Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 30th, 1976

Two teachers out sick!

Mom got home from work at noon and was outside cutting the grass by the time I showed up from school. I stayed outside and helped her out some.

I got my first RBCC of my new sub in the mail today.

I have the chance to see an X (no one under 17) movie tomorrow but I'm seriously thinking of passing on it in favor of the Hitchcock one instead.

Lynda Carter who plays WONDER WOMAN was on with Merv tonight. Unlike a lot of actresses today, she says she'd never do a nude scene in a movie.

NOTES: Lynda Carter was and is stunningly beautiful but I've never really been able to think of her as "sexy." Doesn't mean I wasn't trying on this day, however. She actually lied to Merv when she said that she had never done a nude scene though because not long afterward, a movie she apparently hoped would never be released--BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW, was released. She's topless in several scenes. (I'm watching it as I type this. ;) )

BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW is nothing she should have been ashamed of--it's a slightly above average AIP low-budget exploitation flick starring charismatic former preacher Marjoe Gortner. He really isn't a good actor in spite of his many years of admittedly fake evangelism but his film work was always interesting. Lynda gives a good performance and looks great topless as one might expect. Still does nothing for me. Sigh.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 29th, 1976

The day kind of dragged a little. Lately I notice I've been talking more at school with girls than with guys. Less ones I might become personally involved with and more like Amy and Jackie.

I had relatively little trouble getting a lot of Physics problems done.

93 on Algebra test and 82 (could otherwise have been a 54!) on Spanish.

In Creative Writing, I have to decide on a team project.

Had terrible problem with my stomach most of the evening.

NOTES: Amy and Jackie were two girls with whom I shared various classes. Quite frankly, there were several "Jackies" and I don't remember ever saying much to any of them until recently as one of them now lives at the other end of my block here in 2011.

Amy I remember. She had been in my classes since 7th Grade. She was classy, pretty and smart and never for a second did I look at her in any way other than WAY out of my league...if I had even had a league. My biggest memory of her was reading Robert Heinlein's STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND over her shoulder when she sat in front of me in some class. I didn't realize she had noticed me doing so but after she finished, she turned around and handed it to me and said, "Here. Now you can finish it yourself,"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 28th, 1976

Failed miserably on a Spanish test but hopefully turned in a good Algebra one. Picked up quite a bit of work for tomorrow. It'll probably keep up like this for the rest of the school year.

STARFAWN was finally out over in town and it contains just about the best art I've ever seen!

Saw Jimmy in Cincy, too. He wants us to come visit him.

Tonight I saw what may just be the best episode of WONDER WOMAN!

NOTES: The WONDER WOMAN episode that aired that night was the last one that would air until Fall. The NEXT one that aired was the one that would ultimately become important to me as the biggest TV role for murdered starlet Christa Helm, whose case and life story I would end up investigating three decades later.
But, no...the one that aired THAT night featured actress Lynda Day George as a Nazi Wonder Woman. It's okay. I watched it a couple of years ago when I picked up the DVD set of the WONDER WOMAN series at a bargain price of fifteen dollars a season!

Similarly, the art on STARFAWN, a FICTION ILLUSTRATED digest graphic novel, did not hold up for me. Clearly I loved it on that day (in spite of its tiny and hard to see printing). The art was by Stephen Fabian whose work I knew only from fanzines. He has had a very successful career since and was nominated multiple times for Hugo Awards. In 2006, he actually won a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

"Jimmy" was most likely my cousin Joan's husband. I knew several Jimmy's including my dad's barber and a couple of fellow students. It seems unlikely they would have asked my family to come visit them so I'm going with Joan's husband.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 27th, 1976

A quiet day all around. Got TBG in the mail again but no good ads. Nothing I want to order.

I finally wrote to Yoshiko in Japan but don't have any stamps to mail it yet.

I informed Mr. S that I would agree to be on the HORIZONS staff. First time I've really participated in any school activity. We'll see how it goes.

I watched Dennis Weaver get roasted on TV tonight.

NOTES: Not much to say here. The HORIZONS work didn't really involve much over time except for a brief period of reading and helping to choose which poems, essays, book reports, short stories or art pieces would be included.

The number one song in the US that week in 1976 was the Bellamy Brothers with their first big hit, "Let Your Love Flow." A few years later, they'd have a hit with a song called " If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me?" That particular song has had the duo in the news again recently here in 2011 in a legal dispute over Britney Spears' use of similar spite of the fact that they admitted originally paraphrasing Groucho themselves.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 26th, 1976

Continued writing the new story in my journal.

Read some more comics and I watched a very good flick with the Duke on TV.

Big article about the Tony Orlando and Dawn concert in the paper.

We still haven't written to Louisville!

NOTES: Apparently I wasn't in much of a mood to write in the Journal on this date.

The Louisville reference was, in case you've forgotten, regarding Omnicon. I was getting nervous that the hotel rooms might sell out and we wouldn't get to go. I couldn't write because my parents would have to be the ones reserving the room.

"Duke" was, of course, John Wayne. One of the films I remember my parents taking me to as a child was 1968's HELLFIGHTERS with Wayne. I had become a big fan of his iconic westerns on TV and, even though I somehow missed seeing TRUE GRIT on the big screen, John Wayne became a favorite and I saw all of his remaining movies from that point on in theaters. Later in 1976, his very last movie, THE SHOOTIST, would be released.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 25th, 1976

Terry offered me the chance to go back to the Con with him but I really couldn't think of a reason to go. Not only that, after all the work I put into getting there solo yesterday, it would have felt weird to just have someone easily drive me there, today.

