Feedback, Comments, Love Letters: 2001
From: "Wood, Thomas"
Dear Mr. Menello:
Your request regarding James Jones's screenplays was forwarded to me by Richard King.
One of the principal collections of James Jones's papers at Yale University. See http://webtext.library.yale.edu/sgml2html/beinecke.jones.sgm.html . There it states:
"Screenplays make up Section Four, (Boxes 28-30, folders 340-64) and are divided into screenplays by Jones and screenplays by others. Screenplays by Jones include an early draft for From Here to Eternity and The Golfer Story. Screenplays by others contain several drafts of Go to the Widow-Maker by Thomas Wiseman, The Sicilians by Auguste LeBreton, Un Mur De Jerusalem by Frederick Rossif, and The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan. Jones acted as a technical advisor for this Darryl Zanuck film."
Is "The Sicilians" the same as "The Sicilian Clan"? In any event, you should contact the Beinecke Library at Yale for more information on these screenplays. See http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/brblprog.htm
The University of Texas at Austin also has a large collection of Jones's papers. That collection is not yet fully processed. I have a copy of a rough inventory of that collection, and I see that box 4 contains a film treatment of "Under Western Eyes." For more information you should contact the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at UT-A: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Their website is http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/index.html
We also have some of Jones's papers here at UIS in the Handy Colony Collection. However, very little of the Jones material here is later than 1955, and none of the screenplays Jones worked on in the 1960s are here.
I hope you find this information useful. Good luck on your research.
Thomas J. Wood
Dear Sirs -- I recently discovered that James Jones collaborated with legendary filmmaker Nicholas Ray (REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, JOHNNY GUITAR) in the 1960s on a couple of screenplays when Ray was living in Europe. One of the screenplays UNDER WESTERN EYES (aka UNDER WESTERN SKIES) was discussed at some length in one of Jones' biographies. My question is this, do you know who I can contact to try and locate these screenplays Jones worked on with Ray? Do you know if anyone might have them available to read? Can you tell me what colleges or universities might house collections of Jones's papers and screenplays? I found one smalll collection which had a couple of screenplays, but not the ones I was looking for. I am researching Nicholas Ray's projects done in Europe in the 60s, which were written but never produced. Thanks again -- RICK MENELLO (email@example.com).
From: Robert McMahon
An editor at Book Creation, LLC sent me a wonderful book - War of Our Fathers: Relics of the Pacific Battlefields. Seems Stephen Ambrose, Steven Spielberg and James Bradley are traveling out to several of them in March. They plan on being on Iwo Jima 16 March.
Also, Ambrose will be writing the source document for a new Spielberg film about the Pacific War. Tom Hanks wants a role in it as a Navy Surgeon. Guess what Ambrose Dad was during WWII - Navy Surgeon in the Pacific!
Also, hook up with http://www.alibris.com - where you can find old books that are collectibles!
Best and Semper Fi,
Robert L. McMahon
Hello. My name is Colli Lane Spiller. I attend public school at Kentlake high school in Covington Washington. I am currently doing a report on James Jones and I am having some trouble in finding information on him. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would also like to have a member of the James Jones Literary society as a reference source. I would love to be able to do a live interview by phone. Time is of the essence though for the report is due Febuary 29'th. Thank you for your time.
From: "cherie lemer"
I found your website while I was looking at an advertisement for the Jones exhibit of the Rare Book and Special Collections Library at UI. I am doing research for a literary analysis class and I need to know if the manuscript of "From Here To Eternity" that is on display is available for scholarly scrutiny. Thank you for your time.
From: rinkel gene k
To: Cherie Lemer:
The manuscript of James Jones "From Here to Eternity" is available for use by scholars visiting the Rare Book and Special Collections Library. The copying of a limited number of pages for scholarly use is subject to agreement to arrange appropriate clearances of copyright restrictions.
Gene K. Rinkel
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ray Elliott)
"Shana Alexander traveled from the equator to the North Pole during her career as a journalist," a front-page story in The Daily Illini, the University of Illinois student newspaper, said today, "but said she had never gotten the chance to visit the Midwest. On Tuesday, she did."
To commemorate her gift of manuscripts, notebooks, letters and photos to the University's Rar Book and Special Collections Library. She brought Maya Angelou and Jean Harris with her.
I share this interesting tidbit of information with you because JJLS board member Barbara Jones, who is the head of the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, said, among other things, that the University's collection of James Jones' work contributed to Alexander's decision to give the papers to Illinois.
