Mystery: Buster the Lifeguard?

Frequently while hunting through articles I find one that makes me stop and go hmm…really? Usually it’s pretty obvious where the mix-up happened. A lot of times if a story was good, newspapers would dust it off, change the name of the film it’s related to and run it again as advertisement. At other times it’s clear that Buster had nothing to do with the quotes attributed to him, but that they were written by his publicist. There are dozens of printed jokes (some of them hilarious) that I wonder if Buster ever heard of at all.

But every once in a while I come across an article that creates a real mystery in my mind. It’s much harder to explain exactly what the writer was thinking. What rumor they heard and blew up like a shiny balloon, or if there is actually any truth to the information presented.

This is one of those suspicious articles:

(Los Angeles Evening Post-Record, September 16, 1920)

I rank it as suspicious, because the quotes do sound to me like Buster. Was a newspaper man present at a casual, playful conversation and decided to record it? Are they making a silly reference to Arbuckle’s “Coney Island?” Did Buster talk about saving one life and they decided to make the story a little more interesting?

Here’s my guess:

I’m wondering if someone either read these articles about Buster’s leading lady, or were present at a conversation where both Buster and Sybil talked about swimming and saving lives, and they got the stories muddled:

(The Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1920)
(St. Joseph Gazette, June 20, 1920)

Then they decided to exaggerate – seven lives to fourteen, and the actual quotes are Buster talking about lifeguarding in general and funny terms.

Or, I could be totally wrong. What do you think? Anyone ever heard of Buster being a lifeguard?

2 Replies to “Mystery: Buster the Lifeguard?”

  1. Those Sybil clippings are great finds!! Thank you for sharing. I figured she must’ve been a very good swimmer, it running in her family and all. Not to mention her Bathing Beauty days…!

    Liked by 1 person

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