Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remembering The Three Investigators

Anyone remember "The Three Investigators?". In a boy's world of advanture books populated by the likes of The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift, The Three Investigators were, in my estimation, the coolest of the bunch. Officially the title of the series was "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, and therein lies the source of their ultimate awesomeness. The Investigators were made up of Jupiter Jones, slightly pudgy but brilliant leader of the gang, Pete Crenshaw, the muscle, and Bob Andrews, the researcher who worked part-time at the local library in the town of Rocky Beach, California. Jupter lived with his Uncle Titus (owner of The Jones Salvage Yard) and Aunt Mathilda, a no-nonsese dame who could always find work to keep boys out of mischef. Of course, even the most time-consuming chores would stop the three lads from investigating mysteries. Heck, they even had their own business card, replete with multiple "? ? ? ? ?" symbols, showing off their willing ness to encounter the unknown. The boys had the requisite "secret clubhouse", but what a clubhouse! It was a trailer in the back of Uncle Titus' junk yard, disguised by layers of detritus (any kid knows the best fun can be found in a pile of junk!). It had multiple secret entrances code-named the "green door" or "red dog", and even had telephone service for quick agent notifications. As the title suggested, the boys actually had contact with Alfred Hitchcock, with whom they would meet at least once a story (sometimes more often). The boys, of course, had full access to the famous director at his studio, and would regularly meet with The Man to consult on a particulalry sticky conundrum, or provide notes on the solution to their latest adventure.("It would make a keen movie!!") Boy's adventure books in general had the greatest art ever seen. and the cover shown here from the Mystery of the Flaming Footprints, usually captured an important moment of action in the book (you were never lured by some kind of phoney baloney cover that showed something that was not in the story...the Investigators were nothing if not honest to the core!). The inside of the cover was a generic but super-cool depiction of the three shamuses creeping through the spookiest graveyard outside of Edgar Allen Poe, equiped for detecting with magifying glass (for locating clues), reel-to-reel tape recorder (for caturing confessions), and something that looked like a transistor radio (for weather reports and spot dances, one might assume).
Lurking on the oppostite page, behind the giant spider-web, was "the shadowy figure". Who was this man of mystery? The villain of the book? Alfred Hitchcock? The editor of Random House books? Whoever he was, he set you up for a mystery that was sure to glue you to the sofa on a hot summer day or a cold winter night. I don't know if the Three Investogators are still being published, or whether "kids nowadays" would know who Alfred Hitchcock was. OIf not, it would be a shame, because the Three Investigators and Mr. Hitchcock always provided me with.... a "Gooood Eeeeevening"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Monster Bash 2012-Adios Butler!!!

Well, June has come and gone, and this year was the last year of celebrating Monster Bash at Butler Pennsylvania. Next year it will be at the Four Points Pittsburgh North, closer to the city of Pittsburgh, and definitely a larger and swankier locale!! As for Bash 2012, what a great way to wrap up our time in Bulter. This one had an "Eegah" reunion, featuring Richard Keil and Arch Hall Jr., stars of that independent caveman epic and Mystery Science Theatre 3000 favorite!. Pictured is myself with Arch, both of us still looking studly after adding a few years of experience to our lives!! Arch played with the Bash Boys Band on Friday night, which also featured the groovy singing of Kenny Miller, one of the stars of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf". The Bash Boys were in fine form, and despite a few minor slips during the performance of Good Lovin' (it's OK Bobby P.....your lyrics were better than the originals anyway!!!) put on a great show. This was also the second year in a row I hosted David "The Rock" Nelson as a room-mate on Sunday night. Last year I met the Rock as he sat outside the Days inn, wondering where he was going to sleep on Sunday, as his room-mates had left already. Having a second bed in my room I offered him shelter, and a legend was born. This year "The Rock" was in the room right across the hall from me. Being in a similar straight, I couldn't very well ignore his need for a place to stay. I temporarily considered getting a t-shirt made that said "I slept with The Rock at Monster Bash 2012", but I couldn't imagine any sort of positive outcome from it. I have to admit, this was kind of a therapeutic Bash for me. My brother died back in Februuary, and while we only attended one Bash together, I always bought my DVDs with the idea we'd be watching them together when I got home. I'm not too proud to say I shed a few tears during the Bash, especially during the video tribuet to stars we had lost over the past year. Tough at times, but much better haviong come through it. Thanks to Mark Statler for the kind words in the Creepy room. Other highlights of the Bash: The sassy and saucy Martine Beswick!!! This ex-Hammer- and Bond-girl was the hit of the Bash interviews, as far as I was concerned. Full of life and a sassy sense of fun, Martine brought a huge amount of joy to the Bash. Who says age dimishes sexiness??? The second picture is myself with Martine-come back to the Bash soon!! The next Monster Kid Generation: During the talk with Creature From the Black Lagoon stars Julie Adams and Ricou Browning, a young (8-10) boy was sitting near us with his father. Dad told us the Creature was the boy's favorite film, and when he got a chance to ask Ricou a question, his smile was as big as any kid getting a personal tour of Santa's toy factory! It reminded me why it was so great to be a Monster Kid!! Father Mike: The Bash priest and fan himself. I had the chance to talk to Father Mike after the Bash was over on Sunday night in the bar/restaurant at the Day's Inn. What a wonderful human being...full of joy and able to communictae it to everyone he meets. For lack of a better phrase, he's kind of like the Bashers "Friar Tuck"...full of the joy of life and other people!! Like I said, next year the Bash is moving to the Four Points Sheraton. Hope they know what they are getting into!!!