From: jones barbara
Ray: You are so nice to share this with the board! Yes, I did tell the story of Gloria Jones introducing Shana to me during lunch. That is, indeed, how we got Shana's papers. Gloria has always spoken highly of our care and feeding of the Jones collection, even tho it is small compared to Austin. I think Shana was impressed.
Hope everyone is well. Will spring ever come to the midwest? Barbara
Subject: James Jones
I have visited your page a number of times now, and each time I find something interesting to take back. I am a relatively recent fan of Jones, my first experience with his work, was The Thin Red Line. After reading that novel, I purchased copies of From Here to Eternity and Whistle. I also managed to find an old copy of Go to the Widow Maker in a box of old books. There is just an intangible "something" to his work, something that gives you a psychological glance of what W.W.II did to the individual solider and what war in general does to soldiers better than any history book could ever do.
James Cicman Jr.
Subject: American War Library
Dear webmaster or system manager, Your site links to an outfit called the "American War Library" at the following page (listed at Amervets.com on your site):
American War Library is a disreputable organization run by a single individual under numerous false fronts and false identities. You do veterans no service by promoting it.
You can learn more about the deceptive practices the "American War Library" engages in at the following URL:
Scott Burris - 381st BGMA Life Member
Subject: Whistle on Film
First I would like to say that this site is a great tribute to Jones and his work. I have become a great fan of his war writings and believe them to be absolutely essential to an understanding of the Second World War especially as seen by the frontline infantryman. Having said that, do you know where I can get a copy of the James Jones T.V. documentary? Also, do you have any information on a film adaptation of Whistle (which I believe to be the best in the trilogy)? I had read that Sidney Lumet was going to direct.
Subject: Hanauma Bay, Oahu
Several Oahu guidebooks mention that after Pearl Harbor, James Jones was stationed at Hanauma Bay (now a famous beach park and snorkeling site) and that he and his buddies dynamited the reef there to make swimming holes. (The shallow reef flat made getting in the water difficult). Supposedly, Hanauma Bay was code-named Minnesota Beach at the time.
I've been trying to verify this story for a book I'm doing on Hanauma Bay. I've looked at his WWII book but find nothing there. From Here to Eternity is set before Pearl Harbor as far as I can tell, so it wouldn't be in there. (Anyway, it's a novel). Any ideas?
Subject: Re: Hanauma Bay
Thanks for your help. Last night I looked in Jones's published letters and a biography (Into Eternity) and found nothing on Hanauma Bay. I'm wondering if it might have been mentioned in "The Pistol", even though a novel. Apparently there is a short story as well based on his days on beach patrol. I'll keep looking.
Subject: Some Came Running
For decades, I have considered Some Came Running, the film, my favorite and wanted to read the book. I recently bought one from a used book dealer but while reading it I became too ill to go on because it was a very old copy, all yellow, and i have severe mold allergies.
I want to know if there is a way I can get or download a nice, new, clean copy of Some Came Running." Otherwise, I might literally end up in emergency.
Subject: James Jones question
Just finished The Thin Red Line, my first introduction to James Jones. While I found it to be an interesting and enjoyable work, one thing kept puzzling me.
Jones was in the Army. The book is about Army soldiers on Guadalcanal. Yet inexplicably, he often has his characters respond "Aye, sir" or "Aye, aye, sir." That affirmative response was used only by the Navy and Marine Corps.
Surely, given his military experience and obvious knowledge of the subject matter, Jones would not have written those responses by mistake. Was he trying to make a point that the Army soldiers were the same as the Marines? Or were the lines inserted by mistake in the editorial process?
will appreciate any light you can shed on this question. It would also be interesting to hear Robert McMahon's opinion. If you recall, he is the former enlisted Marine who submitted his senior project to your website.
Subject: RE: James Jones Question
Thanks very much for your response. I'll look forward to hearing what Bob MacMahon has to say.
I read the book because I was so disappointed in the movie and felt certain the book would be better. Glad to say it was.
Do you think I should go back and read From Here to Eternity first, then go on to Whistle, or do you recommend some other reading order?
Subject: RE: Question from James Jones Home Page for Bob
Thank you very much for writing me with this question. It's funny, but when I read The Thin Red Line I never actually noticed Jones using that term. It's probably because I was so used to men using it around me that I never gave it a thought.
