Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, Aug. 31st, 1976

Hardly the best way to start a new school year. All started well but for an unusually nervous sleep last night. I'm nervous way too much lately.

Boring Home Room, all SS and T's. New computerized schedule was all screwed up. Home Room teacher didn't once mention her name. I don't actually even have her for any classes so...

Schedule seems pretty okay. That idiot that bothered me all last year is only in English and Study Hall. They call the English teacher "Tough Tucker" so we'll see. Mrs. Schroeder in Study Hall again, just like the last two years. Lunchtime comes during Study Hall this year but since I don't eat, I guess I just stay in Study Hall. Cheryl that I went to kindergarten with is in one class. Seems so odd after all these years.

I may yet get into trouble for not filling out a card in Study Hall. But I have a story.

School dismissed at 11:30 and I went on home. Looked through TBG and changed clothes, then headed back. At 1, all schedule changes had to be made. I ran into Constance and another girl and sat by them for 2 hours in the auditorium (where we were sent for the schedule changes). Her birthday is October 3rd. Found out she attended Covington Junior High for two years. I checked later by looking her up in the yearbooks.

Finally at 3, Mr. Huhn handed me a slip to get signed that will get me in Spanish. Seems the crazy new computer read the new combined 3/4 class as just 3 and thus tossed me off into Study Hall.
A series of "Hello's" throughout the day led to pleasant chit chat with Constance on the bus home. Going to play it all by ear though and won't even think about taking anything seriously unless things look positive. One turn-off to me was overhearing a suggestive series of conversations she had with some guy during the two hours in the auditorium. Maybe it'll all be better tomorrow although parts of it weren't too bad today.

Tonight I watched Robby Benson sing on MERV and then saw the first episode of a new series called ALICE.

NOTES: First day of Senior Year. So weird to read this all again as just yesterday in 2011 was my son's first day of Freshman the same high school! You'll be happy to know they finally got those computerized schedules straightened out over the years.

Anybody have any idea what "SS& T's" are/were? I sure don't. Still don't know that Homeroom teacher's name, either. Although I did know learn it eventually, it was the first time that I never actually had a class taught by my Homeroom teacher so I really had no reason to remember it. And I don't.

"Tough Tucker." Now that's funny. I guess I had heard him called that and I was clearly a bit intimidated. He quickly became my favorite teacher and one of the best I ever had.

I think I mentioned before that I have odd gastrointestinal issues that I have simply learned to work around over the years. One way I do this is by rarely eating away from home. I never once went to the cafeteria at Holmes until we had to go there and pick up our gowns for graduation. Then I had to ask someone where it was. Oddly enough, the second time ever that I was there was just recently at my son's Freshman Orientation.

Constance, you'll recall, was the ill-fated girl whom I had a distant crush on towards the end of JuniorYear. Well, not too distant as fate seemed to constantly be squeezing together like sardines on the bus home. Sitting near her for two hours I recall saying nothing, just eavesdropping on her conversations with others. But then I actually spoke with her. A first. So, of course, in spite of my protestations of taking things slow, I was planning out our entire relationship in my mind.

ALICE was to last quite a few years. It was based on the hit movie, ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE only it was a comedy whereas the film had been a drama. The characters were brash but likable and it had a great theme song sung by its star, Linda Lavin. It became a staple at our house.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, Aug 30th, 1976

My last day at home began with a wonderfully cool morning. I dreamed of school last night. No surprise.

Speaking o dreams, though, very sad news confirmed my ESP again. Less than a week ago (probably Thursday, Friday or Saturday) I had a dream. I only vaguely recalled it but for one scene. There was a bus and a Mardis-Gras type party amidst which was Johnnie Whitaker and Anissa Jones from FAMILY AFFAIR. Anissa was grim and sick. Today I learned that on Saturday night, at a party, Anissa Jones died of an apparent drug overdose. I remember when she made a personal appearance at Shillitos in Cincinnati during the series. I really wanted to get to go but I couldn't for some reason. I must have been maybe 10 at the time. I haven't seen an episode of FAMILY AFFIR for ages so I had no reason to dream of her. Especially in that state. But I did. And the symbolism that seems like it was so close to reality. She was only 18 years old. Makes you wonder how many others are caught up with drugs. People you know and maybe even love...but don't even suspect. Oddly, today's paper didn't even mention drugs for Mary (Anissa) like they did on TV.

I saw (surprisingly) William M. Gaines, Nick Meglin and Jack Davis(!) on TV. Also saw my first limited animation POPEYE cartoons.

Mom wrote me a check for that Wings LP. Best part is I still have $2.24 left!

Later I worked on last minute preps for school.

NOTES: The $2.24 was the change I got from the twenty I gave Mom in exchange for her writing the $17.76 check. Apparently there was no postage.

Not sure what I saw those guys on at this late stage--one of the morning shows maybe? Gaines was the publisher of MAD with Meglin a writer (and future editor) and Davis the magazine's most famous artist.

Obviously the biggest thing in my day, though, was the death of "Buffy." I didn't know her of course but after years of enjoying FAMILY AFFAIR I felt like I did...even though she was, to me, perpetually a little girl. I never knew anyone who died of an actual drug overdose but with her I got a little of what it must feel like. In reality, she was slightly older than me. Over the next few months, I'd find myself thinking about her often. Over the years since, whenever I heard of a child star who became depressed and died after their stardom ended, I'd remember Mary Anissa Jones.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday, Aug 29th, 1976

Big day! I spent the afternoon on studying Spanish (not that much really) and then writing two chapters on my comics history!

Mom went out and bought me a lot of new shirts and pants and as a going back to school present, she asked if there was a record I wanted s I got CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY, Elton's musical autobiography with his songwriting partner!

Hard to choose between Johnny Cash and yet another unseen ELLERY QUEEN so I chose Johnny and a McCLOUD rerun. Then I was up late watching a Python episode I hadn't seen before!

NOTES: Yes, at 17 my mother was still buying my clothes for the most part. I liked to use my money instead for books, comics and movies!

Can't believe I chose Johnny Cash over ELLERY QUEEN. I had a big thing for Johnny back in 1969-70 when he had his great TV series and I still liked him at this point but I LOVED Jim Hutton's Ellery! Ah, well. I have 'em all on DVD now so I saw it eventually!

