Behind the Scenes: A slice of life.

Time for more behind the scenes life in podcasting. Why not start at the beginning of a typical day for me? I wake from sleep before the alarm on my IPhone goes off. I have a regular alarm clock, but I don’t usually set it for anything. It just sits on my end table, so I can check the time during the day.

I debate getting up yet. My eyes itch and burn with left over sleeping;, but is it getting light outside? I can’t tell, all I know is that my bladder alarm is beginning to scream at me. As I get the stiffness out of the knees, and grab my phone, I start the journey to the bathroom. We mostly live in the basement, but the bathroom is at the other end of the house, and up a flight of stairs.

Along the way I slip in an earbud, and touch the top of the screen. “Network connection in progress,” it tells me. Nope, that’s not it. Swipe right. “5:58AM.” The voice in the phone says. I wonder if I ought to hop in the shower and shave while I’m here. Yeah, might as well. I’ll be done before the alarm goes off at 6:30, and I’ll have some time to do some early morning checks on notifications and emails once I’m done. Before getting ready for the shower, I sit on a chair we use for changing clothes, an find my podcast app.

Double tap the home button. “Podcasts.” The phone says when I check the app switcher. Good. I thought it should have been the last thing I used. Double tap to open it. Now, let’s swipe to the All Podcast playlist, and double tap. Skip to the first one and… hey, cool.. it’s the one I posted just a few hours ago while I was sleeping. Magic. Nothing like a little old time radio while in the shower. Let’s see what’s happening down in Pine Ridge.

Oh, I should explain the double tapping. I know that you, the average reader of this blog would just touch the button, and probably not mess with the swiping. And why did I need to plug in my earbud to hear my phone tell me the time? That’s how I use it. Touch the screen, and the voice in the phone says what it is that you touched. Simple. If you missed the item that was expected, but you know it’s close, swipe left or right, and the phone speaks what it is.

So, you may be asking. It’s just because its so early, and I don’t want to wake anybody by flashing a brightly lit screen… right? To which my response would be a melodramatic, “What? They put a light in these things?” Accompanied by a look of mock surprise.

I never look at my screen. Everything that gets done with it is by touching the screen, and listening to the voice that reports back. When I do a lot of typing, I use a bluetooth keyboard. Again, I type, the phone talks, and I can get work done. I love my bluetooth keyboard. It makes my phone act like a little, pocket sized laptop.

Isn’t that a little difficult? All this touching and listening? What’s going on here?” You’re probably asking. Here’s the answer. I’m blind.

When I say I’m blind, I don’t mean it like, “I can’t see a thing without my glasses.” Or, “Ouch, my shin, I must be blind to have walked into the edge of the table.” When I say blind, I mean that both eyes do not work. Nothing. Constant dark. No lights, other than weird flashes from retinas that vibrate in loud noises, and put on an interesting light show. But, no usable light from the other side of the lens.

Hey, if you don’t mind. Let me do the shower thing and I’ll be right back to tell you more. Look the other way please… put down your phone, tablet, or laptop, no peeking…

Ah, refreshing. Where was I… What? In the shower? No, I mean before that, and why are you so curious about taking a shower without seeing the soap. It’s not rocket science. Figure it out on your own.

Oh yeah, talking phones and computers. There’s a little bit of learning curve to start out. Being forced to listen to the computer, rather than seeing the screen all at once can sound daunting, but all you need to know is how to navigate the environment. Computers open a door to a whole new realm of hot keys, and deeper access to the system. The phone is really simple. Just touch, swipe, and double tap to open what you touched, and the only thing to stop you is an app that presents everything in graphics, or hides text behind a layer where the voice can’t get to it. Though there are times I do a lot of data entry right from my phone, I still use the laptop for major typing jobs, and I still keep a Windows laptop for audio editing. It’s so much more easy for me than the mighty world of Mac.

Hey, you know… I gotta do some daily writing stuff, so let’s do this together. I’m a long time Windows user, but for the last couple years, I’ve been exploring the world of Mac. Definitely a learning curve. Don’t do it unless your a crazed computer geek, who just likes to torture yourself learning new operating systems.

