SKELTON-L ArchivesArchiver > SKELTON > 1999-07 > 0932152481
Subject: "Red" Skelton
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 15:14:41 EDT
What an interesting "E" on Red. I have seen several on the net but never
really bothered to open them until now. Surely you have this information
because of all the research surely done on "Red", but on the slight chance no
one has thought to make mention, here is some "color" to add to this very
nice man's colorful background.
I took my World War II basic training at Camp Roberts California beginning in
about mid June of 1944, immediately after graduating from Texas Military
Institute. Was assigned to the 455th Field Artillery Replacement Training
Corp. and to the same platoon in which Red was also a member. Not to be of
any importance, but his bunk, like mine was on the second floor about five
All during basic training, (which at several times was tough hard work
man-handling 155 Howitzers and their heavy "prime-movers") "Red Skelton" was
"just another GI basic trainee", asking for no favors and receiving none. To
"us" the much younger men, "Red" was almost ------the old man. One had to
admire him-------31 years old (young) and really at the time with no business
(we thought) in being in such a tough unit. (But that was Red Skelton, and he
made each of us proud to be with and know him, and over the many passing
years, he continued to have that effect on "his friends and his public"). I
believe he had a previous motorcycle accident and tore a chunk out of his
rear end. (So it was less weight to carry). Also remember the round boxes of
"Optima Cigars". He was rarely without one or two in his fatigue pocket.
(He had good taste even back then).
During basic training, while a comedian all his life, he only chose to make
light of anything when his fellow trainees seemed to need just a little
"boost" in their morale, otherwise he very rarely walked around "acting" a
clown. Looking back, he was as I remember now, a real gentleman and a good
person to count as a friend.
Also during that time, he arranged to have "Hollywood" put on a camp show at
Camp Roberts in which he was (of course) the star. I remember a beautiful
actress by the name of Jan Clayton was in the show. I think I also had the
opportunity to meet Edna (who I understood was 'still his business manager').
Red had me and I think two other "G-I's" working in the show as "sorta
go-fers", but we loved it and the opportunity to meet members of the crew
that came up for the show and we all had the opportunity of staying at a
motel in Paso Robeles. You can imagine how this impressed young guys that
Red had included in that activity. I spent some time with both he and
Georgia during the time the show was there for rehearsals and the actual
show. Georgia was a "knock-out" and so very nice.
So Kathryn, that is just a small "squib" of rememberance from a guy that
enjoyed knowing Red.
In "our" later years, I have followed much of his life and his work and
dedication to our mutual fraternity of the Masonic Order and the
recognization he so justly deserved. He remained a credit to all those who
have known him and passed his way. His love of people apparently generated a
return of the same love over the many many years.
Kathryn, I have babbled on and on and I am sure little is of value to your
Genealogy research, but thought I'd "refresh" some of my fifty three year old
memories by sending this to you, with my comments on a grand "Clown"..
I wish you good hunting.
Best regards, Bob Butler
|"Red" Skelton by <>|