Modern Screen magazine, June 1947 cont'd
All the Andrews are mad about sailing, and they've been doing plenty of it while Dana was waiting to start his next picture.
Mostly, they use the "Katherine," which is their 55-foot cutter, a beauty of a boat. They're real snobs; never run their motor, and have nothing but harsh words for people who do. Sailing is an art; motors, any slob can cope with.
"There's something about using the wind," Dana says, and he gets the note in his voice some people get when they talk about Beethoven.
He's sensationally good, too, considering he's only been sailing a year or so.
He was coming up from Catalina one day, with a load of guests aboard, and a fog rising. Fifteen miles out, he got a bearing on the sea gate (there's an artificial sea wall at Long Beach, with a 200-yard opening) and then the fog closed in, thick and gray and wet.
Dana couldn't see twenty feet in front of him, the wheel was icy in his hands, and he was sweating.
Once in awhile, someone would ask, "Will we make it?" He could sense the panic; his own fear was sizeable. "Don't worry," he'd say.
When he caught sight of the harbor lights, the Katherine was already passing safely through the gate. It's a piece of work he's proud of.
He had another close shave, too. It was his first trip out with his brother, Bill, and they'd forgotten to look at the storm warnings before they left. Naturally, a storm came up.
Dana was working furiously and Bill came up, "I've been sitting on the bowsprit. It's the dryest part of the boat." He hadn't more than finished the sentence when the bowsprit went under a ten-foot wave.
In the beginning he was hopelessly confused. He'd hear Dana talking on the phone to some girl at the studio. "Thank you, sweetheart," Dana'd be saying.
The day he heard Charlie Feldman, Dana's agent, call Dana "baby", he gave up.
Bill stayed with Dana and Mary for awhile, but now he lives in Santa Monica, in a little house out in back of Mary's parents' place.
He got himself into a play at college, and Dana and Mary caught a performance.
Bill and Dana have another brother in the neighborhood. He's Charles Andrews, principal of Polytechnic High School in Long Beach. He's a bright man, but awfully modest.
Several months ago, he told Dana a story idea. "I think I'll write it some day," he said. Dana was enthusiastic. "It sounds terrific." But Dana also knew brother Charles. He needs pins stuck in him.
Being on friendly terms with MacKinlay Kantor, because of 'Best Years of our Lives,' and respecting Mr. Kantor's opinion, Dana thought he'd like to have Kantor hear Charles' idea.
They problem was, where to get Kantor where he couldn't walk away. The solution was obvious: the boat. Dana slyly invited Mr. Kantor for a sail, and they all set off.
"Charles has an idea for a story," Dana began. "You want to go up and listen to it?"
Mr. Kantor went up and talked to Charles. When he came back, he was a different man. "It's wonderful!" he said. "Make him do something with it."
Dana tried for a long time. Charles would listen, look agreeable and then say, "Oh, I don't know if I could write it or not."
After awhile, they dropped the whole subject. And then when Dana was in Vermont, he got a letter from Bennett Cerf (writer and founder of Random House publishing).
Cerf wrote Charles, and then when he came out on a visit, went and saw him, and that did it. Charles is really going to start working on the story now.
The Andrews family is loaded with talent. Take Dana's son, David. Thirteen years old, and he builds radios.
Then there was the time the very correct-looking gentleman came to the house, looking for a Mr. Andrews.
mr. andrews, jr.....
The authorities, vested in the person of the correct-looking gentleman, tried not to smile.
All told, they're rather nice kids, maybe because Mary and Dana are such a wonderful combination. They're not Hollywood, in the glittery sense, and all they ask of friends is a reasonable amount of intelligence and a reasonable lack of affectation.
She and Dana shair an enormous curiosity about people, but hers isn't as far-reaching as his. She'll say, "So-and-so was awfully dull. How could you talk to him so long?"
Sometimes Dana thinks it's the humor, constant and fresh, that he loves best in Mary. Sometimes he thinks it's her honesty, or her lack of sophistication, or her curiosity. Sometimes he knows it's everything she is.