Big Beatles day! McCartney's new album is # 1 on the charts this week and his new single is at # 26 and climbing! I still say it'll hit # 1. Then tonight I watched the uncut YELLOW SUBMARINE on TV.

Except for IT, I spent the whole rest of the day reading yesterday's comic books and doing English homework.

NOTES:The McCartney album was actually the Wings album, WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND. It featured the hits SILLY LOVE SONGS and LET 'EM IN. The former would prove me right when it soon hit # 1 twice!

YELLOW SUBMARINE may not have been the very first movie I was allowed to attend by myself but I credit it as such. It was certainly around that time. It was released in late 1968 and I was 9 years old. The movie opened in Covington at the Madison Theatre. I arrived early but there was still a line that stretched all the way down to Woolworth's at the far end of the block! This particular TV run wasn't actually complete. I didn't realize at the time that the "Hey, Bulldog" sequence was missing. It was later restored for DVD release. YELLOW SUBMARINE remains a favorite of mine.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 24th, 1976

Despite minor setbacks and disappointments, today I accomplished everything I set out to do! I hit the shopping center a little later than my planned schedule. Called three cabs before I could even get one to answer and then I had to wait a half hour. Then he nearly wrecked just as we arrived at the Holiday Inn and I found out later the police came and he was arrested! I saw Steve and a lot of other people I knew at least by sight from the comics stores and other conventions.

I got three undergrounds even though I had to lie about my age but I promise I won't do it again. I finished my FF and Spidey collections! Also got all the new comics and a lot more. So much fun!

Stayed only about an hour, though. Got back to the shopping center with a lot less trouble. Was way early in fact. Had to wait quite a while on the bus back downtown. The rise back seemed to go pretty quickly since I read a lot. Didn't even get too motion sick! Got back downtown by 4, back home by 4:30. Ate a little, read a lot.

About 7 or a little after, Terry, his mother and father showed up and we all went over th river in the rain to see Tony Orlando and Dawn! In spite of a somewhat hostile audience and an admittedly bad day for Tony, I thought the whole experience was out of this world! My first concert! They did all my favorites of theirs! Terry liked it so much that now he says he may see Wings with me. Since the tickets don't have any specific seats, all he needs is to get one but I doubt he can at this point.

I was so tired in a good way by the time we got back but i managed to stay awake to watch Raquel Welch on SATURDAY NIGHT. It was the sexiest I'd seen her in ages in a strange sort of way. What a day! Whew! Good night now.

NOTES: Ah, why don't I have days that go that smoothly anymore? Some travel, a comic book convention, some good reading, a greta concert and some good old, red-blooded fantasy of another kind just before bed. A good day, indeed.

In spite of what I wrote, I did NOT actually finish my SPIDER-MAN AND FANTASTIC FOUR collections that day. In fact, it would be another 15 years before I finished the FF and I never did finish Spidey. I think, at this time, i was rationalizing the reprints as counting. Thus, I never had FF # 5 then but I had the STORY from FF # 5 and I was counting that.

My first concert. Wow! We had considered going to see Sammy Davis, Jr with Freddie Prinze a month earlier but had decided to wait. Tony Orlando and Dawn may be a trivia question from the seventies today but Tony was one of THE best ever at working a crowd. Oddly, I don't recall a lot of the details. Just that I enjoyed the whole event immensely and suddenly wanted to go to a million more concerts...which I never did. Very few, actually. I would see Wings in a month, CSN a couple of years later, Yes after that, the Moody Blues twice, Paul McCartney three times more and the eighties one hit wonders, Loverboy in 1982. I think that was about it. Too expensive and seriously, too loud!

Raquel Welch was THE big sex symbol of the late sixties and early seventies and Terry and I had been collecting photos of her for about six years at that point. Her acting career was on the wane and she was no longer the attraction she had once been. He would see her at the ill-fated Beverly Hills Supper Club a couple of years later but for some reason I wasn't able to attend.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 23rd, 1976

We got to see an army band in concert at school and they were really, really good! I didn't care for where I ended up having to sit, though. We got out at 3 but there was no bus 'til 3:15 anyway.

Dad brought home the New York newspaper for the first time in years. So nice to see all the classic comic strips again.

I saw STAR TREK again.

Eddie Mitchell left SS for good apparently.

I found out that I will have to tae two busses and a cab to get to the Con. Hope it doesn't cost too much because that will have to come out of my book money. At first I was going to get off the bus at Sharon Road but then there's still be a long walk and I'm not sure exactly where to so I decided it would make more sense to go all the way out to the Tri-County Mall on the bus, then call a cab. Probably closer in the end. It'll take a while to get there and I'll have to start back no later than 4 so I'll have to work fast. As expected, Terry won't be able to go because of his new job.

NOTES: Eddie Mitchell was one of the regular employees at the Social Security Office where we cleaned up after hours.

I'm not sure why I wasn't watching STAR TREK more often during this period.

