Saturday, November 06, 2004

Peter Rabe

Stark House again comes to the rescue of those of you who don't want to search eBay to find a bargain on Peter Rabe's classic Gold Medal novels. This double book has two fine novels inside, as you can see from the cover. Both are highly recommended, and I'm not just saying this because I had a hand in one of the introductory essays. The truth is that George Tuttle's essay is the one you want to read. It's full of great information on Rabe and worth the price of the book all by itself. The book's publication date is January, so save up a few bucks during the holidays and order it. Posted by Hello

Friday, November 05, 2004


In this somewhat blurry photo are two cereal premiums from my lost youth. On the right is my Lone Ranger Silver Saddle ring. It has a gold saddle, so maybe I have the name wrong, but the ring itself is silver. On the left is one that, I'm ashamed to admit, I can't recall the name of. Part of the name is "signal ring," I'm almost sure. The curved part you can see at the bottom of the ring held a small battery, and you could use the ring (that's the original bulb) to send Morse code, or at least that was the theory. You might be able to make out the scales of justice on the left hand side of the ring. Maybe that's a clue. I think the ring might be connected to Captain Midnight, but I'm not at all sure. Any help?

Late-breaking news. I should've looked on eBay before posting. Here's the signal ring, which might not have been a premium after all. And here's the Lone Ranger Saddle Ring (no silver; I guess I was thinking of the great horse by that name). I don't have the filmstrip with mine. Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Evan Hunter, Again

Is there anything Evan Hunter can't write? I first became acquainted with his work nearly 50 (!) years ago when I read his Winston SF juvenile, FIND THE FEATHERED SERPENT, which must have been written about the same time he was doing THE EVIL SLEEP! (Scroll down to see a post on that one.) I wasn't even aware that he'd written a western (or historical) until someone mentioned THE CHISHOLMS to me. It was first published in the latter 1970s, and I wonder if it might have been tied in with the TV series of that name. There's no mention of the TV series in this reprint edition I picked up, however. The book is about a family from Virginia that decides to move west. They leave at the wrong time of the year and so have to travel virtually alone rather than with a wagon train. They run into scamsters, Indians, bad weather, and plenty of other problems. The book's dark tone reminded me a little of Larry McMurtry's novels, and it's certainly just as well-written. I'm in awe of Evan Hunter's abilities. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Roy Barcroft Posted by Hello

Roy Barcroft

I haven't been able to get on Blogger all day. Maybe there were millions of people blogging about the election and clogging the pipeline. Not that I had anything important to say, anyway.

One thing I got along with the Dixie Cup lids was a few B-western trading cards. One of them pictures Roy Barcroft, who played the lead villain (or "brains heavy" as they say in the biz; for the "dog heavies" read L. J. Washburn's dandy novel) in hundreds of Republic westerns. Barcroft played the bad guy so often that the kids in my hometown would start booing and throwing popcorn at the screen the first time he showed up in any feature.

One of my friends thought my father looked like Barcroft, but I never saw the resemblance. Most people who thought my father looked like any movie star at all compared him to Roy Rogers. I was never too sure of that one, either.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Allan Rocky Lane Posted by Hello

Dixie Cup Lids

When I was in first grade, the school I attended was located only a couple of blocks from my house. But on the way, I passed two mom-and-pop stores that sold groceries, candy, and soft drinks. They also sold hamburgers to kids who didn't want to eat in the cafeteria. I usually just went home for lunch, but I loved to stop at one or the other of those stores after school and buy a little cup of ice cream that cost five cents, which also covered the cost of the little wooden spoon you got to eat the ice cream with. We called the ice cream "Dixie Cups" because, I suppose, the company that made the ice cream was named Dixie and because the ice cream came in cups. But nobody really cared about the ice cream, or at least I didn't. What I like was the photos of movie stars on the inside of the cup lids. I had a small but select stack of these that I'd collected, but somehow they disappeared over the years (I suspect that my mother tossed them along with my comic books). Recently I've picked up a few replacement lids on eBay. My favorites were always those of the B-western stars, like Allan "Rocky" Lane, Wild Bill Elliott, Charles (The Durango Kid) Starrett, and it's fun to have them again.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Bloggers Beware?

anniesj: a word to the wise

For all I know, this is a hoax, but any of you political types might want to read it just for fun.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I'd been looking for this book for many years. I'm not sure Falcon Books were very well distributed in Texas, since I've run across very few of them, and I'd probably never have found this one if it hadn't been for eBay. Sure, the book was reprinted by Fawcett Crest in a slightly revised version as SO NUDE, SO DEAD, but I wanted the Falcon. Now I have it, even if it isn't signed, like Richard Moore's copy. I've even read it. It's told from the point of view of a heroin addict who wakes up one morning with a beautiful dead blonde babe in his bed. Not exactly an original idea, except for the addict part. He has to fight his addiction while trying to find the killer. There's a lot of brutality in the book, mostly torture and beatings, and a lot of sex. Ray Stone might be an addict, but he's pretty much irresistible to women. There's some awkward writing. ("Ray," she hissed. "Now!") But the story moves right along, and there's even a mention of Hunter College, which may or may not have been the inspiration for Evan Hunter's last name. Not a great novel, and no fan of Mickey Spillane's will be surprised by the ending, but I'm still glad I finally got my hands on a copy. Posted by Hello