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY is a marvelous album by Elton John that had debuted at # 1 when released a year earlier. Even though Elton at that time was a hit machine, the only single released from it was SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT which, expectedly, was a hit. The songs on the album told the autobiographical story of the two English kids who wanted to be songwriters, the other being Bernie Taupin, "Elton's songwriting partner." It remains my favorite album by Elton with all of the songs being memorable if not well known. The cover, seen above, is by Alan Aldridge, a British pop artist who also illustrated THE BEATLES ILLUSTRATED LYRICS as well as THE PENGUIN BOOK OF COMICS.

Side One

  1. "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy"
  2. "Tower of Babel"
  3. "Bitter Fingers" – 4:35
  4. "Tell Me When the Whistle Blows"
  5. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"

Side Two

  1. "(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket"
  2. "Better Off Dead"
  3. "Writing"
  4. "We All Fall in Love Sometimes"
  5. "Curtains"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, Aug 28th, 1976

Forgot my chapter again.

Watched the return of LOST IN SPACE reruns. Always loved that show!

Things went smoothly as I went over to see ST. IVES without a stitch. Ran into dad at the Terminal on my way home. Then followed a lazier afternoon than usual.

Tonight I saw LAWMAN, CHEYENNE, SUGARFOOT and some of the && SUNSET STRIP cast on MAVERICK (with one "ick").

NOTES: LOL! "Without a stitch." Brings on a rather scary vision of a naked Charles Bronson. Hahahahaha! Obviously, I meant "without a hitch." The film ST. IVES was a rather unusual picture for Bronson, then one of the most popular stars in the world. He played a well-dressed, erudite, pipe-smoking detective as opposed to his usual more brutish, violent characters. It was rated PG when most of his films were rated R. A good performance, a good cast, but a rather dull film.

Oddly enough, I watched an episode of LOST IN SPACE on HULU yesterday. Still much mindless fun. Over the years, my wife and I performed with Ezra Stone, who directed a number of episodes. We met co-star Mark Goddard, I spoke with June Lockhart on the telephone once and I'm Facebook friends with Bill Mumy and Angela Cartwright.

Speaking of performing with, we also performed onstage at the Old-Time radio Convention with SUGARFOOT, actor Will Hutchins, an amazingly nice, friendly man with a million great show biz stories, not a one of them boring. I acted in two scripts with him, one in which I was a mobster and he was my "muscle," the other where HE was a mobster and I was one of his gang.

It's so odd when you actually meet and even, in some cases, get to know some of the actors you've watched on TV your entire life.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, Aug 27th, 1976

The end of my last full week at home. Despite the fact that I don't yet have a clue what to expect, I'm preparing for it by shaving regularly now and using that acne soap on my face several times a day.

Listened to all my Partridge Family albums today while I wrote my latest chapter.

Dad went over the river but got me no comics.

In today's mail we got a thank you card from Jeff about college. That depressed me.

NOTES: I was late getting acne and I actually thought I had avoided it but by this point it was a rampant issue that bothered me much more than my grey hair. Like many young males, I had facial hair that wouldn't really coalesce into anything at that point, too. It was just annoying. There are a few photos of me in 1979 with a bit of a beard (see above) but it was 1982 when I grew my first full beard. I've worn one most of the time since than.

My cousin Jeff is a year older than I and he was off to college at this point so, coming after my attempt just the day before to accept that I would never go, his thank-you card was a bit of a blow.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Thursday, Aug 26th, 1976

A fast fading dream involved a rainy Winter walk with Debbie and some other people through a big city.

The TV repairman called to postpone 'til next Tuesday.

Didn't get to work until 8 again tonight but later saw Hitchcock on THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES. Also watched Bernadette on an old LOVE, AMERICAN STYLE.

Read an interesting article about Marilyn Monroe in Mom's FAMILY CIRCLE.

I really think IT will be much easier to avoid once I switch to PLAYBOY.

Had trouble with today's comics history chapter but I rearranged some of the contents and will try again tomorrow.

I just realized how quickly the days go by. It won't be very long at all before I'm back in school, then a short time 'til Christmas, then school's out again, this time with me graduating! Virtually all hope of college ended, though, when I read an article detailing the complexities of getting in and being in today. It's as bad as high school. Why can't you just go, learn, then leave? But no, they expect you to get involved. Looks like between now and next summer, I'll have to find something to do after it's all over. Sigh. I'm sorry to say it but as more of an observer than a participant, I'm seeing less and less of a future for myself.

NOTES: All I needed was some guidance and I'd have gone to college but I felt completely alone and didn't know what to do. Neither of my parents knew what to do either as neither had gone to college. Well, actually, as I recall, my dad did start at a small local community college but had to quit to help work the farm. Don't even think my mother graduated high school. Both were smart, though, just not so much with "book learnin'."

Part of the issue was my sometimes paralyzing shyness in person, a flaw that holds me back even to this day. I'll be all over the place in print, name-dropping, telling stories, jokes, anecdotes and trivia but I can be such a wallflower in person. My parents were always told I would grow out of it. I didn't. If you have a particularly shy child, please don't presume they'll grow out of it. With some understanding, no-pressure, help, they may be able to get past it or work around it but if not, it can be a genuinely debilitating handicap. It always bothers me to think how successful I might have been if I had just overcome that shyness.

In fact, if I were more successful, I wouldn't have to ask for blog donations every now and then. With today's mail bringing news of a substantial increase to my Internet bill, I ask once again that if you like this blog, please consider donating via the PayPal DONATE button on the right to make sure it continues daily without interruption for the remainder of my 1976 Journal. Thanks to those who have already donated!

Seen above is the book version of the great TV documentary series, THE MEN WHO MADE THE MOVIES.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, Aug 25th, 1976

Hard rain this morning early.

I called Gribbell just after 9. I was so nervous. Less than a minute and he said they had cancelled the idea. That I didn't need the certificate. I'll believe it more when I see it.

By the time I got to Cincy late this afternoon, it was burning up! I bought a few oldies at Ohio Book Store. Got to thumb through some Fawcetts and old DC's, also.

CBG gave me the opportunity to order the WINGS OVER AMERICA concert in a three record set called WINGS FROM THE WINGS for about double what I paid to see them live. For the bicentennial--for no apparent reason--it's $17.76 and comes in red, white and blue vinyl, one LP each.