I finally had my transportation to the Comic Con all figured out. As I've said, in those pre-driving days, I pretty much had to schedule entire days for what would otherwise have been a brief trip. Taking into account time waiting for the bus and the cab, the trip I was about to take ended up taking about two and a half hours each way. Today--assuming one could afford any gas--that same trip would have taken me about 20 minutes if the traffic was light.
For a while in the early 1970's, my dad would regularly pick up a copy of the new York Sunday News, a practice I continued for a couple years. We pretty much trashed the regular newspaper part but he and I both loved the comics...and for some reason they were printed a full week earlier than in our paper! Never understood that. They had DICK TRACY, LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE, SMOKEY STOVER, RICK O'SHAY and even the Sunday PEANUTS which wasn't carried locally.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 22nd, 1976

Slightly easier day at school today. Tomorrow I plan on telling Mr. Spurlock that I'll take the position with HORIZONS.

Tried and failed yet again concerning the Con bus schedule.

I saw George Burns on THE MAC DAVIS SHOW this evening.

NOTES: The problem with the bus schedules in those pre-Internet days was mainly that I lived in Kentucky and the bus I would need to take to get to that comic book convention was in Ohio. Kentucky had T.A.N.K.--the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky. Ohio had Queen City Metro. Never the twain shall meet. The Kentucky busses would go into Ohio just long enough to circle around in an old trolley car terminal. The Ohio busses never ventured South at all. Thus the confusion in figuring out two bus routes to get there and needing a schedule for multiple Ohio busses to figure out which one would be correct. In the end...I took 2 busses and a taxi.

Mac Davis is a now oddly forgotten country/pop singer and sometime actor noted for his curly hair and sometimes tongue-in0cheek songs. He had scored ratings with several TV specials in the previous season and was given his own weekly show in March of '76.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 21st, 1976

Another bad day. Got a feeling they're all gonna be bad for the next month or so until school's out.

Nothing out over the river. Terry tells me he probably won't make the Con. He got a job at McDonalds in Newport.

Mr. Spurlock gave me a really neat poetry book to read.

The bus home was oddly enough the highlight of my day when I found myself pressed up very, very tightly (like that Crumb cover!) against this really pretty girl named Constance that rides the same bus all the time with me. Wow! I have a new crush...literally.

WONDER WOMAN was on again tonight and also next week! Also watched Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman together in the first episode of Burt's HAWK TV series originally aired ten years ago!

NOTES: Wish I could remember what that poetry book was. Might have been the traditionally small-case e.e. cummings as I do recall a teacher at some point saying my poetry was reminiscent of his and yet I had never heard of him. That teacher gave me a copy of one of his collections. If so, that's the book seen above.

Very sad about Constance (not her real name). Whilst I rode the bus with her for the remainder of this and the next year, I never actually spoke to her. Over the years, I'd wonder what became of Constance. Then, a few years ago, I noticed she was on the casualty list of my high school reunion committee's website. Turns out she died of cancer not long after graduation! R.I.P.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 20th, 1976

A bad day, basically. Lots of heat, homework, TV reruns and preemptions.

For my journal entry at school I wrote what I thought was a pretty good poem.

I got TBG in the mail. Lots of creative ads this week. Lots of ads for upcoming comics conventions that are pretty close, too, but I can't afford 'em all.

NOTES: As I wrote before, THE BUYER'S GYIDE FOR COMIC FANDOM (aka TBG) was a major part of my life in keeping up with comic book collecting in those pre-Internet days. By this point, it was a weekly, tabloid sized newspaper, often in two (and sometimes THREE!) sections! Here we have a typically fannish cover from earlier in 1976, this one drawn by Russ Maheras, a popular fan artist who is these days one of my Facebook friends.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 19th, 1976

Dreamed about Debbie again...not a good dream but a weird one. She lived in a big house somewhere outside of town and Dad had driven me out there...except it was also like she lived here in one of the upstairs apartments. She was always holding a baby and there was a baseball game going on outside the window. Later it turned out that she could read the future or something. I don't remember too much else.

A sort of a slow, hot day at school getting back into things, topped off by a surprising A+ on my Creative Writing journal which I myself didn't particularly like! Four others got A's but I got the only A+! Wow! Mr. Spurlock offered some great suggestions and even offered me a place on next year's HORIZONS staff. I think I'll take him up on it!

NOTES: With all of my eclectic interests, I often had weird dreams that I wasn't even in! For a while around this time or maybe a but later I started writing them down as soon as I woke up. I remember one that was about a speedboat race down the Ohio River between Richard Dreyfuss and Lucie Arnaz while Liza Minnelli performed on the shore.

If there was any doubt that we were in the midst of the Disco years, the number one song for four straight weeks at this time was Johnnie Taylor's DISCO LADY! It was NOT a favorite. Never cared for Disco. I tolerated the disco beat from Wings and later Blondie and other groups I liked but I hated disco music overall. In retrospect, when it isn't being forced down my throat I can see there were some good disco songs...but not many.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 18th, 1976

My last free day for about a month and a half. I got up early, read the paper and then started in reading more of the Price Guide along with a 16 ounce Coke and some Easter Eggs.

Later we went to church and it was the most crowded church I'd ever seen it. (What a sentence!) Bonnie Horton from school sat right in front of me for a while with her family. Not sure she knew who I was.

Later this afternoon I actually finished the Price Guide!

Mom went out sopping with Dad and said she'd pick me up Donny and Marie's new album but she couldn't find it. Later on the news we heard that Marie and her mother had been in a car accident! Hope they're okay!

