1969: Bob Hope recovering

From the Army Archerd Archive

Feb. 4, 1969 — GOOD MORNING: Bob Hope, who has been in complete darkness since Tuesday — with adhesive patches covering both eyes — has been cheered by stacks of letters, wires — and fone calls from President Richard Nixon, Vice President Spiro “Ted” Agnew and Gov. Ronald Reagan. Rapid Robert (Hope) reluctantly admits, “I have to cool it for a while.” Nevertheless he’s hopeful medics will let him do his TV show next week. But a decision will not be forthcoming until late this week … Meanwhile, Dolores will represent Bob at his Palm Springs Golf Classic Ball tonight having just returned from the N.Y. funeral of one of their favorite relatives (Uncle) Paul De Fina … Until winging east, Dolores had been “narrating” visual portions of TV shows to Hope who has been listening to almost all shows, including “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof,” classified as one of his favorite pix. 2009 Update: Hope, of course, recuped and went on to do hundreds of TV shows. After he died on July 27, 2003, I devoted my column to him and cited his 1990 book (with Mel Shavelson), “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me” in which he recalled entertaining troops from North Africa and Europe to the South Pacific, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf — plus shows for millions of civilians on the home fronts. Barbara Eden who had toured with him from the ’60s to the Persian Gulf war, remembered how Bob would stay awake, even when their plane was being re-fueled in midair — “and he’d ask me, ‘Don’t you want to watch?’ He was interested in everything.” He continued to work into his 90s. I recall when wife Dolores was doing one of her shows at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs, Bob made his humorous one-line appearances during her rendition of “It’s De-Lovely.” He died at age 100. Dolores will be 100 May 27, this year. I spoke to daughter Linda about birthday plans. “It’s still undecided.” She and brother Kelly will do anything Dolores “feels up to. She’s conserving her energy. She’s doing well and looking at (the many) Hope business affairs.” Linda, who oversaw the (first?) Hope memorabilia auction, remains busy placing items beyond the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, several museums. She said the memorabilia auction benefited veterans groups. I suggested another memorabilia auction of the trove of Bob Hope items to thank him for the memories. But, she said the economy today is not partial to mementos of yesterdays.

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