a propeller into the water, in case he came down at sea, and after cutting the gas bag loose he'd have a seaworthy boat. He had everything on board for survival at sea, including fancy fishing gear, flares and weather balloons for distress signals, and both shortwave radio equipment and a low-frequency system for round-the-world communications.
"Boy! This is somethin' right out of Jules Verne...only better, maybe," said Homer.
You are right, Mr. Snodgrass," said the professor. "It is ze only way to travel. You don't go so fast, but it beats swimming! Yes? And we have everysing for safety and comfort at sea, if we have to come down. Ze only thing we have to worry about is piranhas. Oh, zey are terrible! Zey will eat everysing in sight!"
"Piranhas?" Homer gasped. "I thought they were only found in South American Rivers?"
"Oh?" said the professor. "Do ze piranhas know zat, Mr. Snodgrass?”
“Anyway, zis is Austria. Now somesing else funny! Ze Austrians do not call it 'Austria.' Zey call it O-s-t-e-r-r-e-i-c-h!" and the professor wrote the letters out on the blackboard. "Zat is because zey do not know how to spell. Zey are very nice people, se Austrians, but you will notice zey are very bad spellers.”
“How do you spell 'solicitor'?" asked Freddy.
"That's easy!" said Homer. "S-o-l-i-t-o-r."
"Well, it can't be all that easy," said Freddy. "These dummies have it spelled with an 'e' on this card." And he held the card under Homer's nose.
"I smell something funny!" Jeff said to me, very quietly.
"It couldn't be Mr. Stunkard, could it?" I half whispered.
Jeff shrugged. "Maybe it's Mr. Smellow!”
“Abner Larrabee’s wife, who is a social leader in town, wailed piteously in a letter to the editor of the Mammoth Falls Gazette that her prize peonies had been stoned to death just before they reached the full glory of their bloom. She complained bitterly about “wanton boys who create mischief with their teen-age pranks” and wondered when the mayor was going to do something about the problem of juvenile delinquency.”
Bertrand R. Brinley
- Date of birth: June 19, 1917
- Died: October 20, 1994
- Born: in Hudson, New York, The United States.
- Description: Bertrand R. Brinley was born in Hudson, New York in 1917. He had a peripatetic childhood, living in Hudson, Lansdowne, Pennsylvania; West Newbury, Massachusetts; Evanston, Illinois; and Hollywood, California, to name just a few of the places. When he lived in Hollywood in the Twenties, he pitched pennies with Jackie Cooper, who became a child star, and sold newspapers to Charlie Chase, the silent comedy star, at the corner of Western Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.
He attended high school in West Newbury in the same building in which I went to first grade, many years later. My father lived at what the family called "the Farm." It was indeed a farm; but, it was also home on and off for a variety of intellectuals during the Depression and a young man who was later to achieve great literary fame, John Cheever. We often visited the farm when we lived in West Newbury, and I remember the large library in one room.
West Newbury contributed a good many place names and several of the characters to the Mad Scientists' Club stories. My father graduated in 1935 and went West again to Stanford University, where he studied History, English, and Speech and Drama. During his years at Stanford, he worked at the Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto, which is still in operation.
He was recruited by Harry Bridges' waterfront union to fight in Spain for the republican side in the civil war (Bridges' union was a Communist front organization). He and a colleague went along with the deal because they wanted a free trip to Europe: they planned to jump ship in Biarritz and tour through France. Alas, his father got wind of the caper and had my father's passport pulled. I remember my father telling me about a visit from a union recruiter one day while he was working at the Creamery who wanted to know if he was still going to join up.
It was in Palo Alto that my father met my mother at the Palo Alto Community Playhouse. He was the assistant director. Here is an excerpt from his resume: "Assisted in direction of major productions...directed workshop productions, handled publicity and season ticket campaigns...Appeared in major roles in ..ten productions. Typical productions: Winterset, Pygmalion, High Tor, The Importance of Being Earnest.. Stage Door, You Can't Take it With You, Our Town, Ah, Wilderness."
After they were married, they moved to Southern California, where he worked for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as a systems analyst. Never far from the theater, he co-founded the Lockheed Players, producing and directing The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Blackmere's Fan, and Springtime for Henry.
In 1944 he entered the Army, which became his career and made his family international travelers. The service first took us to Germany and Austria, and later to Japan and Panama. Another excerpt from his resume gives a flavor of a long-lost time in our history: "...Assigned as Special Services Officer, Third U.S. Army in Munich and Heidelberg...Escorted USO shows. Directed Troop Entertainment Program for U.S. Occupied Zone, Germany...Organized road circuit of twenty-one show units and ninety-five dance bands..Arranged talent exchange with Bal Tabarin and Folies Bergeres in Paris, and the Palladium in London...Wrote and directed seven musical productions for troop entertainment...utilizing both soldier and professional talent, twenty-girl ballet, and concert orchestra."
Among his assignments were running The Stardust Club -- a nightclub for soldiers in Heidelberg, managing a resort hotel for Allied officers in Kitzbuhl, Austria, and serving as an aide to the commanding general of the Third Army in Vienna. In the latter assignment we lived in the Vienna Woods in a house that was built with straw instead of lathe to hold the coat of exterior stucco. It was our house of straw.
After returning to the States, he worked in public relations for the Salvation Army while we lived in West Newbury. He re-entered the Army during the K