Let’s grab the lappy, hit power, wait for the bling. “Welcome to your MacBook Pro.” It says. Finder. The place where it all starts. Although that’s not where I need to start today.

I like to keep things simple. No fancy word processing. Just the text ma’am.

Command+space. “Spotlight.” Says the voice. Now I just start typing, “textedit” but before the third letter can be typed, it shows up. Enter, (or return, for all you die hard Mac-o-philes.)

Yea! Now what do I want to write about for the daily exercise? It says to write about a comparison and contrast. Holy cow, what in the world can I write? What do I do on a daily basis that people normally don’t do? Hmm… I do a podcast. Not everybody does that. I write stuff on the web, not everybody does that. I use computers to post junk, and people use computers to read it. Still, I just don’t know what’s so different, or interesting about me doing it than thousands, or even millions of other people out there. I just type letters, and the voice tells me what I’m misspelling. I hit space, and the voice reads the word I just typed. I never used to do it that way, but as my fingers get older, the less they like to hit the right keys. It just helps to have the voice repeat stuff to monitor how I’m doing.

Hold on. I need to proof read this. To make sure it comes out half way coherent, and the typos are fixed. Grammar? Heck with grammar, this is an internal dialog. A mind dump if you will. I don’t always talk in no good grammar no ways. Ha! Take that one grammar police.

Control+Option+a. That reads the document. Stop. That didn’t get too far, and I’m fixing a few wonky word uses, and half baked sentences. The voice really does help in proofreading. All you people out there, handicapped by two working eyeballs will just have to read your own copy out loud to catch the bad junk. Just arrowing down to spot check the rest.

Well the voice read it back, and it looks like I said about all that’s on my mind today. I just wish I could think up something to compare or contrast. Like pink fuzzy bunnies, to the pin pricks of a platoon of porcupines. But no, I’m coming up empty here.

[tags, writing, compare, contrast, blindness, computers, technology]


The Character of a Fraud

Or: Dragnet 501012 ep70, Big Quack.
Listen to it here.

Burglary detail. A man posing as a doctor is burglarizing homes. You have his description. Get him.

Working the day watch, Joe and Ben interview Miss Hutchins, and her maid, Betty. She had been treated for her headaches, and now a mink coat and jewelry are missing. Dr Schulte is suspected, and a list of missing articles is presented. The middle aged, dark complected man is stocky, with a goatee, and dressed in an average gray suit. No other visitors came or went, other than the trusted doctor. Miss Hutchins met the doctor at a small college he was running, but has now closed, her headaches were diagnosed as a state of mind that would only stay gone with continued treatment from the doctor. Treatments that turn out to be nothing more than sleeping pills.

Joe Friday tells in voiceover about the brief crime scene assessment, and the search for the defunct college. Neighboring business people confirm the shoestring operation of the tight mouthed, little man with the pointy beard. Finding a lead on a partner, a witness wonders over the names on the glass door.

Las Angeles College of Psycotheropeutics and Psychiatry
Dr Arthur Williams Schulte, DA, PHD, SCD
Dr Leo George Donaldson DV, PHD, SCD

What does it take to get a string of letters of doctorate credentials behind their names. A paint brush, and about ten minutes, is Joe’s response. In further voiceover, a review of agency reports confirms no such doctors are known, or registered.

The fake medical schools ran by Schulte were popular, since all it took for a
doctorate of various psychiatry related degrees could be had in 8 weeks, to any who had the money. Setting up a sting operation at the latest school that gets established, Joe sets out to take down the fraudulent doctors. The college requires no books, only a high school diploma to maintain academic standards of excellency. Joe’s urgency, and the scent of easy money is all it takes to end the operation, but he only has the associate, Donaldson. Where can Joe find Schulte?