Frankie and Annette were on TV tonight as was the debut of Bert Convy which had Lenny Schultz who I read about in HUSTLER. He played the Bionic Chicken.

My anatomy art is improving. I can hardly wait to collect PLAYBOY.

NOTES: Gribbell, Gribbell, Gribbell...WHO WERE YOU? Still no clue.

Still seem odd I was getting the much more explicit HUSTLER regularly but couldn't wait to start collecting PLAYBOY.

Speaking of HUSTLER, proof that I really DID read the articles. they had done a profile of outrageous stand-up comedian Lenny Schultz and I remembered him when I saw him, somewhat less outrageous, on television. Lenny was a Robin Williams type who was unfortunate enough to actually get a gig on the NEW version of LAUGH-IN...alongside Robin Williams. Williams got noticed and Lenny faded.

Here, Schultz was a regular on character actor/game show host Bert Convy's summer series, THE LATE SUMMER/EARLY FALL BERT CONVY SHOW. The other show I mentioned was a Dick Clark production, EASY DOES IT--STARRING FRANKIE AVALON. The first episode guest-starred Annette. Both series were quickly forgotten after four week runs.

The Wings record, seen above, was to be my first concert bootleg. It was essentially the same as the official release that would come at the end of the year but that release was pieced together from multiple performances and this was all one performance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, Aug 24th, 1976

Wrote several chapters today to catch up.

Mail didn't come 'til 1 PM and then we didn't get any!

Saw a delightful Ava Gardner as Venus and Ray Bolger with the Pops. Watched Burt Reynolds on DONAHUE.

One dumb trio stayed at SS 'til after 8 so we didn't get to go over until late. I hate when they do that. Why can't they just work 9-5 like everybody else?

Mom called Gribbell today about my certificate but he'd already gone. Now I'm stuck with calling him tomorrow. I don't like calling people!

MOVIN' ON was back again for one last run before the new Fall shows kick in.

Cleaned more in my room and removed the again.

NOTES: That last sentence is exactly the way I wrote it. "Sic" and all that. "removed the" what? We'll never know.

MOVIN' On was a dumb fun show about truck drivers with veteran actors Claude Akins and Frank Converse. Akins would have been good for Ben Grimm had they made a FANTASTIC FOUR film at that time.

The movie I refer to here is ONE TOUCH OF VENUS,a 19748 comedy fantasy with Ava Gardmer as the Goddess Venus come to life in modern day and falling for actor Robert Walker. I am not a big Gardner fan (nor was I then, either) but I enjoyed her in that film. Haven't seen it since.

I don't recall a thing about watching Ray Bolger with (presumably) the Boston Pops but I bet he sang "Once in Love With Amy."

Gribbell? Now, who's Gribbell and what does he have to do with this mysterious certificate? No memory of that name at all and reading ahead doesn't clarify things any more as you'll see tomorrow.

As far as the telephone, I have an odd phone phobia. Always have. On the one hand, I like talking on the phone. I can talk for hours and lose track of the time if you don't get me to hang up. On the other hand, I hate initiating calls--I don't like to call people at all. I'm always afraid I'll interrupt them--I'll want to chat and they'll be busy but won't say anything at first and I'll feel I don't call people. If I need to, for work or to complain about something, I can do it but I don't like it. Sometimes I will get in the habit of calling one person and I'll call them regularly but inevitably it gets to the point where I just cringe at the thought even though I'd give anything for them to call me. Sigh...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, Aug. 23rd, 1976

Had trouble sleeping last night. Pain in my chest. First time I'd had that for awhile.

Jack took out the cans this morning. Mom told me not to take them back (I wasn't going to anyway). Make him do it.

Spent much of my morning in my room reading and drawing and watching TV. Also IT but I promise it'll be the last time before school starts!

No wonder I've got grey hair! I'm already worried about that darned doctor certificate! We'll have to either call them or go to the doctor but Green doesn't know anyway.

Missed my chapter again.

Watched the return of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY tonight in reruns, once one of my favorite TV series. Seems so long ago now. The music's still good!

Life Squad came to the house for Jack tonight but turned out to be a false alarm...he was just drunk. Ugh!

NOTES: I've always been very sensitive to pains so even the slightest pains feel stronger to me. I still suffer occasional chest pains today. Twice in the nineties, I was rushed to the hospital with them but both times it turned out to just be indigestion.

Dr. Green (not his real name) was my dad's doctor and from about the age of five, when my own doctor was involved in a bit of a scandal I found out about many years later, mine. He was cool, level-headed, friendly...but he ran his office like a factory. He always had dozens of patients and if he could give them penicillin...for anything...he'd send them on their way. As a kid I liked him but as I grew, I realized this wasn't the way most doctors behaved and I found one of my own...eventually. No idea what this certificate that was worrying me here was all about.

Somewhere a year or so before, we had gotten anew TV set and I had insisted that the old black and white one be put in my room. I had it right at the foot of my bed so I could just watch it in comfort. Of course, in those days there were no remote controls so I still had to get up to turn it on and off, change the channel or adjust the sound.

Unlike many kids, especially these days unfortunately, I had never had alcohol in my life. I resented the fact that Jack had been insinuated into my life and onto my radar. Sober, he was nice enough, although a bit bawdy for my tastes, but there were periods where he was rarely sober. He'd come into our apartment with a ladder and tools to work on this or that and he'd smell of alcohol. My father didn't drink. He had a brother who did who died before I was born. My mother didn't drink. She also has a brother who did and who died when I was nine years old. If anyone else on either side of the family had more than the occasional drink, I wasn't ware of it. I was not at all happy that Jack drank.

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY was, of course, the big ABC comedy hit of 1970 with Shirley Jones, her stepson David Cassidy and cocky little Danny Bonaduce. At this late stage, Shirley's still hot and the music is still catchy but the series has aged badly and is very much of its time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday, Aug 22nd, 1976

Two hours after I got up this morning, we were on our way to Kings Island. In the beginning I was in the wrong frame of mind to go but I ended up enjoying myself anyway. Even though it did kind of depress me seeing all the boy/girl couples and there I am with my parents. I played a lot of pinball out there. They had some new computerized games, too. Was kinda neat. It all went pretty fast.

Fountain had three new comics which I picked up when we got off the bus downtown on the way home. Will save for tomorrow. I won't need to go looking for more 'til Thursday now...or maybe Wednesday.

