Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 31st. 1976

Up at 5:30 and I was surprised to find Laurel and Hardy on Channel 12 and then on 48 'til 9! Paper arrived at 6:30. I actually heard it land on the porch. Learned from it that Harry will be back at Christmas. Also saw where the $17.76 record set I ordered will be coming it commercially.

Watched my first Marilyn Monroe film today when I missed the bus out to Ludlow.

Had to change a LOT of lights over at SS.

Had a not so good talk with Terry early tonight.

Halloween was never my favorite holiday and I like it less now that no one comes around anymore.

Watched LIFE GOES TO THE MOVIES and a good Bogey flick.

Off tomorrow.

NOTES: "Harry" was Dirty Harry Callahan, Clint Eastwood's signature police inspector role. First seen in 1971 and last seen in 1973. This third film, THE ENFORCER, was announced on this date as being one of the first films to play at the upcoming "Cinema City Six" theaters in Florence, KY.  By the time they opened they were just called the Florence Cinemas. THE ENFORCER would be the first of many films I would see there. It wasn't very good.

I'm not certain but I think the first Marilyn film I saw was NIAGARA. She would soon enough become another obsession.

The $17.76 record set I refer to was the WINGS FROM THE WINGS bootleg. On this date I learned that WINGS OVER AMERICA would be released. The difference was that the boot was all one concert whereas the commercial release contained what was considered the best performances from each stop on the recently completed Wings tour. 

LIFE GOES TO THE MOVIES is one of the best Hollywood documentaries I've ever seen and I would later pick up the accompanying book, also one of the best in my movie collection. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, Oct 30th, 1976


Cincinnati trip called on account of rain. Spent the day reading comics. I decided to chop 2001 and IRON MAN. New TBG came early, too.

Found out Terry had gone to see Hope last weekend, too.

Roddy was on with Carol tonight and I was able to catch Monty Python on 54.

NOTES: IRON MAN I had just come back to not long earlier after buying scores of issues I had never had. Eventually I realized that it was no longer as good as it had been and dropped it. 

2001 was Jack Kirby's ongoing series adaptation of the classic Stanley Kubrick film and sadly one of my least favorites of his long career. Every issue was essentially a rewrite of the issue before it. So I dropped it. Then he introduced a character in the title known as Mr. Machine...later Machine Man...who would go on to some success in the Marvel Universe. I was already gone by that point. 

Roddy was, of course, Roddy McDowall, a favorite guest of Carol Burnett on her Saturday night variety series. 

"54" was and is Channel 54, a low-power Covington PBS  and KET (Kentucky Educational Television) station.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

***EXTRA***Comic Books: A Basic History

In recent weeks in my Journal, I have several times noted in 1976 that I was writing a book on the history of comics. Today, digging through boxes looking for more stuff to sell,  I ran across my original outline for the book as well as my "About the Author." Note that I apparently finished up to Chapter 14...but not beyond. Still searching to see if I have any of the chapters here anymore. 

Friday, Oct. 29th, 1976

Two unexpected tests today. The pep rally was quick and fairly painless. Missed the first Eastern bus home. It was early.

Saw George P. today and then later ran into Mrs. Rettig, too. She told me Mrs. Marrs has retired.

There were a few new books out including a new one on sex in films but I didn't get yet.

Another two hour Bob Hope special on tonight and I stayed up 'til 12:30 to watch the first part of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.

NOTES: "George P." was the son of our former landlady. He had at one point hit my dad--a notoriously soft touch--up for fifty dollars and gave him two gold rings melded together with multiple diamonds as collateral...and then he moved away and never came back for them. Years later, my wife and I sold the gold but had the diamonds popped out and inserted into our wedding rings. 

Mrs. Rettig had been my favorite grade school teacher. She reminded me of BEWITCHED's Agnes Moorehead and she was the first person I ever heard described a s a"bitch" but to me she was always great. I had her for both second grade and third grade! Again, zip forward more than a decade more and one day when my not-yet wife and I were just out for a walk down by the Ohio River we ran into...Mrs. Rettig!

Mrs. Marrs had been my first grade teacher, beloved by everyone. I had last seen her when, as a favor,  sixth grader me walked one of her students to a nearby clinic for required shots...and picked up chicken pox at age 12!

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is a manic black comedy with Cary Grant starring in the film version as Mortimer, a role I played when we read the play aloud in class in high school! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, Oct 28th, 1976

Mr. Tucker was out sick today. Fire drill again first period.

Parade in Cincy. Dad was there to see it and Holmes band marched in it. We saw much of it on TV including a confetti record.

I got a new article by Ray Bradbury on writing that I was able to bring home from school, too.

IT just for tension relief tonight...and it worked!

NOTES:I hate to keep typing in these notes that I don't have a clue about something but I don't have a clue what a "confetti record" is/was." Anyone?

I've mentioned so many fire drills in recent weeks I really think some of the other students were being prankish. The fact that my son brings home stories of multiple fire drills per week tells me that that's one more thing that never changes. 

Bradbury is still alive in his nineties in 2011 and long since considered one of the great authors of the 20th century, not just one of the great sci-fi authors. In the seventies, he used to complain loudly that books by L. Frank Baum and Edgar Rice Burroughs weren't in school libraries. They are now. I like to  think at least some of that was due to Ray.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, Oct. 27th, 1976

Saw a Sherlock special on TODAY.

No new comics out. Well, there were a couple. I got one and Wendy's.

