TAC Table of Contents
2009 A Year In Review
By Lou Koza
Welcome to the 2009, A Year in Review. As is customary at TAC, it is time before the year closes out to catch up on last minute news and thank those who took the time from their busy lives to make TAC a better place for the readership to visit. I want to note that these contributions are no easy task. With today's economy and troubles in the world, it's nice to know we've got a small group interested enough to keep this little corner of interest alive and continuing. This year, along with the noted contributions I'm also including some general points of interest that came to mind throughout the year. It sort of mixes in the old TAC Jr. type of reporting with what was contributed by the community. Thus, it's appropriate to say, The Adventures Continue..................
Video Captured from Warner Bros. DVD Boxset
....thanks to a couple of guys who inspired millions.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Illustration by Neal Adams
If We Could Only Fly by Wires Too
Because 2008's "Year In Review" ended with a brief update on Michael J. Hayde's book Flights of Fantasy, I thought it would be appropriate for it to be the first order of business. While it isn't a direct contribution to the TAC pages, more important it is a contribution to the George Reeves community in a most enormous way.
Therefore, I want to thank Michael for his hard work to produce the definitive story of the Adventures of Superman which was released in June. Folks, if you've not yet ordered a book, run, don't walk to get this great book as soon as you can.
Video Captured from Warner Bros. DVD Boxset
No true fan of the show should be without this very detailed story of not only the television show we've come to greatly admire, but also the Radio show of the of the 40's produced by Mr. Robert Maxwell. You are bound to learn a lot from Mike's research. Flights of Fantasy is a top shelf recommendation from TAC, published by Bear Manor Media.
Michael, once again THANK YOU for a great book that I feel bonded to and bound to read over and over with great enjoyment. I know Jim feels the same was.
Drums of Death
Second order of business is to pay respects to our TAoS alumni who have crossed over to the heavens.
Paul Burke had a very successful television career and best known for his starring role on Twelve O'Clock High and Naked City passed away on Sunday, September 13, 2009. Mr. Burke appeared in My Friend Superman (1953), Superman Week (1955) and The Phantom Ring (1956)
Virginia Carroll passed away on July 23. While she appeared in many westerns at the start of her career, her roles expanded to nurse, receptionist or secretary in numerous films. Before retiring from acting in 1965, she performed in four Dragnet episodes. To Superman fans of the screen, Ms. Carroll is best noted for playing Martha Kent in the Kirk Alyn 1948 serial, Superman. She appeared in the 1953 Adventures of Superman episode The Birthday Letter, which includes John Doucette and Isa Ashdown.
Ok guys, imagine being stranded on a mysterious mountain, the night before Christmas, with Sgt. Helen O'Hara. Hopefully that mountain overlooks a tropical beach and the temperature is perfect enough for Helen O'Hara to sport an eye-popping bikini. Not a bad fantasy or imaginary story idea to write about. Only I don't have the time and you probably have your own ideas where to be stranded with Ms. O'Hara. In fact, even getting parking ticket from Sgt. O'Hara wouldn't draw any arguments. Don't worry TAC ladies, lower your eyebrows, I've got something for you later. Anyway, let's take the three ingredients on a stand alone basis and what we've got to show for it is three wonderful imaginary tales worthy of the Adventures of Superman. TAC would like to thank first Kirk Hastings for providing two entries, The Night Before Christmas. and an expanded version of episode no. 100, Superman's Wife. Like Kirk's imaginary story, Stephen Brooks and Ralph Schiller provided Superman and the Ghost of Mystery Mountain . Of course both "Night Before" and "Mystery Mountain" were complimented with many wonderful illustrations by Mr. Randy Garrett. Who wouldn't love to see a DC Comics graphic novel created by these very talented gents?
BRAVO gentlemen, BRAVO and much appreciation for having your talents grace the pages of TAC. You have our standing ovations once again.
THE IRON HORSE
Earlier this year we were given a scare when learning of an illness that found its way to Bruce Dettman. Carl Glass kept us all informed with Bruce's progress and we are very thankful Bruce fought the fight and won. Throughout this year Dettman Documents provided five character actor mini-bio's. They are Richard Benedict, Billy Nelson, Maurice Cass, Frank Richards and Lane Bradford. On the heels of his recovery, Bruce submitted Maurice Cass, probably the most effort of the five. I questioned Bruce's priorities, citing his health and pressed him to get rest. But Bruce gave the thumbs up that he was fine and this was important to his health to contribute. He also assured me he had most of "Maurice" complete before being sidelined and he would take a break as soon as he wrapped up a couple of loose ends.