A long rap sheet starting 16 years earlier, from back East, and in the area of pornographic pictures adds to Joe’s arsenal of evidence. Working under the fact that scam artists are known to fall back on old job skills when authorities get too close, Joe investigates local movie theaters. . The projectionists union confirms a new job placement for Schulte, and pursuing the clue, Joe finds an overworked theater manager. Entering the projectionist booth, the equally overworked operator refers to the man with fancy speech as doc, after knowing him for a day. The tight lipped Schulte clams up when questioning begins, but it’s all over when his hotel room is full of the stolen goods his victims have reported.

What does the fake doctor have to say in his defense? “They’re gifts, they’re sick, I’ve done them a lot of good. They know, they thank me this way. People I get these things from know I’ve done them a lot of good.”

Will the judicial system see it his way? It’s doubtful, but a twist ending means it may not matter.

Radio Entertainment: Preservation for Future Generations

Or: The Out of Control Thought of Losing It

There’s nothing like the unsettling feeling to realize that nothing was like it was just a moment ago. Out of control, shock, stunned, the confidence of having, then in a moment that hollow, empty feeling.

Once the conscious thought to force the air to begin moving through your lungs returns, the sensation of insides that feel like they’ve just started melting is accompanied by that feeling of heat creeping up your neck. Or like a rubber band around your scalp that’s slowly inching it’s way up in fractions, making the hair own your head feel like it’s doing the wave as it slowly stands on end.

When asked if he was ever lost, the great woodsman Daniel Boone had this to say, “Nope, I can’t say I’ve ever been lost. But I’ve been mighty confused for a few days.”

Now, I suppose that nothing is ever truly lost. Everything has to be somewhere. It never exactly disappears. But sometimes the practical use, or life of a thing is gone. A loved one who has passed away. A toy that has become broken. Missing a turn In the road, and being somewhere unexpected. The physical thing we say is lost, is still there, but the parts no longer work, and the intangible function robs the usefulness of it. The life force, the soul, has departed from the cement that binds it to the human frame, and we lose the interaction with that person, and we grieve the loss. In the case of Daniel Boone, we may lose track of our position on the planet, but we’re still somewhere. Just not where we expected.

Some things can’t be recovered. How can a person recall a soul that has departed? The body remains, but a cycle of life begins that calls it to return to the earth. All we have, if that loved one was lucky, or had the fore thought, is the static images we might find in a photo album. Maybe movies of them are left behind, or possibly audio recordings of somme kind. Slices of time. Moments, mannerisms, voices, capturing them being perpetually young, or at a place along their life journey. It’s not them physically. It’s not a soul who we can interact with, or relate to, other than in memories and imagination.

The physical, tangible form is changing, returning to the earth. Physical objects hold recordings, or might be machines to function in countless ways. Broken? Lost functions can be restored. Take a part out. Replace it with a new one, and lost uses are restored. A simulation of a soul returns. A life that’s not a life, but draws out an imagination that rebuilds it in the mind. The machine lives on as indefinitely as the source of fresh parts holds out.

The inanimate illusion lives on until… a mind concocts a better, more effective, efficient machine. One with better functions. More functionality. Better precision. Then the old one isn’t lost. It gets cast aside. Yesterday’s shine and new, becoming today’s rusty and old. Not lost, but resigned to return to earth in its own life cycle to make way for tomorrow’s invention. A new generation of objects to amuse, or assist humanity in the ongoing, unending task of discovery.

Is there anything lost? In a moment anything can be lost. Everything eventually comes to an end, and usefulness is lost. People can live on as long as their ideas and memories are kept fresh, and shared. It’s not the person themselves, just their contribution to the universe. Some small, others far reaching, but all interesting and important in their own way.

Behind the Scenes: Committed to the Show Notes

Or: The Sausage Grinder of Show Notes
Or: Today’s Brain Dump, Getting Distracted by My Background Mood Music

Trying to stay committed to writing to the blog, getting some writing done for ongoing show notes, and keeping up on outside projects. Well, they’re outside as far as the activities of the Retro Radio Podcast are concerned. First of all, let’s cue up some tunes to set the mood and play in the background. Ah, here we go, my Marian Hutton collection. What a nice voice, and a cute blonde. Getting immersed in recordings from the era, it’s easy to forget these stars are long gone. well, I was actually around during the time she was still alive. She just wasn’t performing much in the years I have memories of.