I almost screamed and cried at the same time as the dumb old local stations (both 2 and 5) took off the highly publicized episode of THE PRACTICE with Marlo! Now if it gets canceled I can never see it!

NOTES: Sherlock Holmes again. Seriously, 1976 was a good year for the man from Baker Street.

THE PRACTICE was a then-new sitcom starring TV veteran Danny Thomas as a doctor (who looked vaguely like Groucho). It wasn't bad but it only lasted the one season and, as predicted, I've never seen the highly advertised episode form this evening 35 years ago in which Thomas' daughter Marlo, THAT GIRL, guest-starred with her father. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, Oct 26th, 1976

Got TBG and a letter from Yoshiko.

Spent a long time with Mona today and was fairly open with her. She's easy to talk to.

Mrs. K introduced me to Sarah tonight.

We're having a stupid pep rally Friday.

NOTES: It continues to amaze me how I remember much of this stuff like it was yesterday and then there are things like this Sarah. Sarah? Mrs. K was the 90 year old former kindergarten teacher who lived upstairs. Apparently she introduced me to someone named Sarah. No clue. 

Sometimes I wonder what happened to my Japanese pen pal, Yoshiko Tashiro---especially in the wake of last year's Japanese disasters. We corresponded long past the junior high class which hooked us up for an assignment. I think I continued writing to her another couple of years beyond this, also! I remember in an early letter she said her very favorite movie star was Alain Delon. She got mad when I said I had never heard of him. Turns out, of course, that French actor Delon was one of the most popular stars in the world at the time...except in America. Over the years, though, he has become a favorite of mine and, in fact, I just watched two of his films with Jean-Paul Belmondo over the weekend.

Note that I had zero school spirit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday, Oct 25th, 1976

Dad's off all this week.

Played chess in empty Spanish class. Hardly anyone showed up! In fact, little classwork all day. No sign of Mona.

No SS work tonight.

Nice, adult, romantic episode of ALL'S FAIR tonight.

Mom found a house buyer.

NOTES: A house buyer? We never owned a house! I'm confused. Was she looking for someone else? No memory.

Not sure how I got out of SS work, either, as they were always there and quite frankly, most of them were slobs. There had to have been ashtrays and trash cans overflowing. Oh, well.  

ALL'S FAIR was one of those shows that SHOULD have made it but didn't and is now largely forgotten. From IMDB: This sitcom set in Washington, D.C. detailed the relationship between 49-year-old conservative political writer Richard Barrington and his liberal photographer girlfriend Charley. Despite frequent arguments concerning current events, topical concerns and the generation gap, Richard and Charley stayed together, much to the amusement of their friends and co-workers.

TV and movie veteran Richard Crenna starred along with Bernadette Peters whom you may recall as one of my favorites then and now. 

Crenna had been a regular on several old time radio shows including THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVE and OUR MISS BROOKS and on TV was known for THE REAL McCOYS. He was also a prolific director and a good character lead in feature films, perhaps most notably as Stallone's commanding officer in the RAMBO films. 

Bernadette Peters apparently postponed her Cincinnati concert appearance scheduled for this Fall as her site now lists it for April instead. Wish I could go.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, Oct. 24th, 1076

Elton and Kiki on WONDERAMA this morning.

Went ti see the great movie THE FRONT this afternoon and picked up the new JLA.

Depressed later in the afternoon but we ate early and went back over the river at 7:15 to see the show. It started late but we saw all but Ben Vereen who didn't show. Fabulous! Especially Wayne Newton, Roy Clark and, of all things, Enzo Stuarti!

NOTES: Damn! My 4 lines rule meant I couldn't say much about the Bob Hope Show! Luckily I wrote no less than 2 pages about it in my SCHOOL Journal two days later...and here it is now:

Every year Bob Hope comes to town to get money for a favorite local charity, The Bob Hope House. This year, in an attempt to get enough money to burn the mortgage on the house, the great comedian decided against his usual golf tournament in favor of a concert with himself and some of his famous friends. Scheduled to be a two hour event, the extravaganza started almost half an hour late and lasted 4 hours!

First Bob Braun, probably our most well-known local entertainer, sang and joked for about ten minutes as singer Lynn Anderson had missed a flight and was forced to get a ride down in the rain from Columbus!

The first major performance of the evening came as operatic singer Enzo Stuarti treated the vast audience to a medley from MAN OF LA MANCHA, THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC and an aria from PAGLIACCI and met with probably the mist unexpected triumph of the evening! The crowd loved him!

During his performance, Miss anderson apparently arrived as she appeared next on stage. She wore a thin, yellow, flowing gown and did several popular songs, ending with her signature ROSE GARDEN.

Following this was a long and elaborate concert put on by former country music "Entertainer of the Year" Roy Clark. Backed up by several back-up vocalists and and a full band, he ran through a gamut of country to pop to masterful instrumentals, all aided immensely by Roy's great wit. He got a standing ovation.

Then the great Pearl Bailey came onto the stage sharing songs and lightly comedic stories and even some fast dancing! We in the audience heartily approved of the antics of the woman known as Pearlie Mae and gave her the next standing ovation of the evening!

After a brief intermission, Bob Braun returned to finally introduce, "the funniest man in the world," Bob Hope! Here was what the crowded Coliseum had been waiting for and he immediately got his standing ovation just for being there! Launching directly into first a song and then his customary monologue, Bob left no doubt as to who the real star was on this star-studded program!

He brought out Miss America (Dorothy Benham) and then Reds catcher Johnny Bench to do one song each. Then he brought on Wayne Newton.

