The lovable movie and singing star just left us at age 97, stirring up moments from my past. The most vivid is her haunting 1945 recording with the Les Brown band.
When the war with Japan ended that year, I was with an advanced Navy unit in the Philippines. We had moved up the islands from Samar and Leyte to the capital city of Manila on Luzon. With millions of soldiers and sailors suddenly joyful to have survived the war, we just yearned to go home. While we waited for that ship or aircraft to take us, the Doris Day song became our anthem.
Later, when I reported for the daily Beverly Hills Citizen, after college and serving for two more Navy years in the Korean War, I encountered Doris Day several times. I recalled moments at movie premieres, when she did her movie star entrances, and at other show business events. Like her movie image, she was always a charming, friendly presence. And totally more lovably talented than today’s discordant ranting singing and acting stars.