In her later years, Marian Hutton became a rehab counselor, helping others with alcohol problems, but once in a while still sane on occasion with the old band. Tex Beneke had taken over to lead the Glenn Miller band, complete with the Modernaires.

She could sing songs from novelty kiddie songs like, Mutiny in the Nursery, to fun boogie songs, to ballads, and in her later career, Who Stole The Jam. A song that a mom might sing to find out which of her kids ate up all the jam. Nothing left but the empty jar, and a trail of bread crumbs. If she finds out, she’ll kick your teeth in… huh? I have to laugh. Isn’t that just the kind of thing a loving mom might say to her kids? Of course, as an empty threat, but one that conveys mom’s frustration.

I wonder what kind of mom she was. I’m sure she had her troubles with success and substance abuse, but she didn’t seem as volatile as her little sister, Betty.

Wow, I’m getting too side tracked, listening to the tunes, and not getting show notes written. Here we go. This is how I do it.

Play the show, and listen for names, places, and what’s happening. Why names? They’re just fictional, right? It’s easier to refer to the people in the show by name than saying: That one guy shot the lady in the red coat. Then the second guy got into a fight with the bartender, and the first guy ran out before the other one could get him.

See? Confusing, boring, and too many pronouns to keep straight. Writing the names as I hear them, plus place names almost write the notes by themselves. Jotting down some connecting details like what Sam did at the waterfront ties it all up pretty neatly. I try not to add dialog, unless a particular quote stands out, or a figure of speech adds some color to the notes. My big goal is to summarize the action, not transcribe it.

If people are familiar with the show, maybe just the title is enough. If not, a summary might entice a reader to click the button to play the show.

I listen to the episode just one time through, taking notes as it plays. I avoid rewinding, or listening to it again. If the notes need cleared up, other than grammar or spelling, I might skim through to a particular spot to get a name right, or a song title.

Then it’s off to the next show. So it takes me however long the show is, more or less, to do each one. I can knock out a solid four hours when I’m on a roll, maybe as long as five or six. By then a either a stomach is empty, or a bladder is full, and its time to call it quits.

I got sidetracked again. Gotta laugh. My music played to a v-disk that also featured Dinah shore singing Betty Huttons hit. Murder he says. She just can’t do it justice. A nice, sweet, evenly modulated version, but not like bettye stylized way of screaming it out.

OK, back to writing show notes. Where do I go from here. After writing down as many shows as I can I give my fingers a rest. I often binge on a single show, like lining up all the Jack Benny episodes for the month, or more, and knocking them all out at once. Other times, I just go down the big file of stuff for the month. I use various index marks to let me find which shows still need notes, which are done and in need of posting, and a mark to let me know which ones are done.

Along the way, I make sure the files are uploaded, and grab the ftp links for the shows. By that, I mean I copy them from my ftp client, and when I paste them in, the text for the ftp path is inserted. At that point, I need to change the ftp link to http so the links work right.

Yeah, boring tech stuff, but who ever said podcasting was all thrills and chills?

Now my listings are all set to copy and paste them into the dashboard when the time comes. I just don’t worry about the tags until time to post. I decide on the fly what to put down, after the writing process has cooled down. What else do I do? What else? Oh yeah, I give a final proof read when I actually post stuff, so my archives of each month’s shows are pretty messy. Usually the first, or second draft.

Thats about all there is to writing show notes. I try to use ass many literary techniques as I can to make them interesting.

Oops, had to stop for a second to restart iTunes. I don’t know why it stopped, I must have hit a hot key by accident as my fingers of fury knocked out all this junk.

Well, there’s really nothing more to add. A lot of listening, jotting down notes, using character names, and always pushing to see how much I can get done today. Working ahead buys me time to take time off when I need it, or to run those unexpected errands.