I missed writing my comics chapter today, though.

Saw a weird movie tonight--apparently the pilot for Andy Griffith's ADAMS OF EAGLE LAKE specials last year although in this, his name wasn't Adams.

NOTES: This may have been the first time they had what we came to know as video games at Kings Island. The one I remember was basically PONG although I don't recall if it was actually called that. Was in a great big yellow machine. Most folks stayed away from it in favor of the pinball. Seems like they had an early version of TANK at some point, also.

ADAMS OF EAGLE LAKE never quite became a series--more a series of failed pilots--Andy as a sheriff. Whoever thought THAT would work?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, Aug 21st, 1976

I helped out a little around the yard. Not much else to do today. I kept my hand in by writing more of my history. Even dug out some reference.

Started to watch HOWDY DOODY but Terry called. He actually admitted that he gets HUSTLER regularly, too. I didn't let on that I did.

WONDER WOMAN was on again tonight.

NOTES: My sources, online and otherwise, don't actually show any WONDER WOMAN episode that night. The pilot had aired the year before and there had been two episode "specials" in April, one of which would rerun in September but no indication of any on this date. Perhaps I saw Lynda Carter on MERV or something and referred to her as WONDER WOMAN? Who knows?

I know I was too old for it but THE NEW HOWDY DOODY SHOW premiered at this time and I very vaguely recalled watching the final episodes of the original when I was very small! A couple of years ago, I bought the multi-disc DVD set on sale for ten bucks! It's still pretty cool!

The last thing in the world I wanted to do was admit, even to my closest friend, that I was buying dirty magazines. That would, of course, tacitly admit that I was masturbating...that I was human...that I was a normal teenage male!!! But I wasn't! I was better than that. I knew I was! Eventually, I would triumph over my own hormones! I was convinced of it!!! I was wrong but at 17, I wasn't going to believe that I could be wrong even on this subject!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, Aug. 20th, 1976

Wrote my EC chapter today.

Picked up most of the new books at the Terminal for a change but found HOWARD THE DUCK at Bell Block News and a new Marx Brothers mag at King's.

Watched the final rerun of THAT GIRL today and was surprised that it turned out to be an episode I didn't even remember.

Felt really, really down this afternoon which led to, yes, IT, thinking about Sally S. I am ashamed.

NOTES: The interesting part here is that I really didn't know all that much about EC Comics as of this point. I had a few fanzine reprints and had read a coupe of articles but that's it. Eventually, Russ Cochran would reprint the entirety of the classic EC horror, sci-fi, war and humor comics in hardcover slip-cased editions but in 1976, it was pretty presumptuous of me to even attempt a history of EC.

When I went into Cincinnati, the bus from Kentucky would go into an old-fashioned terminal that had been converted from a trolley car terminal. You could still see the tracks. Inside the terminal was an old-fashioned newsstand with magazines, comics, newspapers, cigarettes, candy and lottery tickets. From there I had a route. Up the stairs to 4th Street, walk up almost one block to Fountain Square News near 5th. From there another block and a few doors over on 6th to King's News. Half a block further over to Vine and then half a block down to Bell Block (which usually had the best comics). The Wendy's was a few doors on up Vine. If I was feeling particularly adventurous, two blocks up and a few blocks back the other way would take me to the Ohio Bookstore and then, heading back toward the terminal, Acres of Books. The saddest part is that here, 35 years on, there are only two of those stops left--a vastly remodeled, relocated and nowhere near as good Fountain Square News and the Ohio Bookstore, virtually unchanged after all these years. Even the terminal is gone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, Aug 19th, 1976

Got up early and watched film of Ford's nomination. He chose someone named Robert Dole as his running mate.

I finally pretty much cleared off my messy desk! Took nearly as long to clean it off as it did to mess it up! I ended up putting up that unused Steranko FOOM poster on my wall.

Have to remember to restudy Spanish next week.

Almost fell off a table at SS tonight in spite of my balance abilities. I was surprised.

We tried to call the TV man but couldn't get through to him.

Tried to catch up on my comics history tonight by doubling up and writing two chapters.

NOTES: Artist Jim Steranko was not only one of the most innovative comic book artists of the sixties but he wrote two of the best (still!) books on comic book history. A favorite of mine then and now, I was able to meet him at a Con in Columbus a year or so later and hope to do so again in Cincinnati next month where he will be Guest of Honor at the Cincinnati Comics Expo.

Robert Dole--better known as Bob--would become a perennial Republican Presidential candidate. Dan Aykroyd played him on SNL so memorably that he was even brought back to do so from time to time, long after he'd left the series. Eventually, Dole would become best known for doing Viagra commercials.

I sometimes refer to my balancing skills as my "mutant power." It still unnerves me on those rare occasions where they don't work and I end up falling or otherwise unbalanced. According to the doctor, it's an odd side effect of a relatively minor inner ear condition I have. It's that condition that makes me motion sick if I turn around too fast but, conversely, it also allows me to be able to find the center of gravity in anything fairly easily. Thus, I can balance precariously but relatively safely. I used to climb shelves at work in the stockroom like a monkey. Drove people crazy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

****The Brunner Mystique****

The Internet Age being what it is, I decided to track down the Frank Brunner book but that proved I wrote to Frank Brunner, himself! I missed meeting him twice in 1976 and at least once more decades later at a Con but today i finally made contact. According to the artist, this was the item that came out that year. The title sounds right but I really don't recall that cover and I have no idea why I would no longer have it considering the type of stuff I keep!

Thanks, Frank! You're still tops in my book!

Wednesday, Aug. 18th, 1976

Quite a day! I finally got the Brunner book in the mail! # 43 out of only 100 made! And I got it from a different place than the one where I ordered it!

I expected new books but found none so I went to Kidds one more time and found the new STAR*REACH as well as the new QUACK! Both completely unexpected and good!

Channel 19 carried some good stuff tonight!

NOTES: WXIX, Channel 19 was Cincinnati's first non-educational UHF channel, going on the air in late summer f 1968 with a mixture of reruns, monster movies and puppet shows. Needless to say it was my favorite station for many years.

QUACK was an attempt at a "funny animal" adult comic book, inspired by Frank Brunner and Steve Gerber's HOWARD THE DUCK. Brunner even provided the very Howard-like cover of the first issue, seen above, which I purchased on this day.

