Because David is a well-behaved lad, the technicians liked him at once. He wanted to know whether that board controlled other broadcasting rooms, or just that one. He wanted to know whether it was remixed at the main board, or sent over the air direct from their instruments.
In short, he was sincere and intelligent, he listened and learned, and made a fine impression. When Dana finished his broadcast and stopped to collect David, one of the technicians said to Andrews pere, "Nice boy your have there. He's a credit to you."
When Dana was in New London, Connecticut, making "Crash Dive" several years ago, he made friends with some members of the Naval personnel. When two of these men passed through Los Angeles recently, they telephoned Dana, then came out to the house for dinner. Dana had told David something about them before they arrived, explaining that one was a radar expert.
During the course of the evening, David was summoned to the telephone by a call from one of his friends. His voice carefully modulated, he told his friend all about condensers, and circuits, about amperes and volts and what to do about such and such a generator.
The radar man, tuning in on this conversation, turned wide eyes and lifted eyebrows toward Dana. "The kid's right," he murmured. "By golly, the kid knows his stuff."
There was about ten minutes of dialogue. Dana, trying to keep a straight face, was positive that the bewildered cum on the other end of the wire was saying, "What's bitten you, bud? What do you mean 'condensers'? I'm having trouble with my arithmetic and you give me all this double-talk!"
When David had completed his conversation, he hung up with dignity and withdrew from the room.
Said the radar man, "There's a kid who's reall a technician. Looks to me like you've got a fine junior radar man there."
It's astonishing how many people are unable to distinguish the roles an actor plays from his actual personality. Even Dana's mother teased him after a radio show in which he portrayed a professor.
Dana let it go, but he wasn't much surprised when he received a fan letter from a harassed high school student asking him if there were some easy way to remember historical dates.
David suffers from no such misapprehension. His father is one person; Dana Andrews the actor is another. David sees most of his dad's pictures and discusses them with Dana afterward. He liked "State Fair" and "Laura" very much; he didn't care for "Fallen Angel" because he felt it didn't show Dana to advantage.
David was just past eight when his sister Kathy was born, and his enthusiasm was immediate. She was a little girl, bright-eyed, curly-topped, and her tiny fist always clutched David's finger. Whenever David neared her crib, Miss Kathy would kick the blankets and coo while David chuckled. Because she was a little girl, his attitude was loving and tolerant -- in no way did she threaten his domain.
Modern Screen, May 1946 cont'd
Dana, sensing his older son's emotional confusion, spent as much time as possible with David while Stephen was extremely small. Then, having reassured David somewhat, he said one day, "Let's go up and take a look at that brother of yours."
pride of possession....
In the nursery, Dana picked up the infant and was rewarded by a toothless grin that David found rather funny. "Here, this is the way you hold him," Dana explained, giving detailed instructions, then putting the youngster in David's arms.
The baby, sensing David's uncertainty, let out a howl. "You'd better take him," said David. "I don't think he likes me."
David tried it, and of course it worked. "It's going to be up to you to keep an eye on him," Dana said. "I'm pretty busy, and I'm not going to be around the house as much as I'd like, so I'll appreciate it if you'll take a hand. Between us I think we might be able to make a football player out of him. What do you think?"
Thus given proprietary rights, David began to take a new interest in Stephen. Currently, they are buddies even if Stephen isn't very steady on his pins, being a spraddle-stepped walker of fourteen months.
Kathy, who will soon be four, is one of the few persons in the world who can stop her Pop cold. Along in January 1946, when California had an nexplicable burst of summer, Kathy was sitting on the back steps, watching Dana tinkering with one of the cars.
Because she had been quiet for an unnatural length of time, Dana straightened from the engine and peered over the raised hood at his daughter. Her chin was sunken in the palms of her hands, and her elbows were propped on her knees.
Becoming aware of her father's querying glance, Miss Andrews said, "Before Christmas you told me that if I was a bad little girl and didn't obey all the rules, Santa Claus wouldn't come to our house."
Kathy early developed a habit of answering in a series of grunts. For "yes" she likes to say "uh-huh" and for "no" she says "mmm-mmmm." She has been "corrected" repleatedly. When asked it she would like sugar on her cereal, she will say, "mmm-mmmm, I mean no, thank you."
When she forgets the explanatory clause, Dana or Mary will say indulgently, "Don't say mmm-mmm, darling, say No, thank you."
But a persistent habit is contagious; both Dana and Mary -- when they were away from the children -- developed a kidding habit of repeating Kathy's sound effects. One day at table, Dana absently said "Mmmmm-mmmm" to Mary when she asked how things had gone on the "Canyon Passage" set that day.
Kathy rested a tender but admonitory hand on her father's sleeve and said sweetly, "We don't say 'mmmm-mmmm', darling. We say, 'No, thank you.'"
Sometimes Kathy's parallet regard for the truth and her eagerness to avoid offending get her into trouble. She was dallying with her plate one night, so Dana, thinking that a little suggestion might prove valuable, said, "Isn't this wonderful stew? Look at all the delicious fresh vegetables. I like carrots. And celery. And turnips. And a little cooked onions. Not very many little girls can eat such good beef stew."
Kathy gave every evidence of being stone deaf. She made no answer, nor did she turn her head. Nor did she cast an interested glance at her stew.
Dana said, "When you are spoken to, Kathy, you are supposed to answer pleasantly and promptly.:
When Dana and Mary were leaving for New York, they asked the two older children what gifts they preferred. David asked for a sweater and fleece-lined gloves. "But you don't need fleece-lined gloves in California!" laughed Dana.
the old familiar....
Dana was able to bring back several nice sweaters for David, but he couldn't find the fleece-lined gloves, although he devoted two days to the task of hunting them down. For Kathy, he and Mary bought a pair of red slacks, a red skirt, a red sweater, and a red jacket. It is currently a major undertaking to persuade her to wear anything else.
Not one of the children gives any evidence of having inherited Dana's unusually beautiful singing voice. He has tried to teach each of the children to carry a tune, but the two older children don't appear to have any conception of melody. Kathy, who loves to have her father read stories at bedtime, frequently crosses everyone up by saying, "Sing to me." What she means is "Read to me."