A traditional Scottish folk tune with words written by Lady Nairne (Carolina Oliphant) who lived from 1766-1845. The words are from a Scots poem also known as "Bonnie Charlie," with the song first published as part of the collection entitled "The Scottish Minstrel" (1821-1824). Performed upon my Hohner musette accordion, a 4/5 reed instrument in LMMM configuration. The sheet music is from the collection entitled "The Folksong Fake Book" published by Hal Leonard. This song appears in the classic 1939 film "Gunga Din" produced and directed by George Stevens, starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. When the British Army is sent to rescue several missing soldiers, this song is sung by the troops marching to save their comrades. Interestingly enough, the film was shot on location in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California. Author Dave Holland tells the story behind this film and many others in his fascinating book "On Location in Lone Pine." The scenery certainly suggests the rugged wilderness of colonial India, and Holland indicates where each segment was filmed (including the Temple of Kali location just off Horseshoe Meadow Road, the remarkable British Fort near Indian Springs and the wonderfully exotic Tantrapur Village). Holland's book was published by The Holland House in September 1990.
Cover of the DVD for the 1939 film "Gunga Din" directed by George Stevens, starring Cary Grant as Sergeant Cutter, Victor McLaglen as Sergeant MacChesney, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Sergeant Ballantine. Other stars include Sam Jaffe as Gunga Din the Regimental Bhisti, Eduardo Ciannelli as the Guru, and Joan Fontaine as Emmy.
The cover of Dave Holland's book "On Location in Lone Pine," a comprehensive list of all the films made at the scenic location of the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California. Holland gives a detailed account of all the memorable locations for the 1939 adventure film "Gunga Din" and relates many interesting stories regarding the production of this cinema classic.
Processing Motion Picture Film at Vandenberg AFB in 1971-72
While stationed at Vandenberg in the early 1970's, I had an opportunity to work on the technical aspects behind the making of motion pictures for the U.S. Air Force. The four major areas of training involved Processing, Printing, Timing & Assembly, and Quality Control. Our initial training took place at Lowry AFB just outside Denver, Colorado. My assignment to Vandenberg introduced me to the beautiful weather and lovely countryside of California. Moving from the snow, ice and bitter cold of Colorado in December 1970 to the radiant sunshine and balmy, warm temperatures of Southern California in January 1971 came as quite a welcome surprise in the Winter of that year. Instead of weathering gray overcast days while confined indoors, I found flowers in full bloom and the intoxicating aroma of freshly mowed grass greeting my senses as I arrived on base.
The Processing Lab
The large Houston-Fearless ME-4 processing machines cast an impressive sight at first glance and required a great deal of technical know-how in their maintenance and operation. The dark end allowed only a barely perceptible glow of low grade red light, so one had to adjust between the brightness of the light end of the machine and the relative dimness of the dark. I often had the task to clean the machines and learned how to make their stainless steel exteriors gleam with a bit of hand polishing along their long and intricate architectural edges.
The photographer wanted an action shot of an Airman working at the light end getting ready to cut the film at the appropriate moment, a series of steps to assure that each spool of film was handled properly and that the machine would continue to run without having to shut down. There was only a brief moment of time allowed to photograph this event and then the final result handed to me some time later. I was an Airman First Class at the time on my way to becoming a Sergeant. Later I would be transferred to the Editorial Section where I would work as an Artist/ Illustrator doing charts & graphs, designing creative projects and learning some of the basics of lettering and film animation.