Bertrand R. Brinley Quotes

Bertrand R. Brinley
  • 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