Friday, June 14, 2002

June 14th, Flag Day.
I forget the year, but it was at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio, where we were setting up for a golf match. Al Vestuto, a former CBS technician, was visiting. He was quite a character. I watched him sit in on the drums, when the Tommy Dorsey orchestra was a summer replacement show out of the Sullivan theater. It was nice to see Al once again. On our lunch break we all ambled over to the club house, and as we approached the main building, I noticed a Red Ball on a white background flag flying over the Club House. That flag was the infamous rag that flew over Bataan, the Philippines, and all Japanese held torture area's of the Pacific rim. Here it was, flying over an American golf course. I asked a uniformed state trooper where the American Flag was, and he answered, "this is a private club, and they can fly any flag they want." I screamed in his face, "Bullll s--t, no flag flies higher than the American flag." I marched into the lobby, totally incensed, and asked for a manager. When one finally came, I spoke in my usual loud manner..."That flag comes down, or put up an American flag over it." The rest of the story is not germane to the end, but they did indeed raise our flag on that pole. The people of the NEC (NIPPON ELECTRIC COMPANY) did some screaming of their own, but we prevailed in the end. As long as I am still a red, white and blue American, the flag that was adopted after Betsy Ross made it, and was in the hearts and minds of the men and women of the other wars fought by our American people, then Old Glory will fly over any other rag in THIS country!
Tony Cucurullo