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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Session:         Page of 824

Q:

Security factor. Do you recall at a certain point the government issuing an order that all--I forgot how--they were called enemy aliens or you know--were not allowed to possess cameras and that LIFE took some cameras away--do you recall this at all in the 40s?

Heiskell:

No. I have a vague recollection of it, but I don't know.

Q:

Continue with that freeze-frame look at the magazine in 1937. We've talked about photographers a little bit.

Heiskell:

Well, the writers were rather strange too. David Cort who was a foreign editor was a martinet who delighted in driving his researchers to tears. Noel Busch was an elegant dilettante trying to act like a British dilettante. Joe Kastner was a delightful redhead whose job was to handle the copy; and one of his jobs was to teach me how to write. Of course, I didn't know how to write a Life story. I'm not so sure I knew how to write any kind of a story. But Joe molded an awful lot of writers. There was a strange world there, because you would ask somebody like Alexander King who was absolutely crazy--wore a green tweed suit, a pink shirt and a pink tie every single day of the year, never changed; had a red mustache; ended up in various drug hospitals. I brought over from the Herald Tribune a very timid little fellow by the name of Lincoln Barnett, and he was hired and put in his office, and after about a week he came to me and said: “Doesn't anybody ever talk to you here?” Nobody had paid any attention whatsoever to him [laughter]. There



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