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Newsletter SubtitleJP 65: STAR POWER!
Month Day Year:  January 07, 2011
 

Crazy Crate JP 65:  January 7, 2011.

 

Hello Everyone,

 

 I hope the holidays have been good to you. 

 

I spent a lot of cold days inside my warm house, just drinking warm chocolate and watching television.  I don't have cable or satellite TV, so when I can't find anything worth watching I turn on my computer and go to one of the URLs featuring old movies.  [Pat's note:  John, I am shocked!  With all those yummy books you have, why weren't you reading some of them!]   

 

As some of you may remember from previous newsletters, I like 1930's and 1940's westerns, and I came across a website that has a lot of them that you can download.  Needless to say, I've been watching Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard,  Bob Steele, Buster Crabbe, Lash La Rue and a lot of the older western stars go through their paces.  Some of the movies are pretty good and some are just actors going through their dialogue, running through their scenes because the film had to be done in eight days and the actor needed his hundred dollars per picture. 

 

In a way, this is history, too.  You see the rise and fall of western cowboys, some bit players ending up as major actors just a few years later and some actors starting out big then ending up in bit parts.

 

A little nostalgia is good for everyone and this crate contains a lot of nostalgia-related items, that I hope you will find interesting.

 

So, on with the show:

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 1:  James Dean, A Biography.  By John Howlett.  New York: Simon and Schuster.  1975.  191 pages.  Softcover.  James Dean - dead at twenty-four, and still, two decades later, one of the most charismatic and idolized actors of all time.  His film career lasted only sixteen months, but it produced three cinematic greats:  East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant and his untimely death provoked unparalleled hysteria.  John Howlett,  working from extensive research and interviews with the actors and directors who worked with Dean and the people who knew him, has produced an extraordinarily revealing biography of a man whowas a legend in his own time.  Profusely illustrated with over 130  photographs from his boyhood years, stills from his movies, and candid shots of James Dean as a young man in New York and California, this is the definitive study of the man behind the myth - a myth that has survived two generations and shows no sign of losing its glamour and mystique.  Price:  $7.50

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 2:  James Dean:  Rebel with a Cause.  By Wes D. Gehring.  Indianapolis:  Indiana Historical Society Press.  2005.  303 pages. Hardcover.  On September 30, 1955, a budding movie star who had just completed a rigorous schedule that included three films, set out on a trip to participate in a sports-car race in Salinas, California.  James Dean never made it to his destination.  Instead, Dean's silver Porsche 550 Spyder was hit head-on by another motorist.  Dean, the actor from Fairmount, Indiana, had died.  Dean, the legend, was born.  Even today, fans of the actor make annual pilgrimages to Dean's Indiana gravesite.  This book takes a fresh look at Dean's life, exploring the actor's early days growing up on his beloved aunt and uncle's farm in Fairmount, Indiana, to his struggle for success as an actor in television and on Broadway to his meteoric rise to fame in Hollywood.  The real life of Dean has often been confused with the mixed-up and troubled teenage character which he portrayed in his hit, Rebel Without a Cause.  Those who knew him, - friends, family and his teachers  - knew him for the talented actor that he really was and the fun-loving young man who could easily imitate Charlie Chaplin and Marlon Brando.  Price:  $19.95

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 3:  Carole Lombard, the Hoosier Tornado.    By Wes D. Gehring.   Indianapolis:  Indiana Historical Society Press.  2003.  264 pages.  Hardcover.  For millions of movie fans during the 1930s, an actress from Fort Wayne, Indiana, personified the madcap adventures of their favorite form of screen comedy - the screwball comedy.  Nicknamed  "The Hoosier Tornado" for her energetic personality, Carole Lombard did as much as anyone to define the genre, delighting audiences with her zany antics in such films as Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey, Nothing Sacred, and To Be or Not to Be.  She also captured America's attention through her romance with screen idol Clark Gable, whom she later married.  The author focuses on both Lombard's legacy as a film actress as well as her private life to her tragic death in a January 1942 plane crash, following a successful war-bond rally in Indianapolis.  Price:  $19.95

