Newsvine was started by a student at Santa Clara University during the Great Depression. His name was Andrew Vabre ("Andy") Devine. Devine, a college football player, constantly passed notes to his fellow students during class. He enjoyed sending jokes and gossip to other students. One of women who enjoyed his sense of humor said his notes were "Divine" since that sounded like Andy's last name. Pretty soon when she passed along some juicy gossip to other students she said she heard it on "da vine". Andy decided to start a column in the school paper and he called it "The Newsvine by Andy Devine."
Andy's football experience led to his career in acting. He landed his first sizable film role, in the 1931 football movie, "The Spirit of Notre Dame." He also began writing his Newsvine column part-time in "Variety." He landed so many acting roles that his column became sporadic. He finally gave up writing in 1951 when he began acting in "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (which was on radio and television). He is well-remembered for his role as Wild Bill Hickok's sidekick, "Jingles". Guy Madison played Wild Bill. The popular series ran from 1951-1958. Of course, like all of those horrible American Westerns, it was in syndication for many years. Sugar Pops was introduced as the show's sponsor in 1951 and Andy Devine did many of their commercials. Every child of the 50's can still remember the jingle: "Oh, the Pops are sweeter and the taste is new. They're shot with sugar, through and through. . . . Sugar Pops are tops!"
Yes the 1950's were sweet and so was the cereal. They used the "hard stuff" -- sucrose -- back then (none of that high fructose corn syrup). The kids had plenty of energy back then. Andy Devine was not just a spokesperson, he loved Sugar Pops and began munching on it constantly on the set. And television programming for children was full of guns and violence. Even cartoons were rife with violence. Even that little wimp, Elmer Fudd, carried a gun to hunt wabbits. Devines's character, Jingles, had his own unusual style of shooting bad guys. He would often wave two .45's around and seemed to fling the bullets out of his gun. Once, during a gunfight scene, the gun slipped out of his hand and he accidentally did fling his gun which struck Guy Madison in the head. Andy Devine told reporters that Guy Madison was fine and that he only had a tiny skull fracture and about a dozen stitches in his head. He said they could resume shooting tomorrow and they injury wouldn't show because it was above the hairline. So Andy Devine was credited with coining the phrase "hairline fracture." Andy then received lessons from Willie Killigan, a renowned marksman, on how to handle his guns in a safer manner. So Andy Devine was responsible for the first instance of "gun control."
Unfortunately, Andy's obesity became a problem because of his addiction to Sugar Pops. While shooting the last episode of Wild Bill, he was riding his horse Joker down the mountain when it collapsed under his weight. Joker suffered a broken back and had to be put down. This mountain is still known as "Broke Back Mountain." Devine was depressed over losing his television show and the loss of his horse. This caused him to eat even more of those irresistible Sugar Pops. When he was admitted to Mt. Cyanide Home for Decrepit Over-Actors, Andy weighed well over 500lbs. Eventually, Andy's stomach ruptured from constantly eating Sugar Pops. The resulting Tsunami of milk and cereal knocked fellow over-actor Charleton Heston into a television set. Heston's flint-lock rifle shorted out the TV and Heston was electrocuted. When an EMT was prying the gun out of Heston's cold dead hands he was heard to remark, "Jesus!" Another EMT said, "Actually, that's Moses." Later a suicide note was found indicating that Andy Devine said he planned to intentionally eat so much, "I will explode." So Andy Devine was the first suicide bomber in history.
Andy Devine died before Newsvine was resurrected online. But the Newsvine roots reach down into his grave. Andy's fertile mind started the little sprout that has grown into the Newsvine we enjoy today.
TV Western Show Starring by Guy Madison as Marshal Wild Bill Hickok - Andy Devine as Deputy Jingles P. Jones
Andy Devine http://www.mohavemuseum.org/tour01g.html
Sugar Pops1 http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_ucp_slideshow.asp?id=355&picid=1911
Sugar Pops2 http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_ucp_slideshow.asp?id=354&picid=1190
Sugar Pops3 http://www.mrbreakfast.com/cereal_ucp_slideshow.asp?id=354&picid=1907
Andy's star http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Andy_Devine_star_HWF.JPG
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqBy96GEGUc