Wings' latest single finally cracked the Top 40 at # 35. I still predict Top Ten eventually.

I stayed home to watch a gorgeous teenage Elizabeth Taylor in a movie on TV so I ended up still not getting out to a show. And next week I won't be home. Well, at least now I like William Powell.

Thinking of dedicating my next scrapbook to sexy women and including a lot of sexy pix.

Watched the Tony Awards on TV tonight...or at least most of 'em.

For some reason my mouth is hurting terribly tonight.

NOTES: Starting in 1972, I began clipping movie ads from newspapers and making scrapbooks. Eventually I added TV Guide clippings and pictures from movie and TV magazines and other pop memorabilia. By the early eighties I had no less than 28 scrapbooks and the movies--or their ads--weren't really as good anymore it seemed. So I quit. For many years I carted them around with me wherever I moved but rarely looked at them. Finally I took out the coolest clippings and stuffed them in envelopes and boxes and thinned out the collection. Seven years ago, I started sharing many of my scrapbook treasures on my blog, BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY.

I was never really a fan of the just recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor. She certainly was beautiful, though. The movie I had seen this day in '76 was the classic LIFE WITH FATHER starring William Powell. It ended up being Powell who would join the ranks of my all-time favorite classic film stars after that day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 17th, 1976

Helped clean the yard today but will definitely see a film tomorrow.

Finally got the Overstreet Price Guide along with EERIE # 60 over at the Ohio Book Store. Also made the definite decision to start collecting HUSTLER and PLAYBOY officially when I turn 18 next January. The former is better for the pictures and the latter is collectible for lots of reasons. Was looking through back issues of both at the OBS and found several of those reasons, not the least of which was Barbi Benton topless! WOW!

I resubscribed to the RBCC today, then read CONAN THE CONQUERER in comics form. After that, I settled back and started reading the Price Guide. Got up to "G!"

Tonight Doug's mother called to talk to Mom about something and then Mom and Dad and I colored eggs. Made it seem a bit more like Easter tomorrow.

NOTES: That first Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide opened up a whole new world to me. I wasn't so much interested in the prices but in the history of comics to be found by reading between the lines. Thousands of titles I'd never heard of from long gone companies by artists who had at one time been big in the field. I regularly bought the Guide for about a decade after that but never again got as much out of it as that first year.

Obviously, if you've been reading this blog, I had already been buying HUSTLER but strangely had never actually looked at a PLAYBOY in any real depth until that day. I did start a collection of PLAYBOY (but not HUSTLER) and collected it from early 1977 to sometime in the early 1980's. The problem was those things weigh a TON! Eventually, I stopped getting the magazine and, some years later, actually went through them all and (Horrors!) ripped out any parts I wanted to keep (mostly articles. Seriously). I threw out the rest.

Barbi Benton, seen on the cuter than cute cover above that I had looked at that day, had been Hef's girlfriend at one time. She later became one of the sexy, funny country gals on TV's HEE HAW, had fairly successful careers as a not bad country/pop singer, a TV actress and a game show celeb. She also would star in what I still consider perhaps the worst movie I ever saw--a no budget horror effort entitled X-RAY!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 16th, 1976

What a disappointment. My first time on TV got cut! I went over to the Coliseum and joined a line of about 50 people about 9:30 this morning. They opened at 10. I bought my ticket but I'm very confused about it. Will try to forget it for now. Anyway, Channel 5 was there doing a piece on it and they filmed me in closeup! Then when it aired later though they edited me out completely. Well...all but maybe a partial back shot. Mom said she saw it. I didn't. Boy...Hardly counts even if it was me. Oh, well. Think I'm gonna quit concerts after this (not that I've been to any yet!). Too frustrating just getting the tickets!

Later me and Terry got out to Erlanger. Still no word at NKBS on what the Con bus would be. I bought some things but couldn't afford the Price Guide which was finally out at least. Mom said later she heard the Con advertised on WUBE.

Mom got home at 12:30 today since it was Good Friday. Didn't affect me in any way.

Very hard decision on TV tonight but I decided to skip LOVE STORY.

NOTES: Yes, that's my original ticket above. When they opened the doors for the concert they never took the tickets! More on that later. Look at that price--$8.50! Wow. Ultimately, I would see McCartney three more times. I think the last time, in the early nineties, the tickets were like 40 dollars! Couldn't even afford him now at all! Things change.

I guess I kind of figured at the time that a quick shot on the news would be my only TV appearance ever. Thus my disappointment at being cut. Four years later I would make my "official" TV debut, then quite a few appearances for a couple years on local news, comedy and game shows. Most recently I was interviewed a number of times along with my wife in connection with THE MILLION MOM MARCH back in 2000.

LOVE STORY--not a great movie but some of the best snow scenes ever and you know what I say! A good snow scene makes a movie better automatically.

Friday, April 15, 2011


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Thursday, April 15th, 1976

Wings over Cincinnati! McCartney is coming to the new Coliseum! Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning for $8.50 each. That's a lot of money for a concert ticket but I have to have one even though I don't know anyone to go with! Mom and I talked about it this morning and she suggested I might try to take a date to the concert. Debbie's name was even brought up. Thing is, tickets go on sale tomorrow so there's no time for all that nonsense. If I'm going to be sure I get one I just have to buy one now. Concert is going to be May 27th. I sure hope there's no large crowd for the tickets!

