Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 30th, 1976

Found out McCartney is supposed to be on David's show again tomorrow. A combination of discs, tapes, pictures and memories helped me to relive the concert today.

Finally got STAR*REACH in the mail today. Also the '75 yearbook (with a big article on comedians). Speaking of comedians, tonight I saw a comic named Mark Russell do his political humor on WCET. Kind of like Steve Allen.

We had Burger Chef for dinner tonight for the first time in awhile.

Tomorrow I'll see one of the new Southern flicks--either GATOR or ODE TO BILLIE JOE. With my recent reading on suicide, I'm leaning toward the latter. Another thing in its favor is that the same two principals are in it that really reached me in the JEREMY play in SCOPE a couple of years back.

The closer Omnicon gets the more trepidatious i get. I hate that. After it's all over it'll be pleasant memories but until then, I'm starting to dread it.

What was it I mentioned back at the beginning of the year? My best year? Maybe in events--at least 3 Cons and 2 concerts this year--but in my personal life? Man...

NOTES: David HARTMAN! Former actor David Hartman became the long-running host of ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA during a period when that show's ratings topped those of the show it emulated, NBC's TODAY. Apparently they had done a pre-recorded interview with the still on tour McCartney and were running it over several days.

This was my first exposure to comedian Mark Russell who would appear multiple times a year on PBS for the next 3 decades! Always well-dressed, he did look like Steve Allen with his glasses but his act was more Tom Lehrer, filled with political parody songs skewering all sides.

JEREMY had been an earlier movie starring Robby Benson and Glynis O'Conner, both of whom also starred in the Bobbie Gentry song-derived movie, ODE TO BILLIE JOE. I had never seen JEREMY but we had performed excerpts from it that had been printed in SCHOLASTIC SCOPE a few years earlier.

Seen above are David Hartman, left, and Mark Russell, right, both as they looked in the seventies.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 29th, 1976

Despite going ahead and picking up the new HUSTLER, I was kind of non-interested in it. Weird. Picked up more lottery tickets for dad while I was over there but he lost.

That new guy upstairs seems to be trying to take our job! He says Mr. Deters told him to start mowing the lawn.

Had a slight hell of a time at SS tonight. Those guys are all pigs sometimes! On top of everything else there was more rain and some tornado warnings this evening!

I'm having some serious revision thoughts already on my story!

NOTES: The guy upstairs had been given a free apartment--a room, really--on the third floor in exchange for being a 24/7 handyman around the place. No one had told us, however, even though we had been the de facto handymen for a year or more. He turned out to be a nice enough guy...when sober...which he rarely was. His name was Jack and my biggest memory of him is that he showed me a photo of himself with the Three Stooges when he was 9 years old. Always wished I'd had a copy made. Too cool.

The photo seen here is NOT Jack's photo but it reminds me of it, aging and all. Can't recall if he had Shemp or Curly in his, though.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 28, 1976

I decided not to get up at 12:30 to catch Paul McCartney. I may have missed him on David's show.

I took some pants down to the laundry for dad and mailed a letter for Mom on the way.

I luckily caught the return of MONKEES reruns beginning tonight!

I gathered all my months of notes together and actually wrote the first few lines of SITUATION SEVEN.

For some reason I was irritable and stressed tonight at SS. Maybe because I willed myself to avoid IT all day?

Some new guy moved in upstairs.

I saw a BERMUDA TRIANGLE special on NOVA.

NOTES: "David's show?" Several years too soon to be DAVID LETTERMAN. DAVID FROST maybe? Rarely watched him when he had a series so I doubt I'd have been so familiar. Don't know.

The Bermuda Triangle was another of those unusual subjects that had not yet been exploited to death so I was quite interested in it at the time.

I had been a big Monkees fan since their show had been on originally from 1966-1969. One of the first LP's I ever bought when I got my first record player capable of playing 33 1/3 albums in 1970 was the MONKEES GREATEST HITS. Was always happy to catch reruns of the clever, funny TV series. In 2011, the Monkees just played in Cincinnati this past weekend but I couldn't afford to see 'em.

SITUATION SEVEN was my unfinished magnum opus sci-fi story, a sequel to SITUATION SIX from a year earlier--planned, re-planned and re-re-planned in months of notes, I started it here but it would never be finished.

The guy who moved in upstairs would quickly make himself known...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 27th, 1976

Wonder of wonders, we got the paper today!

I spent much of the day recopying my movie data book.Other than that I just watched a little TV...and very little at that.

Dad won four bucks more after cashing in on the other day's lottery winner.

I skipped getting HUSTLER yesterday but found myself feeling more and more like I wished I'd gotten it. May go back and get it tomorrow. Sigh...Hard not to think about it sometimes. I hate this.

NOTES: No idea what "movie data book" I was meaning here. I kept lists. Lots of lists. I had lists of comics I owned, lists of Spider-Man, FF and Captain America villains, lists of actors and actresses I liked, lists of every movie I saw (with reviews) and a separate list of every R-rated movie I saw. But a "data book?" No idea at this stage.

I actually was reading the articles in HUSTLER, too. MOst were about freedom of speech, questioning authority, not trusting politicians or evangelists. Having started with the more explicit ones which, at the time, were new on the newsstands, I rarely would pick up the less explicit ones. It was around this time that I started buying other magazines, also, such as HIGH SOCIETY. Lacking the purposeful tastelessness that HUSTLER wore proudly, that one would eventually become my new favorite. Last week on Facebook, without even knowing it, I became friends with HUSTLER's first art director--the man who reportedly said to Larry Flynt--"Hey, Larry, why not be a little more explicit in your new mag so it will stand out from all the rest."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 26th, 1976

HUSTLER's new issue was out already but I managed to pass it--as well as anything similar--by completely today.

