The Adventures Continue

Front Cover
TAC Table of Contents
Contact Information

TAC, Jr. #21
From the publisher of The Adventures Continue

September 3, 1998

1) TAC #15

1) TAC #15 --
Enough delays, TAC #15 is back on schedule. The pages are laid out, the
text is being proofed, the photos are being prepared, and the printing
company is awaiting final word from me on how many copies to run. This
new issue will include the following:

"Memories of George Reeves" -- an interview with Alejandro Vacio, son of
George's best friend, Natividad Vacio. Because George and Nati Vacio were
like brothers, George was Alejandro's "Uncle George. " Alejandro admired his
Uncle George very much. George taught Alejandro how to shoot, they went
camping together, and Alejandro often watched as Nati and George sang and
played guitar at home. Ironically, George had promised to attend Alejandro's
high school graduation later in the week of June 16, 1959.

"Meet Randy Garrett" -- What would The Adventures Continue be without the
great illustrations provided by Randy Garrett? In this article Randy tells
us a short personal profile and tells of his first reactions to the Superman
television series and why he has continued to admire its star for these many

Several years ago Phil Dockter had the opportunity to buy one of the
costumes worn by George Reeves in the Superman television series. He passed
on the offer, but before he turned it down he couldn't resist wearing the
most famous costume in television history just once. Though it was faded and
filled with moth holes, Phil never felt more proud, for he is one of the
privileged few who can say, "I Wore George Reeves' Costume."

In past issues of TAC, Jr. I often referred to a book titled, Written Out
Of Television
by Steven Lance. In TAC #15 Steven talks about how Bob Shayne
and the Adventures of Superman influenced his writing and his life.

A couple months ago, Chuck Harter sent me a photo of Milton Berle wearing a
Superman costume but could not supply any history to the photo. However,
with the help of Walter Armada or Buenos Aires, Argentina, we were able to
solved the "Mystery of the Color "S."'

"The Boy Who Would Be Superman" features those photos that I've been
promising you of George as a very young boy. The photos show George at the
age of 16 months, 2 years, and about 7 or 8 years of age. He's seen with his
step-father Frank Bessolo and also with his faithful canine companion,
Ziggy. These photos were among George's family photos and bear his mother's
handwritten descriptions on the back. You will not want to miss seeing

Also in TAC #15 . . . a Super Quiz by Steve Maurer, "Through the Crime
Barrier" by Thomas Baud, "A Never-Ending Battle (an essay by Kirk Hastings),
a brief conversation with Dolores Fuller, and many more never-before-seen
photos. The issue is priced at $10.95 plus $3.05 postage and handling. The
photos and Helen Bessolo's handwritten notes are worth that by themselves.
You will be receiving a separate order form and deadline by e-mail tomorrow.


by Tony Blanche and Brad Schreiber
published by General Publishing Group, Los Angeles

Occasionally I come across a book I think you might enjoy reading. Although
Death In Paradise is not specifically about George Reeves, it will be added
to my Recommended Reading page.

Seemingly there is no city more alive than Los Angeles.There are only a few
cities in the world which provide equal allure, few cities where people work
harder to enjoy themselves than LA. Yet where there is life, there must also
be death. According to the authors of Death In Paradise, there are over 200
deaths in Los Angeles County each day. Most of the corpses found on the
coroner's autopsy tables are those of ordinary citizens who died ordinary
deaths . . but not all are.

Like the coroner himself who examines each body to determine a cause of
death, the authors of Death In Paradise have dissected and scrutinized the
Los Angeles Department of Coroner to discover its origin and its development
from a one-man operation in the days was Los Angeles was literally a
one-horse town to today's staff of 180. Along the way, Blanche and Schreiber
describe a few of the more sensational cases such as those of William
Desmond Taylor, Peg Entwhistle, Thelma Todd, Bugsy Siegel, Johnny
Stampanato, and GEORGE REEVES.

Death In Paradise is one of those rare books that is both interesting and
informative. As fascinating as a celebrity death may be, more intriguing
to me is the history of the office itself and realizing the valuable and
often unheralded day-to-day services it provides to the community. Blanche
and Schreiber have done a splendid job of profiling this office, so often in
the celebrity spotlight.


and check out the following episodes:

Just where is Kent's office? In all other episodes it's across the hall from
the elevators, but if you look at "Night of Terror"closely, you'll see that
either Kent's office was moved or the elevators were, for they are nowhere
in sight when Jimmy rounds the corner to knock on Kent's door.

Scratchy and his friends must have received a long jail sentence for their
nefarious deeds in "The Face and the Voice." Long enough, anyway for
Scratchy to give up his apartment (#21). It wasn't vacant long, however.
Within just a few weeks Elaine and Ann Carson had taken up residence there.


Kirk Hastings recently sent me these messages:

News has just been released today (August 23) that, in the wake of its
current successful encore theatrical showing, the classic 1939 film Gone
With The Wind
will be re-released on video this coming October 27, 1998 in
a newly-remastered, digitally-restored edition for the bargain price of
$19.95! (Previous unrestored video versions of the film had sold for the
retail price of $89.95.) This is a premiere opportunity for all George
Reeves fans to own George's most famous film, the film where he was known
not as George Bessolo but as George Reeves for the very first time. Advance
orders for the video re-release are currently being taken by QVC, the home
shopping channel.

