Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Half the German I Know

I learned on Hogan's Heroes.

Sure, Arthur C. Clarke's death yesterday, especially on the anniversary of Dad's passing, made a mark on me. He was a great sci-fi writer and even an impressive scientist in his own right.

Ivan Dixon, who passed away today, probably had a larger social impact on me as a young man. Before I became a serious student of WWII, SSG Kinchloe was an integral part of a behind-the-lines cadre who fooled the Germans, helped POWs escape, and sabotaged the Nazi war machine. It wasn't until much later that I discovered that blacks weren't integrated into the combat units, and were only relegated to support roles like the Red Ball Express -- hey, I watched every episode! Okay, these were all comedy venues, but they succeeded in accustoming me to a world a tad different to the racial strife I'd experienced in Bossier City, Louisiana. So, Hollywood didn't totally suck, at least in the late 70s, right?

"Suck" being a relative term, of course.

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5 Comments:

  • At 7:03 AM, Anonymous JohnW said…

    Ivan Dixon?! A sad day, indeed. I think Lebeau and Newkirk are the only ones left alive now.

     
  • At 7:11 AM, Anonymous JohnW said…

    Yes, those are the only 2 left. I didn't realize that pretty much all the Germans on the show were Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis, Shultz was even in a concentration camp for awhile! And Burkhalter's parents both died at Treblinka. Amazing. I love that show.

     
  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Didn't miss a show when I was a kid. Sad that the tech-smart guy with initiative is gone. He was one of the best on the entire show.

     
  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger Firehand said…

    Great character.

    And I think Patton, late in the war, was the first to integrate rifle companies. I think he also requested that all-black tank destroyer batallion(can't remember the designation, dammit) and welcomed them with a speech saying "You're here because you're they best, and I won't have anything else in my army!"

     
  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger DirtCrashr said…

    Good guy, good show - and he Directed too!

     

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