Walden's has their ten buck DC books for only six each!

Speaking of six bucks, I got Dad six bucks worth of instant lottery tickets and he won two back!

I watched the very first ROAD movie and then went with Dad up to the hardware store to get lights. I had a tough time getting three of 'em in outside at SS. Someone had broken the glass out of one there up front early this morning.

NOTES: I really hated having to change the lights at the Social Security office. They were really high and our ladder wasn't so I had to reach very precariously to get them. In fact, for the outside floodlights in the back, I found it just easier to climb up on the side of our wooden back porch and angle myself to get to the light while holding on tight. I would then toss the old bulb to the grass below and pull the new one out single-handedly from where I had squeezed it sideways in my pocket. As far as the lights inside, as the energy crisis grew, we would later be instructed to remove two of the fluorescent bulbs from every single indoor lighting fixture in order to save energy. Now this was a good sized office building with more than 100 lighting fixtures!! YIKES!

The GOOGLEMAPS picture above shows the now long abandoned Social Security office and just how close it was to my apartment. It may look small on the front side but if you look you can get an idea of how far back it goes. It then spreads out sideways, too. Right where the little "A" is in the pic was our apartment. In the background of this much more recent shot, you can also see what is derisively called the "Sharkfin" Building, an ultra-modern offices/condo glass tower whose top floor penthouse is said to be owned by none other than George Clooney.

Note the early mention of "Walden's," as in Waldenbooks...the store that would forever change my life six and a half years later. I have no idea what DC books I was talking about here, mind you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 25th, 1976

Shock of the month! I found out today that contrary to what I've always heard, John and David Wayne are NOT father and son. In fact, they aren't related at all!

Saw William Shatner for the second time this week on THE 20,000 DOLLAR PYRAMID and then later tonight on IRONSIDE. Saw Bernadette on DINAH with Jin Nabors.

Mom was off again today and Dad came home at noon. Heavy rains again all day.

Miss Rona seems to be the only reviewer who wasn't ecstatic about MURDER BY DEATH.

I went through 41 stacks of Marvels to come up with 15 separate titles that I regularly collect not counting the 3 majors.

NOTES: When actor David Wayne appeared as the Mad Hatter on BATMAN in 1966, my parents told me that he was the son of John Wayne so naturally I believed them. Not sure if they read it or mis-read it somewhere or were just making an assumption but they were, of course, incorrect. With Wayne appearing regularly on ELLERY QUEEN at this time in '76, I probably read an article that gave his background. I don't care how old you are, it's always a shock when you find out your parents were wrong about something.

Miss Rona, as noted before, was the standard nickname for gossip columnist/entertainment reporter/film reviewer Rona Barrett. Miss Rona was a regular on GOOD MORNING AMERICA at this time and apparently did not care for the movie I had seen the day before.

Not sure why my mother was off work so much during this period. Her illness was still a few years away so it must have just been her company having a lull period.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday, June 24th, 1976

A very good afternoon, following a fast morning and followed BY a rotten evening.

Dad accidentally woke me up at 4 AM!

Went over the river to Pogues about my Senior pics at 11, then made it to Bell Block just as they were putting up the new comics. I saw MURDER BY DEATH, got Wendy's and still had enough left for the E-go mag on Duke.

The evening was marred by a tornado warning with CD sirens and everything. Mom actually seemed scared and I got scared, too. All this was after a very hard night over at SS. Mom and I played TROUBLE to take our minds off the weather and then later caught the last half of MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN.

NOTES: With no mention of my dad during the evening's tornado scare and him waking me up at 4 "accidentally," I'm going to assume this was a period where he was working odd hours. After a lifetime of switching jobs every couple of years--from foundry to insurance man to liquor store (where he was fired on day two) to night watchman, etc, etc. he had lucked into a government a janitor at the Post Office. It was the happiest job he ever had and, after being hit by a car in 1978 caused his forced retirement he ended up with a quite nice annuity.

TROUBLE was a game...well...still is! I saw it at the supermarket last week! It's a simple travel around the board game based on "pop-o-matic" dice that come mixed into the center of the game itself. I had gotten it in the late sixties and it was easily my mother's favorite of all my board games. Sometimes she (and later my dad) would just get the board out and mess with the pop-o-matic thingie! I still had that same TROUBLE game when I got married and my wife and I would sometimes play it also. Later, our son just loved death. Under his watch, the original box was finally destroyed and most of the little "men" you traveled around the board with went AWOL.

MURDER BY DEATH may get only a casual mention here but it's a sillier than normal Neil Simon farce in which many big stars--David Niven, Maggie Smith, Peter Falk, Peter Sellers, etc..--played parodies of the great movie detectives, all trying to solve the same inane mystery. It was something different for the then very popular playwright/screenwriter and was not his most popular work...although it remains one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 23rd, 1976

I had a time getting to sleep last night. I felt better all afternoon but after it got dark tonight my weakness returned.

Saw my favorite LOVE AMERICAN STYLE vignette again for the first time in years. Saw Mackenzie Phillips guesting on THE JACKSONS later.

I went through all the old ENQUIRER's today and Mom and I went through the picture proofs for my Senior Picture. Tomorrow I'm supposed to return them with partial payment.

