Saturday, January 28, 2012

Monday, January 28th, 1974

Doug was finally back in school today.

I felt much worse with my cold but went anyway. May not be able to make it tomorrow, though. Too sick to feel like writing much here, either.

NOTES: Nothing really to comment on here so lets take a look at the NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS in Fiction for this week in 1974, just for a little perspective. Even though I was a big book reader by this point, I stuck mainly to classics, science fiction or mysteries. I never read any of these Bestsellers. In fact, in spite of two and a half decades selling books, I've only ever heard of seven of them and only two of those continued to sell for any length of time after I entered the field. 

1-BURR- by Gore Vidal--One of a number of historical epics penned by the controversial author of MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (a book I HAD read by that point!), this tells the fictionalized story of the much maligned Aaron Burr, former Vice President and alleged traitor to the US.

2-THE HONORARY CONSUL- by Graham Greene--Graham Greene published many novels of spies, political intrigue and espionage but this one about kidnapping in South America wasn't one of the most memorable. It was made into a big budget but equally unmemorable film a decade later with Michael Caine. 

3-COME NINEVAH, COME TYRE- by Allen Drury According to Wikipedia, this political novel by Pulitzer-winning right wing author Drury is a sequel to an unpublished alternative outcome of an earlier novel. Alrighty, then. 

4-THEOPHILUS NORTH- by Thornton Wilder--This was the last published work by Thornton Wilder, whose plays OUR TOWN and THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH we would read in English class in a year or so. Again made into a later film, MR. NORTH, of which I haven't the slightest memory.  

5-POSTERN OF FATE- by Agatha Christie--This is the final novel written by the great mystery writer, although not the last to be published. It features her detective characters Tommy and Tupppence, now aged an retired but still solving mysteries. Among Christie fans, it is rarely a favorite.

6-THE HOLLOW HILLS-by Mary Stewart--Actually written in 1970 but unpublished until '73, this is one of a series of books by the author giving depth to a fictional history of King Arthur. It was later to be taught in schools  (at least around here) and remained in demand as a fantasy genre title up through the 1990's.

7-BEAULAH LAND-by Lonnie Coleman--This was the first of a Civil War-related trilogy and was done up as a mini-series at the end of the decade but left the shelves after the author's death in 1982.

8-THE SALAMANDER-by Morris West--Even the Internet seems a little vague but this one is something about violent Italian political struggles by the author of SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN.

9-THE FIRST DEADLY SIN- by Lawrence Sanders Sanders books remain popular even today, continued by other hands after the author's passing. This one is a serious police drama that would later provide Frank Sinatra with his final starring film role.

10-NICKEL MOUNTAIN- by John Gardner--The author's GRENDEL was perennially stocked in my stores but this one was forgotten. It's a slice-of-life about a middle-aged man marrying his pregnant teenage employee. Once again, there was a movie version but no one seems to have seen it. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunday, January 27th, 1974

Another Sunday. I worked on my scrapbook some, watched a couple of Frankenstein movies and IT happened yet again. I went ahead and destroyed one of the mags like I said I would.

I watched the Golden Globe Awards tonight and got one of the nicest surprises I've had so far this year when Linda Blair, the lovely young actress from Warner Brothers' EXORCIST film, cried and cried when she won the Best Supporting Actress award. Afterwards I watched a late special on exorcism so I didn't get to sleep until nearly 2 AM!

Also caught a cold.

NOTES: This was the first year I ever really paid any attention to the Golden Globe Awards. Since Linda won here and later lost at the Oscars, I actually preferred the GG's for the next few years.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Saturday, , January 26th, 1974

It rained pretty hard all day today.

I got the big BATMAN book and some great issues of the GAZETTE.

Terry came over early and that pretty much took up my whole day, though. Oh, well.

NOTES: DC Comics had a popular series of extra-large comic books in the seventies. Some were facsimile reprints of entire classic Golden Age issues. Others were all-new, super-length specials. Overall, though, these were the seventies version of the classic Silver Age 80 Page Giants, reprinting vintage material. Seen here is the BATMAN volume that I purchased on this date in January of '74, complete with an absolutely striking Neal Adams cover.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Friday, January 25th, 1974

Today was a terrible school day! Thank goodness it's Friday.

Terry told me about a special EXORCIST review coming up Sunday evening.

NOTES: Okay, here we have the first mention of THE EXORCIST. As a horror movie buff, I naturally had some interest. But my main interest in it was...Linda Blair. Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thursday, January 24th, 1974

Things went well at school today.

I did IT again tonight but I'm not worried. I stocked the problem away. Can't get to it anymore. And if I do, it'll be really hard to stock away like this again so I hope I don't have to worry about it.

Good TV tonight.

NOTES: Whatever dirty mags I was hiding away, I seemed to be laboring under the false impression that they were what was causing the "problem." I was a 15 year old boy. I didn't need anything but hormones and imagination. I think I was trying to pass teh guilt I was feeling off on something else. 

On Thursday nights in January of '74, we were consistent in that the family watched THE WALTONS. KUNG-FU and THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. All three series were above average for the seventies TV dramas.

Years later, KUNG-FU star David Carradine's death was allegedly due to an extreme form of IT. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wednesday, January 23rd, 1974

Today I began writing a STAR TREK story at school.

The new TBG came today. There were quite a few (small) pics of Bruce Lee in it. I cut them out and put them in my scrapbook.

NOTES: I had been a Bruce Lee fan since THE GREEN HORNET in 1967. My family would almost always do our weekly grocery shopping on the night the show aired so I'd be lucky if we got home in time to see it all! I followed him in his guest spots on BLONDIE and HERE COME THE BRIDES as well as his semi-regular appearances on LONGSTREET, essentially playing himself. When the earliest movies of the Kung-Fu craze began in 1973, I had no idea he had starred in any! Then I saw a magazine article about ENTER THE DRAGON and was actually able to see it at a sneak preview in July of '73... a week before Bruce's untimely death. 

As far as STAR TREK had only recently become a big fan as the reruns propelled the series at warp speed into the phenomenon it became. The story I started writing that day, MISSION TO MENTHOS, would turn out to be the longest fiction I had written to date. I still have it. With a few more adjectives and some better comma usage it wouldn't be all that bad!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 22nd, 1974

Here I am, again--the Television Freak. Except for a slightly hectic day at school and a short but profitable (possessions-wise) trip across the river later, that's all I did was watch TV.

Oh, I also did write my pen-pal letter and paid my Post bill by mail.

NOTES: Not sure why I considered it "my" Post bill. THE POST was the local evening newspaper at the time which we had always gotten. Later, we started getting THE ENQUIRER, Cincinnati's morning newspaper, pretty much exclusively so I could collect the SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip. So I can see where I would have considered THE ENQUIRER as "my" paper but THE POST? Don't know.

THE CINCINNATI POST (and its special edition, THE KENTUCKY POST) went Internet only a few years back and THE ENQUIRER has shrunken so much that I almost cry to hold a copy anymore...which I rarely do.

One of my new favorite shows on TV at that time, airing on Tuesday evenings, was HAPPY DAYS. The now-classic sitcom of fifties life starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler had premiered on January 15th as a mid-season replacement so this was only the second episode. I'm not even sure The Fonz was IN the second episode! HAPPY DAYS, would, of course, run 11 seasons and literally define the term, "jumping the shark."