Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and women (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Mon Nov 16 16:31:45 UTC 2009

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The Channing Pollock who made the statement in 1936 is probably not the
magician.  That Channing Pollock was only born in 1926.

>From the _Pacific Coast Magic News_, vol 2 #10, Aug 1936, p. 7 col 1:
"The scene was the St. Marks lobby during the post-convention party in
Oakland. A magician passed the remark that he had spent a lot of money
at the Seattle convention.  "How did you spend your money," asked one of
the boys.  "Well," was the reply, "I spent some on liquor, some on women
and the rest I spent foolishly." "

Dai Vernon, a prominent magician of the 20th century (1894 - 1992) said
in _Genii_ [a conjuring magazine] May 1971 p 423 col 2:
"Lou Derman gave me a line that I like to use in my opening remarks when
I work at the Castle: "I am 76 years old and I have been doing magic for
over seventy years - I wasted the first six years." "

Other variants:

"Meet Bob Nelson" _Genii_ Feb 1958 p 210 col 3

"Bob was born in Columbus, 0., on November 16, 1901. He wasted the first
few years but by the time he was old enough to read magic catalogs, he
was interested in magic."

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Garson O'Toole
> Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 8:35 AM
> Subject: Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and women
> (maybe 1936)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> --------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Quote concerning money spent on liquor, gambling, and
> women
>               (maybe 1936)
> --------
> George Raft was an American film star who was known for his high
> income in Hollywood and for his profligacy. His obituary from the UPI
> newswire said this:
> Raft made, and squandered, about $10 million in his movie career,
> joking:
> "Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses and part for
> women. The rest I spent foolishly."
> Citation: "George Raft Dies", Ellensburg Daily Record, Nov 25, 1980.
> (Google News Archive)
> Anyone creating a quote book that includes colorful sayings about
> dissolution might include this confession. Several quote books and
> online repositories already do contain it. But I wondered if George
> Raft actually said it, and if he had concocted the joke. There is some
> evidence that Raft did utter the quip contained in the autobiography
> of talk show host Joe Franklin:
> George Raft told me on my show that he spent all of the $10 million he
> made on women, horses, gambling, and whiskey - and the rest he spent
> foolishly.
> Citation: "Up late with Joe Franklin: Stories of the Greats, the Near
> Greats, the Ingrates, the Has-beens, and the Never Weres" by Joe
> Franklin and Richard J. Marx, Scribner, 1995. (Google Books snippet
> view)
> However, examples from the Google Books archive reveal that the joke
> has many variations. The money is spent on wine, whiskey, booze,
> liquor, women, horses, gambling, the finest duds, and three mustache
> curlers. The spendthrift is identified as George Raft, a hobo, a
> marine, a cat skinner, or a sailor.
> In my search for antecedents I could only push the joke back in time
> to 1936 where it appears in the Reader's Digest. Apparently, Channing
> Pollock either created the jest or he submitted an existing jest to
> Reader's Digest. I am not certain whether submitted content is
> supposed to be original for the Digest:
> Do you remember the sailor who, asked what he'd done with his wages,
> answered, "Part went for liquor, part for women, and the rest I spent
> foolishly."? - Channing Pollock
> Citation: Reader's Digest, page 46, volume 29, 1936.
> (This is from a Google Books snippet view and the date may be
> inaccurate. The volume number does match the date and probing with
> years suggests that 1940 is in the future.)
> There are two well known Channing Pollocks in the time frame, a
> magician and a writer. Of course the creator of the joke may be
> another Pollock, or someone earlier in time.
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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