My friend John Raspanti often e-mails me with an intro; " Hey Iron Horse."
2009 GR Wink Award goes to Bruce Dettman
A name I proudly enjoy. However, by far and wide more appropriate, Mr. Dettman is "THE Iron Horse." Bruce's entries often have unique descriptions of iconic moments. He described Phyllis Coates' actual knockout received from Frank Richards as follows; "Problem was actress Coates somehow got off her mark and went down faster than a shot of tequila in a biker bar." Bruce makes major contributions at the terrific site GHP and I have to marvel at his abilities to do what he does. I'm sure I can speak for not only Jim, but Carl & Leslie Glass when I say we are truly and greatly appreciative of Bruce and the great writing he does for our sites. If an episode ending wink from George was given out as an annual award, Bruce wins hands down. THANK YOU BRUCE. Most of all, stay well. No matter what, you'll always be "THE Iron Horse." Right John?
Bruce's up-coming line-up for 2010.
Anthony Caruso, Myron Healey, Tom Fadden, Edmund Cobb,
Robert Rockwell, Lou Krugman
Always Look to the Skies
A late coming feature this year and a pleasant surprise was In the Shadows of Panic in the Sky by John Raspanti. John did a great job with offering insight to those many people behind the workings of the show. Panic in the Sky is an episode high on most everyone's favorite top ten list. John states this episode is "Arguably the best episode ever created by the Superman team." TAC agrees. To "Rascally" John Raspanti....THANK YOU.
We hope to see more from you. Also thanks go out to Mr. Jim Nolt who provided and added a real cool sound clip to enhance the reading experience. Good job Jimmy.
A TAC Again
Contributions don't always come within the pages of TAC. In fact, the pages of TAC can make a contribution elsewhere. Earlier this year Richard Potter offered to generate PDF files of TAC fanzine issue no.1 for George Reeves fans. So you know, this is going to be an enormous task on Richard's part so when the time comes be sure to give him the well deserved kudos'. The release of these issues on the Internet will serve an exciting purpose to those who missed out on the original releases from 1988 to 2001. The issues are great fun to read and have an historical significance relative to the show and to George Reeves. As with the TAC Internet web-site the issues are a blend of everything George Reeves, leaning heavily on the character he is best known for portraying, SUPERMAN. Contained within the pages of TAC's hardcopy fanzine there are many wonderful entries and a feeling of friendship Jim developed over the years with his readership and contributors. Special thanks go out to Don Rhoden and Jim Nolt and the many contributors for originally making the issues a reality. Personally, I hated to see the hardcopy issue line come to an end. Anyway, soon you'll be thanking Richard Potter too.
Block composite of covers supplied by the ever generous Mr. Potter.
To Bee In Costume or Not to Bee
This year Carl Glass got into the act with a TAC contribution. It started with a small discussion on Dave Schutz's Friendly Discussion Board and quickly Carl was on the trail of a 1958 Fresno Bee newspaper article titled CP Telethon Brings $45,770 In Pledges.
What made this Cerebral Palsy telethon extra special for it's attendees was the appearance of George Reeves. Most interesting to us, in addition to George, is that his appearance may be the last he made in the Superman costume. Much has been discussed about George shedding the costume for appearances in favor of the double breasted Clark Kent suit after 1955. Because of the possible dangers to himself from others who might toss an object at George while he appeared as Superman it was rare for him to appear in the blue and red outfit, especially by 1958. Considering the event, George may have felt it important not to disappoint the children. This would speak volumes for his character.
Hunting down any article is no easy task. Trust me, I know the disappointments with coming up empty. In perspective, I also know the odds usually toil around slim. I can also say I know from experience how Carl felt when he scored. I'll let Carl take it from here:
Lou, While reading about this event in the 'George Reeves Calendar' of George appearing at the Cerebral Palsy Telethon' on KJEO-47 in my home town of Fresno, memories flooded my mind watching 'TAOS' as a little boy on the old Philco TV in the late 50s. It was one of those, "Darn, George was in my back yard and I was to young to know it!" Had I been just a little bit older, I'll bet my grandfather would have taken me to the old 'Rainbow Ballroom' where the telethon was broadcast from to see George. I wish to thank the Fresno County Library for getting me this article in a swift and cooperative manner. -- Carl
"Judy, Judy, Judy"
Who would have thought Cary Grant actually spoke those words to Judy Anne Nugent? Could this be almost equivalent to Neil Diamond finally revealing who the song Sweet Caroline was meant for?
