Monday, November 11, 2002

Subj: About George!
Date: 11/11/2002 5:28:08 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Tonycucu
To: Mark_Winston

Mark,
This is an open letter in response to your request to learn about your
granddad George Moses. I want this to be on our web page, so that you might
get a better insight from those that knew him intimately.
This response might be a bit lengthy, and may also add some confusion to the
mental image of your grandfather George Moses.
If the Biblical Moses was indeed your grandfather, I feel the world might be
a better place somewhat? While the deity Moses, (not Charlton Heston) brought
forth the Jews from Egypt, and gave us the Ten Commandments, your grandpa
George, gave those that worked with him over the many years more belly laughs
that the world could have used in place of the structured formality of the
UN. For his humor was without reverence; as was the majority of those that
plied their trades at the center of the television world.
I don't use that term, immodestly, for it was the accomplished fact that CBS
set most of the standards that propelled the art of television forward. And,
it was the consummate skills of men like George Moses, that made that
possible.
One could make the analogy of using Major league baseball with its system of
numbers to position the excellence of performance of the participants.
The show that quickly comes to mind, is the, "Ed Sullivan Show." It required
the talents of the very best, because of its financial, and artistic impact
on the industry.
George, was a mainstay on the show. He was on the stage, alongside of 'Ed'
and was for the many years his "camera."
Grandpa George, could easily have been a performer, as was the case of quite
a few of the behind the scenes talents. But, it was his unique ability to
mime, and project images of mirth and laughter, that made many of the boring
hours that rehearsals require, to fade and be entertaining. He took
sophomoric humor and added sophistication to it, and adults, and even those
staid actors all stole from the characters he portrayed from his camera
position.
A particular incident occurred on one show that required George's camera to
show a carriage, (for the sake of imaging for you, I will say, it might have
been the Queen of England's carriage, here for the Worlds Fair Exposition, in
the 1960s). Well, George could have just pointed his camera to do as the
director asked, but, the innate, and creative instincts that transform a
cameraPOINTER, to an artistically molded cameraman. He added a rocking
motion, to his slow, and almost imperceptible move to the carriage. That was
art work, and imaginative. He had that ability to improvise.
I knew George from early 1950s to his departing this mortal stage. George
went to a television Workshop, where I knew immediately that we would be
friends. As most clowns, have a way of joining together. George, and a couple
of others in the class, (Chuck Austin, Frank Rosa) just two that formed a
foursome that were inseperable.The two that went on to greatness in the
motion picture end of the moving arts, were Chuck, wwhos was, Alfred
Hitchcock's Director of Photography, and Frank, an award winning director of
documentaries. The significanceto this tale was that George was a consultant,
and friend, to these two.
We learned that George had combat photographic experiences. He worked with
another man named Herbert "Chico" Claudio, who also, was a combat
photographer, during World War 11. These two, were too become mainstays on
the famous "Ed Sullivan Show" with Chico, doing microphone boom, and George
on camera.

When the "Sullivan Show" was finished, George was in demand by other CBS
venues. He chose to be on a soap opera, "The world Turns." This fit George
like a glove, he was as if he was portraying the part of Jack Nickolson, in
the movie about the mentally deprived.
The stars of the show and the crew became a family. Each adding to the days
insanity. The foremost players in the cornucopia of insanity, were two, Joe
Desmond, and of course Grandpa George.
Joe, was a six foot four inch, technician, that reveled in the
characterization of World War Two German characters. And George was his
Russian counterpart. They along with a consummate actor Don Hastings, created
the atmosphere of a mental ward, with the ensuing bedlam that made it a
delight to be sent to work on that show.

One very important part of the show was the "slates" that contain the data
that are placed in front of the camera before each scene to help in the
editing of the show. Well, the slates were created almost on a daily basis
by George. He was a great cartoonist, and each slate had his art work on it.
His imagination was endless. I personally feel those cartoons should placed
in a television museum if one does indeed exist?
Mark, I hope I have given a slice of what I remember about my dear friend
George. I would have told you more about his personal life but, that wouldn't
be fair, because I didn't know much about it, and because everyone has a
tendency to embellish, or add salt, or hemlock, to the mix, and some of
course that spoils the brew with inane, and inconsistent inaccuracies.
I fervently hope that you get others too reply to your warm letter that seems
to come from your heart.
He was only a man that offered to those that liked him, a chance to see his
contributions, and gather his earthly wisdom, not unlike his namesake.
"MOSES."
He was a fun man to be with, and he portrayed that of a 'bon vivant' that
could walk down Broadway on the coldest day, with just a scarf that was
turned theatrically askance about his neck, that created the look of a Damon
Runyon character, or peerhaps,another of the bright lights of the "great
white way."
Peace be with you and your family,

Tony Cucurullo