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Woody, Cisco and Me
by Jim Longhi

Woody, Cisco & Me - cover

James "Jimmy" Longhi traveled with Woody and Cisco Houston in the Merchant Marines for three years during W.W.II.  In his book, he recounts his years of friendship with both Woody and Cisco.  The trio enlisted in the Merchant Marines and together shared some humorous, dangerous, and often moving experiences.

He gives a first-hand account of Woody during those crucial years with anecdotes that no other living person could tell; his action-packed account of their ship's dangerous journeys through mine-infested waters, his memories of their ships being torpedoed, his description of their shore leaves throughout North Africa, Italy, Scotland, England and France, his hilarious "on-board" stories of Woody as the ship's dishwasher, menu artist, totem builder, and impromptu entertainer for the troops.  Here we have yet another side of Woody, described as only Jimmy could.  Jimmy's more personal observations of Woody as a "bunk-mate" and friend are perhaps even more revealing.  He describes one incident where Woody saved his life after a torpedo hit their ship.  He also tells us of the day after Woody's four year-old daughter Cathy died in a house fire and Woody's response.  The memories go on and on...  His writing is so eloquent and descriptive one can't help but think... "what a great movie this would make!"  (Jimmy's working on it...).

Jim Longhi, has been a prizefighter, ladies' stocking salesman, merchant seaman, lawyer and politician as well as a playwright.   During World War II he and Woody, shipped out in the Merchant Marine.  Guthrie taught him to sing, play the guitar, and "to be brave."   They entertained troops under fire and were torpedoed twice off Italy and Normandy.   After the war, Longhi became a lawyer, representing Brooklyn's rank-and-file longshoremen against the gangsters.  With three longshoremen murdered, Longhi became the spokesman for the movement.  People from all walks of life came to help, Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan among others.  Longhi urged them to make the movie "On the Waterfront" for which Longhi conceived the original idea.  Thereafter, Longhi wrote his own play about the waterfront called "Two Fingers of Pride," and gave Steve McQueen his first job.  Longhi's second play, "Climb the Greased Pole," was produced in London's Mermaid Theater, starring Sir Bernard Miles.   "The Lincoln Mask," which was performed this year off Broadway.  His latest play "The Lantern," a play about Lincoln, was just finished. 

Jimmy Longhi passed away on November 22, 2006. Read Nora's News on Jimmy Longhi.

 

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