Wayne Newton is unquestionably an entertainer. He knew just what the audience wanted and gave it to them in spades! As he sang and joked, the stage was constantly bombarded by girls of all ages trying just to touch his hand. It was reminiscent of an Elvis concert. Keeping the stage for much longer than his supposedly allotted twenty minutes, Newton sang his hits and favorite songs and played at least three musical instruments! While catching his breath between high-energy numbers, he also joked and told stories until nearly 11:30 PM!

When Bob Hope took the stage again, it was for a song and dance with his wife who had been in the audience. Then, right at midnight, they burned the mortgage onstage! 

The event was touted in newspapers the next day as the single biggest show to ever perform in Cincinnati and said to be a part of history in the making! It may not be the biggest show for long, though, as Hope has promised to return again next year...with Perry Como and Bing Crosby!

And return he did--see the ad above. Twice more, in fact, before returning to the golf tournament format in 1979. Sadly Crosby died the following year but Como did come in '78! Other guests in the following two years included Mark Hamill (fresh from STAR WARS), Joey Heatherton, Silent film star Buddy Rogers (!), Glenn Campbell, Teresa Brewer, Minnie Pearl, Jane Russell, Gordon MaCrae and Nick Clooney. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday, Oct. 23rd, 1976

Up real early. Started the day with IT. Then saw GLENN'S DEN and got the paper by 8. Snow this morning (!) and then rain the rest of the day!

Finally picked up a copy of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES for my book review. Also got the HOWARD THE DUCK TREASURY.

Finally read the Jimmy Carter interview. Last debate aired last night.

Went to see CAR WASH but didn't get the free T-shirt. Ordered 7 undergrounds.

Watched Roy on HEE HAW before seeing him in person tomorrow night--also PLAYBOY's Misty Rowe on HEE HAW, too!

NOTES: GLENN'S DEN was another short-lived local series featuring longtime Cincinnati TV fixture Glenn "Skipper" Ryle--children's show host, game show host, announcer, weatherman and talk show sidekick.

CAR WASH was a funny urban ensemble comedy with a very successful funk soundtrack. I think I was the only white viewer in the theater that day. It was the first time I had ever seen Bill Duke who went on to become one of my favorite film directors. I exchanged a couple emails with him a few years ago. It also featured glorified cameos from Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Apparently there was supposed to be a free t-shirt but I got there too late.

The HOWARD THE DUCK TREASURY was an oversized--literally--comic reprinting the character's first appearances along with an all-new story. 

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES was, at the time, one of Ray Bradbury's few full-length novels and even it was based on a short story! It would become and remains a favorite book.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, Oct 22nd, 1976

Lots of publicity for the Hope show.

The school band played in a parade today and I passed a Spanish test.

Met Mona twice today and I'm starting to hope that becomes a habit.

I think I saw Barry (Binkley) and tonight I learned that Cheryl and Bob are no longer "living in sin."

I got to SS real early tonight.

NOTES: I have to admit that it's odd my spooky memory can recall so much and yet other things I read here seem totally foreign to me. For example, I don't have a clue who Barry Binkley was/is nor who Cheryl and Bob were. If I found out about them that night then it seems like it wouldn't have been  school-related. I knew a couple of Cheryls in school but I don't recall any Bob's during he high school years. No clue. 

Also, I don't recall why I was so interested in noting the band playing in the parade. I wasn't in the band nor did I know anyone who was. 

I was really getting excited about the Bob Hope Show as it got closer.

If only I had known about Mona...

If I got to SS early, then I was probably back in time to watch my Friday night shows which, at this point, included DONNY & MARIE, THE ROCKFORD FILES and David Birney as a sanitized version of SERPICO, played by Al Pacino on the big screen. It only ran one season.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, Oct 21st, 1976

Good and bad both today. Sheff for Homeroom.

Several of the new TV shows canceled already!

My coat zipper and my shirt got stuck until I got to school where I had to rip it loose. Tore the zipper good. Dad gave me his jacket when he got home.

Got Mona's picture when she came to see me in Study Hall at lunch. Beautiful!

I had to stand on the bus home.

Reds won the series tonight and I went to bed early!

NOTES: Yes, this was four lines in the actual Journal. I've decided to separate them here for clarity going forward.

Apparently Mr. Sheff was another teacher. I don't recall him. Sounds like my regular Homeroom teacher was out and he covered for her.

When Mona became an issue later, I would tear her picture into little tiny pieces.

Dad just gave me his jacket. Doesn't sound like a big deal and I didn't treat it like one at the time but ow I find myself doing that kind of thing for my own son and I realize that sometimes it kind of is a big deal. Thanks, Dad.

No idea what shows were canceled on this date but 1976 was teh year that one series in the TV GUIDE FALL PREVIEW ISSUE was cancelled before a single episode aired. SNIP with David Brenner. From Wikipedia: 

Snip (September 30, 1976) 

Comedian David Brenner was slated to star in this sitcom, where he would portray a hairdresser dealing with his ex-wife (Lesley Ann Warren) moving back in with him. Created by James Komack, who had earlier created Chico and the Man and Welcome Back Kotter, Snip appeared to have great potential and was heavily promoted by NBC; however, after seven episodes were written and five were filmed, the network decided to pull the show at the last minute – so abruptly, in fact, that TV Guide still listed the show in its schedule guide. Brenner later stated that he believed the pulling was due to fears of controversy, as one of the supporting characters was openly gay, quipping that apparently "In 1976, there were no gay people in America." The five completed episodes later aired in Australia.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, Oct. 20th, 1976

Bad day. Screwy Study Hall mixup. PTA tomorrow.

