Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sunday, December 29th, 1974

I began reading ALICE when I got up today. Later in the morning, I watched Marlo and The Muppets on WONDERAMA.

Went over to Fountain to get THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER.

Watched DR WHO & THE DALEKS again. Love that movie!

At 7:30, I watched an hour long uninterrupted tribute to Jack Benny. It was live and quite marvelous. Later in the evening, I watched JUDGE DEE AND THE MONASTERY MURDERS.

IT. Twice. I've decided that next year I'm not going to try to stop cold, but gradually. Maybe I can slow down until I quit.

NOTES: Wow. As I type this up, without having read it in advance, I'm watching a DR WHO episode on Netflix. In 1974, as far as I knew, the only Doctor was Peter Cushing who starred in the two Dalek features loosely adapted from William Hartnell episodes. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Saturday, December 28th, 1974

Things almost didn't work out but they finally did. Terry's Mom took us out to Comic Corner where I got $4.75 for the comics I sold him. I turned right around and bought 5 good mid-sixties books. Steve says the Hilton downtown doesn't have any info about a comic convention next month even though there was another mention of it in today's paper.

LAND OF THE LOST actually had an ending today!

Mom, Terry and I went to see the third showing of FREEBIE & THE BEAN. We missed about a half hour and had to sit through it again. It was real good! Very funny. Afterwards, Mom went on home and Terry and I stopped at McDonalds. When I got home, Aunt Rosie had been there to deliver our presents--another sweater and two pairs of socks.

Mom got me ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Not the version I had been wanting but still should be good.

Paul Dixon died tonight. Too bad. I've known who he was all my life but had really just begun watching his show regularly this past summer.

NOTES: I had never read ALICE but had long enjoyed the Disney version and had expressed an interest in reading it, The version she got me was an edited, illustrated children's version. In an odd twist, she bought it at the Waldenbooks location where I would be working eight years later.

If you aren't from this area, the name Paul Dixon will mean nothing to you. Beginning as a reporter, he ended up with a slightly naughty free-form, ad-libbed talk variety show that ran live 5 mornings a week and was syndicated throughout the Midwest at its peak. It was there where a young and impressionable David Letterman saw Paul. Nuff said. And yes, that's a bad wig. Paul Baby (as he was called by everyone) milked it for a million gags, too.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday, December 27th, 1974

Dad was real sick again today. He went to the doctor with Mom. Because of this, I reverted to my original Friday plans.

Terry and I went over the river and caught the bus there right away. We passed the Valley Cinema by at least four blocks. It was only the second time I had been to the Cine Carousel but I remembered it well.

FREEBIE & THE BEAN was there, too, but we'd gone to see EARTHQUAKE and we did. Sensurround was fun but I'm sure glad all flicks don't have it!

Afterwards we walked back to the Valley, my first time there. It seemed a bit like the old Liberty in Covington. Really! We went in in the middle. It was also good. Linda's role was a small one but I loved it. I should. I waited long enough to see her in it! Now I've seen all of her films except SARAH T...

We got back downtown about 6. I got a few things at Fountain. That cute girl was working.

Had to go straight to work when I got home.

Later I saw the very last APES show--a rerun, of course. I only missed one of the whole run. Bought some more APES cards this morning. Bet they'll be hard to come by now.

NOTES: Somewhere in here my dad developed juvenile diabetes but I don't believe this was it. Seems like that was a year or two later...although I don;t recall it from my '76 Journal. Hmmm...

I usually thought the cute girl at Fountain News was Mexican but sometimes I wondered if she was in "from India." Her parents ran the store for many years.

I can't believe I actually planned on and saw two big movies in one day less than a week after I had done the same thing with THE TOWERING INFERNO and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. I did, though. EARTHQUAKE was the first and the unnamed second one here was AIRPORT 1975. 

Sensurround was the new process developed by Universal that made the seats shake in the theater, supposedly to enhance one's filmgoing experience. It kind of worked with EARTHQUAKE but was later used with ROLLERCOASTER, MIDWAY and the theatrical release of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA to lesser success, then retired.

