December 29, 2014

1945. The Murrow Boys Play High-Stakes Poker

The Murrow Boys Just After the War
Some of the Murrow boys in 1955. From the left: Bill Downs, Daniel Schorr, Eric Sevareid, Richard C. Hottelet, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Pierpoint, David Schoenbrun, Howard K. Smith, and Alex Kendrick.

December 18, 1945
Dear Roz,

Here I am still in NY and wondering with everyone else whether the 20th floor is going to run with the ball, punt, or just throw in the towel (to mix a sports metaphor). No one has been assigned anywhere except Larry, who I believe is an old friend of yours. What gives between you and Handsome Larry anyway? But to make a long story longer, Murrow has been conferring like mad with the gods. White is in the dark as much as any of us. And I'm trying to get up enough nerve to make out a six months expense account. I just don't like to perjure myself, but will have to if I'm to come out even on this thing.

Went to see "Dream Girl" the other night...wonderful play. It's taken from an idea by James Thurber in his wonderful story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." If you haven't read it, get it at once in any of the Thurber collections.

Glad to see that you have the SF office under control, if only for the moving of furniture. Never can tell when that might come in handy. Christ, if this keeps up we might all be furniture movers before long...

...

Incidentally, the biggest news to hit this office in some time is the fact that I have gone on the wagon. No kidding...White and Peg too. We have a $50 bet apiece that we don't fall off until Christmas Eve. And chum do I need someone to bolster morale. Trouble is that there is little else to do in this town...all social and business deals call for a drink.

Other big news was made in Collingwood's suite at the Waldorf where we promoted a news staff poker game. Charlie, Ed Murrow, White, Hottelet, LeSueur, and myself all tore at each other's bank accounts. Sorry to say that White came off best to the tune of about $1600. I and Charlie dropped about $300 each, Larry about $500, Murrow also $300. Twas tragic, but I'm recovering and still ahead from my Pacific gambling. Also I have that expense account coming up.

Wish we could be together for Christmas. Don't exactly know what I'll be doing. Murrow suggested Atlantic City or something up in Connecticut. But it probably will be one of those house to house affairs around the city.

...

Merry Christmas and take care of yourself.

Love,

Bill