Still no idea of what the "Brunner book" was exactly. A numbered, limited edition apparently but of what? A portfolio? A sketchbook? No idea. I would have sworn that I never actually got it. I definitely know that I never actually kept it as I don't have it now!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 17th, 1976

I slept until 11! That's the latest I've ever slept. Missed the whole day practically!

With only one full week of summer left, I feel it's time to reflect on the past two and a half months. First of all, it's been over a year since I bought my first issue of HUSTLER and a few hours since I destroyed the $2.00 issue I bought just yesterday. I promised myself I'd try harder to avoid IT in the future. It's so weird the way it can become so enticing.

My plans for talking to that one girl kind of ended when she didn't show up for the last day of school but I still think about her.

At the first of the summer, I had my senior pics taken, then I developed an interest in Jayne Mansfield. Went to Kings Island and to a lot of movies. Did IT a lot. Watched THAT GIRL as much as possible and fell for Marlo all over again. Successfully got through what could have become a major depression. I saw Margie and Ricky at Book Market while Rachel and Velma visited here. Missed a lot of newspapers. Had severe headaches for nearly a week and only got a couple hours of sleep per night sometimes. Dad won a lot but lost more on lottery tickets, I was published in CRUSADER COMMENTS and we tried unsuccessfully to change my hair back to its former color. We survived a lot of tornado and storm warnings, I became addicted to GOOD MORNING AMERICA, saw, read and listened to a lot of Beatles stuff and seem to have lost part of my job to Pesky Jack. I failed to get the Brunner book I ordered early on or to see him in person twice. We got our first SS vacation, enjoyed Bicentennial Day and I started a major remodeling of my room. Enjoyed Columbus and Omnicon, supported Carter, visited the Zoo and watched Viking land on Mars.

Old friend Jimmy showed up, saw Debbie again for the first time in years and was accosted by a dirty old creep at the Times. First visit to Rick's new home in Erlanger, second visit to the Village Cinema. I visited Kidd's one last time before they moved and Northern Kentucky Bookstore one last time before they closed completely. Finished a major crossword contest, started writing my history of comics, met Terry's friend Tony, enjoyed STORYBOOK SQUARES and destroyed some HUSTLERS.

Quite an eventful summer, I guess, and still a week to go.

TV was a bit better tonight with a good special from Daryl and Toni Dragon.

I accidentally dropped a ladder on Mom's foot! OW!

NOTES: I find it somewhat hilarious that I felt the need to summarize and update those who came in late as though I knew someday you folks would be reading this.

I continue my losing battle against hormones. Without compromising anyone's privacy, lets's just say my son has taken after me in that way.

I keep talking about Frank Brunner in 1976. Seen above is some of his art from the Marvel 1976 Calendar.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, Aug 16th, 1976

Stayed home today 'til after THAT GIRL. Good thing, too, 'cause it's finally being taken off and I want to try to catch all of this last week's episodes. I remember seeing today's episode when it was first on. Ann bumps into her real life father Danny playing a priest. She said, "Excuse me, father," to which he replied, "Of course, my child." Ha ha ha ha! I also read in the paper today that Marlo's going to guest on her father's current series, THE PRACTICE soon.

Then I went to Zinzinnati where I picked up dinner, lottery tickets long last...CHANDLER! Finally. Wasn't able to avoid HUSTLER this time but nothing happened because of it.

Got the new TBG. Says that the Brunner book is finally out so hopefully I'll get mine soon. Also says Ray Bradbury is going to appear in STAR*REACH! Neat!

NOTES: Everything Bradbury did excited me at this point. Unfortunately in this case, when that issue came out later in the year, it featured one of Bradbury's poems.The one thing I don't like about Ray is his poetry. His prose reads like poetry...but his poetry itself is, in my opinion, horrible. In this case, to add insult to injury it was illustrated by one of my least favorite comics artists of the period, Alex Nino. The best thing about that issue, in fact, would be the cover by Jeff Jones. In recent years, the artist then known as Jeffery Catherine Jones would become my friend through the Internet and actually quote me on her (yes, her. It's complicated) website. She died in 2011.

CHANDLER was another one of those mini graphic novels, this one the first new work by writer/artist Jim Steranko in several years. Ultimately I found it disappointing due to its size and printing issues on the cheap paper. Later printings on better paper and at a larger size served the material much better.

The photo at the top shows Marlo Thomas from her later guest appearance with her father Danny on his semi-succcessful show, THE PRACTICE.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday, Aug 15th, 1976

Slept til after 10! No paper at all when I woke up, though, Had to go out and get one from the machine.

No good movies opening this next week.

Nothing to do all day today. Just read comics.

Watched Jamie on SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN tonight. Then stayed up 'til after midnight watching what I think is the only major Eastwood flick I hadn't seen yet. I have now.

NOTES: Sorry. Another vague day. Not even sure what Clint Eastwood film I was referring to here. Maybe WHERE EAGLES DARE since it was on so late.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, Aug 14th, 1976

Awoke early again to another monsoon. Paper was very late but it did show up this time. Mail came early and brought a letter from Yoshiko.


I avoided getting HUSTLER today by asking dad to pick up the comics Terry told me were out. Trouble is, I gave him a couple of wrong issue numbers so he ended up not getting anything.

Practiced my anatomy today in my art by attempting a few realistic depictions of topless women. I'm getting there.

I set my alarm to get me up before 1 to watch HELP but it started late. Then another storm hit and power got knocked out so I'm back in bed by 3 writing this by flashlight. Yeesh.

NOTES: SPICY BEATLES SONGS!!?? I'm familiar with the album but it's not one I ever owned and certainly wasn't the first one I ordered. I'm confused.

Not sure what happened to the art from that day. Sometimes I wish I'd continued with my art because I really wasn't bad...just untrained. Ah, well...

HELP is the Beatles most outdated film, clearly made with the silliest of sixties sensibilities but with some wonderful music video-style song highlights. Great snow scenes, too. Was so cool to see Paul sing THE NIGHT BEFORE from HELP in Cincinnati last week!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 13, 1976

Awoke to a monsoon that lasted approximately two hours. Then the air cleared for a sunny, hot afternoon. I got caught up in cleaning my room and ended up not going over the river at all. I also began a slight remodeling job.

Dad brought home a Filipino comic book. I can't read it of course but cool and it's kind of a novel, too.