IT again. Didn't feel guilty this time but since I was feeling bad I didn't enjoy it much either.

NOTES: LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE was a very slightly naughty comedy anthology series that had been on ABC starting in 1969. Every hour long episode offered multiple stories, some little more than blackouts or, as mentioned here, vignettes. Not sure now what my favorite one was then but the one I remember most fondly these days was one with Karen Valentine and former Monkee Davy Jones where he, dressed to the nines, climbs up to her bedroom by mistake, thinking he's meeting the girl with whom he's supposed to elope. Both Karen and Davy are scheduled to be guests at the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention this September. I've suggested to show runner Marty Grams that perhaps the two do an on-stage re-creation of that script as if it were a radio play!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 22nd, 1976

Felt depressed again early on but hopeful later this afternoon. Not sure what the difference was. Felt tired all day.

No paper...again!!!!! What are we paying them for anyway?

My "Comics Games" were in TBG!

Only got one book over the river but forgot my Wendy's coupons! Ugh!

Last night I started the Grecian stuff again. Yuck.

I'm really crazy about a lot of actresses but right now it's particularly Sally Struthers in any way, shape or form!

More rain tonight. Instead of watching TV, we sat in the living room and monitored CB calls on my walkie-talkie!

NOTES: Citizen's band radios were all the rage after the surprise hit record, CONVOY, of 1975. My family never really got into them as such but I had gotten a walkie-talkie for Christmas. Who gives ONE walkie-talkie as a gift!!?? I don't recall. One of my relatives...and I don't think he or she had the opposite one! Anyway, so many people with CB's had them tuned so powerfully that one could often pick them up on the weirdest things against FCC regulations. In my case, we were able to use the cheap walkie-talkie like a police scanner and eavesdrop. We couldn't always understand the lingo but still fun.

Comics Games was some sort of feature in the TBG comic collector newspaper I got where one could send entries. I'm not sure but I THINK it was like--lists of all comics covers with giant characters or all covers with horses...things like that. Apparently I had sent some and they were published!

People may make fun of Sally Struthers now but she was, in her prime, a babe..and funny! Plus she was the original voice of Pebbles Flintstone in her seventies animated series.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 21st, 1976

Mom's home again.

Guess I'm still not completely well as my eyes hurt again today.

I waited all morning for the mail and then, when I went to the bathroom, I missed him!

Went to NKBS and came back with only four back issues including a semi-autobiographical Gerber MAN-THING. Was weird but I didn't see Steve Conner there. I wonder if the place is under new ownership? I doubt I'll go anymore 'til maybe August what with Omnicon only a few weeks away, now.

NOTES: The Man-Thing followed in the tradition of comics' muck-monsters like the Heap from the 1940's. DC's Swamp Thing was very similar until Alan Moore's amazing eighties reboot of that character. The difference was in Steve Gerber's off-kilter and often very personal writing style which pushed the writer's pet issues and social and political agendas. His later work after leaving Marvel, although often good comics, would never again come across as so quirky or so impressive.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 20th, 1976

Got up to see L&H at 5 this morning and when they ween't on by 5:30 I went back to sleep!

No paper again. Dad walked uptown and bought one from that guy.

Father's Day. I couldn't come up with a present again but I gave mom some money to get him a pair of sunglesses he needs while they were out shopping later. I did make him a little card.

At first, I planned to stay home from MIDWAY 'cause we went to Church this morning for Father's Day and I didn't think I'd have time for both but Dad said I should go when it looked like we would. So I called Terry but he'd got some other guy I didn't know to go. Didn't feel like I could back out at that point, tough, so I went. He wasn't so bad although much more "irreverent" than us.

The movie was really crowded and good! We were driven out but had to hurry back to catch the bus. We just barely missed it though and it was because I couldn't run the last stretch anymore. Was having breathing troubles. We stopped at K-Mart while we waited but, after we ended up missing the next bus, too, Terry ended up calling his parents to pick us up. They weren't happy but they did it. After I got home I started looking back on it as kind of a fun day but certainly not during!

NOTES: Once again, I was a terrible son by not really doing much for my dad on Father's Day. I even made HIM go out and get the newspaper and then I went off and spent the day having fun with friends.

Well...not exactly fun and not exactly friends. I have no recollection whatsoever of this third guy Terry roped in on our movie excursion. Will ask him sometime if he recalls.

Neither do I have any recollection of our misadventures in missing the bus. When you left that particular theater on foot, you had to walk down a hill that was nearly a mile long. From there you walked under an Interstate overpass, up a slight hill to a neighborhood area (blocks from where Debbie lived but who knew?), then about another half mile through there to a large highway where one could then catch the bus. Beginning when the theater opened in 1974, we did this many times...sometimes both directions. That UPHILL was a killer! Literally, you would have to schedule your whole day around film excursions. My timing on getting us to the bus stops was normally quite good but, I'm presuming, thrown off by the extra person that day.

The film we saw was MIDWAY, a good old-fashioned World War II movie done up in the new cinematic miracle of Sensurround! Sensurround was a process where the theater was rigged to shake the seats at strategic points. It had previously been used in EARTHQUAKE and would later be used in ROLLERCOASTER. It was dumb and I don't think it was used much more if at all after that.