The Places of crime

Or: Dragnet 50-10-05 ep69, Big 38.

Robbery Detail. A burglar with a gun is described as being well dressed. Your job, find him. The air is hot on the night shift.
Footsteps echo in the cathedral, as organ music plays. Cops have come to find the choir loft, and bring somber news to match the tone of the music in the air. Joe Friday reports a death. In voiceover, he states that armed robbers always prove to be killers. The crime scene, a cash register, and a clerk in Disbelief. One moment life, and in the moment of a gunshot, death. The shooter is described. Thin, tall, blonde, nervous, twitching, and in a grreatcoat. The questions causer the crime to be relived. Emotions of surprise, cooperation. A gunshot. anger, and a get away in a cab, riding in the front seat.

Silent and cool, technology in the Police lab is applied. Ballistics, fingerprints, and results are tentative. Footsteps echo down the hall. More briefing. The common elements in the case review: Cabs, and 38 calibre slugs. What’s the word from the Crime lab. No luck, no matches.

On the Night watch routine the crime is unending.
Another store, connections to cabs. But with a Different 38. Checking with cab companies, for drivers with matching builds. Tall, and slim. Another crime scene that match the method of operation. Armed with a photo line up. A Face after face in pages of an album, crime personified and ugly. A match is made.

Clues lead to aAn apartment,, and an accomplice is found. Have a seat, calm your nerves, have a beer. Questions hit hard, and the search heats up. The trail leads to a neighborhood, with nice houses, beauty shops, and trees. Cornered and shielded by timid mother and crying baby, gunshots and fists land to end the crime spree.

Only one place remaibs to close the case. A Trial, and finally, the Gas chamber.

Download and listen now.

Behind the Scenes: Where the Podcasting Rubber Meets the Road

Or: Consciously Streaming a Rant

What’s on my plate today? First, let’s check my ongoing monthly line up, Search for the index mark for shows I need to write notes on today.

Wow, so far, so good. The rest of the month is written up, except for any stray Retro Original shows I decide to post. Those are done separately anyway. But I still need to check on shows I want to feature… a job for later. I don’t have time for it now.

Back to the monthly file. Search for my index mark of shows that need proofread, and posted. Uh-oh, good thing I checked. I gotta get a few out before tonight, or the podcast feed will come to a crashing halt in the morning. No problem. Here we go.

Fixing typos, fixing clunky wording, but it’s mostly OK. Fortunately, I already have the media links pasted into the notes, so away we go.

  • Open my WordPress dashboard. Getting logged in, of course.
  • Copy and paste the note from the file to the dashboard.
  • Put the title in the right place.
  • Put the body text in the right spot.
    • Oops, missed a typo or two.
    • Add line breaks for paragraphs.
  • Tick the category boxes.
    • One for the channel.
    • One for the show.
  • Drop in the tags.
    • The year.
    • The show title,
    • Pick keywords or themes from the show, based on the note.
    • Don’t overdo it.
  • Paste in the media link.
  • Give it a quick test to be sure the file is good. No errors.

Almost done.

This one is for tomorrow, so change the date to tomorrow. Let’s see, it aired in 1942, so set the time to 2 AM. Bump the minutes to 20-something. Hit Publish.

O wait. “Why did you do that?” You ask. I use the second digit in the year to post the hour from 1AM to 10AM, with a few exceptions, like when more than one show might end with the same digit. I may alter the hour when that happens. “And the minutes, why specifically 20-something?” I can hear you ask. The era of radio shows that exist range from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. I divided the hour into three parts. One for each decade. “Then why not use the full third of an hour” I hear you ask. Some shows lingered, or were broadcast later. I’m a little more loose in the hour and minutes for those decades, but I fudge them in there to keep things spaced out a little.

Here comes the tedious part. It took just under ten minutes to do the copy, paste, link test, and date the shows. Wash, rince, repeat. If I can keep from being interrupted, I might be able to crunch out most of the rest of the month. Yeah, like that’ll happen. Likely, my browser will start bogging down, and take forever to load pages.