Speaking of concerts, Tony Orlando was on DINAH today. Then later I saw Alfred Hitchcock on Merv's show.

I finally got my hair cut and I think I spent 15 minutes afterwards just trying to get all the little leftover hairs off me and my clothes.

New books were out over the river already so I didn't go all the way out to NKBS.

IT again for hopefully the last time during break.

NOTES: I don't know if you've noticed the pattern but, with the exception of Terry or, on occasion, my parents, I generally went to things alone. Movies, malls, downtown, comic conventions and now...concerts. It was never an issue to me (except maybe regarding transportation). It just seemed natural not to depend on someone else unless I absolutely had to.

I was totally excited about the concept of seeing a real live Beatle...and my favorite one at that! More on that as it develops.

Alfred Hitchcock was someone I had known as a bit of a punchline from his TV appearances on his own show when I was very young and later in reruns. Around this time, between revivals and TV showings, I was just starting to discover why Hitch as a film director was anything BUT a punchline. At this time in '76, he was promoting what would prove to be his final film, THE FAMILY PLOT.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 14th, 1976

Slept late today. No movies or nothing. Just stayed home, watched TV and read a lot. Oh...and IT.

One of the best things about being home this week is getting to watch the THAT GIRL reruns. I really empathize with Don and I just adore Ann! Just a wonderful show all around.

I read more Spidey comics, finished ILLUMINATUS vol. 2 and began vol. 3--I may yet finish by summer. I also finished reading the new sex movies book. It's rather prominently displayed on my bookshelf now but I'm not too afraid anyone will notice it. I think I could handle it if they did. That book has helped to give me a whole new attitude about sex
I think...but I'm not sure I'm really able to make sense of it just yet. Probably won't be the final new attitude either.

NOTES: In recent years one of the very few TV series that I actively purchased and enjoyed on DVD has been THAT GIRL. Still holds up and I still feel a kinship to the writer, Don, as well as a wonderful crush on actress Ann Marie.

Still not sure which sex in movies book I was talking about here as there were two purchased around the same time. Terry had each before I did and both were large enough for me to be worried about leaving them prominently displayed on my shelf. Both are seen above. The red one is a typical Citadel Press release filled with scholarly and yet fannish info, heavily illustrated by black and white stills. The other was a British picture book on slick paper with tons of color and more concise information. I learned a lot from both. And yes, I still have them both.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 13th, 1976

This kind of week when I'm off school but Tuesday feels like Thursday I like!

Getting into reading the sex movie book. I'm glad I bought it. I'm not technically hiding it from Mom and Dad but I'm not just going to casually leave it laying on the couch in the living room, either.

Got to see BREAKHEART PASS because both of the other things terry had going fell through. Another movie with great snow scenes!

Don Thompson says in TBG that both Englehart and Starlin have left their books. Too bad. They were both favorites of mine.

Speaking of comics, I'm still reading SPIDER-MAN.

Dumb old Channel 9 cut off ONE DAY AT A TIME tonight but it turns out it was a rerun of the sex episode already. Once I saw that I didn't bother to try to tune it in on Channel 7.

NOTES: BREAKHEART PASS is one of my favorite movies from the seventies, my favorite Charles Bronson film and one of my all-time favorite westerns. Technically, it isn't even a western--more of a mystery/spy film all done up in Western trappings. After a long career as a character actor, Bronson had surprisingly hit it big in Europe and slowly worked his way up to the point where he was, briefly, the biggest box office attraction in the world. BREAKHEART PASS even had not one but two of the best movie posters of that period in my opinion, both seen here.

The late Don Thompson--along with his wife Maggie--were columnists in TBG and became the editors when it became CBG later on. They have a son named Steve Thompson for whom I was mistaken three times just last week on Facebook!

Channel 9 was the local CBS affiliate in Cincinnati. Often when they preempted network programming for local sports or specials, one could tune in Channel 7, the Dayton, Ohio affiliate, in order to pick up the show you would have otherwise missed. There was a lot of video "snow" though. In this case, it simply wasn't worth my effort to watch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 12th, 1976

Got up at 4:30 and just couldn't get back to sleep. So much for sleeping in when I don't have to go to school. I was very surprised at 5:30 to see it was already getting light outside.

Other than that, though, the day went basically as expected. Saw the Bogie movie and a Belvedere film, went over the river and picked up the sex in movies history that Terry got last year.

Also got the new E-Go Sherlock Holmes magazine.

When I got home, I watched George Segal and Goldie Hawn on DINAH plugging their new movie. It's supposed to open at Newport this week. I may see it along with several more while I'm off.

Was hoping to avoid IT while I'm off

NOTES: "Belvedere" would have referred to one of the delightful Mr. Belvedere movies starring the delightfully acerbic Clifton Webb. I had just discovered Webb around this time and caught all of his movies I could. They used to show much better movies on TV in those days. Certainly a more diverse selection.

George Segal was one of my favorite actors of the seventies, an easy to relate to leading man with a laid back style who could do serious drama but was much better in lighthearted roles. Sadly, he seemed to prefer playing banjo on talk shows to making movies and his career gradually all but disappeared. He would turn up years later as the star of TV's JUST SHOOT ME but would have loved to have seen him still a star for all those years between.

