Posts Tagged ‘Veterans’

Dr. Jim Frazier Was A Korean Vet

May 29, 2017

There is a lot of Guiding Light we don’t know. Much of the early years we’ve got broad strokes of story instead of details. However, despite knowing these stories the only veteran I remember is Buzz Cooper. I’ve long thought that was really odd. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a veteran on TV in the late 1940s through the 1960s. On shows like Perry Mason you’d have an episode where an old navy buddy shows up and they talk about old times in the service. You’d have shows like Run for Your Life where you discover the lead character can fly a plane because he flew in the service. Even comical Rob Petrie, Dick Van Dyke’s character on The Dick Van Dyke Show, had flashback episodes that showed him in uniform. So I’ve always been puzzled why there weren’t more veterans on Guiding Light, especially during those years.

Jim Frazier and Colleague

Jim Frazier at Cedars Hospital

Earlier this year I found an offhand mention that in the character descriptions for Dr. Jim Frazier and his wife Martha said that Jim was a veteran of the Korean War. In fact “Jim was a retired army veteran who served in the Korean War in the same unit as Dr. Paul Fletcher…” Jim was a doctor at Cedars. He rose quickly up through the hierachy at Cedars to become hospital administrator by 1966. Martha served as a nurse. He and Martha became couple friends with Bert and Bill Bauer and served as one of the mentors to their son, Dr. Ed Bauer.

Eventually Jim took a job as the head of the overall company that managed hospitals across the country including Cedars. His wife was periodically seen after he left the staff at Cedars, but she was last seen in 1967. Jim was replaced on staff by Dr. Stephen Jackson, Ed’s other mentor and Rick’s future grandfather.

The most striking part of the Jim and Martha was their actors. Over their short run on the show Jim was played by both Billy Dee Williams and James Earl Jones. Martha was played by both Cicely Tyson and Ruby Dee.

Since the one I found first was Jim, he got the bulk of this post, but Dr. Paul Fletcher and Ben Scott also served in the same unit. Dr. Paul Fletcher was then married to Robin Lang who was Kathy Roberts’s daughter. Kathy was Meta Bauer’s stepdaughter. Robin was also an ex-wife of Mike Bauer. Paul was the subject of Agnes Nixon’s novelization of Guiding Light. Ben Scott was the father who abandoned Peggy Scott who would be a nurse and major figure on the show for years, even marrying Roger Thorpe for a time.

The discovery of this triad makes a lot of sense as veterans and old army buddies were the mainsprings of stories at the time. It makes a lot more sense now I’ve found these three, but I’m guessing there are more unknown veterans. I’ll keep an eye out and if you discover one plese let me know.

Roundup of Previous Memorial Day Posts:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/memorial-day-roundup-2015

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Veterans in Springfield

November 11, 2012

Although war touched Springfield over the years, it was mostly through the homefront experience. There were a surprising dearth of actual veterans that I’ve been able to find.

Rev. Ruthledge gave this sermon for Armistice Day in 1937:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/dr-ruthledges-armistice-day

Rev. Ruthledge gave a sermon for Memorial Day in 1937 that I think shows this homefront attitude:
https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/rev-ruthledges-memorial-day-sermon/

Bill Bauer worked in a defense plant for awhile during the Korean Conflict and Meta Bauer’s true love Joe Roberts was a war reporter. An actual veteran showed up in Ben Scott. Scott served during the Korean War (he married a then teenage Maggie Scott, who was introduced as Bill Bauer’s secretary) and his daughter Peggy Scott was a major player in Springfield for years. (Thanks to Stephanie ‏@Lutzie25 who found that one.

The most famous veteran in recent years was Buzz Cooper who served in Vietnam. He won a purple heart and his service was frequently mentioned. The series ended with Rafe Aitoro joining the military. Those are all the veterans I’ve found in Springfield, did I miss someone?

This WSPR News story talks about Buzz’s service:


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