I wonder how to clear the cache. o I’m sure it needs, if I can’t remember how long it’s been, or how to do it. I’ll have to Google it… sometime later. Not right now.

For now it’s a matter of repeating all the above steps for the next few shows to see how far I can get. At least try to get stuff posted up to sometime next week. Yeah, that should do it to give me some cushion to work on other projects. t

Oh. You know what I forgot? I really need to start collecting stock images to insert in the posts. For now, i’ll grab my javascript form to insert an Amazon ad. Oh well, i’ll skip this one I’ve already got done, and do it for the ones coming up. No need to do every show. I already have ads on the Welcome page, and in the side bar, so it’s not like people don’t see them. They just don’t click and buy stuff. Oh well, maybe one of these days.

Well, there you have it. A typical, boring day of data processing, typing, and getting shows posted. It’s not the glamorous, glorious life, filled with exotic Retrobots like you thought it was… ain’t it.

But there’s more.
This has just been where the rubber hits the road in transferring raw notes into a finished post.

Keith Heltsley

The Colorful Days of Blowing Cigar Smoke

Here I sit, thinking it’s high time to challenge myself to write again,. Not that  I don’t write something, in some way, nearly every day. Sometimes enough to overflow to a few days running.

Third Lt Stanley is a baboon. Vic.

Before I stretch my imagination, I took time to browse my folder of junk where I’ve written things that never quite got posted. The colorful world of Paul Rhimer, and the good folks halfway up the next block came to mind.

Well here, you never heard such junk. Sade.

I found a few quotes I jotted down that seemed familiar. They’re from an episode where the very young principal of the high school wants to appear more mature to his supervisors in the school board.

Ish Russel, a person’s trying’ to say something. Sade.

When the actors changed for a while during World War 2, the script got a slight re-write, and was performed again.

He scratches a match and blows out a couple bushels of smoke. Russel.

Here’s some absurd quotations from the good old days… you know… back when smoking was just one of those things, and not a social stigma, or even bad

for your health.

O ish. Sade.

On top of that, enjoy the colorful colloquialisms of small town midwestern 1940’s lingo. Having relatives from this era, and location, I can vouch to you, people really did talk like this, and use this kind of mannerisms in their speech.

Maybe I’ll establish a cigar smoking college. Charge everybody forty dollars a semester. Vic.

And now get ready to smile again with America’s home folks, Vic and Sade.

  • Whip out big black cigars, and smoke away like a steam engine. Russel.
  • I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised Dr Sleach. Vic.
  • O such silliness. Sade.
  • He whips out a stogie as long as a baseball bat. Russel.

Listen to even more absurdities:  
Vic and Sade – Mr Chinbunny Wants To Smoke Cigars, Russell. 440602.

Compare it to the happenings where you’ll hear such things as:

  • I’ll bet 99 dollars the telephone rings in the next 10 minutes, Rush.
  • Puffing in bushels of smoke, and blowing it out like a furnace. Rush.
  • His idea is to whip out big black cigars, and smoke away like a steam engine, Rush.
  • He better take it easy the first 19 or 20 cigars, otherwise he’ll run the risk of getting sick. Rush.
  • Just sitting here with our teeth in our mouth. Vic.
  • you and your big ox of a husband. Vic
  • This is really on the level huh? Vic.
  • He whips out a stogie as big as your leg. Rush.

Don’t believe it? Listen to the whole show here:
Vic and Sade – Mr Chinbunny Wants To Smoke Cigars (Rush). 400602

Retro OTRDiary 32 Lum and Abner – Movie Theater Comparison 1935-43. (retro586)

For the audio that accompanies this article: <a href=””>Download it here.</a>

The topic of starting a movie theater came up twice in existing recordings of the show. First from May through July of 1935, then 5 years later from September to the end of 1943. In the 1930’s, Chet Lauck and Tuffy Goff wrote all the shows. After their first movie in 1940, and their return to the air waves, they were joined by Roswell B Rogers. Extra characters began showing up, and the writing was a little more sophisticated. Also, after performing for the five years, their voice representation showed some development.