Series canceled on account of rain tonight. SS worked late so I couldn't go over until late. Got WW at SS.

Saw Chuck Norris on with Bob Barker. Farrah's tits every week on national TV! Wow!

I heard Bob Braun may host Bob Hope's upcoming show and that Crosby and Como may come in '77!

NOTES: Bob Braun was for many years the King of the local Cincinnati talk shows, replacing Ruth Lyons on her retirement. He eventually moved out west to make it as an actor but the only thing I ever saw him in was a very brief role as a newsman in DIE HARD 2. Ironically, his son became the major anchorman in the Cincinnati market in the eighties and remains so today. 

At this point, Bob Barker's sole gig if I recall was his hosting of THE PRICE IS RIGHT. Not sure what the now iconic Norris would have been doing on that game show unless it was simply plugging his then -new film star career.

No idea what "WW" refers to but whatever it is, I got it at the Social Security Office that night I guess.

Sorry about the Farrah remark. Seriously, I know I was 17 but I don't recall being that shallow! At some point, I even stopped being a breast man all together. Maybe it was after seeing Morganna, Baseball's "Kissing Bandit" up close in 1981. Once you've seen HER topless, nothing else could compare. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 1976

New system. Only 4 lines per day. Graded papers for Mr Shoe, 6th. Had to write an ad in Comp. Funny because I had just posted my two HORIZONS ads. Got in trouble with "SEX."New chick in Gov. Vicky something. Fire drill at lunch. (Illegible) co-ed PE. Dad brought home ten comic books, most only fair but I'm still reading them. Series continued tonight on TV and I was stuck alone since I didn't watch it.

NOTES: At this point, I seem to have realized that if I continued just writing willy-nilly I would run out of journal before I ran out of year. Thus my self-imposed 4 lines limit. I would break it occasionally but not by much for the remainder of the year. 

The SEX poster was quickly pulled from the hallway where I had placed it and I received a call to come to the office. The poster read "SEX!" in gigantic letters and showed a not-so-great drawing of a sexy babe by me. In smaller print it said, "Now that I have your attention, It's time to order this year's HORIZONS." I think I stole it from an ad in TBG. I thought it was clever! The school authorities disagreed. I defended it, pointing out that there was literally NOTHING explicit about it other than the barest (pardon the pun) hint of cleavage. No matter. It had been taken down and already ripped up by the time I got there. I was given a warning NOT to be clever like that again. No one complained about my CLOWN poster...but I bet it didn't get as many students' attention, either!

No idea what the bit was with the co-ed PE. Mayhap I was excited that girls in gym clothes had gotten called out on the fire drill? After all, I was seventeen, remember. Didn't take much to excite me. 

No memory of Vicky at all. 

The "series" was the Reds in the Playoffs again.

Apparently this was one of the times my dad "salvaged" some of the trash they normally incinerated at the Post this case comics! The fact that I knew he could get in big trouble for it made the gesture all the more meaningful. Thanks, Dad!

While all this was going on, the venerable band Chicago displaced DISCO DUCK at the top of the charts with an uncharacteristic love ballad IF YOU LEAVE ME NOW sung by Peter Cetera. A taste of things to come for them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, Oct 18th, 1976

Last time I'll ever believe astrology. Today was a very good day after all! Forgot to take the posters, though. No Spanish class today. Never did hear why exactly.

Sat next to Mona in Study Hall and on receipt of my senior picture, she gave me some nice compliments! I  wrote a poetic inscription on the reverse.

Got the new TBG already. As usual, some good ads.

Leonard Nimoy was on with Daryl and Toni tonight and Roger Moore was Sherlock Holmes in New York.

I taped part of SWEET YOUNG THING.

NOTES: Dating back to the early seventies, I used to record songs from TV and radio, originally on a reel to reel recorder but by this point on a cassette recorder. 

Daryl and Toni were THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE. No recollection of why Nimoy appeared on their variety hour on this date.

With my Sherlock Holmes obsession at its height throughout this year, it was very accommodating of film producers and authors to continue feeding my interests. SHERLOCK HOLMES IN NEW YORK featured "James Bond" as the great consulting detective. Outside of that seeming stunt-casting, the rest of the cast was impressive including THE AVENGERS' Patrick Macnee as Watson, legendary director John Huston as Moriarty and Charlotte Rampling, then quite the hot property, as Irene Adler. Although looking nothing like the classic image of Holmes, Moore was actually quite good in the lead, also!

As far as the astrologer, there would be another incident a few years later in 1981 where celebrity astrologer/actress Joyce Jillson (SUPERCHICK) told me a day that would be my luckiest day of the year...and I ended up in the hospital that day for the first time in my entire life. With kidney stones!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Oct 17th, 1976

Tomorrow will be a bad day. Two months ago an astrologer told me so. Good day today, though.

I spent the entire afternoon finishing up the two HORIZONS posters--CLOWN and SEX. I'm planning to leave them home until Tuesday.

Paper was very late but we finally got it. And it had VERA VALIANT, VERA VALIANT by Stan Lee and Frank Springer!

I called Terry finally.

Mom went shopping again and brought me back some new slippers, two footlong hot dogs from Dairy Queen, the INSIDE STAR TREK album and, bonus, a new 5 band radio!

Steffie turned up for the first time lately with Bill Cosby. It was great!

