brandeis house long article, wife
Tj^PLilNSMAN J I N < N E By DREW PEARSON Private Firm Plots To Take Over Vital Defense Program 'U/'ASHINGTON — Behind all the i as secretary of commerce and as VV furor over the dismissal of Dr. boss of the Bureau of Standards, Allen V. Astin as. head of the Bu- j Moorehead Patterson,_ president of reau of Standards are some inter- j the American Machine and Foun- esting maneuvers hitherto unknown I dry Co.. paid a visit to the Bureau to the public. I of Standards. As head of the huge These quiet tactics center around A.M. &F. Co., and:a good friend the Bureau's vital development o f Secretary Weeks, Patterson was EW YORK — Plunging back work on fuses for bombs, shells given a warm reception. into the maelstrom of Grand 1 fentral Station after a- peaceful ! week end in New England is i something like stepping from a t delightfullv warm tub of water and guided missiles. For several large corporations been anxious to take over the Bu reau's fuse program. Naturally 1 into a stinging cold shower. It is if a private com! exhilarating, all right, but in a | pany gets in on i shocking sort of way. 1 the ground floor ' The Little Woman and your rov- j J n ' designing reporter have been visiting • ing fuses, it i these past few days with Mr. and , would be in the i Mrs. Erich Brandeis, who have : best position to ' moved into a spanking ne\v—or,! get subsequent i better stated, a spanking old— I m u 11 i m i I i home since last wci got together j lion-dollar fuse' up this way. The aulhor of "Look-1 production con- 1 ing At Life" in The Avalanche I tracts, j and 170 other papers in five | AS far back as PEARSON , countries and his wife now are. March 2, little more than a month i comfortably ensconced in a 225| year old onetime farm house, now , modernized as to plumbing, etc., i but still unmistakably early New 1 England as to lines and furnish- iings. Although they live only lit- itle more than 50 miles out of i Manhattan, they are, to all in- 1 tents and purposes, as isolated as [if they were living 1,000 miles i fpom Times Square, i :- * * * ! - Although the Brandeis i :house was built in the 1720's, • or 1730's, it has been owned j only by two families; the , Brandeises, who have had it i . a little more than a year, and ;, the Osborn family i ^--.The Osborns settled on the ] 'property and baih the house i more than two centuries ago, i -tut it was not until December i :26, 1769, that they got legal J - ownership rights. In exchange • for 'two pounds (then about 1 510) one J. William Osborn ! got a deed to the place from ! England's King George HI, ! Since then, a succession of , Osborns have owne?d and lived i on the place until Mr. Bran- 1 deis, gently prodded by his I good wife, cabbaged onto the i house and 10 surrounding | ecres. \ , The original deed to the i place, badly worn and faded, "•" hangs framed on the wall of — one of .the house's seven ,.~ rooms (plus three baths). The transfer of the property from the English Crown to the ^ Osborns was notarized by t 4 Daniel Burr, a kinsman of the is famous Aaron. • J * * •* litiOR A decade or so prior to last J*? Summer, the Brandeises lived Jon Crooked Mile Road, in the Vil- j.&ge of Westport. J^They had a lovely home and ^beautifully landscaped grounds land, most amazing to a West ••Texan, the gurgling Saugatuck jEiver sang its way right through Jthe backyard. - j j.But Mr. and Mrs. Brandeis had i ' — — 'ed to Crooked Mile Road from teeming canyons of Manhat- to get away from crowds. So ithey became a little unhappy Jwhen Westport neighbors began ?cutting their five-acre, or larger, ftracts into smaller ones'and sell- gfte them for homesitcs. » j;Where-they originally couldn't hiee a neighbor's home, the Bran- ideises got to where they had folks JSying within 300 feet, although flhostly screened by trees and Jshrubs. So they started looking for^something not only more isolated inx>w, but which also could be kept Maolated, come what may. |VThey found it in the Osborn jjjace, 10 miles from Westport in Rae Village of Georgetown. Ergo, jthey bought the old house and 10 of ground and began on after Sinclair Weeks was sworn in By Bennett Cerf; Just Try To Stop Me! A DLAI STEVENSON showed his •£"*• mettle early in his career as Governor of Illinois when an anti- cat member of the Senate jammed through a bill for "the protection of insectivorous birds by restraining the running at large of cats." The Governor's veto contained this paragraph: "I cannot agree that a cat visiting a neighbor's yard or crossing the highway is a public nuisance. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming. i In my opinion, we already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency." People unused to humor in high places sat up and took notice. * * * • ' A SECOND-HAND car dealer in •"• Spokane advertised a 1952 convertible as "a steal at $2500." Twenty minutes after the ad ap-| peared, the convertible was stolen. (Copyright. 