The story is largely the same. Sometimes moving a few jokes earlier or later in the telling. Sometimes dropping older humor for topical humor to fit in with the war years. The later telling of the story has a full week of shows added, presumably due to Tuffy Goff taking some time off. Chet Lauck carries the weight of the show with his characters of Lum, fgrandpap, and Cedric. He’s joined by a couple other character actors, including a final appearance by Lurene Tuttle, as her character of Mary Edwards, recently put under the guardianship of Lum and Abner… and Lizabeth too.

The story came on the heels of different ones, but ones that found Lum leaving town in despair, despondency, and fears from Abner that his friend would, “suicide himself.”

In May of 1935, there had been a chain letter that found Lum and Abner with a lot of hogs on their hands. Squire Skimp took them to sell in Chicago, and the gents dreamed of a monument in their honor. Well, mostly Lum. The small size of the monument is only a minor deterrent. All decked out in borrowed lodge regalia and even a borrowed white horse, a bar b cue is arranged. However, “Things Go Wrong At The Unveiling Ceremony.”

Poor Lum, In 1943, Lum left in despondency after losing face to Caleb Wehundt, and his trade school idea. It didn’t help that his own ward, Mary Edwards took the class of his rival. Mary will only make one more appearance on the show. This can be found in the episode, “Lum Will Teach a Class In Country Storekeeping.”

When Lum leaves in despair, in 1935, it was for one episode, but in 1943, the disappearance went on for most of a week. Winding up in Abner giving away all of Lum’s possessions. Once the widow Jessup, and her scary kids, are scared out of the house, the movie theater topic returns. They discuss the importance of having the right kind of building. Why do they need to have a slanting floor, and high ceiling? In the 1935 episode, “How To Operate A Picture Show,” Abner goes on a rant about shadow puppets, and that he can do it every bit as good as the kids can.

In 1943 Besides the same idea of shadow puppets, the Cotton warehouse is secured with a phone call to Dick Huddleston. With times changed as they were, with more sophisticated writing, and with a war on, jokes also change. Which explains this one about the OPA. An agency that set price limits,, and tried to prevent run away inflation during the war years.
“Discuss Opening A Movie Theater In Pine Ridge.” Both cover Abner wanting to jack up one side of the building for the slanted floor, the need for good seats, and getting grandpap’s player piano. Also a matter of confusion over which side is the front of the house in a theater, and which is the back. An example is found in the 1935 show, “Cotton Warehouse For The Theatre.” The later telling of the story expands into multiple episodes to tell about the jacked up floor , getting the piano, Abner’s confusion and acquiring the projector. Plus Cedric trying to learn how to use it.

Both tellings of the movie theater has grandpap getting the best of Lum in renting his player piano, As found in, “Lum And Abner Hire Grandpap.” But in 1943, a whole week of additions are inserted.
<ul><li>Lum Gives Free Passes To Everyone In Town. (A matter that worries Abner about how they’re going to make money. And some trouble Lum gets into with Henry Lunsford. In 1935, Henry was in town, but Abner was still town constable.)

More things in running a picture show are addressed in the 1943 shows , such as…
<ul><li>Abner Will Go To Mena
<li>Abner Packs For Trip To Mena
<li>Motion Picture Salesman Arrives
<li>The Vulture’s Revenge
<li>Film Company President Pays A Visit To Lum

As if to remember they have a child in their guardianship, Lum gets a phone call from school. And in this stand alone episode, Mary makes probably her last appearance to get a talking to from Lum about the cause of her falling grades… boys. “Mary is Having Problems In School” also finds Lum in an awkward situation of having to tell Mary… um, you know… the facts of life… but not exactly.

After a week of training, “Abner Returns From the Lyric Theater In Mena” and he’s all trained to run the movie projector.

