The next afternoon we got a studio car to take us up to the pool at the inn. We were like kids—Duke was 41, Pete 36, and I was 27. We splashed one another, pushed one another under water, and shoved one another off the diving board. We had a hell of a time, laughing and talking about all the crises during the shooting. In those days, everybody smoked. You were either odd or in training, if you didn’t. But Duke! He lit one Camel off another all day long. We used to raise hell with him about it. “You’re not patting me down already? It’s only ten-thirty in the morning, and you’re already out?” He’d start toward, you patting the pockets on his vest or pants with a big grin on his face, trying to make you think he’d forgotten his. “Hell-ooo, Ol’ Dobe,” he’d say. Then he’d start searching you like a detective looking for dope in one of today’s TV shows. When I’d give him one, he’d say, “Jesus, how can you smoke these (meaning the brand) goddamn things? I’ll give you a pack tomorrow.” He never did so, but I found a remedy for that problem. One day I was passing his dressing room—the kind that is on coasters and is on the sound stage. The door was open, and I looked in. He wasn’t there, but his cigarettes were! Right there on his dressing room table were five cartons of Camels. He’d posed for an ad for them. I just took a carton to my own dressing room, and then, when he wanted a cigarette, I gave him one of his own! He finally said, “Ya’ finally learned to smoke the best cigarette!” The reason I bring all this up is because I thought I was some sort of champ at staying underwater a long time. I figured that because of the way Duke smoked and the fact that his only exercise was playing cards, I could easily beat him swimming underwater. So, as we were splashing around, I said to Duke, “I’ll bet I can swim underwater in this pool longer than you can.” “What? Hah—hah—hah. You have ta’ be kiddin,’ friend! You are on!" I really did think I could beat him; after all, I was younger, and I exercised a lot more than he did. I played golf and tennis, and rode horseback. It was a very big pool. My turn first. I swam up and back twice and then another half. I ran out of air and surfaced. “Not too bad, for a skinny guy,” he commented and jumped in. He then went almost twice as far! I couldn’t believe it! He didn’t razz me or brag—he just knew what he could do. It never occurred to me that his lung capacity was over twice mine and that he’d been diving for abalone off Catalina Island for years.
Harry Carey Jr. (Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company)