NOTES: "Steffie" was, of course, Stefanie Powers, one of my permanent crushes. Not sure now why she would have been on COS.

VERA VALIANT, VERA VALIANT was the name it was given in THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, a riff on MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN. In reality, the strip, a rip-off of the style of that show, was entitled THE VIRTUE OF VERA VALIANT. It didn't last very long in the local papers but it lasted long enough overall for a paperback collection. 

The HORIZONS posters were my first attempt at such design-oriented art. I spent a lot of time at the kitchen table drawing and coloring them on mid-size poster paper. CLOWN featured a smiling, very traditional clown with his arm sticking out across the poster and the letters of the name HORIZONS rolling across it. SEX featured a lovely scantily-clad blonde (that I probably copied from a dirty mag) with the word itself, "SEX," in gigantic letters. In smaller print, it said, "Now that I've got our attention, it's time to order HORIZONS."That one would prove to be controversial.

It's cool that I was excited about a 5 band radio. It's sad that I don't even recall exactly what that was at this late stage. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, Oct 16th, 1976

I'm 80% sure Dad saw that X-rated TARZAN flick when he was off last Monday because he referred today to a Tarzan movie when he couldn't possibly have seen the one on TV last weekend.

Mike Nesmith and the Carole King duo wrote SWEET YOUNG THING which I finally heard today.

I outlined two HORIZONS posters this afternoon.

Bad vibes between me and Mom all day. She got me a new scrapbook and new pajamas while out shopping though.

Finally got TBG and learned that THE SPIRIT has been cancelled, Gerber is still writing HOWARD THE DUCK and National has officially changed its name to DC (and it seems to be improving). Also learned Stan Lee will write a Spidey newspaper strip.

Got Wendys for dinner tonight and a new book on television heroes.

Stayed up and saw Karen Black's baby Hunter attempting to disrobe her on live TV on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

NOTES: No idea what that book on TV heroes would have been. 

The SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip would debut soon by Lee and Romita. It was gorgeous and fun for the first few years and I clipped them all out and pasted them in a scrapbook. After Romita left, it strated going downhill. The strip is still going although it appears in very few papers and is nowadays considered a bit of a joke as a few seconds of storytime seems to take 2 weeks to tell. 

I find it hard to believe I had never heard the Monkees song, SWEET YOUNG THING, prior to this date. In fact, it's been a favorite of mine for as long as I can recall. Still...why would I have made it up?

The X-rated TARZAN movie was probably the animated SHAME OF THE JUNGLE from 1975 which appeared briefly on local screens. It actually wasn't horrible but its English translation is best-remembered---if at all--for featuring the voices of many SNL actors including Bill Murray and John Belushi (not JAMES Belushi as that DVD box cover says). I wouldn't catch it until years later on cable. It's possible there was some live-action X-rated TARZAN around at the time that I've totally forgotten.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, Oct 15th, 1976

I suppose you'd have to call this a bad day.

Finally talked with Marie for the first time in ages. Says she wants one of my senior pics for some reason.

Over the river after school and few new books were out.

Not much on TV tonight except presidential debates and boxing.

Yep. Bad day.

NOTES: Bad day? Sounds kinda dull but bad? Hmmm...

I really did enjoy talking with Marie before her mental illness became apparent. We even spoke of getting together away from school sometimes but we never did. I remember we talked later in the year about going to see the Dario Argento horror film SUSPIRIA. Not a date. We just both liked horror films. She always made it clear in no uncertain terms she had a boyfriend...although in retrospect i think she was lying.

Sadly, the number one song on this "bad day" wouldn't have made it any better. DISCO DUCK by Rick Dees and his Band of Idiots. This novelty disco song was one of the worst of the whole Disco Era. Dees had been a disc jockey and, in fact, was married to Julie McWhirter, a wonderful voice actress and mimic who made quite a few TV appearances in the seventies. In the eighties, I actually got an autographed pic of her.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, Oct 14th, 1976

I heard today we get out of school for election day coming up. Slow day today.

Unusual evening that allowed me to catch STAR TREK.

Really liking Miss November. Almost unintentional IT but for once I wasn't ashamed of it in the least. Got to read all the rest of the mag except for the Carter interview, Want to read that all at once. Despite a rather strange brand of paper, I'm now more anxious than ever to start my collection.

We went outside again in Comp but some (girls) stayed in this time. I don't get it.

Got the WORLD'S FINEST issue of FLASHBACK in the mail but still no sign of this week's TBG.

NOTES: I really lived for that weekly TBG! In those pre-Internet days, it featured comics, movie and TV news faster than anything else we had. Also, it was my sole regular connection to fandom with all of the ads for fanzines, small press comics, comix and, of course, interviews with creators old and new.

FLASHBACK, as I mentioned before, was a series of inexpensive black and white facsimile reprints of Golden Age comics that I would never be able to afford.  

PLAYBOY was in an odd place in the mid-seventies, at once appealing to the conservative yuppie-types it had always courted and yet really trying to meet the younger generation on its own terms. This created what I thought was the best years of the magazine and this issue remains memorable. I never did get it for very long and I ended up keeping only 3 issues--the one with John Lennon's final interview, the one with Farrah Fawcett...and this one, with Jimmy Carter, Misty Rowe and...Miss November.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, Oct 13th, 1976

Fair day despite lots of bad luck. Wednesday Study Hall moved downstairs. (Illegible) a Barbi Benton song in home room!