We have longed to hear from Judy and read about her experience flying around the world with Superman. Even better discussing her studio working chemistry with George Reeves. Ms. Nugent has as far as we know remained private in her years beyond Hollywood. A great mystery she has been for us. However there was one exception when she did an interview conducted by Mike Fitzgerald for Boyd Magers WESTERN CLIPPINGS #19 (Sept./Oct. 1997) magazine and reprinted at his website. Wow, what a score. Thanks go out to Boyd for allowing us to display Mike's interview with Judy here at TAC. I can't forget Milt Storey for finding the article and bringing it to our attention. In addition Milt provided some added images to go along with the page. THANKS MILT.
We hope someday Ms. Nugent will come pay us a visit at TAC. I'm left to wonder if her staying indoors is due to something having gone wrong in the film industry and that she'd prefer to not discuss. I leave this subject with another song that comes to mind; "Hey Jude, don't be afraid. Take a sad song and make it better."
New York's Finest Meets America's Sweetest.
In the 60's there was a song released by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap. The title "Lady Will Power" can most certainly be applied to Noel Neill. There never seems to be any R&R for Noel, who enjoys reaching out to her abundance of fans at personal appearance shows. On May 30th, Noel Neill appeared at the Gotham Super Collector's Show in New York City. Unfortunately for East-Coasters Noel has decided cross-country travel is a bit overwhelming and therefore returning to the region is not in her future plans. As an East-Coast fan of Noel myself, I hope I can speak on behalf of everyone who has enjoyed Noel's appearances over the many years when I say,.....
.....THANK YOU Noel for visiting us year after year and giving us so many wonderful memories of you to cherish. WE LOVE YOU and wish you all the very best life can offer. Your kindness, consideration and fun & adventurous spirit will remain forever in our hearts. Of course, if you decide to return to the Big Apple, or elsewhere nearby, we'll be here, there and anywhere to welcome you back with open arms and plenty of Tootsie Rolls.
For a listing of some of Noel's 2009 personal appearance's refer to this page here.
To Larry Ward, THANK YOU for all you do.
Noel Neill and Officer Paul of NYPD
Noel leaving The Holiday Inn, 440 West 57th Street
Thank you Beverly McAllister for your warm reception you gave to Noel.
Not All Gruff and Growl
Mid-November TAC posted a mini-biography from the office of Howard Strickling, along with a vintage newspaper articles and VARIETY obit on Eddie Mannix, a long time MGM executive. Much has been stated over the years describing Mr. Mannix as a gruff sort or individual. To my surprise these writings detail some good he'd been involved in. Interested readers should take note of Mr. Mannix in 1945 was invited by the US Government, along with other prominent film producers to tour the concentration camps and battlegrounds of World War II. His experience with understanding of Europe's post-war economic problems proved valuable when required to organize a very complex production of the film Quo Vadis. In 1946, as a studio executive, his reputation and word of honor proved resourceful when he single-handedly quelled and dispersed a violent studio union strike.
In 1951, Mr. Mannix was involved in a fund drive to raise money for Cedars Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles. The effort raised $750,000.00 for a maternity and pediatrics building for the hospital.
The Fixers, by E.J. Flemming: In 2007, I was discussing Eddie Mannix with an employer at Sony Picture Studios tour guide department. She asked if I ever read The Fixer. I knew of the book, but up to that point in time I hadn't read it. When I finally got the book earlier this year I found to my surprise Jim Nolt being quoted and a reference to my illustration of George's 1579 home included and my name listed in the index. Overall, I found the book very interesting and if the subject of Eddie Mannix has an interest for you, I recommend The Fixers, by E.J. Flemming
Kids and Costumes
Part of what makes TAC a fun place is every once in a while someone will come forward with a George Reeves encounter story. Encounters are a rare occurrence of course. But during those times of the 50's it was not entirely impossible to meet George Reeves. Some kids did so either by peddling past his house or visiting the studio set. One youngster met George in-between a two flight connection at an airport. There are thousands of others who met George at personal appearances that he made as Superman or Clark Kent throughout the country. Since George's fans reached up to 33 million people, it's safe to say there is a whole lot more who are sad they didn't meet him. To all the many thrilled- packed kids who couldn't think of anything but Superman, their parents bought them a Superman costume. In many cases, they even had Mom fabricate a costume. Sporting a costume was the next best thing to being in Superman's company. Superman costumes were worn with tremendous pride. A costume was a thrill to own even when hung in a closet just as it did in the episode Panic in the Sky, or The Stolen Costume.