The E-Go Collector's Series was a marvelous magazine series on individual pop culture subjects of interest for a few years. The mags were done by the West Coast team of Ron Haydock, Jim Harmon, Don Glut and those guys who also did Marvel's MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES. Haydock was a fascinating figure who deserves a book of his own and was killed in an accident not long after this period. The subjects of these intermittent publications included Sherlock Holmes, the Marx Brothers, Robert Redford, Henry Winkler and John Wayne. Sherlock was the only one to get two trivia-filled issues!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sunday, April 11th, 1976

Still plagued by a headache all day bit none of the dizziness like I had last night.

Mom wants me to get my hair styled and I told her maybe Tuesday. Didn't get to wash it today.

Straightened up my room and looked through a bunch of old SPIDER-MAN comics because Spidey himself, "Debbie the Dancer" and Stan "the Man" Lee were all on WONDERAMA this morning to promote REFLECTIONS OF A ROCK SUPERHERO.

Saw an episode of THE SAINT this afternoon. Watched 1940 on Lowell Thomas's show later.

May well get the SEX IN THE MOVIES book tomorrow in Cincy if the Price Guide still isn't out.

Had my first taste of Wyler's. Not toooo bad.

Absolutely have to answer Yoshiko and get the Omnicon reservations this week!

Reds are 3 and 0.

NOTES: REFLECTIONS OF A ROCK SUPERHERO was one of two official rock albums with Spidey, long before the current Broadway debacle. This was actually one I never ended up getting, however. I still have the first one. Not the one seen above.

Wyler's was (is?) a Kool-Aid style drink mix for grown-ups. I do not recall ever having it since this date.

Not sure which sex in the movies book we were referring to here. There were two good ones I bought around this same time.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 10th, 1976

Terry was away today but i made my rounds anyway. Got very few things even though I was in Cincy as well as out in Erlanger at the NKBS.

Got a massive headache, however, by not taking my pill. The worst part os the really terrible dizzy spell that hit me after I got home. Throughout the evening I could barely even walk!

Mom and Dad went to the grocery and she got me a beautiful Beethoven album--first in a series. Don't know about the rest, though.

NOTES: The "pill" to which I refer was a dramamine tablet. I had then only recently discovered them after a lifelong problem with motion sickness and they were amazing. They only left me sleepy if I was inactive. If I was on a bus or otherwise traveling, it was like I could suddenly enjoy the scenery instead of wondering how long it would be before I threw up on the person sitting next to me. A few years later, I actually rode the Racer roller coaster at King's Island on three dramamine... just to say I did it. I had never been able to ride amusement park rides my whole life!

The Beethoven LP my mother purchased that day was the first one in the series of Funk & Wagnalls Family Library of Classical Music. It was one of those series where you picked up a different volume at the grocery store every week. This first one was Beethoven's sixth symphony, the Pastoral. Oddly enough, I was familiar with the music because Edward G. Robinson had died to portions of it in one of the best movie death scenes ever, in 1973's SOYLENT GREEN! It became and has remained my all-time favorite classical piece. We would try other albums in the series but I just could never get into them and Classical has remained one genre of music that I respect...but have never particularly embraced.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 9th, 1976

Not bad for a final day before Spring vacation. 31 days 'til school's out. Turned in my school journal to Mr. Spurlock. I hope he doesn't think it's too bad.

Dad won 10 bucks on Lottery last night!

I'm really enjoying DONNY AND MARIE. Marie is both pretty and funny. I used to think Donny was a bit of a loser but he's actually pretty cool, too. I remember Cindy Shorter going nuts over his record of "Puppy Love" in the 7th grade.

If Terry goes to NKBS tomorrow, I may forgo going to any movies until later in the week since I'll be off anyway.

NOTES: I thought I still had that journal but the one I have is from the following school year. Apparently I never got this one back after the final time I turned it in.

On Facebook recently, Mr. Spurlock said that after all these years I can call him by his first name now. No. No, I can't. Thanks anyway but you will always be Mr. Spurlock just as Mr. Krey remained Mr. Krey, Mr. Tucker is still Mr. Tucker and even my former 2nd grade teacher who lived near us for a while was always Mrs. Rettig. Look at it as a continued form of respect, sir.

Around this time, I actually traded Terry something or other for Marie Osmond's first two solo albums. I would eventually end up purchasing Donny and Marie's solo albums, too! I was developing very diverse tastes in music. That and I thought Marie was hawt!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thursday, April 8th, 1976

Slightly better day at school. My sores were a little less painful, too, but the skin had reformed over the band-aids! THAT hurt like hell to get off! Also at school, I seem to have accidentally started a rumor that I would be going to the prom with Betty Dean (no comics readers in my class).

Lots of movies to see this weekend. We may all go see BUTCH & SUNDANCE.

NOTES: No memory of how I got that rumor started but I know where I got that name. Betty Dean had been a major supporting character in the Golden Age SUB-MARINER stories of the 1940's. In the early seventies, Bill Everett, the original creator of that series, had returned to the comic and brought back the now aged Betty. I was really enjoying those still newish stories and had been re-reading reprints of the old so the name stuck with me.

I was thinking the movie reference here was to BUTCH & SUNDANCE: THE EARLY DAYS, the film for which the term "prequel" was invented. That picture, however, came out 3 years later. In spite of the fact that I was excited about all the new movies out this week in '76, it looks like my parents and I were considering going to see the original Redford/Newman BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID on re-release. Weird.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 7th, 1976

This was slightly on the bad side of the scale. What with stinging pain every time I moved my leg from where I fell, losing twice at cards, the new Price Guide not being out yet and some slightly overcooked Wendy's.

