|"TURN THE PAGE"
In 1993, when the NLAS celebrated the 50th
anniversary of Lum and Abner's motion picture TWO
WEEKS TO LIVE at the annual convention, we
searched in vain for any surviving cast members.
Then just prior to finalizing plans for the 1998
convention, film history buff Ray Nielsen of the
Arkansas Education TV Network (AETN) called to
give us the current whereabouts of one of the
leading ladies of that film, Kay Linaker. Five years
late is better than never at all, and we are most
grateful to Ray for enabling us to meet this amazing
Although the roles she played would hardly indicate
it, Kay was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The year
was 1913. With a full name of Mary Katherine
Linaker, she was known to her friends as Kate.
During her childhood, her father became embroiled
in certain business dealings with a couple of wealthy
fellows from over in the western part of Arkansas... a
small town called Mena, in fact! The two tycoons in
question were Union Bank president W. J. Lauck and
wholesale grocer Rome Goff. Kay explains what
they cooked up:
"My father had decided that Arkansas was never
going to be known for anything besides cotton is
something was not done to improve things. He got
the idea of buying blooded hogs and bulls in
Chicago and bringing them back to breed with the
livestock in Arkansas. Somehow he came into
contact with Mr. Lauck and Mr. Goff... my father was
in the wholesale meat business, so that is probably
how he knew Mr. Goff... and the three of them went
into business together.
"They brought the hogs and bulls back home, and
each of them made a deal with the farmers in their
part of the state to... er... 'service' their sows and
cows when the proper time came. My father, Mr.
|The original version of this article appeared in the August 1998 issue of The Jot 'Em Down Journal.
Some modifications have been made to adapt it to this web format.
Lauck, and Mr. Goff would take the animals out on
Sunday afternoons to perform this service. I think it
was more embarrassing to their wives than anything
else could have been!"
There was no way for these three would-be hog
kings to know that the Lauck, Goff and Linake
offspring would be meeting decades later in quite
another world altogether. But, we are getting ahead
Kay attended college at several different universities
in the New England area, and says that the snide
remarks she heard from the other girls quickly
prompted her to lose her Arkansas accent. Pursuing
an acting career, she was quite preoccupied by
stage work until... well, born storyteller that she is,
we will let HER explain what happened:
"There was an agent in New York who was the TOP
agent. Nobody ever argues about the fact that Mr.
Richard Pittman was THE top agent in New York. Mr.
Pittman saw me, and then called me and said he
would like to have me come in for a chat. So, that's
how I became a client of Richard Pittman. Some of
his other clients had done very well whom he had
arranged to go out to the coast... Spencer Tracy and
Clark Gable were a couple of them...
"I was rehearsing for a play when this phone call
came in. A voice said, 'Hello there! This is Max Arno
from Warner Brothers. We've exercised your
option.' I said, 'This is a bad joke and you're taking