Of course, some kids had to learn the hard way that the costume didn't bestow any sort of super-powers to those who wore it. George did his best to get the message out. "Only SUPERMAN can FLY." Furthermore, George didn't talk down to children when he explained the flying scenes they saw on television was actually done with studio equipment and trained techniques.
Back in 2005, Jim Nolt created a page allowing readers to submit a photo of themselves from their childhood as they wore their Superman costume. This year an entry came from Ben Burgraff. Thanks Ben for coming forward. Also, John Rodgers extended an childhood memory (sans image) for a Christmas entry. We hope others who are out there will do the same. We'd love to see this page grow. Now please, there is an age limit. Your photo should be of you at 10 years old or less. No adult submission, OK Mr. Mike Curtiss!!
Viva La Veda
Stunning to say the least. No matter what film she appeared in, Veda Ann Borg will always be "Connie" from The Stolen Costume. If a page showcasing the "Babes of the Adventures of Superman" were ever constructed, Veda has a spot reserved in the top 5. After purchasing MOVIE STARS Parade magazine, dated June 1942, this was a most pleasant surprise to find inside the pages. Coming in 2010: The Babes of the Adventures of Superman.
Where Cameras Once Rolled
A few months ago I received an e-mail requesting a list of the film locations by year for the Adventures of Superman. Unfortunately I don't recall who made the request. Whoever you may be, this is for you.
1951 / 1st Season:
Filmed at RKO-Pathe Studios, Culver City - B&W
When Giants Walked the Earth
Once in a while an e-mail comes along with a person's misconception that George Reeves and Steve Reeves were brothers. Steve Reeves is best known for the Italian produced sword and sandal films Hercules and Hercules Unchained. Like George with Superman, Steve and his character Hercules are seen by the public as one and the same. For those out there who may be confused and defer to their Google search engine for answers; I hope this makes it to you and clears the issue once and for all.
Steve Reeves and George Reeves are not brothers or related in anyway.
At best they share in the fact they both played larger than life iconic characters in the 1950's. One could say they are brothers of boundless imaginary strength and might only.
Here you go ladies, enjoy the photo.
Steve Reeves in Hercules attire
Of course, some also believe Christopher Reeve is related to George Reeves. The two are not related.
JACK LARSON LOVES PUPPETS
Original from the Lou Koza Collection
Per Jack the photo in the left shows a 1962 promotion, Jack Larson, featuring the Jimmy Olsen Puppets ad was taken at Palisades Amusement Park when he appeared there in the 50's. Also according to Jack, the promo itself was put together by PR guy Jay Emmett, nephew of Jack Liebowitz (Co-owner of National Comics) and was meant to attract event promoters. Unfortunately no event ever took place.
Jack mentioned in a recent conversation he loves puppets. He greatly admired the Kukla, Fran and Ollie show and was acquainted with their creators. In fact he worked with Shari Lewis and Lambchop. Jack owns a rare copy of this episode. The dialog had Lambchop saying to Jack, "C'mon, you know Superman's secret identity. Tell me." Jack responded with. "Yeah, but I'm not going to tell you or anybody." He chuckled at the memory.
Regarding Jack's appearance at New Jersey's Palisades Amusement Park. Gail McIntyre kicked off an inquiry wanting to know if Jack recalled his appearance at the park. In her doing so, Green Ink Girl made it known she attended the event and even spoke to Jack that day. I'll let her take it from here;
Lou, I dug out the old diaries and found
the entry and boy does green ink fade. The exact date was
Saturday - March 31, 1956. It was the season opening and was
advertised as "Jack Larson Day." They were always
closed for the winter. It was a day that went from cool and damp
to a drizzle. You have to remember that in the mid 1950s we were
much more innocent and naive than teenagers today and I was more
naive than most. I went there with two girlfriends, partly for
moral support and partly because one had her driver's license and
I did not, and actually never did have one. I was all dressed up
because the idea was that when Jack and George got back together
to BS and George asked Jack about the gig in New Jersey, Jack
would tell him that is was the usual thing but there was this
cute little blonde--- I can still remember what I wore, a
charcoal gray suspender skirt, a pink long sleeve blouse with
lace collar and cuffs, nylons and high heels. My hair was in a
pageboy sort of like June Allyson. Anyhow, Jack did the usual few
words on stage and giving autographs, but I wanted no part of
that. I followed him around the park and finally he and his
entourage went into a brick building near the rear exit, which I
assumed to be some kind of administration building. I waited. By
then the drizzle had started and the pageboy had wilted. Jack
wearing a dark, maybe black overcoat came out finally with two
other men, also in overcoats and hats and headed for the rear
exit. Another man was wearing a tweed coat. I
caught up to them and stopped Jack in his tracks and said
breathlessly 'Mr. Larson, what is George Reeves really like?"
