Cover / Alex Gard
I found this book years ago at a sidewalk sale in Brooklyn. The illustrated journal of a young graduate of the Russian Naval Academy who joined the U.S. Navy as it prepared to enter the war in Europe. It starts: To all the men who went through the boots training, Especially to Platoon 512, of 1942 Norfolk training station. The illustrations are great. Alex came home from the war and was hired by Vincent Sardi of "Sardi's" to do drawings of Broadway celebrities. Sardi and Gard drew up a contract which stated that Gard would make the caricatures in exchange for one meal per day at the restaurant. The first official caricature by Gard was of Ted Healy, the vaudevillian of Three Stooges fame. When Sardi’s son, Vincent Sardi, Jr. (1915-2007), took over restaurant operations in 1947, he offered to change the terms of Gard's agreement. Gard refused, and continued to draw the caricatures in exchange for meals until his death.