Speaking of Barbi, when no comics were out today, I bought the controversial Jimmy Carter issue of PLAYBOY. Has a nude section on another HEE HAW girl, Misty Rowe. Still no Kurtzman and Elder. I also got Dad a World Series book.

WONDER WOMAN returned tonight and ANGELS was on after all.

Dad made me so mad when he told me they were always tearing up records and throwing them away at work. Please, please, please let me get mine!

NOTES: That issue of PLAYBOY was actually the first I ever actually bought and none of the few I had looked through had ever had LITTLE ANNIE FANNY, the painted comic strip from Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder of early MAD fame. Thus my frustration that this one didn't either. In spite of the distractions in the rest of the issue, I actually did read the Jimmy Carter interview in which he spoke of "lusting in his heart."

My dad, as I've mentioned before, was working at the Post Office as a janitor. Anything that lost its address...even if it had money in it!...they had to destroy! Not sure that was legal but...

What really strikes me about this entry, though, is the casual comment that "WONDER WOMAN
returned tonight." That particular episode was entitled "Beauty On Parade" and featured actress Christa Helm in what would prove to be her most memorable role before her murder just four months later. A few years ago, I ended up almost inadvertently becoming a part of the cold case effort to solve Christa Helm's murder. For all the details of THAT fascinating story, go HERE.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, Oct 12th, 1976

I wore a really loud shirt today. We went outside again in Comp and I hated it. I and a bunch of others got to leave five minutes early, today!

I tried a new spaghetti today but wasted it. I avoided Cokes today for the first time in months!

Watched Bernadette on with Tony & Dawn tonight and realized that ANGELS will be cut off by the playoffs!

THE REDS WIN THE PENNANT! I watched the big finish and then lots of news of it afterwards!

NOTES: Man, I was crazy for exclamation points on this day, wasn't I?

Coca-Cola has always been my biggest vice and once again, as 2011 parallels 1976, I have cut down drastically on my intake of the soft drink in the past week. To the point, in fact, where I went to whole days without a single sip!

No idea what new kind of spaghetti I was referring to there. Franco-American spaghetti had been my favorite food as a child and as I got older, I would often try making my own spaghetti and sauces, to varying degrees of success. I'm told my spaghetti casserole recipe nowadays is my best dish!

As I've stated, I wasn't big on the Reds by this point but my Dad sure was and, for me, there was always a certain amount of home town pride when they'd win.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, Oct 11th, 1976

Feeling down but went to school after another sleepless night. Wasn't that bad I guess but the did cheat me outta my HOLMESPUN. I was indifferent to Constance today.

No SS work tonight since they weren't there at all today because of the holiday.

Finished the sci-fi book!

Had beef stew for the first time in ten years tonight but the old taste just came right back. Delicious!

Bill Shatner was a guest on TO TELL THE TRUTH.

NOTES: HOLMESPUN was the school newspaper. I don't recall it as being particularly riveting so it must have been the principle of the thing that I was ticked I didn't get my copy that day.

The holiday, of course, was Columbus Day. It was always confusing as a child in that some years we were off school, too. Others not. Generally we went, though, and just banks and post offices were closed. This was complicated more by the fact that the buses were on holiday schedules.

TO TELL THE TRUTH was one of those smart panel game shows with four celebs, in the case of this show generally including Kitty Carlisle come hell or high water. The panel would attempt via questioning to determine which of three contestants is the person they claim to be. It lasted all through the sixties and was revived in the early seventies and a number of times since.

Beef stew. Yum! Still don't have t that often but that taste really does come right back with nostalgia.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, Oct 10th, 1976

After church, I watched a '68 movie that it turned out I had seen in the theater back in '68 of all things! Didn't remember it at all at first.

Read the sci-fi history the rest of the day. Very engrossing!

The Reds won their second.

Finally cleaned my desk off again.

Shatner and Walter Koenig were reunited on tonight's return of COLUMBO! OR at least TV GUIDE says they were. I just watched it and didn't see Walter anywhere! Not at all.

NOTES: According to IMDB, Walter Koenig, STAR TREK's Chekhov, was "Sgt. Johnson" on Shatner's COLUMBO episode. I don't think I've seen it since so I still don't know where I missed him. Must not have been much of a role.

David Kyle, the author of this very first history of science-fiction I had read, was a prominent BNF (Big Name Fan) in sci-fi fandom since its earliest days and later a writer. Still around today in his nineties, he remains a seminal historian of the genre.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, Oct 9th, 1976

Went past Oktoberfest in downtown Cincy to get us Wendy's for lunch. On the way back, I picked up the new MEDIASCENE at Kidd's--my first purchase at the new location!

The mailbroughta letter, the San Diego Con Program Book from last year I ordered and my last sub issue of RBCC. Need to resubscribe.

Little time for my new sci-fi book yet.

Watched a PISTOLS 'N" PETTICOATS compilation film. Loved that show. Playoffs started tonight. Saw MONKEES in a concert episode I don't remember ever having seen before and I heard they're back on weekdays with STAR TREK replacing that music show.

I started wondering if maybe I could become a comic book letterer.

NOTES: Answer: No. I could not have become a comic book letterer. At the top of this page were three word balloon lettering samples and they were all strictly amateurish. This particular ambition didn't last long.

