Gary Morrison as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Ernie Pyle.
The dispatches of World War II Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ernie Pyle will be recounted in a one-person play at the Lakeshore Museum Center on Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Performed by Gary Morrison, the play depicts the true reality of war as told to people on the home front and shared with millions of fighting men and women in the pages of the “Stars and Stripes”.
Ernie Pyle was born on a tenant farm in Indiana in 1900 and served briefly with the Navy Reserves near the end of World War I. He left Indiana University a semester shy of graduation to begin his newspaper career. Pyle became a war correspondent for Scripps Howard after the United States entered WWII - reporting from the United States, Europe, Africa and the Pacific. He wrote in a folksy style from the perspective of the common soldier, not on the movements of armies or the activities of the generals.
His columns appeared in over 380 daily and weekly newspapers along with the “Stars and Stripes,” the serviceman’s newspaper. Whenever Pyle came across a group of soldiers, he always introduced himself by saying: “Hi, I’m Ernie Pyle.” People back home eagerly awaited news from the battle zone as reported by Pyle because they knew they were getting the unvarnished truth about what it was like on the front. He is remembered for being “shoulder to shoulder” with the troops. Pyle died in 1945 after being hit by Japanese machine-gun fire.
Morrison, a retired freelance journalist, takes Pyle’s most hard hitting, poignant, relevant and comic dispatches from WWII and presents them in the way Pyle would have if he was alive. After the show, Morrison invites audience members to discuss the presentation and recount their own memories of military service.
“Hi, I’m Ernie Pyle” has been well received by audiences across the country. George Potter from the Wright WWII Museum in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, wrote, “The work you do; your entire presentation is an honorable, grand tribute to a generation of U.S. military personnel and folks at the “home front.” Your work keeps E. Pyle’s memory and writings alive.”
The free presentation is being held in conjunction with the Lakeshore Museum Center exhibit “Joe Beyrle: A Hero of Two Nations” which tells the story of Muskegon’s own WWII hero. The event will begin at 6:30 pm and will conclude at approximately 8 pm. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 231-722-0278. The museum is located at 430 W. Clay Avenue. www.lakeshoremuseum.org