I don't believe I ever returned to either the Valley or The Carousel. Too far out from downtown.

PS--Due to popular demand, I have decided I will leave both 1974 and 1976 online after the year ends. Tell your friends!

UPDATE--In the latest of many parallels between 1974 and 2012, this afternoon I unexpectedly received an early birthday gift from a friend that included AIRPORT 1975 on DVD! So here I am, exactly 38 years after I first saw AIRPORT 1975...and I'm watching AIRPORT 1975! Even weirder, my friend of 20+ years now, actor Bob Hastings, is in the film!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thursday, December 26th, 1974

Christmas is over again.

Dad called in sick again and he was in bed most of the day. Mom wouldn't leave him to go to the show with me and Terry didn't want to see any others. I'll have to play it by ear now. I did get to pick up the new books that were out, though. I decided to skip a lot that I usually get.

I forgot but yesterday, Jeff came to me with a wishbone. He said whoever got the bigger piece would be the first to marry. I got it. I have no idea who I could marry at all but I guess it could happen. We'll see.

Everybody's favorite miser, Jack Benny, must have suffered a stroke or something and they said on the news he's been given 'til morning to live.

NOTES: Wishbones don't work. Jeff beat me in getting married by more than a few years.

Jack Benny had been a favorite since childhood and remains so today. In actuality, he was dying of pancreatic cancer, the same disease that would take my mother just a few years later. He wouldn't last 'til morning. He died on the 26th. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 25th, 1974


I saw MONEY MAZE again.

I shaved, bathed and dressed really neat before we went out to Aunt Velma's. They'll all be moved soon. I took some pics with my camera and some with Mom's. All of those messed up. Everybody kept talking about how tall I'd gotten. I got two shorts, two sweaters, a wallet and a jigsaw puzzle. Never really liked puzzles like this but it's only 75 pieces and has a cool illustration of Spidey and Thor so that was my favorite gift from out there.

I ate a lot of ham here at home and even ate a lot out there for a change. My stomach hurt really badly for most of the day, though.

Tonight, I watched avery sad but good Christmas episode of LUCAS TANNER.

Mom and Dad did SS for me as I was too sick to be of much help.

NOTES: LUCAS TANNER was a short-lived show about a school teacher starring David Hartman, soon to become the host of GOOD MORNING AMERICA.

I always preferred ham for Christmas and turkey for Thanksgiving. Over the years, especially after marrying a Jewish girl, we did away with the ham. 

Normally I didn't--and still don't--eat at gatherings, whether it be a Christmas get-together or a comic book con. That way I can make sure my still unpredictable stomach issues don't ruin my day...which happened far too often back in the day.

Wishing a  Merry Christmas to all of you who have followed 15 year old me through 1974. As 2012 ends, so does this blog, and since '74 was nowhere near as popular as '76, the concept will die there as well. I may leave the two blogs online for a bit or I may just take them down. It's been a fun ride revisiting my past and taking all of you with me. More farewells in a week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

***EXTRA***Let's Go For Broke

One thing that I paid only marginal attention to at Christmas time in 1974 but that would end up being very important to me in the long run was the World Premiere of the movie, LET'S GO FOR BROKE, held in Cincinnati at The 20th Century Theater. I didn't know how to get to that neighborhood theater so, while I remember the incessant radio ads, the thought of actually attending the premiere was not on my radar. I vaguely considered looking for the picture when it came closer. Little did I know that it never would. 

On Christmas evening, 1974, LET'S GO FOR BROKE star Christa Helm appeared live and in person at the World Premiere of what would prove to be her sole starring vehicle. Due to the death of local TV legend Paul Dixon, there was no coverage of the premiere in the newspapers. After the film left Cincinnati, it failed to find a distributor and never played anywhere else at all. 