As far as the movie itself, you couldn't get any better in terms of veteran star power in those days--Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, James Coburn, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Wagner...even Gregory Walcott from Ed Wood's PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is in the cast! The problem is that other than Chuck, most of them have glorified cameos at best, with the explosions stealing the picture. The thing was re-edited so much that one can find online comparisons between the various alternate versions.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 19th, 1976

I had a wishful dream last night that my school was at some sort of affair with other local schools and I ended up looking for Debbie. I finally saw her and she said she recognized me.

I went over the river this afternoon but only ended up coming home with lottery tickets. I got 3 of those rub-off tickets and dad won 20 bucks!

I skipped Erlanger because of a hard rain that started while I was over the river.

Watched another Road movie.

NOTES: I wonder if I realized just how close I was to Debbie now that I was taking the bus out to Erlanger every week to go to the Northern Kentucky Book Store? Seen on the map above is a map of the area. The black line was the route the bus took. You can see where the NKBS was. A few stops earlier and a few blocks down a side road was where Debbie lived--the place that seemed so very far away from me when she had moved. I had it engrained in my mind that it was a world away so it just never occurred to me anything different. Wouldn't have mattered if it had, though. By that point, in spite of my lovesick pining for what had never really been in the first place, if I had been given the chance, it would have felt so foreign to try to contact her again at that point.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 18th, 1976

I saw an article on suicide at SS but didn't get a chance to read it. Maybe over the weekend.

Very little good on TV all day long.

The rain didn't wait too long to start, showing up at about 7 PM tonight.

My throat finally started getting a little better today.

Finally dropped off our new phone books but we missed giving them our old ones, darn it!

The mailman had to come back twice in the past couple hours. He keeps finding new mail for us! Hahaha.

I saw a LOGAN'S RUN behind the scenes film on TV just now.

NOTES: As previously noted, I was never really suicidal but I was infatuated with the concept like many teenagers. I guess the ones who take it further are ones in much worse situations than I was. I had great parents, I loved comic books and movies and I was doing quite well in least as far as grades.

In the old days, the telephone company would bring new telephone books around to your house every June. You'd get a White Pages and a Yellow Pages and you'd give them your old used ones--often after ripping off the back cover where you'd doodled a hundred important names and numbers--so they could recycle them. Things change. Now we get three or for different yellow pages per year and no white pages unless you ask apparently. We don't. And we toss the Yellow Pages. It's too much simpler just to look up a number online. I even know one low profile site where I can find celebrity phone numbers in minutes...and no, I'm not telling you but it's been my experience they are accurate.

In the seventies, the major movie studios often made little "Making of" featurettes for their big films. These would sometimes be given to local TV stations to be used as filler for them--publicity for the film. That's what this LOGAN'S RUN piece was. These are the kinds of things you find nowadays as DVD extras.

Friday, June 17, 2011

***EXTRA***More on Jayne Mansfield

By coincidence, film critic Roger Ebert promoted this Jayne Mansfield piece he wrote way back in 1967 on Facebook yesterday.

Thursday, June 17th, 1976

Slept well last night finally but sore throat still persists.

Went over the river with Terry where we ate at Wendy's and picked up a few new books. Got one mag with Jayne Mansfield on the cover so I finally was able to find out some things about her.

Later I saw her and her daughter "au natural" in an issue of PLAYBOY that Terry showed me.

We walked from his house to the Plaza to see MYSTERIES FROM BEYOND EARTH but they had raised the price and he had to loan me a buck. Boy!

We had a neat walk, though, along the train tracks both ways.

Best joke of the day came from Mac Davis on TV tonight--he was having trouble tuning his guitar and said, "Glen Campbell must've tuned this thing!"

NOTES: Okay, so, in retrospect, that joke wasn't really that good. Could still have meant that the rest of the day just wasn't very funny!

MYSTERIES FROM BEYOND EARTH was one of those pseudo-documentaries that played to huge crowds in the seventies due to saturation advertising. They were mostly speculative and are approximated every night on TV these days by the myriad of documentaries one sees on Nostradamus, the end of the world, ufo's, ghosts, etc. Until they got repetitive, Terry and I saw quite a few of these things.

FILMS IN REVIEW was a semi-scholarly, digest-sized film magazine that ran for years. Thus one would often find classic stars on its covers as late as the seventies.

By total coincidence, Jayne Marie Mansfield had been featured nude in that month's PLAYBOY to which Terry had access due to his father's subscription. Seeing me buy the FILMS IN REVIEW, he remembered that her mother also appeared in a few vintage topless photos in that issue and had to share when we got back to his place.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 16th, 1976

Compared to the last couple of days, today was a ball! Still didn't get much sleep but only the bad sore throat and a slight headache remained today.

Finally heard from Yoshiko. She says the Beatles are really big in Japan.

Saw really good episodes of both THAT GIRL and ALL IN THE FAMILY.

This is weird! I found out there was one "Wing" who was never recorded at all except maybe in the Nashville Sessions the group did a couple years back. I never even heard of this guy!

Terry's off tomorrow and we expect to go to Cincy and then Newport to catch a movie, then maybe back out to Erlanger on Sunday for MIDWAY.

Much cooler today, less pollution and a good steady rain pretty much non-stop from 6 AM to 6 PM.

NOTES: As stated before, Yoshiko was the first of 3 Japanese pen pals that I got in Junior High and kept for several years. Her grasp of English wasn't that good so we stuck mainly to music, movie and TV conversations.

