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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?
No. I have a vague recollection of it, but I don't know.
Continue with that freeze-frame look at the magazine in 1937.
We've talked about photographers a little bit.
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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