PISTOLS 'N' PETTICOATS was a fun comedy western from about a decade earlier that was cancelled after a single season when its lead actress, forties "Oomph Girl" Ann Sheridan, died of cancer halfway through the year. With not enough episodes to rerun, it was never seen again. After the series' run, though, the producers had edited together 3 episodes into an ersatz feature film and that's what I saw today. In recent years, I've managed to see quite a few of the actual episodes and it holds up pretty well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, Oct 8th, 1976

Big day started with IT early. Dad brought home coneys for an early lunchtime. Then we all left for Cincy about 12:15 and went to Shillitos where we picked up three fair to good tickets to see the Hope show. Then, borrowing four bucks from Dad, I bought an eight buck history of sci-fi books! Then we all saw a fair horror movie in BURNT OFFERINGS.

Big surprise! Saw Marcia and the two younger Bradys with Florence Henderson on DONNY & MARIE! I didn't even recognize the kids. Kids??!! Not any more.

Saw my first Farrah commercial since getting the poster. Watched Sally Struthers in THE GREAT HOUDINI just now. At the end, Viv called Harry an S.O.B.! She can't say that on television!!! ...but she did!

NOTES: It was rare the whole family went to movies together anymore. BURNT OFFERINGS was a pretty old-fashioned horror film from Dan Curtis who had done TV's DARK SHADOWS.

The book I bought that day was A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE-FICTION, a British import by David Kyle.

The Brady actors' appearance on DONNY & MARIE would lead soon enough to THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR, a similar variety series reviving the classic sitcom in bizarre circumstances! It's considered one of the worst TV programs of the seventies.

THE GREAT HOUDINI was a marvelous TV film starring STARSKY & HUTCH actor Paul Michael Glaser as the legendary escape artist with Sally Struthers as his wife, Ruth Gordon as his mother and Vivian Vance as his nurse. The rest of the impressive cast included Peter Cushing, Bill Bixby, Jack Carter, Adrienne Barbeau and Maureen O'Sullivan! Not your average TV movie! And that language! I was obviously shocked! And yet you never see it anymore. Is it even on DVD?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, Oct 7th, 1976

Two tests at school today before getting out at 11:45. Took the Eastern bus on over the river but even it was crowded for a change. Not much out over there.

Dad came home sick at 11 and ended up sleeping all day.

Problems at SS tonight with a dead black cat.

NOTES: Black cats have always been lucky to me for some reason. This one that day obviously not so lucky either for me or for himself.

I don't really recall that incident but years later we found a dead cat that had broken into my late mother-in-law's closed up home and somehow died in the half-flooded basement. It became a macabre comedy of errors as I attempted to clear the cat out so we could show the house to potential buyers! Using gloves and boots and a shovel, I had to pick up the animal from the floor and drop it into a double trash bag.While this did not run as smoothly as it sounds, I did eventually accomplish it...only to find over the next couple hours that, due to various legalities, there was no place for me to legally dispose of it! I'm driving all over the area in a sick equivalent of the 1966 BATMAN movie's "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!" Finally, however, I found a place that may or may not been legal for me to dispose of her. I didn't actually bother to check on that one. I said a prayer and lamented her 9th life, then sent her on her way.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, Oct 6th, 1976

I wondered today for the first time where Debbie might end up going to college?

Had the organizational meeting for HORIZONS today. Looks pretty good. Me, Lee H, Lisa V and 3 others I don't know. We gotta make posters and judge all the various entries on my movie scale.

Ordered my yearbook at lunch.

Constance spoke to me first for a change.

Good TV early tonight (Bionic) and then watched second debate. Earlier watched more Connie on MIKE D.

NOTES: I was never big on Yearbooks. Maybe it was because I'd never heard of them until seventh grade. No one told me about getting people to sign them or write stupid "predictions" or stuff like I didn't. They distributed the yearbooks in seventh grade and I took mine home. Same with every year after that. Just seemed wrong to purposely allow someone to deface a brand new book!

Lisa V went on to marry another guy in my class after graduation and his mother, whom I had never met at this point, would later become my favorite customer when I was managing bookstores!I saw her again just a couple of years back when I was working at the Airport Borders.

Lee H was a guy I didn't know very well. Didn't have anything against him. Just didn't really know him. At my 20th Reunion back in 1997--the only one I've ever attended--he told my wife we were very close friends in high school. No idea if he was mis-remembering or what.

Number one on the charts this week was one Walter Murphy with, believe it or not, disco classical music! A FIFTH OF BEETHOVEN.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, Oct 5th, 1976

Basically a bad day at school. Did, however, get rave notices on a paragraph I wrote for Comp. We went outside for class though and I didn't like that much. Mr. S told me to go to Senior Library in our extended homeroom.

I saw where Bob Hope is coming to Riverfront. $12.50 a ticket. Hopefully we can go.

A very good M*A*S*H and ONE DAY AT A TIME tonight.

NOTES: Bob Hope did several of these charity shows for a local charity he supported in Cincinnati. Eventually, he ended up doing a golf tournament instead of the actual performances but we always went when they had the actual shows. The guests lists would fluctuate usually right up to the day of the show. In this case, for example, Ben Vereen, then at a peak of popularity after ROOTS, did not show up. In 1977, talk was that Hope would get Bing Crosby to come...only then Bing died.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, Oct 4th, 1976

Lost a little sleep last night and ended up feeling bad all day. One reason is that yesterday, somehow, life became real again and I was trapped inside looking out instead of outside looking in like usual.

Mr. Shoemaker got in a bunch of Spanish language PEANUTS and ASTERIX books and I read ASTERIX & THE HOME OF THE GODS (rough translation) as best as I could. I liked it!

Mr. T kind of liked my journal.

We had to sign a graduation card.

After school I walked half a block downtown with Constance making small talk. I was afraid to go any further so I just came on home.

