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Thread: Jack Benny in Aruba

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    Member Aruban1962's Avatar
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    Jack Benny in Aruba

    Jack Benny in Aruba-jack-benny-aruba-caribbean-lobby-sm.jpgJack Benny in Aruba-jack-benny-book-presentation-aruba-sm.jpg I'm posting a pair of photographs taken by my father (Henry C. Steeber), 'round about 1961, who was managing the Aruba Caribbean Hotel and had the pleasure of hosting Jack Benny on a few of his Aruba visits. Benny was friends with Morrie D. - one of the hotel's owners. He performed in the hotel's club and was a smash, even though many had never heard of him(!) This hotel, of course, is now the Radisson. Our family left the island in 1966, after six years of life at the hotel. By the way, I believe the gentleman handing Benny the Aruba book is ATA director Michael Kuiperi.
    Last edited by Aruban1962; 06-05-2013 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Added ATA director name

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    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    OMG Love, love, love the wind blown tie look! I can only imagine what his comments on the wind were like

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    The wind actually made it into a monologue at the nightclub - a reference to golfing amid stones and rocks, sand and wind. He liked the island, though. It was an escape.

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    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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    Senior Member danadog56's Avatar
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    Thanks, that was cool !!!
    ARUBA....HOME AWAY FROM HOME

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    CK1
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    Wonderful pictures, so nostalgic! I didn't know who Jack Benny was, so I looked up some clips on YouTube. He made me smile from ear to ear ~ what a character! I bet your Dad and everyone else had a blast back then!

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    Member Aruban1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CK1 View Post
    Wonderful pictures, so nostalgic! I didn't know who Jack Benny was, so I looked up some clips on YouTube. He made me smile from ear to ear ~ what a character! I bet your Dad and everyone else had a blast back then!
    Oh, absolutely. My parents heard Benny on network radio then TV for years. Meeting him was a particular mesmerizing joy for my mother, who had grown up during the Depression when Benny was on NBC radio every Sunday evening at 9pm. His was probably the greatest comedy show in radio history, and his career was one of the all-time great ones as well. We adored Jack Benny.

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    CK1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aruban1962 View Post
    Oh, absolutely. My parents heard Benny on network radio then TV for years. Meeting him was a particular mesmerizing joy for my mother, who had grown up during the Depression when Benny was on NBC radio every Sunday evening at 9pm. His was probably the greatest comedy show in radio history, and his career was one of the all-time great ones as well. We adored Jack Benny.
    Thanks for the explanation. I can only imagine how life must have been during the Depression but I guess people like Jack Benny brightened everyone's day. It reminds me of the movie "Seabiscuit" where the Great Depression was quite well captured, IMO.

    Did your parents meet other celebrities while living on Aruba?

    Looking forward to your pictures when you have the time to post some. Looking at some vintage postcards from Aruba, it must have been a little Gem in the Caribbean.

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    Member Aruban1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CK1 View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. I can only imagine how life must have been during the Depression but I guess people like Jack Benny brightened everyone's day. It reminds me of the movie "Seabiscuit" where the Great Depression was quite well captured, IMO.

    Did your parents meet other celebrities while living on Aruba?

    Looking forward to your pictures when you have the time to post some. Looking at some vintage postcards from Aruba, it must have been a little Gem in the Caribbean.
    Aruba was a special deal in 1960, when my parents came down from Ohio (where my father had a hotel job in Downtown Dayton). There was a job offer through a boss, and my dad took it -- a tropical island in the Caribbean? Why not. It ended up being six fun years, though it did kind of run its course, as the island, then as now, was small. The celebrities were many - Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore, Cyd Charisse, Liberaci, Tony Martin, Eddie Fisher, Harry Belafonte, Sonny and Cher... and the list went on and on.

    Aruba's government and tourist bureau were particularly proud of the brand-new Aruba Caribbean Hotel. It was the only sizable resort hotel on the island. The tiny Basi Ruti hotel was the only other real accomodation. The casino was a big draw, and the Klompen Club was a hot room for Vegas-type performers of all stripe who might want to get away from Vegas itself. I'll be happy to put together some photographs of Aruba (1960-66) which capture the glamor of that era.

    In the old days, I'd say I was born in Aruba, and nobody had heard of it. Now - different.

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    CK1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aruban1962 View Post
    Aruba was a special deal in 1960, when my parents came down from Ohio (where my father had a hotel job in Downtown Dayton). There was a job offer through a boss, and my dad took it -- a tropical island in the Caribbean? Why not. It ended up being six fun years, though it did kind of run its course, as the island, then as now, was small. The celebrities were many - Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore, Cyd Charisse, Liberaci, Tony Martin, Eddie Fisher, Harry Belafonte, Sonny and Cher... and the list went on and on.

    Aruba's government and tourist bureau were particularly proud of the brand-new Aruba Caribbean Hotel. It was the only sizable resort hotel on the island. The tiny Basi Ruti hotel was the only other real accomodation. The casino was a big draw, and the Klompen Club was a hot room for Vegas-type performers of all stripe who might want to get away from Vegas itself. I'll be happy to put together some photographs of Aruba (1960-66) which capture the glamor of that era.

    In the old days, I'd say I was born in Aruba, and nobody had heard of it. Now - different.
    Love reading your stories from back then and I definitely look forward to your pictures. I heard before that some celebrities liked to escape to Aruba instead of being in Las Vegas, it was like a 'secret treasure'.

    Wished there were a time machine to make a trip to the past.

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