and Jack politely said 'he is nice, very nice" and went on
his way. The man in the tweed overcoat added, 'he has a nice
little house in Beverly Hills * and a cute little dog." At
that time I knew about Sam, but I did not know that George lived
in Beverly Hills. So I feel I owe him an apology. I could have at
least said some things about his work before I asked him about
* Editor's note: George's Benedict Canyon home is actually located just slightly North of Beverly Hills. The home is listed as LA.
All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Happy Fellow
Jack Larson fans were thrilled when he and Noel Neill appeared in 2006's Superman Returns. Jack has recently been given another crack at the boards. Early December Jack Larson flew out to New York City to film scenes with NBC's Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit. The episode will broadcast January 6, 2010. Be sure to check your local listing and stay tuned for announcements at their website. Jack admitted to being a little nervous, but he's never one to walk away from the challenge of a dramatic role. For us fans, let's hope this is an opportunity to see him more in television. Only, I'm sure he'd much prefer to stay closer to his home in LA. Anyone else out there thinking HEROES ?
Anyone interested in hiring Mr. Larson for his writing skills and/or acting talents can contact the Gersh Agency. Business inquiries only.
Hollywood Boulevard Shines Bright with New Star Induction
Leslie Caron, a dear friend to Jack received a Star on Hollywood Boulevard on December 8, 2009. Ms Caron has starred of films such as Gigi (1958), directed by Vincente Minnelli and also starred Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jordan, An American in Paris (1951), again directed by Mr. Minnelli and starred also Gene Kelly, Daddy Long Legs (1951) with Fred Astaire, Fanny (1961) with Maurice Chevalier, Charles Boyer and Horst Buchholz and Father Goose (1964) with Cary Grant to name just a few. In 2006, Ms. Caron appeared on NBC's Law and Order for which she won an Emmy Award. Ms.Caron was instrumental in Jack's upcoming guest appearance on this series. Jack made a presentation at Ms. Caron's star induction on Hollywood Boulevard. Her Star will be next to super star performer, dance legend Mr. Gene Kelly. See his speech here.
A Remembrance for a Friend
Jack highly recommends the coffee table book CANYON OF DREAMS, The Magic and Music of Laurel Canyon by Harvey Kubernik. Jack informed TAC he was interviewed for over two hours about his good friend, the DOORS front man and legend Jim Morrison. Jack's friendship with Jim Morrison stemmed mostly with their common interest in poetry. Jack stated the book contains so many wonderful musical stories and talents deriving from Laurel Canyon, a place where Jack once resided. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Always A Bride Connection
Subject initiated by Bruce Dettman / Friday-Feb. 27, 2009: The always generous Jim Nolt sent me a copy of the Warner Brothers film ALWAYS A BRIDE starring George Reeves the other day. After watching it a coincidence occurred to me. Don't know if anyone else has spotted this over the years or written about it. George's co-star in this was Rosemary Lane, one of the era's famous acting Lane sisters. Her sibling Lola appeared as Torchie Blaine, the gutsy female reporter, in one of the films featuring this character. I have read several accounts that claim that Schuster and Siegel saw this performance, loved it and named their girl reporter Lois Lane after Lola. So George shows up in a film with the sister of the woman Lois was patterned and partially named after.
Response from Laura Siegel / Saturday-March 14, 2009: Dear Lou, My mom has this comment for you: The Lola Lane connection regarding fictional reporter Torchy Blaine (played by Lane in one of the Torchy series of movies) and the name of Superman's girlfriend, reporter Lois Lane, was mentioned by Jerry Siegel in Time Magazine and confirmed by me in various interviews. In the 70+ years the Superman characters have been around, their history sometimes gets lost and it is refreshing to have a bright fan notice the Lane sister-George Reeves connection.-Joanne Siegel
Hope you are doing well.
The ROCKETEER to the Rescue.