The stories match up a little closer again wen they name the theater. Though the name they settle on in 1935’s “Trying To Name The New Theater,” is different from the 1943 episode “Vote On The Name Of The Theater.” Clearly a vote is involved in one, but not in the other.

The stories parallel pretty closely. Squire wants to be a partner, but you know it’s not going to happen. Squire starts a rival theater, and he draws away resources, including employees who leave to work for Squire’s better wages. Legal charges are brought against Squire, and he has to shut down.

But wait, there’s more. The plot thickens.

Squire is injured, and a new legal battle begins. Without giving away any spoilers, or the points in the plot line, things end well, then they don’t, and a disagreement between Lum and Abner leads into the next story. In 1935 it was a silver mine in Arizona, but in 1943, it goes a different direction. In fact, though the courtroom ordeal ends before the end of the year, the fall out that leads into the next story takes place just after the new year.

Bonus Tracks

Besides a show full of clips from Lum and Abner, our usual opening theme is…
<ul><li>The Tune Wranglers – They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree
<li>W. Lee O’Daniel and his Hillbilly Boys – Devilish Mary

Town Held Hostage Gets a Super Rescue

Revisit the year 1940. A time when heroes were super, and villains were just men, and the only one in spandex was the good guy. Be sure to click the links to either download and listen, or to read my original show summaries. Here’s a n even shorter summary of the summarized story of a mystery of the #panicked town of Direville.

Superman – Wolfe VS Yellow Mask. 400322.


Sometimes titled, “The Mystery of Dyerville Part 1”

As one mystery is solved, another begins. Still in pursuit of the evasive evil mastermind, the Yellow Mask, Unknown to Clark Kent and Lois Lane, their evil counterparts, and henchman of the Yellow Mask begin their next mission of terror, but not without some distrust in the ranks. .

Racing through the night, a mysterious, disappearing black car is the first encounter that Lois and Clark have to signal more with danger to come.

Personal conflicts between the famous reporters melt away when our heroes have to deal with a police barricade, and a bomb that blows up the bridge out from under their car. This looks like a job for SUPERMAN!

Superman – Superman Saves Jefferson Bridge. 400325.


Sometimes titled: “The Mystery of Dyerville Part 2”

What? a flying man in a red and blue suit? That’s crazy talk! There is no such man. He doesn’t exist. At least that’s the common logic, not only in the first half of the 20th century, but for the first half of the 21st century. It’s reality.

Local police tell about the town threatened by terrorists, and more threats and strange events emerge that require super intervention.

A ransom demand, and time limit of 36 hours are announced by a #panicked citizen. Is it possible to wipe the entire town of Direville off the face of the map?

Superman – Yellow Mask Will Blow Up Harley Dam. 400327.


Sometimes titled: “The Mystery of Dyerville Part 3”

The people of Direville are right to be #panicked. If the dam should be blown up, flood waters would cover the town within minutes. It doesn’t take a word from the Yellow Mask to figure it out, and Lois Lane is joined by Clark Kent to go investigate.

The Yellow Mask is a step ahead, and already has a trap for the rival reporters who have thwarted him in the past.

Left alone, in a cabin in the woods, Clark easily escapes his bonds, and as Superman he flies the unconscious Lois Lane to the dam, where city officials soon arrive to investigate the possibility of sabotage.

Superman – Dam Waters Diverted From


I love this title, but it’s sometimes Also titled: “The Mystery of Dyerville Part 4”

The reality of the Yellow Mask’s threats prove out as Harley Dam is trembling and rumbling. The Dyerville City officials, Lois Lane and Clark Kent get a more urgent demand from their evil nemesis. Will he be crazy enough to blow the dam earlier than he promised?

Direville officials won’t cave in, and evacuation plans are put into affect. Lois helps direct the #panicked people flee, but where is Clark? Superman springs into action, but the dam has been blown early… water is rushing… people are fleeing… Can Superman stop the racing wall of water?

Check out this short, thrilling, serial from the early days of Superman. It only takes about an hour to hear the whole story.