Quad City Times

Davenport, IA

29 Dec 1944




Frank Miles Meets Fortune Teller -- and More Iowans -- When He Visits Cairo, Egypt

By Frank Miles
(IDPA War Correspondent)

Cairo, Egypt -- (IDPA) -- My Arabian guide squatted down near the open casket of a mummy in a tomb among the Pyramids when I visited them after flying here from Athens, Greece.

"I tell your fortune -- past, present and future", he said, drawing a cross in the dust on the floor with the forefinger of his right hand."North, south, east or west," he added, touching the tips of the lines.


He tapped the dust around the cross with his finger tips, muttered words unintelligible to me and said suddenly:
"Six months ago you very sorry, very sad."

My younger son had been killed in army air force action six months and three days before.

"A young gentleman far away worry about you and you worry about him," the seer continued.

My older son was flying as a bombardier from a base in England.

"You will cause trouble today for why you know not, but you will not be hurt," the Arab went on.

Returning later from a sightseeing tour of the city market place my turbaned horse cab driver leaped from his high seat to battle with a native motorist, whose machine had bumped our vehicle. A crowd gathered and a free-for-all was prevented only by heroic police work.


Soon afterward, when a husky bootblack called me something or other for refusing to give him more than eight piastres (32 cents) for shining my shoe boots, and a fezzed, gowned young man rushed up to argue for him, a Greek soldier pushed the bootblack and another hung a shiner on his pal. A dozen or more bootblacks angrily seized chairs from in front of a nearby cafe, the two Greeks and six of their buddies did likewise, and skull cracking was averted by police, onlooking civilians and a British officer.

"You okay, sergeant," my bootblack said when the excitement ebbed.

All of the other prophecies of the fortune teller were rosy, so I hope they will prove as true as were those of which I have written.

In the Ding Dong Bazaar on Sagha & Khan Khlili, where the proprietor talked while smoking a water pipe, I saw the names of many Americans, who had bought presents there.

Sergt. M. McCreary for Mrs. Murel McCreary, Traer, Ia., and Lieut. Milo G. Galhorn for Mrs. Pearl Galhorn, Waterloo, were among them.


The dragoman, who took me to see the pyramid and Sphinx, then to the beautiful, 700-year-old Mohammedan Blue Mosque, showed me a book which his charges had written appreciation of his services over the signatures.

"Hassan is a wonderful guide," was signed by Ben Sieman and Mrs. B.C. Sieman, Goldfield. "His heart is in his work."

Iowans on duty with the U.S. army in the middle east whom I met:

Col. Harold E Pride, Ames; Sergt. Dorothy Evans, Audubon; T/5 Bette J. Kimble, Des Moines; and Pvt. Loretta Birmingham, of Sioux City.

Colonel Pride, for 13 years alumni secretary at Iowa States college, had two brothers in service -- Maj. Ronald I. Pride, an ack ack army officer in France, and Lieut. (j.g.) Russel I. Pride, USN, a submarine motor inspector at Cleveland, Ohio and a son, Pvt. Jack Pride, in an army howitzer outit in Texas.

Miss Birmingham is the daughter of Ed Birmingham, the prominent Iowa Democrat and collector of internal revenue for Iowa. She and Staff Sergt. V.R. Dickinson, Boston, Mass., were to be married here. She has four brothers in uniform -- Staff Sergt. Melvin J., in France and Pvt. Edward J., of the army, and Corp. George in the Pacific and Corp Jack Birmingham in the states after 22 months in the Pacific, both marines.

Miss Evans is the daughter of Charles Evans, a rural mail carrier and World War I veteran, and Miss Kimble the daughter of Mrs. Jessie Walker of Des Moines.

Source: Quad City Times, December 29, 1944

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