While the subject is off-topic when it comes to the Adventures of Superman, I'm still compelled to extend a high recommendation for a newly released book devoted to the talents of Mr. Dave Stevens and his ROCKETEER creation. The ROCKETEER: The Complete Adventures is a story of a pilot named Cliff Secord, who in 1938 Los Angeles finds a state-of-the-art, high tech jet-pack. In his pursuit to regain his love for his girlfriend Betty (designed after Bettie Page, Cliff battles a seedy, overzealous photographer, thugs, the FBI, and much more. To overcome his obstacles, Cliff is aided by his pal Peavey and an iconic character of the times which I won't spoil the name for you. You will find a "Rondo Hatton" like character as well as some classics from the Doc Savage gang. The story is great fun, packed with high adventure for those who are thrilled by true-to-the-times amazing art. If you are inspired by characters that fly, THE ROCKETEER is obviously created in the vein of King of the Rocketmen, and the Commando Cody serial chapters known as Zombies for the Stratosphere and Radar Men from the Moon. But be sure, it stands totally on its own. The book is offered either in a standard format or deluxe.
Both are outstanding. Being a Dave Stevens fan since the first story appeared in Pacific Comics' Starslayer back in 1982, it was extremely important for me to own and enjoy all the extras offered within the deluxe version. It is packed with Mr. Stevens' personal rough-sketches, layouts and the inside workings of his creation, making it far worth the premium price tag. Refer to Amazon.com. Published by IDW Publishing.
In 2008, the world lost an extraordinary talent and a very special individual. Mr. Stevens, at the age of 53, lost his silent battle to leukemia.
Editor's note: While George Reeves is not included in this volume, I want to mention that in 1991, author Peter David for the ROCKETEER novelized version of the movie did include a fictitious scene with George and Clark Gable on the set of Gone With the Wind. Mr. David wrote George was reading a "Superman" comic book. Also, some of you may remember Mr. Stevens provided Jan Alan Henderson a cover for the June 1995: Cult Movies #14. George Reeves: The Man, the Myth, the Mystery.
No Better Way to Honor a Humanitarian in His Own Right
Since 1989, Jim Nolt, along with the many monetary contributors raised $17,731.49 for the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation. To all those who've participated, THANK YOU for helping make George's name live on in the most productive way.
A Day of Our Lives
I think many will agree this year was more bittersweet than past years for the simple reason it marked the 50th anniversary of George's death. I suspect for all George Reeves fans, June 16th is not a day that needs to be marked on the calendar. It has become a day we instinctively know is approaching. I'd like to thank the following for their words of expression this past June 16th: Jim Nolt, Carl Glass, Alfred Walker, Ginny Moore, Colete Morlock, Delmo Walters, Milt Storey, Bruce Dettman, Thom Hamilton, Richard Potter, Serena Enger, John Raspanti, Gail McIntyre and Jody McGhee. It is obvious by their expressions that George Reeves made an ever lasting impression, not only for leaving behind an outstanding portrayal of an iconic character for us to enjoy for the rest of our lives, but more important by giving us someone to greatly admire for his humanitarian causes. His life is not lost in yesterday's news. Special thanks to Richard Potter for leading a nationwide moment of silence.
Life of George Reeves Celebration
Almost every year Jim Nolt drives up to NYC for the weekend and to meet some friends for dinner. This year was no different. Or at least it started out that way until he casually mentioned his plans to a couple of more people. Jim having a discussion with Steve Brant escalated the small gathering into an event when Steve came up with the idea to call New York City's The Paley Center for Media and ask if they could show an episode of the Adventures of Superman on their projector screen. Before long, the small group turned into 30. The Paley Center responded with showing three episodes. Superman and the Mole Men, Jimmy Olsen, Boy Editor and The Perils of Superman. It can be said, each and every person in attendance was wide eye in greeting each other and jubilated watching the episodes on the big screen. Steve Brooks, Dave Orbach, Jody McGhee, Brian Mckernan, Steve Randisi, Eddie Caro, Michael J. Hayde to name some. A big surprise was Dr. Don Rhoden, founder and original publisher of the Adventures Continue fanzine who made the cross country trek to be part of the get-together. I sat next to Don during the watching of these films and I got a kick out of listening to him recite with precision all the dialog as the episodes were reeling along.
