This was a weird one to come across! I know my Bogie to some degree, but I have no idea if he really did this or not, though the entry is just so bizarre that I’m inclined to believe that he did.
Bogart’s mother, Maude Humphrey (Bogart), was a highly skilled and highly paid illustrator, who eventually spent 20 years as art director for the popular Delineator magazine beginning 1910.* But tonight I scoured the web and offline materials for any reference to Humphrey Bogart actually illustrating, drawing, sketching, etc., as a hobby and came up almost totally empty. Actually Mike Rosenberg’s Tribute to Humphrey Bogart site had the closest thing I could find to a clue which is this illustration of Bogart labeled “self-portrait.”
*I’d be remiss not to add the 1 billionth web reference noting that while Maude sketched baby Bogie that he was not in fact the famous Gerber Baby.
Perhaps the accompanying photo of the author and illustrator best reflects Bogart’s state of mind at the time of this article:
The article appears in the February 13, 1938 issue of Screen & Radio Weekly.
Here are the pair of illustrations which led to me killing well over an hour seeking out info about Humphrey Bogart’s hobbies (chess overshadows all by the way):
What’s going on here? Up top we have in the sleigh obviously Errol Flynn dressed in his Robin Hood gear; the fellow cracking the whip is identified in the text by his sideburns—it’s George Brent, who was wearing them at the time of Jezebel; that’s Bogie himself holding the sling-shot; and pulling up the rear with the mischievous look on his face is Bogie’s Kid Galahad (1937) co-star, Wayne Morris, holding a diploma in his hand. The diploma is referenced by Bogart in his accompanying article, but it’s a reference I don’t get unless it’s just a general remark upon Morris’ youth.
The same Wayne Morris character appears inside the circle below surrounded by seven women. Morris is also the title subject of Bogart’s article which is called “Mushing With Morris.”
In the text Bogart tells a story about lunch time in the Warners’ Green Room. He ate alone at a table positioned against the wall (that’s him inside the circular sketch too) while Morris sat at a table for four that was surrounded by the seven girls.
A silence came over the lunch room when suddenly Morris:
pushed his chair back … and stood up, scattering girls, chairs and table silver in all directions.
“I’ve got to mush out of here,” he said—and out he mushed.
From here Bogart goes into a strange story whereby he collars Morris and convinces him to go mushing with him on an exploration of the upper reaches of the Los Angeles River. Morris tells Bogart that he has “often wondered where the Los Angeles River starts. The finish is such a sad affair.”
Along with Morris, Bogart brings Brent and his sideburns and Flynn dressed as Robin Hood along on the journey. Flynn remains silent for most of the time while the others trade tales of past adventure.
Suddenly Bogart is awoken by the talking in the lunch room: Wayne Morris is still with the seven women, while George Brent is across the way telling stories to Maid Marian herself, Olivia de Havilland.
Bogart concludes his nonsensical story:
“You’ve been asleep,” said the waitress sharply. “Your tie fell in the cheese blintzes.”
“I’ve been dreaming,” I said with dignity. “It’s all just mush ado about nothing.”
Check for availability: At the time of this posting I have several issues of Screen & Radio Weekly from 1936-1940 available at auction and for immediate sale.