Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, February 2, 2017


From August 16, 1942, here's another episode from NBC Radio's Author's Playhouse, this one featuring Eric Knight's delightful Sam Small, the "Flying Yorkshireman."  In this tale, Sam is walking ( a polite description, considering Sam's condition) home from the pub when he bumps into a lamp post, splitting the poor man into two identical persons -- a form of Yorkshire schizophrenia, perhaps?  Each personality considers himself the "better half" but things get more complicated when add the other "better half," Sam's wife Molly.

Sam is played by Charles Penneman and Hilda Graham takes the role of Molly.  The cast is rounded out by Herb Butterfield, Fred Barron, and John Goldsworthy.

Eric Knight is best known for his book Lassie Come-Home (the basis of a certain collie franchise), although mystery readers might remember him as "Richard Hallas," the author of the hardboiled thriller You Play the Black and the Red Comes Up.  Knight was born in Yorkshire in 1897.  He enlisted in Canada's Princess Pat Legion in 1917.  His two brothers enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard and were killed on the same day in 1919.  Major Eric Knight was killed in a crash of a C-54 in Suriname on January 15, 1943; at the time he was working for the OSS.  "On board were secret documents, a large sum of american money and 35 people.  This was at the time the worst air disaster in North American aviation history.  There were no survivors."  The plane carried eighteen military personnel and eight civilian support staff.  It is suspected that the plane was shot down by a German submarine.

Enjoy this whimsical and extraordinary tale from an extraordinary man.

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