I broke out my old record player to listen to Liza's "Happyland." I can't figure out how it does that.

Did my journal work at school today but still ended up with Creative writing homework.

I watched again what may be my favorite episode of BARETTA--the one with Mackenzie Phillips.

NOTES: I'm curious as to the line about losing twice at cards. I don't know any card games but Poker and I only learned that later from TV and movies. Must have been some sort of school thing in one class or another.

I still can't figure out that HAPPYLAND thing. It was a song on Liza Minnelli's first album from the late sixties. I believe it was written by her then-husband, Peter Allen. The rest of the album played normally on my stereo but that song was ultra-low sound with a tinny echo making it nearly impossible to hear and/or decipher. BUT...when I got my old record player out of the closet--a cheap little portable mono turntable with a stylus--it played normally! Weird. Not even sure HOW that could happen let alone why it would.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

.NET Magazine Interview

Tuesday, April 6, 1976

A very bad day. Too involved in Physics, had a sub and said and did things I didn't like. Wasn't just me, though. Everyone seemed to feel bad today. I came within 25 points of winning in that Spanish game but lost when another guy just quietly won.

The worst thing all day was when I fell running for the bus. I was up before I even finished falling and kept running. Made the bus but got a terrible, bleeding skinned up place on my knee, skinned up both hands badly and ripped my pants quite a bit! My good jeans, too! Didn't really feel any pain, just stinging.

Mr. Shoemaker had a baby girl on April Fool's Day--Sara Dawn.

Jay's brother, our insurance man, talked with me a moment tonight about my comics.

Later I watched one of the last episodes of BEWITCHED I remember seeing from when it was on new. Tonight on HAPPY DAYS was a good episode with Richie and Joanie acting so much like real brother and sister--the way i think I'd act if I had a sister. Sometimes I really wish I did.

NOTES: Jay's brother? Not sure. There was a Jay I knew from school. He went on to become a reporter and later the City Manager. Perhaps it was his brother who was our insurance man.

In those days, the insurance men would actually come around to collect their premiums. While there, they would inevitably attempt to sell you more insurance. My dad had actually been one of these types of insurance agents for a brief period in the sixties. For awhile, his territory included areas of Newport, Northern Kentucky's one-time "sin city." As he used to tell people who asked what he did for a living--"I'm an insurance man for the Mob."

Mr. Shoemaker was my 3rd year Spanish teacher.

That fall was a mess and things ended up getting infected which dragged it all out for quite awhile.

Normally I was content to be an only child. I never really wanted a brother because I usually had at least one close guy friend who was like a brother to me. Every once in a while, though, I really wanted a sister. I was always a little jealous of friends who did have sisters, even though they often bickered back and forth whenever I'd see them together. In later years, I would unofficially "adopt" my own choices in sisters such as Brittany Rose, seen above. We fight, we argue, we're there for each other when we need to be. My sister. At last.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Monday, April 5th, 1976

Dreamed about Mary W. last night--a very INTERESTING dream! Don't know why, though. Haven't even seen or thought about her in months.

A fair day at school for a Monday.

Got most of my order from Bob G except for one item. Guess he was out.

Learned that Steranko will be doing his first new graphic story in five years! Can't wait!

The mysterious zillionaire Howard Hughes died today. After all the stories I've heard about him my first thought was that this could be some kind of trick. But I doubt it. I guess.

Just watched a very good Hollywood special with Dick Cavett interviewing--of all people--Mae West!

NOTES: Mary W? I have wracked my brain. I got nothin'. Mary W....Hmmm...a fellow student, a neighbor, a TV actress? None seem to fit. Oh, well. Must not have been THAT good a dream or I'd still remember it!

Jim Steranko remains one of the most influential comics artists of all time. He came along suddenly and quickly in the mid-sixties but stopped working in comics to write 2 volumes of an excellent history of the medium. Although his design sense remains amazing, his few attempts at returning to graphic storytelling since 1970 have been stunningly disappointing to me. A year after this, I would meet Steranko at a comics con in Columbus, Ohio.

I had heard about Howard Hughes my whole life--he was a genius, a daring pilot, an amazing inventor, a pioneering filmmaker, a reputable ladies man and, by the time I came along, an eccentric recluse used most often as a punchline to bad jokes. Just a couple of years earlier there had been a big scandal about a fake "authorized" Hughes biography. In this case, however, Hughes was really dead and the sad details of his demise and his longtime illness would soon enough come out.

Dick Cavett was the thinking man's talk show host. Here he hosted a prime time special for which the aged "sex symbol" Mae West was done up and trotted out for viewing as she began what would be her final film--and one of the worst ever made--SEXTETTE. Barely released in 1978, SEXTETTE was an embarrassing sex farce with an all-star cast that mixed actors like George Hamilton and Timothy Dalton with rock stars like Ringo, Keith Moon and Alice Cooper for some reason!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday, April 4th, 1976

Pretty good day. I went to see ROBIN & MARIAN over at Newport and it was marvelous. Best picture I've seen so far this year. Lots of new movies to choose from next week!

I caught up on my school journal entries today and practically wore out my new Wings album while doing it. So far, I've written about writing, depression, war, Debbie and the Beatles.

