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.

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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

A Letter on Behalf of Admirers of Classic Radio

Dear Creators of Classic Radio,

After all this time, your shows still hold up. People still discover them, and take time to listen. The face of radio has changed, and all that we have left are those who tell us the news, or spin up a record. Well, they really aren’t records much any more.

Audio dramas are still around, but not on the air. Collectors have saved them on this thing called the Internet, and people with web sites make it easy for others to listen. To make it even easier, a technology called a podcast can share the shows, and deliver them right to anybody who subscribes to it.

How do I know this is true? Through the magic of a ‘Like’ button on my web site, I have the proof. People read my show notes, or they listen to your show. If they like it, they click a button. It’s a quick thumbs up, or a way to show they admire what you did. Fans are saying, “It’s good stuff.”

Though radio networks and sponsors have said your programming is dead, the thousands of visitors to my site have said how they still love the adventures of the Lone Ranger, as he upholds justice, fights with rustlers, and sends bad guys to jail. Kids of all ages still listen to the exploits of Little Orphan Annie, who is lost at sea. She becomes queen of an island, and showered with diamonds by the natives. With her friends and Daddy Warbucks, she’s always helping someone, or exposing scandals.

Thank you writers for characters in comedies, who relate to each other in a way that makes us say, “That could be me, or someone I know.” They remind us of the stories older relatives tell of times long past. Times of the war, or a general store, or when things were only a nickel. Simple folk like Lum and Abner, who somehow managed to run a store, while befriending people in their community. The enterprising old gents had some backwards views on what woman’s work was, but at various times they built a rocket to Mars; caught a counterfeiter, made movies, ran a circus, a library, a bakery, and more. Somehow, though they got themselves into trouble and debt, they always seemed to come out on top, or at worst, just barely scrape by. The craziness carried forward to shows like Father Knows Best, with the Anderson family, and their modern day teens. It was modern at the time, but though the fads have gone, the family unit, and the relationship remains pretty close to today. Kids still need money, or have fund raisers for school. Childish daughters who talk too much, teen age drama queens, and sons with concrete, literal ways of thinking. Does any of those sound like they still happen in families today? I think they do, and always will.

Speaking of the school experience, Our Miss Brooks may be a little type cast, but the situations set up some comedy that made her days as a high school English teacher seem real. Connie Brooks was the only sane person in the wacky people who surrounded her. A blustery boss, an absent minded landlady, a boyfriend who cared more for frogs, and students who tried their best to drag her into their pranks.

People of the radio era, you saw huge advancements in the marvels of technology, and the fears it presented were encapsulated in science fiction. If you think about it, sci-fi shows are still that way today. We still love and admire the way your writers push science to the limit in gadgets that you knew, and what they could become. Your view of science fiction addressed social norms and attitudes towards those technologies. How would the technology change us, and the life you once knew?

A milestone program, 2000 Plus dealt with machines, robots, and flying saucers that run amok. So creative, and interesting in how people imagined their uses would be. The science seemed limited, but the reaches of it more vast than its real capability. People and relationships are presented firmly entrenched in the times, as if to think that society would never change. Little could you know it would be the reverse of that. Robots and computers snuck into our lives, under the radar, unintrusively, and nearly invisible. Far from the in your face, hulking mechanical men that were envisioned. Rockets were built, and advancements into space, but not the reckless pioneering to far flung reaches that were imagined. The real topsy turvey advancements came with culture change. Revolutions in racial and sexual freedoms, and departures from doing things the same old way.

Though religion may have been seldom done, you weren’t afraid to have it flavor a show. I’m sure religious programming hasn’t changed much from on air preachers that you had back then. However, a unique drama existed back then, the Greatest Story Ever Told. Dramas that were fictional, but illustrated bible teaching.

Technology keeps advancing, and movies are more eye popping than ever, but there’s something elegant in those audio dramas. The actors read the line, and with a hint from the sound man, imagination paints a picture as vivid, hilarious, thrilling, or as spine chilling as the scene requires. The players are as beautiful or ugly, as young or old, as the part requires. Mental scenes are built in an instant that would require countless dollars and man hours to make.

These days radio is a source of information, but not much more than that. Actual programming isn’t done. The market has moved to the Internet, where fans can still find it. Podcasters share it, and a new generation of creators are producing it. You just have to be careful in the uncensored world out there.

So, dear producer of classic old shows, just know that your work is timeless, and people still admire it. The language is clean, the stories still good, and even where some social shifting has occurred, it let’s us see where we once were. I wonder where our future could be going.

Respectfully, and on behalf of others who agree with me by hitting my ‘Like’ button,

Keith H

Note: Inspired in part by #DailyPost
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/admire/

[categories Inbox, Writing]

Stopping the Unstoppable

Another installment of peeking behind the curtain, and glimpsing behind the scenes of the podcast.

Environment is so important. Sometimes there isn’t any control, and when there’s work to be done, mental preparation can make the difference. Bad weather, noisy room, the need to leave that comfortable chair and desk, working on the road, off the grid, without tools, or very few of them. Creativity is still locked in the head, but it takes more effort to pry it out.

Not that creativity can’t be expressed. It just takes conscious effort and well… creativity to get it out in the open.,

For example, today I’m not at home. I’ve had to be on the road to take care of business. Going to the city to accompany a relative at a doctor appointment. continuing the day’s adventure 80 miles down the road to my house that I’ve been trying to sell. We have renters instead, and lease agreements to look over, sign, and arrange for them to take possession. While my wife shows them the property once again, I take a break, squeezing in a few moments to crack open the laptop, connecting to the world using a hotspot, and at least take time in writing a few lines for the Retro Radio Blog. It isn’t my usual work space. I’m out of the office, out of my creative comfort zone, but if I can’t record a podcast, or even listen to anything, or work on my line up for the upcoming weeks, at least I can write.

I’d rather be in my office chair, with the nice back support. I’d rather be able to finish that editing project I started on the weekend, but had to put on hold for the moment. I’d rather have access to my home network, and the archive of stuff I have there for resources. I’d rather be able to do some audio editing on the software I have on my home work station, than the set up on my portable environment.

I could do some of those. I try to be prepared. Instead, I write. I need the practice. And now you know a little more about the behind the scenes of what happens at the podcast.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be unstoppable, and crank the creative juice to full impact. I love the time I spend in my little Church House Studio. But maybe life will sneak in with lawn mowers that need fixing, backyard jungles to weed whack, laundry to do. and other demands on time management. Then I’ll slip upstairs, put on the headphones, fire up the microphone, and slice and dice audio files until the evening grows late.

Note: Inspired in part by the #DailyPost
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/

[categories Inbox, Writing]