Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Movies of My Life

One of the most popular features of my Journal blogs seems to have been my growing love of movies old and new. Check out THE BOOKSTEVE BIJOU for more personalized looks at the movies that have made up my life!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Well, 45 days have passed. We plugged the Kickstarter drive to friends, on boards, in forums, on Facebook, on my blogs and even got some nice plugs from various big name sites!

But we only got 11 supporters.

So...for now at least there will be no Book of the Blog. 

Special thanks to all 11 of you who jumped on board, only a few of whom I knew personally! We will rethink the concept and it may yet become something. Just not anytime soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kickstarter Incentives Updated

After sitting at $127.00 for the past two weeks on our campaign to fund a book of this blog, we suddenly got two more backers after adjusting the incentives so that you now get a signed copy of the eventual book at the $50.00 level! Please check it out and consider pledging! 31 Days to go!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

****Support the Book on Kickstarter!****

As of now, A GEEK'S JOURNAL 1976, THE BOOK OF THE BLOG is a live project on KICKSTARTER and we can use the support of all of you who have asked for such a book in order to make it happened.


If you can, please donate. If you can't, please spread the word that we are attempting to make this expanded book of the blog a reality!

Thanks in advance for your support!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Geek's Journal 1976--THE BOOK??

Coming Soon...maybe. Maybe not.

A lot of folks have asked for it--including a couple of publishers-- but I'm not convinced there's a market. The book would contain all the original journal entries but substantially increased annotations and much more perspective about what was going on in the wider world during that time period. We're thinking about going the Kickstarter route. Would you support that? Would you but the book? Let me know. If the answer is yes then we can make this a reality. I look forward to having my geeky senior pic on bumper stickers for promotion!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Follow Me Back to 1974!

What are you doing here? 1976 has ended! Follow me back to 1974 where we're doing it all again for the next twelve months!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 31st, 1976

Below zero degrees!

At last I got around to my homework. More strip-cutting, too.

Gave in to IT one last time this year! I am weak.

Mom made chili today!

Tonight we put the lights in at the office.

Well, this is the final day of 1976 and in these last few hours I've been reflecting on the passing year. One year ago tonight I predicted great things simply because I had always felt they would come this year. And they did in a way.

This was the year I saw my first concerts--Dawn and Wings. Also saw lots of other celebrities including Bob Hope, Gene Roddenberry, De Kelley and a host of other greats and near-greats!

On the other hand, a good share of bad things hit me, too. The incident at TUNNELVISION, a turbulent battle inside my mind about the future and my role in it and the sad realization that the past is getting further and further away.

I suppose on balance the Bicentennial year was one of my better ones, though. The good things seem to have outnumbered the bad. I completed several comic book collections, attended several conventions, I saw Debbie again, I started whole new areas of interest including Jayne Mansfield, Laurel and Hardy and underground comix.

In spite of all this, though, I feel a disappointment. It's not the loneliness--I've learned to accept that to a large extent. Somehow, though, I feel lonely in a different sort of way.

Still...today is an ending and tomorrow another new beginning. It all starts anew. My main resolution is to take control of my own hormones--to avoid IT or anything related to it for at least nine more days at which time I turn 18 and my guilt will hopefully dissolve since I'll be of age at that point.

In the meantime, here's hoping for a better year next year...tomorrow. Happy New Year.

NOTES: As I mentioned earlier, for this last day, I actually stapled in a new page. 

The sketches above are from the inside back cover of the '76 Journal and were made throughout the year. 

The fact that my Mom made chili was unusual. In fact, I don't recall her ever making chili. Chili was something my Dad made and taught me to make. I make an excellent chili if I do say so myself. My wife says its my best dish as a chef. I never make it the same way twice, however, and often toss in new stuff just to see how it plays. I got that from my Dad, too. 

The obsession and guilt over natural hormonal activities didn't go away. My parents, as wonderful as they were, never talked to me about sex or masturbation. While I picked up the details on my own a little at a time, the fact that it was so hidden always gave me that level of shame. I was in my twenties before that went away. I'm happy to say (Don't tell him I told you) that we never made that mistake with our son. He knew, on an appropriate level,  from the earliest point he was interested. 