1953. By Bennett Corn original owner under Crown rights. * * * Mr. and M_rs. Brandeis have not yet finished their, landscaping program. Erich is dickering for more property—although 10 acres in Connecticut is about like a section would be on the edge of Lubbock—hence any 'scap- ing program begun now might not fit the added property. But they do have part of their shrubs and flowers in. Most striking part of the place's arboreal adornment are the "bride-and-groom" trees which flank the front entrance. Back in early day New England it was a custom for brides and grooms to plant identical trees on either side of the front entrance of the home into which they moved after marriage, Some r*.ow long-forgotten Osborn and wife did that at'the Brandeis place generations ago and the two big, \tall fir trees stand noble sentry there this very day. All very romantical, hey? * * * GUESS is that most West I understand," said Patterson, "that tliis whole research and development program on fuses will soon be taken away from the Bureau. I want you all to know my company will be happy to pick up the pieces. In addition," he told the startled scientists, "I'm ready to move the whole operation, including personnel, to my Boston plant." This was well before Sinclair Weeks fired Dr. Astin. It was also the first inkling the scientists had that the nation's vital fuse program was to be put on the auction block. In fact, they were skpetical about Patterson's prediction and went ahead with their work. Patterson, however, was so sure of his information that, before leaving Washington, he made attractive financial offers to several key scientists. ' * * * Pens And Fuses The following week, Fred K. PowolL Jr., vice* president of American Machine and Foundry, arrived in Washington. Powell went so far as to tell Pentagon and Commerce Department officials that his company was ready to absorb the whole fuse program "on a moment's notice." Then, on March 25, Secretary \Veeks wrote a confidential letter to Defense Boss Charlie Wilson urging the Pentagon to remove the fuse program from Weeks' own Bureau of Standards. Weeks' letter to Wilson was disguised in official double-talk, but its nisan- ing was clear. He wrote: "I bring this (fuse program) to your attention in case you wish to delegate someone to check these expenditures and perhaps, suggest an examination and even a re-evaluation of the research program." At first this got no favorable response from the Defense Department. Armed services knew the amazing job the Bureau of Standards had done on fuses. When others failed, Bureau scientists had developed the proximity fuse during World War -II, the fuse which explodes when it approaches^ its target, and which causes the' amazing missie to steer a course toward its target. In fact, Army-Navy experts wrote a confidential memo to Secretary of Defense Wilson warning against danger to the guided-missile program if Dr. Astin was not reinstated Later, however, Secretary of Commerce Weeks got his way, His colleague, Secretary of Defense Wilson, has now issued instructions to curtail further military research funds for the Bureau D! Standards. Note: Assistant Secretary of Commerce Sheaffer, the 'fountain-pen manufacturer, told friends that one of the first things he would do in Washington was shake up the Bureau of Standards. He claimed they had been unfair in testing one of his pens. * * * /COMPTROLLER General Lindsay ^ Warren has ordered his accounting sleuths to audit the huge "maii payments" the government is ladling out to the airlines. It that of Brandeis' Folly." * «But the results have been worth the effort and expense. * * * , Erich'Brandeis made all the - noise in connection with the "remodeling and modernizing , v and, too, he signed fie checks. -iBut it was his lovely iyife, - Olga, who did the planning; "•who had the vision and the ; ; faith. - Scorning the services of an ^architect, she got hold- of a "native New Englander who has been modernizing old •homes all his life and the two ^of'them plotted and carried "out the whole program. They '"bossed the stone masons, the •.•carpenters, the electricians, 'Hhe plumbers—and even the landscapers. _• On frequent Brandeis jour- :neys around the country. Olga -picked up antiques o: one '.-ind *and another and wheedled "Erich into believing rhey were ^essential to the completed ^homestead. : Now the Brandeises have "their 18th Century home, furn- .ished in 18th Century style, •yet with all the conveniences. 'of a Park Avenue apartment. "•. It's quite a layout — and, ;what is important in New -England, it is authentic. *.'. • * + * aVyrUCH OF the flooring—wide, ?