Radio WMCA New York 1947
Gottlieb, William P., 1917-, photographer. [Portrait of Tommy Dorsey, Beryl Davis, Georgie Auld, Ray McKinley, Johnny Desmond, Vic Damone, Mel Tormé, Mary Lou Williams, and Josh White, WMCA, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947] 1 negative : b&w ; 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. Caption from Down Beat: Tommy Dorsey (top right) interviews the English pigeon, Beryl Davis, for his first disc jockey stint, with such names as Georgie Auld, Ray McKinley, Mary Lou Williams, Josh White and others visible in the background.
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26 Nov 2008 / 2 Comments / in Journeys

Tito’s mausoleum in Belgrade is known as the House of Flowers -Kuća cvijeća/Kuća cveća. The taxi driver tells me it is also known as the 25th May, the Yugoslav leader’s birthday.

‘ As a child, I took part in these displays’ he tells me, ‘ you see them now in China and North Korea, like gymnastics.’

‘Were you proud?’ I ask.   Screwing up his face he can’t remember, ‘Just that we had to practise for months, three or four.’

The tomb itself is white marble with Tito’s name and dates in gold, Roman letters.  It’s in an upmarket suburb of the city, in a secluded, wooded spot which is dripping wet like everything else in the heavy rain.  There are pictures of boys and girls in ironed white sports uniforms raising their arms and legs in unison to honour the head of state.

Around two-hundred-and-fifty batons are also on display.  Thousands were handed to Tito as part of an annual Yugoslavian relay race for his birthday.  They’re from cities, sports clubs, the Cycling Union of Macedonia, the Builders of the Fraternity-Unity Highway, the People of Croatia among others.

There are carved wooden batons, painted batons, one made from shells, one with scissors and a needle, one a miniature silver tank.

The final one in 1987 – after Tito’s death – was made from plexiglass with eight red blood-like drops.  “It could augur the beginning of blood shed in the region” is the curator’s comment.

Central Belgrade – themechanicalturk

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2 Responses to Belgrade

  1. Mary Shipley says:

    This blog gets better and better. Don’t come home too soon, I’ll miss reading about your adventures.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Mary. Glad you’re enjoying it. Home soon though.

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