Kirk was on STORYBOOK SQUARES again as well as Charo as Lady Godiva.

As for my previous girl decision, I have amended it thusly: I will make no advances and pursue no formal relationship with a girl but if by chance the opportunity opens itself up to me, I will be ready to at least consider the possibility of taking it.

Saw John Wayne on THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW and Lindsay Wagner on the original Rockford pilot!

NOTES: My father worked at the Post Office as a janitor and while it was technically a federal crime to bring anything home from the trash, he said that everybody did it anyway. So it was that every once in a while he would bring me home comic books lost in the mail or S&H green stamp booklets for my mother. I know he shouldn't have done it...especially just because everyone else did it...but he did bring home some cool stuff!

Seen above are Shatner and Charo from the episode I mentioned. Also Roddy McDowall as Pinnochio and Joan Rivers as...the Old Woman in the Shoe?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, Aug 12th, 1976

I spent the morning watching TV while I clipped more girl pics from magazines.

Then I began planning for the movie with me and Terry but he called to say Tony was going, too. I really have nothing against Tony. I just don't like him. He's not up to my "standards" I guess. We all met up and went, though. Between Tony's smoking and dirty talk, Terry and I continued word games we started the other day and that kind of hastened the day. The movie was good, though! Got back about 5:20.

Saw Karen Valentine in a skimpy outfit as Cleopatra on STORYBOOK SQUARES. That was fun!

I just now finished my Batman chapter in my history of the comics!

NOTES: Okay so it was probably Tony that went with us that other recent time that I couldn't recall. It wasn't so much Tony himself I didn't like. It was mainly that I don't do well in groups. I doubt I realized that at the time, however. I tend to adapt my personality to whomever I'm with and if I'm with more than one person, it sometimes gets scattered. Can't believe I didn't mention what movie we saw that day.

Karen Valentine of TV's ROOM 222 was a goofy, cute, silly, funny actress and the first celebrity I ever got an autographed picture from. In 2011, she's about to appear next month at my friend Martin's Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention--only her 2nd convention appearance ever!-- but I have no way to get there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 11th, 1976

Over the river, I ended up getting nothing but dinner for myself, lottery tickets for Dad and a belated birthday card for Mom's birthday yesterday that I forgot. Avoided HUSTLER.

There's a Columbus Con this weekend but rather than take the bus up, I think I'll order one of those Beatles "underground" records. The ad was back in TBG today. They seem so weird!

I wrote Chapter Two of my comics history, on Superman.

William Shatner appeared on STORYBOOK SQUARES...AS CAPTAIN KIRK!!

Terry says we're still on for the movie tomorrow.

I'm starting to consider college.

NOTES: I can't believe I forgot my mother's birthday. Dad usually made a real big deal out of it. Sigh...

STORYBOOK SQUARES had been a Saturday morning kids version of the game show HOLLYWOOD SQUARES for a while and it continued a few time a year on the regular version of the show. It featured the usual celebs only dressed up as fairy tale. literary or otherwise familiar characters. In this case Shatner was Kirk for the only time between the original series and the first film in 1979.

"underground" records were what we came to know as bootlegs. Although not comics, someone had been running ads for them in TBG and as a Beatles fan the names of these unreleased songs were magic to me. I decided to order the record. Over the years--especially after the arrival of the Internet--I've been able to hear hundreds of Beatles bootlegs, many of them excellent quality, others literally unlistenable. Seen above is my very first Beatles bootleg LP.

The line about college hurts. I didn't go. I was one of the smartest kids in school but I didn't know anything about getting into a college and neither did my parents. No one told me anything either. I kept expecting someone to do so in my Senior Year but...Finally, very late in the school year, a counselor called me to her office and asked me if I was going to college. Since I had heard nothing and had no idea what I should have been doing, I said no. At some point later I was told I had been eligible for a full scholarship as the second highest male grade average in the class and the outstanding English Student Award recipient. Sigh... A few years ago when I was working I took a single 12 week college course for my job (online). I aced it with a perfect grade point average.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, Aug 10th, 1976

IT went badly. I'm betting this will be the last time for a while. Nobody keeps doing things that make them feel bad.

I dressed up like a "swashbuckler" this afternoon.

Got a real thrill from THAT GIRL's episode today. Even more than usual. I really love that show.

Had a real mad-on at SS tonight but it made me work even harder than usual. Dumb old J.A. stayed 'til almost 8!

They were working across the hall and that annoyed me so I managed to stay in my room most of the day. I wrote a slightly less than inspired chapter on the Pulps and then cranked out a few more Avengers.

Terry attempted to draw my Lucifer character last night and despite his better drawing skills, the look was all wrong.

Still don't know when school starts or what it will be like or even what I'll be taking!

Soon I'll have to write about that Brunner book. Never have gotten it!

Hilarious high point of the week: At the end of MTM's LORENZO & HENRIETTA MUSIC SHOW, Lorenzo, in his "Carlton" voice, said, "Hello, this is the cat... Meow."

NOTES: Lucifer was a villainous character I had been drawing for several years with an almost Ultraman-like face topped with Loki-style horns. He was, at one point, the big bad for my never-completed SITUATION SEVEN sci-fi story.

Lorenzo Music was a writer for MTM who doubled as the deadpan voice of doorman Carlton on RHODA. Around this time, he and his wife got their own short-lived variety series. Lorenzo would later use what was essentially the Carlton voice (he really didn't have a wide range) as the voice of Garfield in various TV specials and later in Mark Evanier's delightful GARFIELD AND FRIENDS cartoon series.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, August 9th, 1976

Despite a rather routine day, I could sense that the atmosphere had changed. I felt different somehow. perhaps a bit better. I added a few more Avengers drawings and wrote the introduction and outline for a proposed 40 chapter history of comics to be written in my new Marvel notebook.

I decided to go with Terry tonight after all and Mom said it was okay so we did. We left about 6:15 and got back about 9. He's off at McDonalds on Thursday and we may go see SWASHBUCKLER.

Jack took back all the cans again. Sheesh!

Watched Joey Heatherton on MERV.

NOTES: Ah, so that's what I put in my Marvel notebook! I gotta find that thing. Thanks to all who (correctly, I'm sure) pointed out that "CW" meant Creative Writing. Duh!