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 4:  The Fox that Got Away.  The Last Days of the Zanuck Dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox.  By Stephen M. Silverman.  Syracuse, NJ:  Lyle Stuart Co.  1988.  356 pages.  Hardcover.  Note:  the top of  the book has some slight discoloration, pages 332 through 352 have a small stain about 2 inches long and1/4 inch wide at the top.  A powerful man and his determined son, an internationally famous dream factory where money was no object, and a battle between giant egos was staged on the most lavish playgrounds in the world.  This is the inside story of a family and a corporation torn from within by greed, envy, and a blind need to control.  Movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck believed that the kingdom he had built as 20th Century-Fox - was impregnable to outside conquest.  Little did he dream that the power who would eventually dethrone him in one of the nastiest battles of Hollywood history would be none other than his own son, Richard Zanuck.    Darryl F. Zanuck emerges from these pages as the prototypical arrogant, womanizing, autocratic movie mogul.  The book is filled with high drama.  The nine-page index covers nearly 900 entries.  17 photographs, mostly of Zanuck or his friends enhance the book.  No listing of movies.  No photographs of stars.   Price:  $10.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 5:  INDIANA's Laughmakers.  The Story of  Over 400 Hoosiers.  Actors ANDCartoonists, Writers, and Others.  By Ray Banta.  Indianapolis:  Penn Ultima Press. 175 pages.  Softcover.  Did you know that western stars Max Terhune and Forrest Tucker, as well as entertainers Carole Lombard,  Marjorie Main and Shelly Long were born in Indiana?  And we all know that Red Skelton and David Letterman were born in Indiana.  But did you know that there are 400 other Hoosier personalities that have contributed their humor to the world?  You can find out in this terrific little book.  Each entry gives a brief background on the actor, cartoonist or writer, and mentions some of the films that have been in or the radio or television work they performed.  Since this book only covers laugh makers, dramatic leading men and women are not included in this book.    Price:  $10.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 6:  Indianapolis Theaters from A to Z. By Gene Gladson.  Indianapolis:  Gladson Publications.  1976.  176 pages.  Softcover.  This book contains a wide variety of information on early theaters, including an alphabetical listing of theaters with their addresses and a brief history of each, diagrams of seating arrangements, copies of letters and correspondence, copies of photographs, names of people important to the theater business, reprints of advertisements, and more.  Price:  $7.50

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 7:  The New York Mets:  A Photographic History.  Photographs From the Lens of George Kalinsky, Special Photographer to the New York Mets and Official Photographer of Madison Square Garden.  Text by Jon Scher.  Introduction by Governor Mario Cuomo.   New York: MacMillan.  1995.  227 pages.  Hardcover.From the lens of George Kalinsky comes this lavish look at the history of the New York Mets - from the team's first day on the field in 1962 up to the 1995 season.  Over 250 stunning photographs capture the drama of this beloved team.  From the diamond to the locker room, pictures of players, coaches and managers make this photographic journey one that will be turned to fondly time and time again.  Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw, Willie Mays, Mookie Wilson, Dwight Gooden, Darry Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Bobby Bonilla and the many, many others who have found their way into the history and lore of the Mets club are recorded here in dramatic style.   With Stadium Shots, Official Score Book covers, Mets memorabilia and more, Kalinsky has fashioned this volume into what is an extraordinary compilation of the baseball experience.  This book was originally published at $40.00, so our price is a great bargain for any Mets fan.  Price:  $20.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 8:  John Wayne, The Actor The Man.  By George Bishop.  New York:  Caroline House Publishers, Inc.  1979.  254 pages.  Hardcover.  Twenty-Six chapters cover the life of Marion Morrison, better known as John Wayne.  Definitely written by a Wayne fan, this book covers almost nothing of his youth at home but concentrates on his film roles and his life in the public eye.  Almost every important film made by Wayne is discussed, although briefly.  One chapter covers his bout with cancer and another discusses using his son, John Ethan Wayne, in several films.  A twenty-seven page filmography lists almost every film that he made, with the title, name of director, producer and names of the film's stars.  A fourteen-page index covers over 700 entries and 107 photographs enhance the text.   Price:  $7.50