As much as I tried to keep up with music news at that time, I was somewhat shocked that I had somehow never heard of one Geoff Britton who had apparently played drums with Wings...somehow, somewhere. Turns out he joined and left quickly. I was right that he had, in fact, played on the so-called Nashville sessions that yielded the hit song, SALLY G but he had apparently also played on the flip side, JUNIOR'S FARM, as as well as on some cuts of the group's VENUS AND MARS album before he was replaced by Joe English. A martial artist, he even figured prominently in a Wings documentary, ONE HAND CLAPPING, which went unreleased at the time since it was outdated when he and Wings parted ways rather quickly. That's Geoff to the right on the single cover above (from Spain).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 15th, 1976

I lay awake for at least 5 hours last night before finally falling asleep. My eyes were hurting all night. It was terrible. Today, my eyes felt somewhat better so I didn't go to the doctor. But tomorrow I'm going unless it's all gone or I chicken out again. I've had a very sore throat all day, too, and the dizziness worsened in early evening. I'm wondering if some of this might be from the lack of sleep last night, though!

I didn't read anything but the new TBG, didn't drink anything but my throat medication, didn't eat anything but aspirin and basically just watched TV all day long.

Saw my third Jayne Mansfield movie already. And after watching Bernadette Peters crying on MERV last night, tonight she was giggling like crazy on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES.

No newspaper at all again...and I certainly wasn't in a mood to go out and get one! Boy!

NOTES: I have a pretty good immune system. Other than my persistent gastrointestinal issues and the occasional cold, I have rarely been sick and when I have, I can usually shrug it off relatively easily. Usually. When I don't, though...I wallow in it! This seems to have been one of those times.

I mention MERV a lot here. Merv Griffin--also the creator of JEOPARDY and, later, WHEEL OF FORTUNE, had a Johnny Carson-style talk show from the mid-sixties until the eighties sometime. Carson was on too late for me at that time but Merv was syndicated. At various times in the seventies, his show aired either in the daytime or early primetime. Merv seemed to know everyone! Having been a band singer in the forties, he did a lot of radio and thus had become friends with Orson Welles, Jack Benny and all the big stars of the day. As his show became more and more popular, all the younger stars gravitated to it, also. I enjoyed THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW immensely during this period and got to know old and new stars through him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 14th, 1976

Mom was off work today.

I've decided my eyes are connected somehow to the strange headaches that persisted today.

Highlight of the day was Dinah's wonderful tribute to Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Still smoggy and now with a threat of rain all day.

Read some more Spideys and watched Bogey in a great 1938 Edward G. Robinson picture.

At this point just before bed, my headache and dizziness are pretty bad. Could it be because of IT?

NOTES: Unless it was the smog, I don't really recall what the issue was with the persistent headaches during this period. I've never tended to get actual, painful headaches very often.

Obviously I was still on my Tony Orlando and Dawn kick. In 1977, just a year later, Orlando would have a nervous breakdown onstage, partially brought on by self-medication for depression over the sudden death of his friend, Freddie Prinze. He disbanded Dawn at that exact moment. Eventually, he would return to performing but he would never achieve the same level of fame again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 13th, 1976

No newspaper at all! I had to go get one.

I was feeling depressed again all day and had a long-lasting dizzy spell.

It was very hot and polluted today but Dad drove me and Terry to see the Godzilla movie. We caught the bus back from Ludlow.

I rounded out my day by reading a bunch of Spidey comics and watching LOVE AMONG THE RUINS.

NOTES: I'm pretty sure the "new" Godzilla film was, in fact, GODZILLA VS MEGALON from 1973, only then being shown throughout the US. The poster, seen here, was very similar to that of the 1976 KING KONG remake, featuring the monsters on the then-recently opened World Trade Center. There were only two more Godzilla films before a long break and then a mid-eighties reboot. Those two only played drive-ins around this area and we missed them.

By contrast, LOVE AMONG THE RUINS was the uber-classy George Cukor British TV-movie from the year before starring Katherine Hepburn and Lord Laurence Olivier, often described at that time as the World's Greatest Actor! Olivier began taking quite a few mainstream roles during this period and appeared in a number of hit movies including BOYS FROM BRAZIL, MARATHON MAN and A LIITLE ROMANCE, Diane Lane's first film.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday, June 12th, 1976

Got HUSTLER after all.

Spent most of the day just fooling around because I didn't feel good at all due to the heat.

Mr. Deters brought a prospective buyer for the apartment house around this morning to look the place over and check everything out. I'd hate to see him sell it, though.

Watched one of the "Road" flicks on the tube.

Most excitement of the day was when we got the battery compartment on Dad's headphones stuck for a half-hour!

NOTES: Always loved the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope/Dorothy Lamour "Road" movies. As a child I used to think there must be hundreds of them because they ran them all the time! There were, in fact, only seven, however, the last being made just after I had been born. Around this time in 1976, though, Hope let on that he was planning a new one with Crosby to be shot the following year--THE ROAD TO THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH! Crosby was recovering from an accident where he fell off a stage, though, and late in 1977, he would pass on. Not sure they ever even had a script.

Mr Deters was the man who owned the house I grew up in. As a small child, we lived in no less than 4 different apartments by the time I was six. In 1966, they tore down the place where we were staying so we had to find someplace else...again. My dad found a perfect apartment--high ceilings, 2 bedrooms, a huge living room, a good-sized kitchen and a nice pantry area that was almost another room! Lots of closets, too, and big oak sliding doors between rooms! All in a big, gorgeous old building just three blocks from the Ohio River (uphill so no fear of flooding) and one block from the Licking River. $85.00 a month rent! Only problem was...they didn't allow children. My father convinced Mr. Deters to make an exception for me. I ended up outlasting both parents, Mr Deters and the later new owner and was living there with the woman I would soon marry when we finally left in 1991...when the rent was raised to $850.00 dollars per month!

