Cardinal Charlie: Don’t mess with blue-haired bingo ladiesPublished 2:49pm Friday, March 8, 2013
Director Ralph Haley was giving a lecture to band members at the football field when a grubby little waif who lived near the field, with a soggy diaper around her knees, her nose needing wiping, took hold of Ralph’s hand, looked up and said, “Daddy.” It broke up the band and Ralph.
After Ralph was called up for service, Earl Granger filled in and was a fine musician, but not a band leader (I recall him as a piano tuner).
Carson Minshall also played with the Simplicity Pattern Co. band.
Carson was called up for service. He said they got their physicals at Detroit and when they were all buck naked and looked at the windows, girls applauded.
During his service tenure he had a layover night at Ann Arbor and he visited Doris MacKenzie at nurses school.
Next thing, Cart was headed to Great Lakes and boot camp.
He tried to be a singer in the Blue Jacket Choir, but he was kicked out.
But he got into regimental band and made buglemaster. He used to march the fellows over to their barracks. He used to get into Chicago.
He dated Andrene Grandquist. Her folks owned the store at Indian Lake.
Also, Pat Healy. She later married one of the Kelly boys.
Another drummer in the band was Remo Palmieri, a grad of Juilliard and a player with the Chicago Symphony.
Cart’s Navy band marched with the Navy B band. Cart said they tried to get the Skylarks going again. He said they had a blind piano player, Bob Steel. One night the lights went out and everyone but Bob quit, but Bob said as he played, someone kicked my lights out years ago.
He met his wife Nancy as his and her folks played cards together. Cart said marrying her was the best thing he had ever done.
One day a man knocked on his door and said he needed a drummer and would pay $2.50 a show. It was the merchants’ free circus set up next to the Century Theatre.
He said the regular band was three alcoholics. He said, do we have music, and they said no, just play by ear.
The man said he would tell Cart when he needed a drum roll or a rim shot.
He said those three could play like a 50-piece orchestra.
They asked him to go with them, but his mother said no.
He remembers a balloon ascension in back of the Century.
He aid there was a sheriff named Willard who wanted to stop gambling in Cass County.
Wayne Clark had slot machines in his gas station and the sheriff got them, and then raided the bingo tent, arresting seven old ladies.
He lost the next election and learned you don’t mess with blue-haired bingo ladies.
Nick Terkos is worthy of a novel. He had three brothers, all in the food business.
Nick was 12 when he came from Greece and got a job in Niles.
Nick’s brother Jim had a restaurant in Ionia, Petro had one in Cadillac, John rented space between the two theaters in Benton Harbor.
Nick married Bea Warner and they had four boys. Nick lined up the four boys for a whipping night and said that’s for the time I no catch you.
Bud was dating Joan Berry and Cart was dating Laraine Murphy. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Bud enlisted in the Marines with Bernie Pardun.
Jim Terkos married Barbara Britton. Ted got married and his wife worked at the Olympia. Ted was killed in a bombing, as was Bernie Pardun at Guadalcanal.
Billie was the smart brother. He left town and sold insurance.
Tags: Cardinal Charlie Gill