I hate it when I say things like this about going somewhere and nit elaborating. I have no idea where Terry and I went and I'm sure he doesn't either at this late date. I do remember SWASHBUCKLER, however. That was actor Robert Shaw's first major leading man role after a lifetime of villains and character leading roles (as in JAWS). Sadly, he would take ill and die not long afterwards.

Joey Heatherton was arguably the sexiest woman of the seventies at least for a brief period of time. She was a good singer, an excellent dancer and a passable actress. Her best known role was as a mattress salesperson in a series of sexy TV ads for Perfect Sleeper. A regular with Bob Hope's charity and military tours, she had briefly achieved her own variety series (with her Dad) around this time but a series of setbacks starting with a publicly embarrassing arrest for her former football star husband for exposing himself and then some very public cocaine issues of her own led her to sadly become a parody of herself.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, Aug 8th, 1976

Ray Bradbury wrote that in order to be a writer, one must write every single day of one's life. Today Mom bought me a spiral notebook with Marvel characters on it that I intend to use as a journal like in CW. I've decided also to concentrate greater on writing than on any artistic talents I might have.

In spite of what I just wrote, I began an Avengers portrait series, the first three of which turned out fair.

90 minutes of Beatles music on 94 tonight!

Those dumb kids were up to their roof-hopping again!

I finished with that history puzzle and checked it!

I've been thinking about getting out my Hot Wheels tracks again for the first time in a few years. May do that tomorrow.

Terry called and gave away the ending of yet another ELLERY QUEEN episode I've missed, damn it!

I've also committed myself to taking the bus out to the Village Theater tomorrow night to catch the movie I skipped this weekend but because of SS work, I probably can't go. Who knows? Maybe I'll see SILENT MOVIE instead.

Mom ordered me a baseball ticket along with theirs for an October 3rd game. I may not go but i guess better to have a ticket than not just in case.

NOTE: I think the movie I'm still trying to see at the Village was THE SHOOTIST. It must have been held over. Eventually I did see SILENT MOVIE also.

Ray Bradbury had become my favorite author when my 8th grade English teacher had let me keep a couple of his paperbacks from the classroom. By this point, 3 years later, I had read most of his books. I remember that Marvel journal and may still have it somewhere but can't recall what I used it for or what "CW" was/is.

"Those dumb kids" probably weren't always the same ones but every once in a while some kids climbed up on the flat roof of the single-story Social Security office next door where I worked and just ran around. I have to admit I had done it over the years myself but it was different when I was on the payroll I felt more proprietary about it.

I do still have the Avengers portraits I did and will try to scan them now that the scanner is partly working again...sorta...from time to time.

I had really been into Hot Wheels from 1969 until about 1974 but I clearly hadn't hauled all my track out of the closet for quite awhile by this point in '76. At some point not long after this, my mother asked if she could give my entire hot wheels collection to her co-worker's younger son as he had few toys. I said yes. Yes, sometimes I wish I'd still had them to sell for zillions on eBay but no, I made the right choice. I hope that kid was happy with 'em.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 7th, 1976

Paper was late again and that was just the beginning of a slow, boring day. Dad picked me up a couple of things to read when he cashed in his tickets over the river but that was the highlight of the day. Not even anything worth watching on TV.

NOTES: I looked at a copy of the newspaper the other day. It was smaller, thinner and on a different type of paper. wasn't really what I would call a newspaper. The comic strips are literally so small they can't be easily read, there are no movie ads, just times, and the classified section only runs on certain days. Outside of the local news and sports, the obits and weather the rest seems to be wire service reports. Sigh. This is progress? Probably still doesn't show up on time for subscribers anyway.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friday, August 6th, 1976

A kind of quiet, laid back day after the expected restless night (naturally). It was full of rain and rain and more rain.

Today is the 50th anniversary of talking pictures! Talkies!

On Tv, I saw the first 2nd season episode of the Monkees and the Mike and Gloria sex episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY.

Got to work early tonight but when I got home the light in my room had burnt out.

Well, so much for my predictions. So far, 17 really ain't so hot. About 50/50 best and worst. Good: McCartney, Omnicon, ODE TO BILLIE JOE, etc....Bad: That jerk at school, girl troubles, yesterday...Hopefully the good will win out going forward.

Dad stayed up real late tonight to watch a ball game from the West Coast that didn't come on 'til 10:30 our time. So I watched MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN and got the distinct impression that if I had been watching every single episode from the beginning I still wouldn't be able to get into it.

NOTES: Interesting that I considered Omnicon such a major highlight when I really kind of wimped out on it after only a few hours. And "girl troubles?" The only girl troubles I was having was that I had no girls!

"The Talkies!" This was what they called the earliest talking pictures. THE JAZZ SINGER is generally considered the first and was most likely what they were celebrating the anniversary if on this date. As with most things, what is considered the first isn't necessarily the first. There were other experiments with talking movies prior to its 1927 release. In fact, there isn't that much talking in THE JAZZ SINGER at all, mostly singing. Star Al Jolson reportedly ad-libbed the line, "You ain't heard nothin' yet." Truer words have rarely ever been spoken.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, Aug 5th, 1976

Despite an almost proposition from a drunken old fag at the movie, I did IT to kind of end the nervousness I'd felt ever since. I did not enjoy it! I went to see TUNNELVISION and I was the only one in the theater when this bearded old guy shambles in and literally sits right next to me! THAT freaked me out right away but then he leaned over and said, "You're pretty." I said "'Scuse me" and ran out to the lobby. After a few minutes I went back in but sat somewhere else. I didn't see him anymore. I think he shambled out the emergency exit or something. Must have thought I'd told the manager...which I probably should have!

I might be having second thoughts about girls but that hardly means I want to trade 'em for guys. Homosexuality thoroughly repels me! Just the thought of it! Bleecchh!

Wendy's tasted real good. First time in two weeks. Would have gotten some last week but for Debbie.

This one incident today, though, was enough to make me start thinking about the bad side of life in real world terms. I suppose all you can do is appreciate all the good you can find and do your best to avoid the bad. Hopefully I'll be over it all by tomorrow.

Saw Paul and Linda on a Beach Boys TV special!

NOTES: "Fag" is a word I never used so you know it must have really upset me if I was using it. And wow, I forgot how homophobic I was! In the eighties I worked with several openly gay men and I realized that to think they might have any interest whatsoever in me was the epitome of arrogance! Little by little I came to realize that whether or not someone was gay had absolutely nothing to do with me. In fact, presuming they weren't having sex right in front of me it became just a note of trivia about them. In more recent times, I have been a vocal advocate of gay rights and have passed on that enlightened attitude to our son so he doesn't end up with irrational fears like I had.