Mr Deters wasn't around much and I came to look at him as a surrogate grandfather figure. It would be years later before I realized just what an important man he had been in the area. He was a former newspaper reporter, a successful attorney, a real estate mogul and the Chairman of the Board of the Cincinnati Airport. In 2008, in my capacity as a manager of one of the Airport's retail stores, I attended a meeting in the boardroom there...and there was Mr. Deters' picture, still prominent on the wall amidst years of other Chairmen over the years. I was not happy at all when he eventually sold the apartment house...nor was I happy with the person he sold it to most of the time. But that's another story.

As far as my dad's headphones, Mom and I had bought him a pair of the old cover-the-ear headphones (Princess Leia style) that were actually a battery-operated transistor radio! State of the art technology in 1976!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 11th, 1976

I had to switch fans because the old one just quit working.

The TV man came by 10:30 and left by 11 with it mostly fixed.

I had to pay the paperman $13.00 out of my own money this afternoon.

Saw my 2nd Jayne Mansfield flick on TV after we got it fixed.

Dad never did get into the doctor's and eventually just gave up and came on home.

New Godzilla flick is out at Ludlow this week. Probably be crowded with noisy kids. "See Tokyo razed to the ground once more!" proclaim the ads.

Was in the paper that Doug was robbed last week and now fined for something in court. I'm confused.

Maybe I can just skip HUSTLER this month.

Watched a behind-the-scenes featurette with Peter Cushing about AT THE EARTH'S CORE.

NOTES: My second Mansfield movie was much different than my first--THE WAYWARD BUS was a dramatic John Steinbeck story with Jayne giving a good serious performance rather than her usual T & A tittering.

When you figure newspapers were ten cents each in those days and often cheaper when you subscribed, I have no idea why I was having to be thirteen bucks to the delivery guy. Seems like a lot of papers! How often did we pay this guy anyway?? Who remembers?

Seen above is THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER building in downtown Cincinnati, long abandoned by the newspaper itself. If you're a TV buff, you might recognize this as the Flimm (Phlegm??) Building which housed the radio station on WKRP IN CINCINNATI.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thursday, June 10th, 1976

Early today I went over the river. Smog--BLECCHH! I got all kinds of new books and a few oldies at OBS. HUSTLER was finally out but, wonder of wonders, I ran into Margie and Ricky shopping there so I skipped it. Man, he's gotten tall!

Coincidentally, Rachel and some of the others came down for a rare visit tonight. Rick's getting tall and Rachel's getting beautiful. We're all growing up. I took some pix and showed Ratch some shots of her that Mom had taken when she was like 4. Joan tried to get all philosophical about college. I don't know...

The TV man comes tomorrow.

Felt less despondent today.

NOTES: Seen here is a shot of cousin Ricky, myself and cousin Rachel taken about 15-20 years later.

Joan is Rachel's mother and Margie is Rick's mom.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 9th, 1976

Looking through some old photographs has gotten me depressed again. It seems as if in the long run, nothing really matters. I've lost my entire childhood. I almost cried.

Later, Terry called and mentioned they had new oldies at the Ohio Book Store. Hopefully there's some good ones left by the time I go there tomorrow or I'll be even more depressed.

When I got involved in reading comics late in the day, I seemed to get less depressed.

Later tonight I finally saw the MAUDE pilot on ALL IN THE FAMILY.

NOTES: The Ohio Book Store in downtown Cincinnati had only begun carrying old comic books a year or two before. As perhaps their only two regulars who collected comics, the kind folks who ran the OBS (and still do!) began calling Terry and/or myself whenever they would receive a new batch of Golden Age comic books. The very first Golden Age comics I ever bought were through them. In fact, those three issues seen above were the first three I ever bought. Five dollars each! Wow! To this day, whenever I'm feeling down, a good comic book (NOT a modern day one) will always make me feel better.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 8th, 1976

Although I slept late and then spent much of the day working on FF or watching TV, IT still happened this afternoon. As much as I hate to admit it, they're right about Spring...or did I say that already the other day?

I'm 17 and while I've been attracted to about a dozen girls only twice has it been as a boyfriend/girlfriend kind of thing and the last time was five years ago. I've done many things that few people have done by my age and I know many things that most of my peers don't on many subjects. As I've lamented before, though, I view life as an outsider. I never played much sports, I've had fewer and fewer close friends as the years have gone by, I've never cared for amusement park rides and now I feel like I've completely missed out on teenage romance. By refusing to go along--not that I was ever really asked--I lost many friends. I need a girlfriend. I'm not even talking about sex here. I just want a pretty (to me at least) girl who likes me, isn't bad (as in drugs or something) and has at least some mutual interests. I have a defeatist attitude but I'm sure that could change if i ever saw the slightest encouragement! If I thought I had a chance. I was getting close with Constance, I think, although probably next year that will be back to square one. I am so afraid of being rejected and becoming depressed.

Stayed up til 11:30 watching Python but it wasn't funny. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood.