Friends since third grade, Terry and I grew apart a little at a time and finally just stopped hanging out together in our early twenties, our paths having diverged from one another. I would see him on rare occasion come through my store in the late eighties. It wasn't until 2010 that we reconnected via Facebook and now speak from time to time on the phone. He remembers all this stuff, too, although sometimes differently than I do. 

I did go to Graduation and graduated 12th in a class of 200 plus. I could have been higher if I'd actually tried. I was given an award as the outstanding English student. My son is now in the same school and, grade-wise, as a Freshman, he is thus far way out in front in the # 1 spot. 

I did NOT attend college. Part of the reason was the fact that my innate shyness prevented me from taking the steps necessary to even find out what needed to be done. It's my biggest regret and yet, if I had taken that different path I would never have met my lovely wife of 20 years now and we never would have had our son. 

I worked through some of my shyness issues when I took acting classes in late 1979. This enabled me to get a gig as a writer/performer with a local comedy troupe in 1980 and then found a similar comedy group of my own. It also enabled me to get a real job rather than emptying trashcans and mopping floors in the middle of the night. I could never have done retail without acting classes! Later on, the acting classes came in handy when I started performing onstage annually at the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Cons, too! The shyness actually remained, though, and still is an issue, but it could have been much, much worse...without the acting lessons.

 In 1978, my dad was hit by a car while walking home with coneys for me. It made the front page of both local newspapers the next day. He broke his arm and his shoulder and had leg and hip injuries. He never drove again and, because of my motion sickness issues, I had never learned to drive. He sold his car. It limited us severely  and for a solid year his arm was in a fleece lined brace and we watched him deteriorate. I was convinced he wasn't going to make it. But he did. He recovered almost completely. 

I took over the cleaning of the Social Security Office entirely as he was no longer in a position to help at all. With my pay, I was looking at an apartment across the street when suddenly my Mother took ill two years later. After yet another year-long struggle, she succumbed to cancer. My dad and I stayed there, same apartment, as roomies for another decade. Although greatly affected by her loss, his health improved amazingly. Although he never drove again, he began flying for the first time in his life, joining a couple of travel clubs! He even flew with me to Williamsburg, Chicago and San Diego (the latter two for comic book conventions, of course) in the eighties and nineties.

I never saw Debbie again and finally--FINALLY--stopped thinking about her all the time as my "ideal" girlfriend. I would not have my first date until I was 23. She was 20 and...experienced. It took a  couple of years of dating me but eventually she "experienced" me, too! After her, though, a couple of minor infatuations but no real relationship until I was 29...and I ended up marrying that one!

After more than two decades of managing bookstores, I became a victim of the economy...and then reinvented myself as a writer. One book that I did behind-the-scenes work on in 2011 was just today chosen by CNN for one of their year-end "Best of" lists! I'm not doing great at it. Right now we have less than 25 dollars to our name. But it's early yet. It's what I've always wanted and I'm NOT going to give it up now!

So I thank you one and all for embracing A GEEK'S JOURNAL-1976 in such an amazing and gratifying way. I honestly feel that seventeen year old me would have loved to have realized how universal his problems and obsessions were. How NORMAL he really was! The fact that my hated Senior Picture has been literally seen all over the world via the Internet thanks to AOL and the UK, German, Japanese, Spanish and Russian blogs that have linked this site...flabbergasting. It's going to stay up for anyone who wants to look back over the whole thing to get a fuller picture or for those who have yet to discover it. Again, though, I thank you so much...

And invite you to jump back a couple of years with me starting tomorrow to  find out JUST who I was at the ages of fourteen and fifteen as we do it all again with 1974--A GEEK'S FIRST JOURNAL!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 1976

Seemed like Thursday all day.

Dreamed about Debbie for the first time in awhile.

Picked up a really neat Laurel and Hardy book with Aunt Rosie's five dollar Christmas money.

Dad off early again today.

NOTES: What can I say? I remain a Laurel and Hardy fan to this day and have watched several of their films-good and bad--over the past year. Even introduced my son to the boys' films and the concept of reciprocal destruction. Was even reading some old Laurel and Hardy comics recently!

