Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mel Brooks and Werner Von Braun

     Mel Brooks, creative comic genius and Werner Von Braun, Hitler's creative rocket scientist have nothing in common, right? Wrong.

     When WWII ended, Von Braun's team was brought to the United States before the Russians could grab them and he, and his team, in large part were responsible for America's space program.

     Mel Brooks, writer and producer, of The Producers - and, the play within the play was created by an insane character who wrote a musical in praise of the Nazis.  During the course of the play within the play "Springtime for Hitler" a character announces that Hitler was a better dancer than Churchill.

     Now, fast forward to us on the beach in Waikiki, in front of the Outrigger Waikiki, and our interviewing the beach boys for our travel article.  They told us of all the famous people that they taught to surf with no problem.  They even looked at us and said that we could do it too.  Then they started to laugh.  We asked why.  They did not answer.  We prodded, did you ever have trouble teaching anyone how to surf; and then they laughed and admitted yes.  We asked who, and they blurted out -Werner Von Braun.  He wanted to understand the physics of surfing and we could not explain that to his satisfaction and finally, he agreed to try when we convinced him that he would surf without the explanation.  And he did.  The surfer said that Von Braun was on a surf board in the middle and we beach boys were on both sides of him, and held his hands with his arms out stretched, and guided him in on a wave.  He loved it!

     If only Mel Brooks had known this story.

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