January 06, 2011

Prusoff did have a near-fatal accident in an elevator, but that was in 1935, according to Wikipedia. He recovered well enough to be ranked #8 in 1940, but Prusoff appears to have been absent from the tennis circuit from 1941 onward. According to The New York Times, Henry Prusoff was alive at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack and died in May of 1943. He was born in 1910 and would have been 33 when he died. Could his early demise have been the result of a delayed complication from the 1935 elevator accident?

Fast-forward to the 21st century. In the run-up to the Cheney/Bush Jr. Iraq invasion, Gardnar and I often discussed politics on the tennis courts at Fisher Island, Florida. Gardnar was outraged by Bush Jr.’s actions in the Middle East.

On the occasion of his new book’s publication, I asked Gardnar if he would write a short piece for Taki’s Magazine. He chose to write about the war in Iraq, a frequent topic of our crossover conversations:

George Bush’s Insane, Repugnant War
by Gardnar Mulloy

As a World War II veteran, I cannot understand those who approve of President Bush’s insane invasion of Iraq. Apparently they are blind to, or haven’t felt firsthand, the horror of the dead and battle-wounded. Unfortunately, it is those safe from harm’s way, who have not or will not do the fighting, that influence others to risk their lives with “Go get ‘em”€”I’ll hold your coat!”

Far from the action, the gullible American public does not realize or remains blissfully unaware that heroic wounded soldiers, soaked in their own blood and perhaps dying, lie in dirt screaming in agony. Pity the tired, homesick, and loyal soldier. He is constantly under dangerous pressures. He rarely bathes or has a decent meal and seeks protection as best he can, sometimes in a building he has destroyed. He is ordered to trudge weary miles with blistered feet carrying a rifle and heavy backpack, always with the fear of being killed by an unseen enemy as miserable as he is.

However, war’s worst scenario is the millions of suffering, defenseless civilians”€”men, women, and children who are bombed out of their homes, killed, and wounded or who become starving refugees. Meanwhile, our leaders who cause the carnage spread war’s “€œglory”€ by proclaiming that God is on our side as they remain out of harm’s way. At the same time, our government pays endangered soldiers peanuts and shamefully allows rampant and unabated war profiteering.

Gardnar Mulloy has taken the measure of his fellow man and walked away unimpressed, indeed appalled. Often on “the outs” with those in authority, whether the US Tennis Association or his Navy superiors, he didn’t give a damn for public relations or adverse consequences. He went his own way. Gardnar can’t be conned.

He lives in a peaceful neighborhood where time has stopped. It is tucked into a historic district of old Miami, far from the crowds of ordinary people racing back and forth across nearby causeways. This is where he grew up and where he has returned, bringing back more trophies than anyone has a right to possess in one lifetime.



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