As for it seeming like Thursday all day...it WAS a Thursday! Not sure why THAT was allowed to take up precious bottom of the page space, y'know?

Remember---1974 is coming back!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 29th, 1976

Mom off at noon today.

Very cold!

Finally cleaned desk.

Read the new PLAYBOY.

I said no more IT until my birtday. That didn't work when IT happened again today. Darn it!

NOTES: Not much to say here. Year's almost over and I was down to the last few lines in my Journal.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 28th, 1976

More stripwork.

Terry seems really miffed because I skipped the new KING KONG. Not sure why.

Two trips into Cincy. Got some dinner and the new PLAYBOY (no IT). Then had to go back for medicine for Dad's toothache.

There was an UNTOUCHABLES movie on today.

NOTES: THE UNTOUCHABLES was a show I had vague memories of as a child in spite of the fact that it was NOT a show little kids should have been watching. Produced by Desi Arnaz, it was the dramatized story of G-Man Elliot Ness and his fight against the gangsters and bootleggers of the 1920's.  The movie I saw that day was THE SCARFACE MOB, pieced together from the 2-part pilot film of THE UNTOUCHABLES and co-starring the great hammy character actor Neville Brand as Al Capone, a character who was in jail throughout the rest of the series. 

Above right is a theatrical poster for THE SCARFACE MOB but I went for the Belgian version seen here because of the gleeful look on Stack's face as he guns down the bad guys. Looks ten times creepier than Capone's!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 27th, 1976

Got three letters today!

Worked on more stripwork this morning.

To Florence with Terry on a neat adventure to catch the brand new Eastwood flick at the brand new cinemas there!

NOTES: When I was a child, Florence, Kentucky seemed not only a million miles away from where we lived but there was no point in us ever going there because it was all farm country. In the early seventies, plans began to come together for the Florence Mall which opened earlier this year. 

The rest of the area built up quickly around the Mall's lead with a half dozen strip malls and a ton of restaurants almost before you knew it! Still, it wasn't easy to get there as it involved a bus ride of nearly an hour each way. 

Then they announced the "Cinema City Six!" When they finally opened they were the Florence Mall Road Cinemas or just the Mall Road Cinemas or some-such. We always just referred to them as the Florence Cinemas. It was the second multiplex we had around here after the barely accessible (if you didn't drive) Showcase Cinemas.

Regular readers will have no doubt noted that I saw a LOT of movies in those days! The first one they had at the new multiplex that I just had to see was the latest Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry flick! I had loved the intense first one and liked the more pop feel of the second one even better! I just couldn't wait for this third one! Too bad I didn't really care for it. Ah, well...

About a decade after this, I would begin a nine-year long stint working in Florence. For the first six of those years, I still didn't drive and had to make that nearly-hour bus ride both ways five days a week.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 26th, 1976

Some snow again.

Parts record playing and ROBIN HOOD today. Rosie and Bill came down for a little while, mainly just long enough to exchange presents.

I salvaged strips from the GAZETTE and then disposed of them.

McCLOUD was back tonight and saw Annette again, too.

NOTES: ROBIN HOOD was probably the Errol Flynn version, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, another favorite from almost the moment I first saw it. I remember seeing Flynn first in CAPTAIN BLOOD and thinking he was the single handsomest man I'd ever seen. 

I probably watched it again out of the corner of my eye as I cut up my entire collection of THE MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE on this day. Yikes! Looking back now, I wish I'd kept them but they were tabloid newspapers on fairly good paper and they came out weekly. Between them and the weekly TBG, they took up a  LOT of space! They were too cool, though. Imagine an entire newspaper that ran nothing but the comics! And not just the regular comics---classic strips were mixed in with little known gems, current favorites and the best of the foreign market. And every one of them a week's worth at a time! After this date in 1976, all I had left, however, was a couple of folders with some of my favorite strips. Sigh...

Annette would, of course, be Annette. Funicello. Those early MICKEY MOUSE CLUB reruns had a lasting effect.