NOTES: The Geek's Lament. I'm smart, I'm witty, I read comics and I like old movies as much or more than current ones. Why don't girls like me? The fear of rejection and the depression became a running thing, unfortunately. I would be 23 by the time of my first real, grown-up date. Had another one later that year. Then a couple of half-hearted interactions with a girl when I was 25, then nothing until I was 29. That one I married... when I was 32...coincidentally exactly 20 years ago today.

The oddest part is that I came to have a great many female friends over the years since High School. Just this past week, we had a 27 year old young lady who had been just one of my customers a few years ago stay over while visiting from out of town. Somehow, I finally figured out how to attract women by being non-threatening. Unfortunately, sometimes a guy wants to at least feel like he's a "little" threatening. Sigh...

Seen here is a collage I made a few years ago of the most influential women in my life. My mother sits at center, my wife behind her in the red sweater with the flowers on it. I'm not going to identify the rest but all were majorly important in my life. The earliest original photo here is from 1972, the most recent from 2008. Most of these folks never actually met one another. All but three came after High School.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 7th, 1976

Finally went to see ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and it was much better than I thought! Some good flicks coming to town soon!

Got a few new books while I was out. Later I checked my Spidey collection. Yep! It's complete!

Got some new stuff that SS threw away. Should come in handy when I rearrange my office.

Finally the new TV's starting to mess up. Something tells me it's going to get worse.

The power went out for seemingly no reason last night overnight. Was out for about ten minutes at 3:30 this morning.

NOTES: Not sure why I had had doubts regarding ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN but it ended up being one of my favorite films of the seventies! I was already a Robert Redford fan and, while I hated THE GRADUATE (yes, I know. Everybody else loves it) I had enjoyed Dustin Hoffman in other things. It couldn't have been the political aspect of it as I had watched as much of the Watergate coverage as I could! In spite of my affinity for the counterculture, I had actually been a Nixon fan originally!

We had a new TV? What? I never considered that important enough to write about until something went wrong with it? I have vague memories of us ultimately having to return one and ending up with a different model but I don't recall if this was that time.

As for Spider-Man, again, I have NEVER had a complete collection of Spider-Man comics. What I was referring to here was that I had at that point a complete collection of Spider-Man STORIES! This meant that I was also including reprints of some of the various early--and already expensive--adventures. The issue seen here, # 8, was the earliest original I had ever had at that point, purchased for ten cents at Keith's Carry-Out around 1970, about 7 years after it had come out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 6th, 1976

A Monday Sunday--thusly called due to the fact that by its end it seemed more like a Monday than a Sunday.

I was led to ask myself serious questions today. Soon I may actually attempt to answer them.

I had planned to awaken at 5 AM to watch Laurel and Hardy but discarded the idea when my alarm went off as I was just too sleepy. I did, however, go ahead and get up at 6 and found that Laurel and Hardy had not yet begun so I did get to watch after all.

No paper until 9:15.

We went to King's Island. In spite of my protests, complaints, whining and sore feet, I had a good time. We just made the 11 AM bus. There were only two other people on it and we rode out with a very conversational bus driver. We made it back much the same way at 5:15. I got a look at some more wild animals, won a neat plastic sword in a sheath, got five pinball games on one quarter and a bad sunburn.

When we got home, I ended up having to set out a lot of trash from next door but then spent the evening with a fun Lewis Carroll-based episode of
ELLERY QUEEN with Julie Sommars as Alice!

NOTES: As previously mentioned, I had more or less outgrown amusement parks. The reason was most likely my extreme motion sickness which precluded me riding any rides and my stomach issues meant I couldn't really eat or drink a lot while I was out either. Thus it was, to me, a long way to go for a hot, crowded walk in some colorful surroundings.

I was happy to get the fake sword that day, though and, in fact, keep it prominently displayed on the wall in Booksteve's Library even today, as seen above in a photo I JUST took of me with the ornately handled sword.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday, June 5th, 1976


I went to Kroger's with Mom and Dad to get a bunch of stuff for the week. We saw Miss Eplan leaving but she didn't see us.

I watched WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? today mainly to see Groucho's cameo but it was at the very end so I ended up getting to see a really, really funny movie, too!

Probably going to go to King's Island tomorrow.

I helped quite a bit in the yard today. As much as I hate to admit it, I think it's true what they say about Spring.

I reopened my Famous Females scrapbook today while I listened to Liza records.

I got a money order and ordered STAR*REACH # 4, too.

NOTES: Miss Eplan--I never knew her first name--had been my babysitter/nanny as a child...twice. When my mother went back to work when I was 3, I was left in the care of our landlady. When we moved soon afterwards, we needed someone else to watch me and they interviewed a number of folks before coming up with Miss Eplan. I believe she was mentally what was then called "slow." She was probably in her late twenties but seemed much older to me and she was, as I know now, of mixed race. She was calm and quiet but stern when she needed to be. She left our employ at one point to be replaced by a teenage girl who reportedly stole my Mom's jewelry. We went to Miss Eplan's house and asked her to return which she did for another year or so. Every once in a while after that, we would run into her around town and she would always remark about how big I had grown. This time may have been one of the last times we saw her...but she didn't see us. Sad.

My Famous Females scrapbook was just that. I would clip pics of Raquel and Liza and other favorites from movie mags and paste them in a scrapbook.

WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? is an absolutely delightful late fifties movie comedy starring Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield. Oddly enough, it has little in common with the hit Broadway play of the same name other than Mansfield's Marilyn parody character. If you haven't seen it, don't watch it for Groucho's throwaway cameo like i did. Watch it because it's a great film!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 4th, 1976

Report cards! I got up there and back in only an hour on the Eastern bus. I passed all of the exams and even got an A in Physics! One B, one C and for the rest, all A's for the year.