That said, this guy was creepy, smelly, looked a mess and totally freaked me out! I can't believe I didn't just leave quickly!

But I stayed and watched TUNNELVISION. I didn't enjoy it. I liked it a bit more years later when I saw it again but perhaps that was because I recognized a few of my Facebook friends in it now!

Paul and Linda McCartney appeared in footage of Brian Wilson's birthday party shown on a TV special celebrating the Beach Boys album, FIFTEEN BIG ONES. Oddly, as I write this, I'm just back from seeing Paul McCartney in concert in 2011!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 4th, 1976

Slept 'til 10 again. When I got up I started working on the puzzle again but still isn't done.

Rick still didn't call but I went over the river to Bell Block and picked up all the new books. Will go back and hit King's tomorrow.

No trouble at all avoiding HUSTLER over there today. I think maybe my interest has been saturated and now I can really be done with it. In fact, I've been thinking of giving up on girls all together. As much as I'd like to be "normal" that way, I really am different I guess. I really can't see myself acting the way guys who actually have girlfriends act! I can't drive, I hate sports. All I could take a girl to would be movies or maybe a concert but even then we'd have to take the bus and most likely she'd have to go on home alone. Damn! Movies would have to be daytime and again only at certain theaters we could get to by walking or by the bus. And if she had an after-school job I'd probably never see her anyway. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's a blessing and a curse to be different.

NOTES: What can I say? It was an introspective time. I knew what I wanted and I felt like I could never have it.

By the way, the number one song in the US for the entire month of August in '76 was "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" by Elton John with Kiki Dee! Okay, fine, it's kind of disco-y and I'm on record as not liking disco music but I LOVED that song! This was toward the end of Elton's reign as arguably the most successful rocker of the early seventies. He had formed his own record company, Rocket Records, and signed singer Kiki Dee. Already a veteran of some fifteen years in the music business, her duet with Elton made her, for a while at least, a household name in the UK.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, Aug 3rd, 1976

A nice cool day. I spent much of it working on that history crossword I got yesterday. Never was able to finish it, though.

Rick never did call. Maybe tomorrow? I'll see TUNNELVISION the next day.

Watched an episode of the old ANNETTE serial on a MICKEY MOUSE CLUB rerun.

The cops came back again looking powerful suspicious. They didn't talk to us this time. No idea what's going on but the curiosity is killing me!

Fritz Lang died yesterday. Saw it in the paper.

Just now after a nice long bath, I got dressed and went out on the porch for awhile to smell the cool night air. I got lost in thought over the girl I've seen only once in four years. The girl I'm not even sure recognized me. It's always Debbie...

NOTES: I may have been the only teenager in America who felt the need to note the passing of aged German film director Fritz Lang in his journal. I hadn't even seen many of his films at this point. Lang directed METROPOLIS, M, THE WOMAN IN THRE WINDOW, SCARLET STREET and THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES, along with many other films, in a career that led from the silent days in Germany to the early sixties in Hollywood.

ANNETTE was a serial done to capitalize on the immense popularity of young actress Annette Funicello, one of the original Mouseketeers. By all accounts an amazingly and genuinely nice girl, the fact that she was singled out for this--allegedly because of her budding puberty making her a fan favorite of slightly older viewers--caused some issues on the set of the show. Annette would go on to success in records and Beach Party movies (with Frankie Avalon) before settling into a happy home life. Sadly, that life was cut short when she developed a painful, crippling disease that dogs her to this day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 2nd, 1976

Spent the morning destroying more of my magazines.

Three cops came around this afternoon questioning Dad about some guy who may be the one we saw out back yesterday.

Mom says Jeff will study to be a preacher. Not sure I can see that.

Less than a month 'til I'm a senior. Not sure how I feel about that.

The bra-less look dominated FAMILY FEUD today. Seeing that on TV more and more often lately, not that I have a problem with that.

I got a history thing out of the Louisville paper at SS.

Saw Kathleen Cody in a TV movie called CHEERLEADERS.

NOTES: Okay, so I liked the bra-less look. I was 17. Sue me. On the other hand, I destroyed more collectible magazines on this date. Sigh.

No idea at this late date what the thing with the police was about.

Oddly enough my cousin Jeff became a lawyer instead...but looking back I bet he would have made a great preacher. He remains heavily involved with his church.

Kathleen Cody was a young actress I had crushed on during the latter days of TV's DARK SHADOWS in 1970 and 1971. She went on to appear in several Disney movies including SNOWBALL EXPRESS. THE CHEERLEADERS (not to be confused with the softcore drive-in movie of the same name) would be one of her final TV or movie appearances. In 2011, I noted that she and I had mutual friends on Facebook and I exchanged a couple of messages with her in which I was able to tell her how much I always enjoyed her performances back in the day. She says that she is having a very happy life! That's her with the blonde hair in the above still.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sunday, August 1st, 1976

Well...they said it wouldn't last and it looks like they were right. Seems the Northern KY Bookstore, for reasons presently unknown, has closed. Instead of seeing the John Wayne flick, I talked Mom and Dad into us going out to Ricky's and that's where I heard the news. Sigh.

Had a heck of a time getting there! We passed up both entrances at least twice each! Was fun though when we finally made it. Rick and I talked about comics the whole day and made sort of a deal to go to the next Con that comes to town together.

Rachel's hair has become blonde! She swears it's natural. Just happened, she says!

NOTES: For most of my youth, my cousins had lived out in the proverbial middle of nowhere. To go visiting meant a long ride out a long, winding country road out past the edge f town. Then they moved into Erlanger...near Debbie and near the Northern Kentucky Bookstore. The drawback was that it was up on a hill. A very, very steep hill that my dad hated to drive up. It was also hard to see as you were driving the road as it was just past a curve. In later years when my wife and I would visit as adults, I would park across the street and we'd walk up!

Rachel's hair, by the way, has remained blonde ever since. I hope she pardons me for still being suspicious.

The relatively quick closing of the Northern Kentucky Bookstore left the entire area without an actual comic book store. The man who owned NKBS would try again and again but ultimately it would be one of his customers who would start the one that would last to this very day.