People from all walks of life gathered at The Plaza Arts Center Friday to share in the experience of “War Bonds: The Songs & Letters of World War II.”
The musical production sent the audience reminiscing through songs and personal letters from the era. David zum Brunnen and Serena Ebhardt filled the stage with wartime memories and tunes, and the stories came from letters and interviews with World War II veterans.
Musical Director Julie Florin created wartime nostalgia through classics such as “Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
“These songs bring back a lot of memories,” said Putnam County resident Maribel Franklin.
As Franklin stood with her program in hand, she enthusiastically recalled the words to “Don’t Sit under the Apple Tree” as if it had just been released.
Not only was there excitement on stage, but there were very special guests in the audience, as well.
Putnam County resident Bob Landau, who is helping organize a Veteran’s Wall of Honor in downtown Eatonton, recognized 10 local veterans of WWII: J.T. Brock, John Griffin, George Jordan, Lloyd Kelly, Sam McLeroy, Walter Nelson, Joe Parham, the Rev. Jesse Porter, Leon Pressley and James Waller.
Two of them – Jordan and Porter – attended the show and were applauded by the crowd.
An 11th WWII vet was discovered during intermission when Hilda Spurlock’s nephew approached Bob Landau and asked why his aunt had not been mentioned with the others.
The answer was simple – Landau didn’t know she was a WWII vet. Spurlock immediately received the recognition she deserved: Following intermission, Landau announced the discovery and introduced her to applause from the audience.
Also in the audience was Eatonton resident Helen Collins, who had her debut as a model in 1944. Collins, a toddler, was in the right place at the right time: Her father worked for an ad agency that was in need of a young girl to help advertise war bonds.
“Instead of spending the money to find a model, they just used me,” said Collins. “The next thing I knew, I was in a magazine ad.”
The original war bond ads were displayed on either side of the doors at The Plaza Arts Center.
She and her husband, Jim Collins, recalled the time of WWII vividly.
Helen Collins recalled saving aluminum foil wrappers from gum wrappers.
“I can remember all the air raid warnings and the rationing that took place,” Jim Collins said. “It was a different time filled with a lot of danger every day.”
Posted in Community on Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:10 am