Tonight I watched Lowell Thomas's 1939 show.

I've been hearing and reading a lot about the Dawn concert, too. Can't wait!

NOTES: I remember being very disappointed in ROBIN & MARIAN, actually. Perhaps here I was trying hard to convince myself it was better than it was because it STILL seems as though it should have been. It was the lovely Audrey Hepburn's first picture in years and it was during a peak post-Bond era for Sean Connery. I just don't think they had any real chemistry as a couple.

LOWELL THOMAS REMEMBERS was a PBS series in which the aging veteran newsman presented compilations of his own historical newsreels from certain years, tonight's episode being from 1939.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

***My Grey Hair***

It occurs to me that my talking about my grey hair in high school might throw a lot of folks based on that big ol' senior picture of me at the top of the page. Earlier today, I also questioned whether the Grecian Formula 16 was doing any good in 1976. Well, apparently it was because here's me noticeably greyer just 5 years later in 1981 (on a TV game show) after I finally completely stopped using that greasy stuff.

Saturday, April 3rd, 1976

Terry called this evening and we talked for 90 minutes but there was really nothing good on TV tonight anyway.

I helped out with a little yard work this afternoon but not much. I went back to NKBS and got a few new things, a few old things and most important, FF Annual # 2 for only five bucks in what I would call Near-Mint condition! Wow!

Thought I might have seen Debbie getting off the bus I was on today with two other girls. They got off at the stop where I think Debbie's house might be near. If it was her, she didn't recognize me or didn't see me. Made me very nervous the rest of the day.


Just realized I'm two days behind in my hair stuff.

NOTES: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL # 2 was and is one of THE great comics of the Silver Age. This was a big deal! As a collector, I like to actually read them so I've never been all that much on condition but near-mint! This was cool!

Ugh! Debbie again! Move on, kid! You're wasting your best years pining over someone you haven't seen since both of you were children!!!

WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND would be the most group-like album Wings ever did. Rather than feature Paul McCartney and the rest of the folks as simply a back-up group, here each member was given a chance to be highlighted and the result was quite good. Makes me wish there had been more actual Wings albums.

The "hair stuff" was Grecian Formula 16. The grey in my hair didn't bother me. I never saw it except when I looked in a mirror. It seemed to bother everyone else at school, though, so I started using that stuff that was supposed to gradually turn your hair back to its original color. If it worked, I never noticed. Just made my hair feel greasy all the time. Yeah. Chicks loved that. Ugh.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 2nd, 1976

Fair day at school. Maybe slightly below average. Everyone was talking about HELTER SKELTER while I had watched SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 and I'm sure liked it much better. A particularly good ending. To me, if the ending's great it makes the whole picture better. The whole thing was cut but still almost too R-rated to be shown on TV. I'm surprised they did.

Saw Karen Valentine on DONNY & MARIE tonight as well as on a good ROOM 222 rerun.

Had a sore throat all day. Hope it gets better by tomorrow. Terry already hit the NKBS and says there are four new books out. Going to be a tighter schedule than last week but at least I won't need to wait on him since he's already gone.

NOTES: HELTER SKELTER was the TV movie about the prosecution of Charles Manson. Being obsessed with the sixties, I eventually did go through a period where I became interested in his bizarre, murderous odyssey but this wasn't it.

The movie of SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 is, in retrospect, not really all that good but then it's one of those books perhaps best left unfilmed. It does, however, have some moments of genius and was most folks introduction to the voluptuous Valerie Perrine. For a few years, Ms. Perrine would go on to become a fixture of the seventies, adept at comedy and yet heart-wrenching in roles such as her acclaimed role as Honey Bruce in the 1974 film, LENNY. In real-life she was widely known to be one of the in-crowd. She had been the first star to appear nude on American television (in 1973's PBS production of STEAMBATH with Bill Bixby) and is generally remembered today for her role as Lex Luthor's "moll" in the Christopher Reeve SUPERMAN.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday, April 1st, 1976

No April Fool's jokes pulled on me today. Guess that's one benefit of being invisible.

I heard Paul McCartney's new single on the radio this evening and will begin looking for the album this weekend if I find time.

Creative Writing may be harder than I thought, especially if I want an A and I've had nothing but A's in English so far.

I heard that Stefanie has her own series coming this Fall and that CHARLIE'S ANGELS is going to be a series, too.

NOTES: The McCartney single in question was SILLY LOVE SONGS which would be Wings' biggest song in the US and top the charts twice later in the year when McCartney first toured the US without the Beatles.

Not sure exactly why I was so intimidated by Creative Writing at this point. Eventually I would get the only award I received throughout my high school years--an unexpected plaque as Outstanding English Student. I always felt it was based largely on my performance in Creative Writing.

Stefanie Powers' new series almost didn't make it on the air at all come Fall. Originally entitled FEATHER AND FATHER, they added the word "GANG" at the end during a long delay that saw it finally hitting the airwaves in December. Briefly. It dealt with an attorney and her con man father, played by Harold Gould, solving crimes. Her real TV success was another couple of seasons away with HART TO HART.

Meanwhile, CHARLIE'S ANGELS, a titillating TV movie about sexy detectives that had just aired for the first time two weeks earlier, went on to become one of THE big TV successes of the seventies. It spawned the Farrah phenomenon as well as later feature films and, in 2011, an upcoming remake series.