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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: They set a bomb off under her car port. That was a few years after my father died. She had just gone upstairs from her kitchen and the bomb blew the windows out of the kitchen, all the way across the breakfast room, through the dining room and the other side of the house. She didn't get hurt, and she didn't get scared. She didn't get intimidated. When I went over there a few minutes later, after I'd been called by the FBI, I said, "Mother, you ought to come over and spend the night with us." She said, "I'm not leaving my home. I'm staying right here." She refused to leave. She was a Kirkwood. Scottish. Tough. The FBI never did solve that case until about a year ago. I found out who did it. He was a Klansman. A big Klan leader from over here in Mississippi. He came over here and put it under there. I notified them formally as to who did it and where he lived. He's moved to Virginia now, and he's become an evangelist! Put "evangelist" in quotes. They went up and interviewed him, and I have a copy of the interview. So, he's the one that did it. But they didn't discover it. I found out about it.
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Frank Johnson

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Frank Johnson: I wasn't in the first or second, or third (wave). I went in two days later. But they weren't 300 yards from the beach. So I was in the Normandy invasion in that sense. I helped get through Saint Lo. After we broke through Saint Lo, we went across France. I was in Patton's Third Army. I was a lieutenant in the infantry. I got shot once in Normandy, stayed in the hospital 11 days, went back still with the bandage on. They left the bullet in there. It's still there. They said, "It will take you three months if we operate and cut it out," said "You can get back in ten days if it stays in." So they filled it full of that stuff that was just out, what did they call it then? Powder? Pat you on the rear and you get on back to your crew.
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

Chuck Jones: Oh, yes. I expected to be fired. In fact, we all wrote our resignations, all of us that worked on the film. We figured the director and the animators would be canned. We figured we'd resign before we got fired. Fortunately, we didn't send them in. Leon came crashing in that day, as he usually did, and we assembled all the troops to watch the picture. And, he came in and went running down the aisle, or plowing down the aisle like a plaid battleship and climbed up on this throne that he'd established at one end of this projection room. It was a gold throne that he'd sit on and every time he got up there'd be gold flakes sticking to his pants. We sat on old pews. Pews that he'd stolen from some Warner Bros. picture. Every time we got up we got up there was splinters in our bum. So we all got something out of the showing. Leon jumped up on his platform and in order to make us feel good he said, "Roll the garbage." That's what he always said. It made you feel like he really cared. So they rolled the garbage, and of course everyone in the studio knew the drama of the situation, so nobody laughed, of course. He didn't care, he didn't pay attention to what anybody else did anyway, or heard. It was only his opinion that counted. So at the end of the picture there was this deathly silence and you could hear crickets, or a horse neying like they do in westerns, and way off in the distance a dog would be wailing our death, but old Leon jumped up and looked around and glared around, and we thought, "Here comes the old ax." And he said, "Jesus Christ, that's a funny voice, where'd you get that voice?" So, that was what it was, and he went to his unjust desserts, doubtless taking his money with him, went to Nineveh and Tyre, but the voice lives on. As long as Daffy Duck is alive, Leon Schlesinger is there, in his corner of heaven.
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Chuck Jones

Animation Pioneer

There's one rule that I feel is vital. It was set down by G.K. Chesterton, who said, "I don't take myself seriously, but I take my work deadly seriously." Comedy is a very, very, very stringent business. Jackie Gleason said it's probably the most difficult and demanding of any form of drama. Because you have an instant critic: laughter. If you don't get that laughter it isn't tragedy. You don't know if people are suffering enough or not in tragedy, but in comedy you know. If you're making it for films, you don't know until you've taken it to an audience. I never had the courage to take any of mine to an audience. I would die. The first picture I ever made, I thought that it wouldn't even move when it got out of there. And they had to lure me out -- I was in a terrible funk -- to go out and see it in front of an audience. It scared the hell out of me. And I pretended like I wasn't there, you know. And so, we were sitting in the balcony in Warner's theater in Hollywood, 1938, and the cartoon came on and there was a little hesitation. And the little girl sitting in front of me said to her mother, she said, "Mommy, I knew we should have come here." You know, "I knew we should have come here." The tenses get all mixed up. But I wanted to adopt her and take her home, because she was laughing at six or eight years old. She was past that terrible age. If she had been five she would have destroyed me.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