I spent most of the day sitting down. At home, at school, on the buses, at Pogue's...Boy. After nearly backing out, I went over to Pogue's for my senior pictures in my own suit! Wore my favorite shirt, too! While I was there, I saw several other guys from my class. Waited nearly an hour but enjoyed watching the girl taking the pictures. Not a sexual attraction but she was fun to watch. And the way she talked! It was all an act, of course, but boy, she did it well! She fixed my hair, my jacket and repositioned my legs even! She couldn't have been more than five years older than me. I get proofs in two weeks.

Just sorry that I felt like I was viewing the whole situation more like an audience than as a participant. Sigh. Too bad.

Very bad day for food.

NOTES: Pogue's was a long-popular department store in downtown Cincinnati where the Senior pictures were taken on this date in 1976. Until I read this, I did not really recall the photographer at all but apparently it was a pretty girl. What were they thinking? And yes, this was the very day that the logo photo above was my favorite shirt! One of my ex-employees recalls me wearing it to work as late as 1990 or so. Not long after that would have been then, when my wife donated it to Goodwill.

My recollection was that I got my worst grade ever on my Physics exam but it says here I passed with an A for the year. My C--my absolute ONLY C ever by the way--was in Spanish.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 3rd, 1976

Slept late on the first day off school and woke just in time to catch Gene Shalit in the Critic's Corner. Nowhere to go until tomorrow when I have to pick up my final report card.

IT happened early. I expected it, though. Probably happen for a few more days both for stress relief and just because I can now.

Decided to watch a full week of MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN just to see if I dig it. Broke out my Donna Fargo shows after watching her on MAC DAVIS last night. I saw THAT GIRL today and I started being afraid that now that I can see it they'll take it off again like they just did STAR TREK. I also got to see all my faves on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES today--Karen Valentine, Roddy McDowall, Vincent Price and even Mackenzie Phillips.

I did some major work on my AVENGERS index today, working towards finalizing my "Needs" list. Got the issue of COMIC CRUSADER I ordered but in the worst package I have ever seen! I also read quite a bit of my DR. STRANGE collection.

Tomorrow should be a busy day but beyond that I should be able to more or less take it easy until Omnicon a month from now.

Got the new phone books today. No listing for Constance's family so I can stop trying to get up the nerve to call her.

NOTES: Gene Shalit was the longtime film critic/co-host of NBC's TODAY show. He retired not too long ago and I was one of many who noted that it had been so long since they'd seen him that we all thought he had retired as far back as the eighties!

Now that I could rationalize "IT" as healthy (which, of course, it actually is), I was running with it.

Donna Fargo is a country/pop performer who had been quite popular in the early seventies after her hit, "The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA." Somewhere in there, the US Government hired her to host an upbeat radio series of music and homilies for the Social Security Administration. While I was working night maintenance for the SSA with my parents, they threw away a number of record albums of this series that they had been sent so I salvaged them. Years later sold them for a tidy sum, also.

COMIC CRUSADER was a major fanzine that had been around for years. I only started getting into it as it neared its final issues.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday, June 2nd, 1976

Last day of school. There was not one darn thing left to do today. Took my Superman book to read. There were less than twenty people in all four classes combined. They went ahead and let us out at 1:30. Mr. Spurlock brought his daughter--the cutest girl I've ever seen!

Mr. Shoemaker, Miss Schroeder and almost all of the fourth period students got involved in one of those dumb card games again.

I came home first and then went over the river. Found the new--and late--FF at Fountain News. Got another new McCartney mag and also got the new RBCC in the mail.

Just finished watching CONVERSATIONS WITH SPOCK on Channel 48.

NOTES: CONVERSATIONS WITH SPOCK certainly sounds like a PBS special interview with Leonard Nimoy but I can't find any mention of it in either my references or on IMDB. This was during the period when the actor was working hard to lose the Spock image so it seems unlikely he would even consent to such a title. Still...I must have watched SOMEthing that evening so...who knows?

I don't recall Mr. Spurlock bringing his daughter but she obviously made an impression that day. I just saw her picture on Facebook taken much more recently and she is still a very attractive woman!

I also saw a recent picture there of Mr. Spurlock with Mr. Shomaker whom I also mention above. Mr. Shoemaker was my third year Spanish teacher. Miss Schroeder was my Algebra II teacher that year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday, June 1st, 1976

Finally! This afternoon, I finally finished ILLUMINATUS.

Got an 88 on the Spanish Exam. Wow! better than I thought. 99.5 in English for the year! I actually got up the nerve to ask Constance what she got. She got 96. I had already heard that but I wanted an excuse to talk with her for what was more or less the first and probably last time.

I do feel relieved now. No more classes really and only one more day to go. It won't seem like it's really over until next week, though, because Friday we have to go back for our report cards and then report for senior pictures.

I spent most of the last two hours today talking about sex--indirectly-with Kenny. I was more than a little surprised to find that I know more about it than he does. Especially since he has a girlfriend and might actually be having it!

Python was back tonight at 10:36!

NOTES: Diana Ross's song LOVE HANGOVER, a disco-y number that was far from her best, was the number one song at this point, filling two weeks in fact between stints of SILLY LOVE SONGS at the top of the charts. McCartney's number had already hit number one but, presumably getting a boost from the Wings Over America concert tour, retook the top spot for an additional four week stint!