Saw part of Barbara Walters' ABC debut. Got to see Connie co-host MIKE DOUGLAS, too, which, after that movie the other day, lead to IT, of course.

NOTES: Barbara Walters had been popular as co-host of NBC's TODAY for more than a decade and her jump to ABC was highly touted and a tad controversial. She, of course, became a mainstay of that network.

I have no idea what that "graduation card" was or why "we" had to sign it.

ASTERIX has been an amazingly popular French comics character for more than 50 years now and has been translated into many European languages. It has long been a staple of foreign language classes in high school. Various attempts to promote the delightful strip in America have failed over and over but in France, multi-million dollar blockbuster films are made of the characters. In yet another example of "the more things change, the more they stay the same," this very morning in 2011 I watched ASTERIX & OBELIX: MISSION CLEOPATRA from 2002.

By the way, the volume I read that day in '76, my first ASTERIX story, is generally translated as THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, Oct 3rd, 1976

Went to Rinks with Mom and Dad for the first time in a long time and got a lot of stuff. Got some huge tootsie rolls! Passed up a Marie 8 track for a Simon LP. Bad deal? I do consider it a coup that i got the lovely Farrah Fawcett-Majors poster. Nt a bit like I expected it to look. It's a smiling shot of Farrah in a one piece orange bathing suit with breasts centered and nipples protruding much more obviously than on TV. I was afraid Mom would say something and I'd have to go into my, "Mother I am seventeen years old, darn it!" routine but she didn't.

When we got home I posted it next to my bed and worked out my books update while listening to the new album and glancing up at her every few minutes.

Today's paper had a new article by Ray Bradbury.

Mom made more of those marshmallow thingies tonight to munch on with television but there wasn't much on that was very good.

NOTES: Passed up Marie Osmond's new 8 track in favor of LIVE RHYMIN', Paul Simon's live album. In the end, I think that was a good deal.

But who cares? This was the day I got Farrah! There comes a time in every young man's life when he gets his Farrah, whatever it may be. In my was the day. My wall, which had had some pictures and posters from comics and movies on it as long as we had lived there, was about to become babe central!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday, Oct 2nd, 1976

Pretty bad morning. Got the paper for a change but NO TV mag! From about 11:30 on things got better.

At Bell-Block, I saw Pete Rose coming out while I was going in! I didn't know what to say but he looked at me and smiled behind big ol' sunglasses like, "I know you know who I am, kid."

Saw SCORCHY, a pretty good cop drama greatly enhanced by my first nude views of Miss Connie Stevens. Lots of topless shots of the middle aged Miss with the sexy voice and one very realistic looking intercourse scene! Wow!

Got a few new books which occupied most of the rest of the afternoon (including HIGH SOCIETY). May skip a movie tomorrow and go with Mom to Rinks instead to get a Farrah Poster. Terry says they have them there.

NOTES: Looks like the Farrah posters came out sooner than I remembered.

Speaking of memory playing tricks, the way I've told that Pete Rose anecdote above for as long as I can remember is that he was leaving the store as I entered, pushed the door open very quickly and nearly knocked me down, saying, "Watch it, kid." I stammered back , "You're P...Pete Rose" and he hurried on his way. Inside, the store owner told me Pete had been in to buy a gift for his fellow player Joe Morgan. Pete was my favorite player then and now so why would I make up anything negative about this momentary experience? On the other hand, why would I leave out anything negative that very day if it had actually had happened the way I remember it?

Connie Stevens a "middle-aged Miss?" Hahahaha. She was 38 at the time. Seems so young now. I had long enjoyed Connie on TV. I read where she spends much of her efforts as a conservative political supporter these days.

And I like the reference to the "very realistic intercourse scene." Like I'd have had a clue what realistic looked like.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday, Oct 1st, 1976

Not a thing with Constance. Slow, bad wish day with only unimportant wishes coming true. The less said the better, really. No paper again. IT tonight just as an attempt at tension relief.

Watched DONNY & MARIE new tonight and saw PAPER MOON. Stayed up to see some hilarious scenes on Johnny Carson's 14th Anniversary Show but had to agree to skip staying up for Eric Idle on SATURDAY NIGHT tomorrow.

NOTES: Whoa, was I bummed this day. No memory as to exactly why.

PAPER MOON was the marvelous Peter Bogdanovich film from 3 years earlier which was shot in lovely black and white and starred the ultimately uber-troubled father and daughter team of Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. I hadn't seen it back then because I got upset that ten year old Tatum was given the Oscar that I wanted Linda Blair to win. When I finally saw it this night I was amazingly impressed!

Johnny Carson's TONIGHT SHOW was on much too late for me to watch on a regular basis. By this point that may well have been mainly because of the location of the television sets in the house. I don't recall if I mentioned but we had a huge living room. It was, however, directly next to my parents bedroom which, itself, was directly next to the bathroom, the short hallway to the kitchen, and my own bedroom. Thus, whether I was on the big color console or the little black and white, one way or the other, the TV was right next to my parents' bedroom. Yes, both rooms had doors. Huge, thick sliding oak doors...that never closed all the way or, when they did, wouldn't open easily afterward. I had once been trapped in my bedroom for hours just because I'd wanted a little privacy! The problem would occur again a few years later on the sole occasion when I ...well..."entertained" a young lady in there late one evening. So in the 26 years we lived there...the doors were rarely used. Thus, I had to negotiate staying up past 11 to watch TV. To be allowed twice in one week was unlikely.