I want to bring up something worth mentioning. Prior to the screening, many of us had gathered at the hotel where Jim and a few others were staying. It was a rainy day, but it didn't deter us from hiking on foot to the Paley Center. We did however, have one mishap though. While crossing the street, suddenly Jim Nolt found out that the Superman skivvies he was secretly wearing under his civilian clothes did nothing to protect him from a nose dive to Mother Earth,...hmm, New York City curb. Jim may have wished he had Jimmy Olsen's anti-gravity mix. Some blood was spilled, but "Jolly Jim" survived without the help of Superman and he continued on like a super-trooper. After the Paley Center
screening of the Adventures of Superman, the group gathered in a sitting area for conversations, more greetings and where we weren't allowed to take pictures like this one to the right of Steve Brant.
Yes, we got reprimanded by a Paley Center administrator. The Paley Center is very sensitive when it comes to taking photos. Thankfully no one got arrested. Believe it or not, earlier outside the Center we ran into Officer Paul and I'm sure he would have helped us out if we needed a "go-to-jail pass." The image is cropped not to show much more than beyond what you see.
Soon we all embarked on another several blocks trek, forging ahead in the rain to Kennedy's Restaurant.
With that said, I'll steer you to a link at Glass House Presents where Gail McIntyre will take you though the course of that dinner with her reporting of The George Reeves Dinner - June 20th, 2009 . Take it away Gail.
When you're finished there be sure to click here for more photos from Delmo Walters, Steve Brant and Jody McGhee.
Paley Center of Media - California
Mentioning the Paly Center above brought to mind a recent trip I took to Los Angeles this past November and while strolling around and near Rodeo Drive I stumbled upon LA's Paley Center. I glanced in the window and to my surprise that very day they were showing our favorite show. Refer to Friday's listing. Of course I had to take a picture. Unfortunately, the showing was hours away and we had other commitments that day. Darn.
The gentleman inside and behind the counter tried to encourage me to go upstairs to the screening room to watch episodes. He stated I might see an episode I've never seen before. Yeah, right!! But I thanked him just the same and for including the Adventures of Superman in their line-up
Films of the Golden Age No. 57 - Summer 2009
Other than the fans celebration of George's life, the mainstream media gave virtually no attention to the life or death of George Reeves this year. In past years, the theme is typically filled with a small number of nationwide tabloid. shows and newspapers fodder. Perhaps it's best the media did stay away since most often its reporting continue to spread inaccuracies, misconceptions and far fetched stories.
The Films of the Golden Age, no. 57, features a cover story title George Reeves; The Man of Steel by Bill Patience. This magazine has always been a respectable publication filled with many great performers, including those minor character actors that are often overlooked. Many times you know the face, but less likely the name. FTG is as the slogan states is "The Magazine for Film Lovers." These days, there aren't that many still in existence. Nothing about this publication can be argued and for the most part this issue contains all the traditions of past issues. My only wish is that the author had spent more time researching the film career of George Reeves rather than the death and the names of the principle players. After all, the magazine's title refers to films which were produced in the golden age, so perhaps behind-the-scenes developments and anecdotes are more in line with that theme. Mr. Patience's article leans heavily on what has been told in the good number of books, magazines, television segments and web-sites over the years. But no harm is done. It's basically a gloss-over of George's career and the circumstances involving his death, reiterating the three major theories, but with little detail or revelations.
Still in all, it's good to see George make it into this respectable magazine. Sans a couple of inaccuracies, Mr. Patience treated the subject with dignity. But he fell into the trap of reporting the rise and fall of a performer. I just wish George's time spent making films with Rita, James, Claudette, Veronica, Merle, Johnny, Rosemary and even Hoppy were the focus. Virginia Carroll, from The Birthday Letter closes out the issue.
2009 Photos Of the Month
I hope you all like the assortment of photos provided in this year's Photos of the Month. I'm sure you can pick out some favorites.
One image I especially like is of Noel and Larry as they arrived at Newark Airport, bound for home. I of course took this photo and it was an enormous thrill for me to take them to the airport after they completed their two-and-a-half-day Chiller Theater personal appearance show. Noel sat herself in the backseat area of the car and once we got going she closed her eyes for some well deserved nap time. Knowing the precious cargo I had with me I drove along gently and I kept the chatter with Larry to a minimum so as not to disturb her. I knew her day was long with all the fan greetings and autograph signings. As we were tooling along the highway I recalled thinking to myself when I was a kid watching TAoS that meeting these people someday would probably be virtually impossible. How? Back in the 60's I never even heard of personal appearances. And so, I wondered about them. Jack, Phyllis, Robert Shayne. Who were they really? Where did they live? Where they nice? I specifically remember it was Noel as Lois Lane wearing a green dress that initiated my inquisitive mind. I accepted the fact that it would never happen. Now, here I am with that very same person seated right behind me. Riding in my car!! Wow, who would have ever thought? Certainly not that kid from 1965 when the color episodes were finally broadcast in the form Whitney Ellsworth forecasted more than a decade earlier. Here she was, March-2009, in true-real-life living wonderful color. For most of the drive, I could look in my rear-view mirror and only smile at her peaceful presence. All is good in Metropolis when Lois Lane can take a snooze.