The only explanation I can offer for Jones using the terms "Aye, sir" or "Aye, aye, sir" is that the people he used as models for these characters were either prior service Navy/Marine Corps or were using the "Old English" word in it's most proper way.
The word has no real "naval" tradition associated with it all by itself. Aye simply means "yes". However, within British military custom - and not just the Royal Navy - the word "Aye" was always used in reference to a direct order. It's use more fully means, "I understand and I will obey".
Even today in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps an "Aye, aye, sir!" is rendered when an order has been given and not, simply, as an affirmative response to a direct question. Example:
"Sergeant Welsh, I want you take 1st and 2nd squads and set them up in an "L" shaped ambush at grid reference Echo 5423. Understand?"
"Aye, aye, sir."
"Sergeant Welsh, is that your compass?"
I think that Jones may have heard this term used in the Army of Pre-WWII America. However, I also think that we should ask more folks and I will do just that.
Again, thank you for the note and the question; it's a good one.
Subject: RE: RE: Question from James Jones Home Page for Bob
I asked David Hackworth (http://www.hackworth.com) if he ever heard any "Old Timers" use that term and his response was "Nay, sire...". He thinks that Jones must've been paying some small tribute to the Marines who were there first. As Army personnel came later, they may have adopted certain Marine Corps customs from just being around them and working with them. It's the only reasons we can think of for Jones to insert this term. Mr. Ballengee had the same notion as well.
Stay well Richard and have a good summer.
Very best regards,
Subject: My Father
My father Celestino Coto served in the same company as James Jones at Scholfield Barracks at Pearl Harbor.
I found this out through a picture of James Jones company which was in TV Guide in 1979.
For years I have wondered if my father might have been part of a composite character played by Ernest Borgnine in From Here to Eternity. My father was a heavy set sergeant, but he was a happy go lucky fellow who was loved and respected by those who knew him.
Thus, I wondered if Celestino (nickname Tino) were mentioned in Mr. Jones notes.
I was 5 years old when my father died in 1955, so any information I receive about him would be greatly appreciated.
Subject: Re: My Father
Thanks for all your help. Don't worry if nothing comes of your inquiry, since it's been almost 60 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor and very few of those who were there are still alive.
In your newsletter Vol. 8, No. 3 Spring 1999, you mention two army men firing back at the Jap planes bombing Pearl Harbor, and then testifying what happened around Scofield Barracks. these men are:
Lt. Stephen Saltzman
both of the 98th Coast Artillery, stationed of course in Hawaii in December of 1941, and who might have known my father, a sargent in that unit.
My name is John Yavelak, (if they're alive) would I be able to get in touch with either or both of these men?
Would like to solve a mystery about my father from Dec 7th 1941.
Please reply to email@example.com
I am a long time admirer of James Jones.I read Eternity the first time in 1964 as a high school freshman.My English teacher refused to believe me, insisting that I had only watched the movie! Only after a intense grilling on material that did not appear in the film was he convinced.I have since read the novel five times.It is like an old friend who I have not seen for many years. Every time I discover something new and wonder why I had not noticed it before!
My primary reason for contacting you is:
a) I recall reading somewhere that the original story suffered a great deal of editing due to the times and Jones 'earthely' language. Do you know of any plans to re-issue the novel in it's original form?
b)It seems that 'Hollywood'has been on a 'remake kick' for some time now. Are ther any plans to remake the movie,that you are aware of?
Thanks for getting back to me.
Regarding the original version of the novel, does the U.of Illinois have their own publishing house? I would think that they might be more interested in the litatary (Please forgive my spelling)merits of the story. As opposed to whether it would be a best seller again.
In my first letter to you I forgot to mention that my father was stationed at Schofield (spelling again) Barracks in the late 30's.Batt.'B', 11th. Field Artl.He loved the novel.
As for the film version of the Thin Red Line, My personal opinion was very low.I don't think that it was 'true' to what Jones wrote.The directer tried to get too artistic. Also, I don't think that many Japs surrendered in the entire war! I think Saving Pvt.Ryan was much, much better! Let's hope that if they ever decide to film Whistle they get it right.Take care,and stay in touch.
From: "Philip Ternahan"
Dear Mr. King:
I noticed that the link concerning the 27th U.S. Infantry Division is broken. Here is a replacement:
From: "Phil Ternahan"
With the events of yesterday, I started to write a paper on From Here to Eternity and had to start with page 602:
I wonder how many of us had the same thought?