•'•'• oak planks — originally was <aid when the papa of old J. William Osborn built the place. The Jnain structure, of course, is original, as is the narrow, almost ladder-steep stairway and its Jiandcarved guardrail. „ The house now ha<; a central Seating system which burns oil, <but there are two original fire- ilacqs downstairs, one in the din- angroom and the other in the liv- tagroom. The big hearthstone in <he diningroom has never been laken up since being laid^ about $25 years ago. On it generations *>f Osborns have toasted their toes *-toes now turned up in the fam- [y burying ground which, with Is ancient tombstones, is visible *o Erich Brandeis as he takes iime from his writing to look out Jis study window. i Over the old fireplace, in iron *w>ught by hand, -are ; 1he- initials, *" " They stand for George, narrow might pall on the gents, but to the ladies would be very, very, ducky. The truth is that up I in Connecticut, places like the Brandeis 1 are considered very, very oh-and-ah and are far more costly than modern residences. In fact, many of the old-timers are as mad as hops because some people are building ranchstyle and other' modern types of residences which are incongruous when placed alongside houses of early English, or Dutch, architecture. * * * One of the Brandeis' prize possessions in the way of antiques is not indigenous to New England, but, instead, came from the Old South. It is a pair of old lamps which, now electrified, .glow on.each side of the front door. These old lamps originally were on a horse-drawn hearse in Mobile, Glassed on three sides and with silver reflectors, they were given to Mr. Brandeis by a Mobile restaurateur who reads Erich's column daily and admires its author' very much. The lamps are worth a lot of dough — but there isn't enough money in Connecticut to' pry them away from their new owners. * * * "DROBABLY the most interesting -*• piece of furniture in the home is an old New England schoolmaster's desk. It now sits in the entrance hall, but latei will be turned into a small serving bar and placed in Mr. Brandeis' combination study and den. Erich found the piece in a pile of junk in Upstate New York a couple of years ago and bought it for a song. Since then, he has turned down many opportunities I _ to sell it for a whacking profit. | fully tell The desk stands about four feet! heart . . high, on spindly legs. Meant to be j bloom used standing up. it has a slant- day . . O UR ( Texas males would get a big j was a similar investigation kick out of inspecting a remodel- led to the reform of the Maritime ed and modernized New England | Commission . . . It's a neat trick farmhouse and' if he can- do it, but Congressman in one—briefly. , Miller of Nebraska has promised However, the women-folks m our | to make daylight saving time retro- part of the country undoubtedly l.active for the nation's capital In would give their eye teeth for such i other wordSi D c ros jdents can a house as a permanent abode, i turn their doc| . s ahead an hour b . The fact • that the floors slant j ginning last Sunday. This proposal some, the ceilings are low. the i was made in all seriousness by rooms a little small" and the doors I Miller, after Congressman Bender of Ohio urged quick action on the daylight saving bill ... "I suppose we might try to make it retroactive," offered Miller. . . The Chinese Communists are quietly withdrawing a full division from' the Korean frant. Captured prisoners say it is on its way back to China. This may be evidence that the latest Chinese truce bid is genuine. Senator Chavez of New Mexico is flat on his back at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Friends say he was driven there by worry over Pat Hurley's unrelenting campaign against him in New Mexico. . , Karl Schlotterbeck is chief counsel of the House Ways and Means subcommittee now trying to sabotage Social Security. In his spare time, he also serves as a special consultant to the .new secretary' of welfare, Mrs. Oveta Gulp Hobby, who is supposed to loofe out for ) Social Security . . . Communists are trying to plant the rumor that the three atomic explosions in Russia were misfires and that Russia still doesn't have the atomic bomb., However, our top atomic scientists Sec DREW PEARSON Page 9 By J. J. Metcalfe Portraits ESPECIALLY IX MAY * I love you every hour and . . I love you every day . . . But you are something special in . . .The happy month of May . . . Perhaps it is the lilac with ... Its fragrance in the air ... The Lily of the Valley or everywhere , The hawthorn Perhaps it is the emerald . . . That sparkles in the sur ... To constantly remind me. dear . . . You are my only one . . . The jewels and the petals sweet . . . May play a certain |lex—Kin* George HE, the land's i See FIAINSMAN -Page 8 . part . . . And yet they do not . . The feeling in my Whatever flower is in . . Or gem in vogue to- I only, know I love you so .... Especially in May.