The sole positive copy of the Premiere version of LET'S GO FOR BROKE sat forgotten in its 35 MM cans in the closet of the film's director Ron Walsh for the next three decades. In the meantime, the picture's star, lovely blonde Christa Helm, was murdered in February of 1977. That murder remains unsolved to this day. In 2006, though, my memories of LET'S GO FOR BROKE intersected with a cold case investigation into her death. For a while, progress was made toward finding her killer as well as finding her movie. Because of the work of myself, the actress's daughter and writer John O'Dowd, CBS did a one-hour 48 HOURS MYSTERY on the case. Partly in exchange for my helping with the show, I pointed them toward the movie, they converted it to digital and I received one of an extremely limited number of copies of LET'S GO FOR BROKE. Tragically, Christa Helm's murder remains unsolved as of this writing. 

Tuesday, December 24th, 1974

Slept late today. Had six hamburgers for breakfast when I finally got up. Watched Nick Clooney's new network game show, MONEY MAZE.

Noel Neill (Lois Lane) was on with Mike Douglas! She talked about the cast, George Reeves' suicide, her college shows, and even had a film clip! It was her birthday and they brought out a cake with a Superman symbol on it.

IT. Last time for '74!!!! Hopefully.

Mom bought me a cheap magic kit but it was still pretty neat! I've already mastered a few tricks. Oh, I love it!

Dad gave me another early present--a new tape recorder! Same type I got last year but I hope it works better.

Saw a very good Christmas episode of BEWITCHED. Then watched a little of Roddy on the daytime HOLLYWOOD SQUARES while I helped Mom wrap presents.

This was Christmas eve. For so many years, I would go to bed in anticipation of waking up to tomorrow's gifts. So much has changed.

NOTES: Noel Neill is still alive in 2012 and recently her birthday was celebrated on Facebook.

Today I watched a vintage Christmas episode of BEWITCHED online. Could it be the same one??? This one co-starred Bill Mumy, a longtime favorite actor whom I've had the pleasure to meet and talk with a number of times through the years and who is now a Facebook friend.

Nick Clooney's national game show was a bit ridiculous as Nick, himself admitted to me twenty years later when he signed the MONEY MAZE picture seen here on a TV mag cover I kept from that time.

BY this point, I was already suffering holiday depression that would continue throughout the years. I don't do Decembers well.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Monday, December 23rd, 1974

Another big conquest. I talked Terry into going with me to the new Showcase Cinemas and we caught the bus about 11. We got off at the right stop, Commonwealth Road, and walked down to I-75. It really wasn't as far as I thought it would be. Maybe 7-8 blocks straight down. That was where I had expected the only real problem to be but it wasn't. Next there was a long walk to the Interstate bridge where the cutoffs all met. There was no sidewalk but you could walk in grass along the side of the road and we did. After that, slightly uphill to get back out of the expressway area. All told maybe another 4 blocks from beginning to end.

THAT's when we found the hard part! To get to the actual theater itself (there was a big sign) we had to walk up a great big, long, steep hill! In the long run it took us nearly as long to get there once we got off the bus as it had the other one out in Springdale a few months back. When we did finally get there, the building looked exactly the same!

We were exhausted but paid three bucks to see TOWERING INFERNO first. It was longer than I had expected but we got out just in time to catch the beginning of YOUNG FRANK for another $2.50.

Coming back, after nearly 5 hours of movies, we attempted to take a short cut but that didn't work. Ouch! Ended up catching a Garage bus so we had to transfer at 12th Street. Got home and had to go straight to work even though I was exhausted!

Richard Long died. I really liked him.

Finally hear from Yoshiko. She sent a combination Christmas and birthday card. That was nice of her.

NOTES: I was 15 here and didn't drive. As a reminder, because of my motion sickness issues, I didn't learn to drive until I was 32. Over the next 15 years, I would end up walking that long and actually treacherous walk probably 50 times. Sometimes I would talk Terry's Mom into taking us or, later on, other friends. But I walked it a lot. 

In retrospect, I've always felt seeing both films that day was most likely a mistake as I have never really enjoyed YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN to the extent I feel like I should. 

Richard Long was the actor who had starred on the then-relatively recently canceled NANNY & THE PROFESSOR sitcom I had been enjoying in reruns then.