Yesterday was a rather longish Bleat, so you’ll forgive me if I’m just cleaning up here today. Odds and ends. The conclusion of the trip tomorrow.

I noted that I stopped in Westfield. A few details from the main commercial center, which was not exactly bursting with commercial vitality.

A fine old bank, mauled by a sign that no doubt covered the name engraved for eternity in stone:



. . . with Deco capitals.



Nicely restored commercial block:



The Gillett family was prominent in Westfield, and one of them was Speaker of the House in DC.

As much as I’d love to run some screen grabs, my video rig is shot. It will not output anything to anywhere. It’s an old VCR / DVD combo, and I’ve tried every - single - possible combination of cords and translators and transcoders and digitizers until I just throw up my hands. Literally; I actually did that. People do throw up their hands, you know. And then I smacked them together to indicate I was knocking off the dust of my labors with no small amount of brusque contempt.

Of course, there’s a place around the corner that will transfer it to “DVD,” as if that’s what I want, for $30.00. Forget it, pal. No, forget it, NTSC. (Sorry; video format humor!)

But I did point the camera to capture some opening credits. The season sponsored by Ralston Purina had a strange opening, probably not strange for the time but remarkable now: a fellow came on and gave a lengthy pitch, ending in the revelation of the show title in a prop. Every one was different. It was this guy:

John Goodman, the Ralston Checkerboard Man. Lanky, slightly goofy, cheerful and smooth, he’d tout the virtues of the cereal that had no premiums. That’s right, moms, no noisy toys, nothing to send away for, just good wholesome cereal, Mm-mmm. Yes, your kids will demand more of the stuff that isn’t sweetened and doesn’t have a premium. Good luck with that.

When they moved to another network and were sponsored by Sunbeam, the opening credits were animated. Best I can do:



You’ve arrived in the business when they turn you into a cartoon.

One of the scrapbooks had notes from the sponsor, asking if they couldn’t work Sunbeam into the script? Say, Ethel asks Albert if he’d like some pancakes from the new Sunbeam griddle? The sponsor noted an excellent opportunity to name the product had been missed the previous week, and perhaps they could make up for it again. I didn’t hear the word “Sunbeam” in any episode I saw, but there was one scene in the kitchen where a nice shiny toaster was front and center.

They got quite the push from Sunbeam, too:




A few more of the tiny pictures from the plastic box. Remember, these were about two inches square, and these are excerpts.



The Tiny Pictures collection has, of course, lots of shots of Alan Bunce, who was an invaluable part of the show, and someone whose work I’ve come to enjoy tremendously. He wasn’t a comic actor, but he was perfect as the husband, and had about four notes to hit, each of which he consistently nailed.



This made me wonder:



Why yes: there was an Adler shoe company. They catered to the short-man trade.

One of the reasons the upcoming Peg Lynch site will interest those who have a passing interest in her work: all the mid-50s TV stuff.




Peg's handwriting on the box of her scripts:



And something I tweeted last week: her first typewriter, which she took to New York and banged out her earliest scripts. She still has it:



She also has pictures of the room in New York where she wrote, but as I said, that's for the site.

By the way: I talked to my dad tonight and told him what I'd been up to.

"Ethel and Albert?" he said. "I remember that."

The conclusion of the trip tomorrow.





Since I took a plane trip, the B&W World will be a Perry Mason ep; that’s what I watch on the plane, using the screen-capture button combo to set aside pictures I can use for this. Everything is fodder. No idle moment is really idle. I should try to figure out who these people are, but I’m really content to let the faces speak for themselves. I should try to figure out where this is in LA . . .



Actually, I can find it, since Leed's Shoes was at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard.

The murder takes place in a bookstore, so we have the Innocent Sweet Bookish Clerk versus the corrupt old bastard who runs the place, and may get the award for the most unflattering close-ups in the history of Perry Mason. Ye Gads:



Is there an evil scheming woman involved in a plot of first-edition theft and forgery? Well, isn’t there always?



Is there a slightly mousy librarian who’s got a certain appeal that means she might be the murderess, or covering up for the murderer?



Is there a fellow who was on Star Trek as a supreme incorporeal anti-war creature who enforced a peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingons?



Is there Batman?


Is there Perry with a reminder that the law is not a dull thing, but a creative medium in its own right?



Is there Paul Drake looking like he always does, as if the Queen just farted and he’d mention it but she’s the Queen, but on the other hand he’s an American who doesn’t stand by all that ceremony, with a carefully-placed copy of an Erle Stanley Gardner book in the lower left hand corner? There is.



Hey, there's some Matchbooks. Enjoy, and I'll see you around.







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