"That was when the second blast came. He could hear it a long way off coming toward them under the ground; then it was there before he could move, rattling the cups and plates in the KP sinks and the rinsing racks; then it was gone and he could hear it going away northeast toward the 21st Infantry's football field. Both the KPs were looking at him.
"He reached out to put his plate on the nearest flat surface, holding it carefully in both hands so it would not get broken while he congratulated himself on his presence of mind, and then turned back to the messhall, the KP's still watching him.
"As there was nothing under the plate, it fell on the floor and crashed in the silence, but nobody heard it because the third groundswell of blast had already reached the PX and was just about to them. It passed under, rattling everything, just as he got back to the NCOs' table.
"This is it," somebody said quite simply. (692)"
The passage above gives James Jones' description of the attack on Pearl Harbor, from the vantage point of Schofield Barracks. Jones, wounded at Guadalcanal, was the only major American writer to have gone through the attack. The recognition implied by the final line of the quotation that America was at war has been repeatedly mentioned in the aftermath of the terrorist actions of September 11, 2001.
It is perhaps apropos that the focus of this paper will be the opposite of hate. Love is a central concern in Jones' From Here to Eternity. The main characters in this story are men and women looking for love, in spite of the strictures placed on their activities by Army regulation, by rank, and by morality.
Robert E. Lee Prewitt, the "best bugler in this Regiment (4)" has put in for transfer from the Bugle Corps because the Chief Bugler, Houston, has promoted his "Angelina" - (the pre-war term for gay sex partner) to First Bugler. Prewitt is presented as a tragic, even heroic figure. His paradoxical nature and conflicts are introduced early in the novel, he is determined to transfer from the Bugle Corps because most of all he wanted to stay (8). His obstinate determination to live life by his rules, regardless of consequences, is what results in his fall from grace "one rung at a time" as one of the characters puts it.
Also, the strictures of regimental life are clearly outlined early in the work. Red, his friend, tries to talk him out of the transfer, and makes a telling remark "You can't go your own way in peace, not in our time. Unless you're willing to play ball (9)." Prewitt's refusal to "play ball" results in him getting "The Treatment," as the system tries to break him because he will not go out for the boxing team. Prewitt is an enigma, a classy professional soldier but yet one willing to flaunt the rules that attempted to make him conform to go his own way.
On the other hand, First Sargeant Milt Warden, also Old Army, is portrayed as a ruthless and efficient conniver who knows how to use psychology to get the men in his company to achieve his goals.
i've been asking myself a long time
"why did james jones name the madam at the brothel in honolulu mrs kipfer ? and what might be his connection to the kipfer family ? "
after all, kipfer is not a name heard very often.
i'm afraid, so far i haven't been able to get an answer. not even in joneses biography by frank macshane.
i would be happy could you answer me this question.
markus h kipfer
I have just moved to Hollywood Fl and have been told that James Jones lived on Jackson St on the beach in Holloywood, FL. for some time.
Could you confirm and if so what year.
Thank You for your time,
From: "Wood, Thomas"
The answer to the first question is easy: a reporter from Miami did a story on Jones's homes and haunts in Florida a couple of years ago and my research found:
2 Oct 1951 - 11 Oct 1951
Jones joins Lowney Handy at South Shore Apartments, 301 Jackson St, Hollywood FL, where Handy had been living since Sept. They travel to Havana around 6 Oct 1951. Jones leaves FL around 11 Oct.
Exactly 50 years ago. Weird.
As the the Mrs. Kipfer question: Jones of course tended to base the characters in FHTE on real people he knew, changing their names slightly (or in the case of Maggio, not at all!) But WHERE he got the fictional names -- I don't know. I might take a look at his notes, but I wouldn't be surprised that this one has no firm answer.
Thomas J. Wood
From: Paul Umfleet
I am somewhat of a fan of James Jones and have enjoyed looking around your web site. What I am really trying to find is information about the author Frances Crane. If you do not know about her, she is from Lawrenceville IL (where I live) and was a popular mystery writer. At the end of her book "13 White Tulips" she mentions her friend Jim Jones. Because of this I wondered if she had anything to do with the "colony" and if any information of Jones' mentions her. I am doing research for the local historical significance with hopes of a web site in the future. If you have any information about Frances Crane or could direct me to any it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Paul Umfleet
cna u tell me more about james jones life please i would like to know? thanx