Thought you'd like to know that I saw Gone With The Wind in a local
theater last night. It was the first time I've ever seen George Reeves on a
theater screen! (And it was probably the last, unless they re-release one of
his other movies someday.) It was a neat experience. The film looks good
since it has been restored -- the colors were particularly brilliant. The
one thing I didn't understand was the picture was square as far as shape,
instead of the usual rectangular movie screen picture.

My wife has a number of books on GWTW (it's her favorite movie), and while
she was showing me one, she happened to flip to an article in it that was
about how the original movie was shot on 35mm film in 1939 and was shown in
theaters in the shape of a SQUARE (as apparently ALL movies of the 30s and
40s were!). The film was altered for a 1960s re-release into a 70mm format
(wide-screen -- like today's movies all are). This altering process ended up
enlarging the original picture and CUTTING OFF the top and bottom in order
to reconfigure it to the more RECTANGULAR shape that we are familiar with
today. Apparently movies did NOT become "wide-screen" until the early 1950s,
when "Cinemascope" came into wide usage in order to compete with the new
upstart called television! (The Robe [1953], with Richard Burton, was the
FIRST film ever to be shot in Cinemascope. Different movie studios called
the process by a different name -- such as "Panavision", etc. -- but it was
all the same thing.) The current "digitally-restored" release of GWTW (which
will also be released on video on October 27th) goes back to the film as it
was ORIGINALLY shot in 1939, with its original "square" shape, so that NONE
of the original picture is cropped off. So there you have it. Do you think
Homer Garrity would be proud of my detective skills?


When you have time, check out the latest web page at I have
started an episode guide for all seasons. So far I'm only part way into the
first season, but reader Don Wurzelbacher has promised to help write the
second season episode reviews. We'll continue to work on it until all episodes
are included. And while you're there, take another look at the "Drums of Death"
page and feel free to help to make that page more complete.

Update 4/8/00 -- Boy has this turned out to be a chore. I should have completed
this project a long time ago, but surely haven't. Don did write up the second season
for me, but I haven't had the time to post it. I really messed up on this one, and all
I can say is that I'll keep working on it.


Jim, I thought you might be interested in hearing my little story. A few
years ago I had some floors refinished in my house in Ridgewood,
NJ by a fellow named Rhys Williams. Rhys has since sold this business to a
young fellow that worked for him. I had the younger guy back recently
to finish some new flooring and I happened to be at home the day he came by
to do the job. He still operates the business under the name Rhys Williams
Wood Flooring. I had to ask this fellow the question that had been on my
mind for years since I last saw his old boss Rhys. Was his old boss any
relation to Rhys Williams the actor who played Macy Taylor in one of the
best episodes of Superman ever, "The Evil Three"? Turns out Rhys Williams
was the retired floorman's uncle. He could not believe that I remembered
something like that and was completely blown away!

That episode is one of my favorites because of the part when George Reeves
barks at Taylor, "Tell me where they are or I'll break every bone in your
body!" It is George Reeves at his very best as the belligerent,
no-nonsense, tough-talking Man of Steel. Those memories never fade!

A fan of George's
Tom Merck


Last week Vince Marzo of Glendale, California informed me that Sam Balter
passed away on August 8 at the age of 88. Balter appeared in five second season
episodes of the Adventures of Superman:

"Jet Ace"-- Voice on public address system
"Superman In Exile"-- Radio announcer
"The Face And The Voice"-- Radio announcer
"The Man In The Lead Mask"-- Radio announcer
"The Machine That Could Plot Crimes"-- Radio announcer

What I didn't know is that Sam Balter was also a famous sports figure. This
is from his obituary from the LA Times.

UCLA Hall of Famer Sam Balter Dead at 88
by Greg Sandoval, Times Staff Writer

Sam Balter, longtime local radio broadcaster and a member of the first US
Olympic god medal basketball team, died Saturday. He was 88.

Balter, the voice of UCLA football and basketball teams and a former Bruin
All-American basketball player, died of complications from abdominal
surgery, said Steve Sann, a family friend.

Balter, on of five Bruin players on the 1936 US Olympic team that competed
at Berlin, was the only Jewish-American athlete to win a god medal at the
Berlin games -- the competition in which Hitler and the Nazi's [sic]
intended to prove Arian superiority.

The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 8.5 points in four games, the fourth-highest
average on the team that started the United States' gold medal run that
lasted until 1972.

He was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.

"Sam Balter was one of the great all-time Bruins,"said Bob Fischer, UCLA's
athletic director from 1980 to 1983.

"He wasn't just known for being an athlete, he was an outstanding man. He
was [a] nationally known sports broadcaster, one of the first. He was a
brilliant man."

Balter was sports director of KLAC radio in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1962
and also worked at KABC radio.

He was a television play-by-play announcer for the Hollywood Stars and Los
Angeles Angels of the old Pacific Coast League.

Balter worked as an announcer for the Cincinnati Reds in 1942 and 1950, he
did commentary for a game between USC and Utah football teams, the first
televised football game in Los Angeles.

He was a charter member of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters
Assn., and was elected to the SCSBA Hall of Fame.

Balter was also a longtime sports columnist for the Los Angeles Herald
Express and appeared in several movies, including "The Jackie Robinson

Balter is survived by his wife, Mildred, to whom he was married for 67
years; a daughter, Barbara Kahn; and three granddaughters.

Funeral services will be private.

The Adventures Continue . . . with George Reeves

 "Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"