, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 12, 2012

A lively soul lost

'Flash' Zabriskie's show biz dreams cut short by WWII


“They had a little theater, probably to give the guys something to do.”

In his high school yearbook, it was written of him, “He’s a flash at anything he does; even beating the 8:15 bell.”

His motto, as registered in the yearbook, was, “Be on time, study hard — and it’s OK.”

Seniors graduating in 1940 were asked what they would be doing deep into the future — 1965. Flash responded, “singing and dancing for Universal pictures.”

He “predicted” his home would be in Beverly Hills, Calif.

But the war broke out in 1941, and Flash Zabriskie joined the Marines. He was sent to the South Pacific.

He was killed in November 1943. Because of the impact he had made at the high school, city officials dedicated a plaque to him at Newburyport’s World War Memorial Stadium.

Retired veteran Daily News editor Bill Plante, who knew Flash Zabriskie, wrote of him about a half-dozen years ago: “As engaging as all the Zabriskies, he had a personable grin and an easy style.

“It was like him to join the Marines, and I know he must have been moving forward at Bougainville where he was killed ... because that was the kind of guy he was.”

In a speech to members of Zabriskie’s unit who came here for the reunion years ago, Plante said, “He, and all those we knew who didn’t make it, have this going for them.

“For us, they will remain young forever.”

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