I'm intrigued by the image of George with the director's script-binder in his hands used for June and July. It obviously represents his future had he lived long enough to realize the many challenges he would have faced directing films. Perhaps Return to Earth and The Deserter was not far from his thoughts.
December's entry is a special image. It shows George beaming with joy on the happiest day of his life. No wonder, his wife Ellanora made a very beautiful bride. Comments suggested with all due respect for the Rose family.
Ok, not one person fell for this years April Fool's Day image. But be sure, a photo of George and Walt Disney does exist. I don't have it in my collection so I hope someday it will materialize for everyone's benefit. 'Nuff said.
Last TAC thanks go out to you, the readership for your time tuning in. Of course, please don't be shy. We'd love to hear from you and what you like, dislike or disagree with for that matter and what you'd like to see here at TAC. It's not always about what we have to say. Opinions are important because it really lets us know you're out there and we are connecting to you. The site that details the number of hits coming to the site is just that, numbers. It's pretty respectable in size, but it doesn't speak. Special thanks go out to Colete Morlock, Thom Hamilton, Ralph Schiller, Bruce Dettman, Carl Glass, Richard Potter, Green Ink Girl, Jody McGhee, Mike Goldman, Serena Enger, Alfred Walker, Delmo Walters, Dave Orbach, Joe Kryzynski and Mr. X who extend their appreciation for the continuing efforts at TAC and to its contributors. THANK YOU. Mr. X, still with great generosity and free of cost continues to share his various TAoS DVD's. His pride of the lot is The Stolen Costume for its better quality than what has been distributed by station broadcast, The Unknown People, My Friend Superman, Whatever Goes Up, The Superman Silver Mine and Around the World With Superman. The latter recognized for its brilliant restoration of a long lost scene of Superman examining and searching for the cause of blindness in the eyes of Ann Carson.
Before closing, please extend your prayers to Janeen Christensen, a long time contributor to The Adventures Continue. Janeen is currently undergoing treatment for an illness so your thoughts and prayers for her are welcomed. Back in the old TAC issue days, Janeen contributed reviews of George's theatrical films before the theme became common. You could say, she paved the way for that interest which not only continued at TAC, but with others as well at GHP and more notable with Behind the Crimson Cape: The Cinema of George Reeves by Jan Alan Henderson and Steve Randisi.
Final year-end closing entry. On request, Randy Garrett recreates the image from a low quality photo of George that accompanies the The Hartford Courant, January 18 - 27, 1957 for which Bill Dillane found for us last year.
Mr. Garrett Speaks:
Here's the illustration based on the newspaper photo of George at the Connecticut Sportsman Show. I changed the composition a bit to show more of George, but I kept the same basic layout. I hope you'll find it suitable for your 2009 review.
You know, as I was drawing George's face, it dawned on me just how composed and relaxed he appears in the middle of all the bedlam. Not only would it be unnerving to face thronging fans that just want to talk to you or touch you, George always had in the back of his mind that there just might be that one kid in the crowd determined to test his invulnerability with a drawing compass, BB gun, jackknife or just a well aimed kick to the shins. Yet, as I said, he looks like he's strolling down the street to pick up a morning newspaper. I suspect George's great acting talent is taking over here. We know from Jack and Noel that he was nervous about appearing in costume, but he knew all those folks came to see Superman, so he played the part perfectly and gave them their money's worth. What a trooper!
Be sure to visit Randy's own site showcasing his outstanding work of all ranges. Also note Randy did the cover for Michael J. Hayde's book Flights of Fantasy .
Stay tuned for January 10th. Because we have a release from Colete Morlock who has been in contact with John Doucette Jr. Colete along with Carl Glass' GHP inducted Mr. Doucette into the George Reeves Hall of Fame. Colete has more to offer regarding Mr. Doucette. She has recently shared some great images from John Jr. that I'm certain you will enjoy.
In closing, Jim and Lou hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and wish all our friends a most happy and safe New Year and beyond. As the saying goes; "GREAT SCOTT"
Out with 2009.
Welcome 2010, with wishing total Peace and Harmony for all Mankind.
"Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"