Quincy Jones: We were in the heart of the ghetto in Chicago during the Depression, and every block -- it was probably the biggest black ghetto in America -- every block -- it also is the spawning ground probably for every gangster, black and white, in America too. So, we were around all of that. We saw that every day. There was a policeman named Two Gun Pete, a black policeman, who used to shoot teenagers in the back every weekend and everything happened there all the time. A gang on every street: the Vagabonds, the Giles HC, the Scorpions, and just on and on. In each gang they had the dukes and duchesses, junior and senior, which accommodated everybody in the neighborhood. That was the whole idea, for unity, really. Our biggest struggle every day was we were either running from gangs or with gangs. And it was just getting to school and back home. Because if your parents aren't home all day, you know, it's a notorious trek. I still have the medals here from the switchblade through my hand, pinned to a tree. I had an ice pick here in the temple one time. But, when you're young, nothing harms you, nothing scares you or anything. You don't know any better. And in the summertime -- the schools were the roughest schools probably in America. I saw teachers getting hurt and maimed and everything every day, and it was everyday stuff.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

I wanted to get out of that house. I didn't want to be there. Eight kids and a stepmother, and I just wanted to be out of there. So, when I got a scholarship from Boston to the Schillinger House, which is now the Berklee School of Music, I couldn't wait to get out of there. And my aunt sent me a ticket by train to go there. I stopped in Chicago and I went into Boston at night -- the most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my life. Because it was pitch black and you get there and you've got your trumpet and this little bag, your bag of clothes, not much, no place to stay but I had a scholarship and that was sort of a blanket, a security blanket I could hold on to. And, one thing led to another. I walked around the neighborhood to try to find out where I could stay. I got a place for $10.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

Then we hit the road and we'd get to places like Texas. This is when every place had "white" and "colored" to wait in the bus stations and the water fountains, all over America. You couldn't stay in a white hotel anywhere. We played dances in New Orleans and they'd have chairs straight down the middle of the thing with chairs to go both ways, white on this side and that side. Then the places in North Carolina and South Carolina, they'd have $2.50 and $3.50 general admission for the black people, white spectators $1.50. I still have the signs, you know. And they'd sit upstairs and drink and watch the black people dance, you know. It was unbelievable. We played juke joints and people would get shot and we'd go through Texas. We always had a white bus driver because we couldn't stop in the restaurants. And sometimes we'd see effigies -- like black dummies -- hanging by nooses from church steeples in Texas. That's pretty heavy, on the church steeple, and they've got a black dummy, which means "Don't stop. Don't even think about coming here," and the bus kept moving. And then they'd finally get to places where we'd get the driver -- the white driver would go in and get food for the band. And sometimes in Newport News we slept -- I remember Jimmy Scott and I slept in a funeral parlor where the bodies were. There was no hotel so this guy said, "I've got a place. You can stay here these two days." We got $17 a night. You're not thinking about some suite at the Waldorf.
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Quincy Jones

Music Impresario

We got a last-minute call one time from the White House to go immediately from Istanbul to Athens, Greece because the Cypriot students were stoning the embassy. Whenever that happened we got called immediately to go in there, and play for these same kids. That was pretty scary because you could feel the energy and the hostility against whatever policy was going wrong at that time, whether it was Beirut and Israel, or the Cypriots and the Greeks. And after that concert, they rushed the stage -- the kids -- and we thought we were in trouble. Instead, they put Dizzy Gillespie on their shoulders and they were just running around the auditorium singing to him and everything else. It was great!
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