Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 24, 1975 · Page 53
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 53

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 24, 1975
Page 53
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Page 53 article text (OCR)

Burger: 'Bricklayer of Architecture' By DONALD SANDERS WASHINGTON tfi -"1 am to the art of sculpture," Chief Justice Warren E. Burger once said, "as a bricklayer is to architecture." The occasion was the groundbreaking ceremony for the new East Building of the National Gallery of Art on May 6. 1971. and gallery President Paul Mellon had introduced the chief justice this way: "He has long had -- unknown to many -- a deep personal interest in art and is himself an amateur sculptor -- perhaps more than an amateur -- of no mean ability." Judged by a few examples of his work which may be seen in the homes of friends for whom be made them, the chief justice is a sculptor of considerable talent. However, the press of his duties as the nation's highest judicial officer, which includes administration of the entire federal court system, has prevented him from practicing his hobby for the past six years. Shortly after he took his seat on the court on June 23.19W, he started a massive portrait bust of a colleague, the late Justice Hugo L. Black, and outlined the profile. But it remains unfinished. Nor has he been able to pursue another hobby, oil painting. He is a better- than-average Sunday painter. He has maintained an active interest in art since his boyhood in St. Paul, Minn. He is also an B«rger antique buff, and regularly prowls shops in the Georgetown section. He is chairman of the board of trustees at the National Gallery of Art and regularly attends its exhibition openings, as well as some shows at other museums. such personal matters as his hobby except with friends. His interest in art goes back many years. He has preserved a drawing titled · "Literary History of England" which he did for an English class at Johnson High School in St. Paul in the mJd-1920s. It depicts little cartoon-like groups. In one of them, a young man says to another, "Yen, there's "where the Battle of Hastings was fought..." His companion replies, "Gee." Young Burger got an A-plus grade on the project. As a Boy Scout, acquaintances say, he sculpted horses heads in sand and once made an even less permanent bust, of butter. When Burger came to Washington as an assistant attorney general in 1953, he drove into Virginia and asked people where he could see "The Fountain of Faith," as the Milles work is called. No one could tell him until he described it. and then someone told him it was in a cemetery on Lee Highway. Burger had not known that it was commissioned by a private cemetery. National Memorial Park. While he was sculpting actively, the chief justice worked in relief profiles and a few full busts. He did his own casting. Typical is a bas relief profile of the late Judge Walter M. Bastian. a colleague on the local court of appeals. Several casts were ma^Je for members of the family. Bastian's widow has one. Among the chief justice's favorite paintings are a portrait of his son Wade, wearing a red vest in a post reminiscent of a famous Cezanne; a breakfast still-life of half a grapefruit and a napkin: and his first oil. also a still-life, of books, one of them titled "U.S. vs Aaron Burr." an important early court case. He also cherishes his wife's first oil. of Sunday Gazette-Mail tt. Co.. Auguil 24, 1975 Page 3E riding boots. She. too. has not found time to practice her hobby in recent years but is said to be a talented painter in water colors. -APWirephoto The First Oil Still Life Cherished Warren Burger More Than a Chief Justice ON SUCH OCCASIONS he talks animatedly about art, but if a reporter encounters him he will not speak for the record. It is possible to learn something about his hobby from longtime friends and acquaintances. At the recent formal opening of a loan show of master paintings from Leningrad at the National Gallery, Burger remarked about the almost photographic realism of a 1901 full-length of portrait of novelist Leo Tolstoy by a Russian painter almost unknown in this country, Elya Repin. The chief justice was a regular visitor to the gallery before his elevation to the Supreme Court, which carries with it the chairmanship of the gallery trustees and membership on the board of regents of its parent, the Smithsonian Institution. Burger, who is 64, served for 13 years on the local U.S. Court of Appeals, and during part of that time he and four colleagues had lunch at the National Gallery every two weeks. They met with a historian or curator, who would discuss some aspect of art and then escort the jurists around to view pictures. "He has been a real ally," the gallery director, J. Carter Brown, told a reporter. "He has been a very active and loyal chairman. He knows the gallery very well and the pictures in it. "At our last trustees' meeting.he showed a keen interest in what we are up to. But he never tries to impose his ideas on us. He realizes we have a professional staff, and he doesn't interfere." » THE CHIEF JUSTICE maintains a low personal profile, in keeping with court tradition. He does not ordinarily discuss Budget for V.A. Climbs As Old Soldiers Get Grayer Associated Press Writer Jerry T. Rnulch. author of the following xtory on hoir World War II veterans have fared since the Japanese surrender, spent nearly four years on C,en. Douglas A. MarArlhur's staff during the irnr as chief nines censor and assistant public relations officer. A retired reserve colonel, Baulch now covers i-eterans affairs in Washington. By JERRY T. BAULCH WASHINGTON I/PI - It was 30 years ago this Labor Day that Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur stood on the deck of the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay and ended the 18-minute Japanese surrender ceremony by proclaiming: Otherwise.. * Tom Fesperman Networks Should Stick To Ways to Stay Afloat I don't applaud the daytime soapies on the telly. I also don't defend those quiz shows wherein wigged women win washer- dryers for naming the brothers who invented the aeroplane. I simply say these are not the worst tube products. The worst are the likes of Face the Nation and Meet the Press, and Issues and Answers. *· I RECKON I'VE gone through the change. I used to think such programs \ver6 essential to the improvement of life. Not long ago, wrapped in the world's cares, I ahvays tuned them in. I went into studious silence. I wouldn't even light a cigarette, lest falling ashes disrupt wisdom. Here sat our leaders, the insiders. They could take us by the hand, get us out of the swamp. But then I gradually realized what was happening: The more I listened, the less I learned. Cabinet members hemmed, and party generals hawed. Undersecretaries lost themselves in thickets of theories. Congressional chieftains dodged questions. Subcommittee chairmen expanded answers into elongated espousals of imcomprehensible ideas. The words were tiny bubbles of air, vaporous, floating away from microwave relay towers to join the pollution of platitudes. *· MURK WAS ADDED to the fog around us. Replies to questions spilled out like overturned spaghetti, sauced, slippery, intertwined, curled to hide beginnings and endings. Panels of questioners sat suffering silently in unsatisfaction, pressured perhaps by producers into phony politeness. There were no new revelations. No answers beamed light into our picture tubes, and slapping the sets on the side didn't help. The networks' efforts at enlightenment added density to the darkness. I switched channels. And thought of my own newspaper interviewing. There was a difference. Editing. I'd come back from a big shot, and the boss would ask what was new. and I'd reel off this gunk, and he'd decide what 2 per cent was worthy. His pencil was the antidote to swollen statements. *· I HOPE THE NETWORKS will drop their political game shows. Out here where we live on The Edge of Night, in our Search for Tomorrow as The World Turns, we need clarity, kids, not compounded confusion. We get more straight answers from Hollywood Squares. We get more sober thoughts from Foster Brooks. We need big shots who can talk out of only one side of the mouth, the way- Buddy Hacketl does. The riels would serve better if they produced specials on boat safely, because we're heading for the lakes, to try to cool it, and we're hoping somehow to stay Afloat. ^ "These proceedings are now closed." As he turned his back on the cluster of 11 Japanese, who were dressed in military uniforms and formal cutaway attire, and walked away the sun dramatically burst through the heavy overcast that had shrouded the scene. So ended World War II, 1,365 days after Pearl Harbor. *· THE ANNIVERSARY of the surrender on Sept. 1 U.S. time, and Sept. 2 Tokyo Bay time, will be observed Labor Day at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Va. As we stood on the Missouri's deck that Sunday 30 years ago, it had been a long road to Tokyo Bay for those of us who joined MacArthur in Melbourne, Australia, back in March and April of 1942 to help him fulfill his promise of "I shall return." For others of the 16,535,000 men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces in World War II there had been other hard, long roads -- in Africa, Europe and other parts of the Pacific and Asia. The veterans of World War II are graying, with only a few listed by the Veterans Administration in their 40s, but most in the mid-50s. Over 1,000 are 85 or older. They dying faster too, down to 13,654,000 last Dec. 31, which was 206,000 less than the previous year. A surprising number of World War II veterans are still on active military duty, despite the fact that most career military people retire by the time they have 30 years service. »· THE BIGGEST CONCERN of the Veterans Administration is that the World War II veterans are beginning to move in increasing numbers to the pension rolls and requiring medical and nursing home care. The V.A. budget has climbed -steadily the past seven years to $16 billion this: year.' Figures compiled by the V.A. show that of $239 billion spent on all veterans for all purposes by the agency or its predecessors $113 billion -- almost half -- was spent for World War II veterans. Dr. Robert H. Felix, one of the Veteran Administration's chief outside advisers on aging, has projected that by 1990, the number of veterans 65 years and over will increase to about seven million, a 350 per cent increase. This would include some veterans of the Korean war who were not in World War II. Most of the millions of veterans, however, probably will not need to call on the V.A. for care because their work careers will provide for their needs in retirement years. But 30 years ago about half of the veterans were turning to the V.A. for help in returning to civilian life with Gl education benefits and home loan guarantees. By the time the World War II education program ended 7.8 million veterans had gone to school under the GI bill, a 50.5 per cent participation. This, however, is not up to the 59.3 per cent of Vietnam era veterans. Home loan guarantees to World War II veterans total 5.7 million. And they are still talcing such loans out since the program reopened for them in 1970. There are now 1.3 million World War II vtl'ians drawing compensation for ser- disabilities Pre-Season Savings Save 25%! New Fa Corduroy Sport Coats 39 90 Regularly $ 5 5 Our own exclusive mid-wale 100% cotton corduroy sport coat. Suede trim accents the fashionable bellows pockets and button holes. In Fall colors of camel or tobacco. Regulars, shorts, longs and extra long*. Men's Sport Clothing--Second Floor PARK FtEE 2 HOUiS,with purchase, at Community Parking lot, comer a* Virginia and Hale Streets |._

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