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 9:  The Fall Guy.  30 Years as the Duke's Double.  By "Bad Chuck" Roberson, with Bodie Thoene. North Vancouver, B. C., Canada:   Hancock House.  288 pages.  Hardcover.  Note.  This is an ex-library copy, with tape on the plastic book cover, check-out pocket, labels, etc.  The binding is good, but it does show good usage. The pages are clean, but beginning to slightly change color due to age.  John Wayne has had several "doubles" during the years, but Chuck Roberson has probably done it more than anyone else, acting in over two hundred and fifty pictures, including over thirty movies with John Wayne.  Roberson, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Texas, had ridden horses since he was a small child.  Then later he found work in California as a police officer, served in World War II and returned to California, where he found employment as an extra and stunt double.  He discusses his first day on the job as a stunt double, eventually meeting the major stars on the Republic lot, sharing his room with then-stuntman (and later major Western star and Academy Award winner) Ben Johnson, how he got his first job doubling for John Wayne, buying and training his own horse, moving up to small parts in western movies, and much more.  Unlike some books, this is a folksy style, relying on humorous conversations (either half remembered or invented by the writer for the reader) to carry the story forward.  The writing contains four letter words not in some people's vocabularies, but certainly in the vocabulary of every stuntman.  Along the way we meet stuntman-turned-actors Robert Mitchum,  Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, director John Ford,  fun and games during the making of movies, drinking with Robert Mitchum in Mexico while working on movies, working with John Wayne in movies, discussing action sequences on "How the West Was Won" and much more.    A very entertaining book, but not recommended for children under fourteen years old due to language and sexual content.  104 photographs of stars, casts, and action scenes enhance the book.    Price:  $5.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 10:  Code of Honor.  The Making of Three Great Westerns:  High Noon, Shane, and The Searchers.    By Michael F. Blake.  New York:  Taylor Trade Publishing, 2003.  259 pages. Softcover.  Note:  there is a black dot on the bottom of the book, but it does not bleed into the pages.  No cinematic genre is as uniquely American as the Western.  The tough, courageous loner ready to fight against overwhelming odds and willing  to sacrifice his life for the greater good has provided Hollywood with a compelling mythology that has endured for over eighty years.  This book offers detailed accounts of the making of three classic, and arguably the best, of the American Western films ever made:  High Noon, Shane, and The Searchers.  What binds this trio together is the hero's unwavering refusal to compromise his "code of honor," whether that means standing alone against a gang of killers, sacrificing the desire to never again use a gun, or prevailing in a seemingly hopeless search for a kidnapped relative.  Based on original interviews and filled with behind-the scenes anecdotes, this insightful book reveals the controversies and conflicts on and off the sets; the evolution of the screenplays;  the reasons behind the casting choices;  the changes made during filming and after screenings;  and the public and critical responses.  Granted unfettered access to the private collections of all three movie directors and to studio archives, this book punctures long standing myths and debates, giving credit where it is due.  Sumptuously illustrated with sixty rare photos, here is a fascinating tribute to that code of honor toward which our country forever aspires.    Price:  $10.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 11:  Shot on This Site.  A Traveler's Guide to the Places and Locations Used to Film Famous Movies and Television Shows.  By William A. Gordon.  Syracuse, NJ:  Citadel Press.  1995.  274 pages.  Softcover.  Even though we can't just drop in on our favorite stars, we can do the next best thing - visit the sites, locations, and buildings featured in classic movies and television shows.  This book is an essential travel guide to locations all over the United States.  It includes hundreds of photos, driving information, visiting hours and insightful sidebars.   It covers forty-eight states.  Only Idaho and North Dakota are not listed and that is because even though both states have hosted a few movies, officials from the Idaho and North Dakota film commissions could not recommend any sites still in existence that they would consider to be of interest to tourists.  This book is neither all-inclusive nor definitive.  The book is divided into fourteen sections:  California; Oregon and Washington; Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado;  Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico;  South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Missouri; Texas; Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan;  Illinois, Indiana and Ohio;  Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky;  Florida and the Carolinas;  Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey;  New York City and State,  Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode island, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont;  and Hawaii and Alaska.    The nine-page film index covers over 700 movies.  The two-page television index covers nearly 100 shows.  The eight-page name index covers over

500 names.   Price:  $10.00

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 12:  The Will Rogers Scrapbook.  Selected and Edited by Bryan B. Sterling.  New York:  Bonanza Books.  1976.  191 pages.  Hardcover.  This book is divided into three sections:  1)  Will's Own Story (five chapters written by Will Rogers, providing a humorous look back on his life. 2)  All I Know Is What I Read in the Papers.  (Reprints of fifteen humorous articles written by Rogers.  These articles include Recession and Inflation, the History of the Automobile, Our National Follies, The Roman Senate, Political Corruption, The Congress, and Investigations, Hearings and Cover-ups.) 3)  Interviews:  (sixteen actors and actresses discuss their memories of Rogers.  The interviews include Joel McCrea, Peggy Wood, Lew Ayres, Irene Rich, Myrna Loy, Sterling Holloway, and John Ford.)   Nearly one hundred photographs enhance the text.  The three-page index covers nearly two hundred entries.   Price:  $7.50

 

CRAZY CRATE JP 65 BOOK 13:  Will Rogers:  His Life and Times.  By Richard M. Ketchum.  In co-operation with the Will Rogers Memorial Commission and the Staff of the Will Rogers Memorial.  New York:  1973.  American Heritage Publishing Co.  415 pages.  Hardcover.  In a sturdy case/box designed for the book.  Twenty-three chapters cover the life of the famous humorist.  No one ever had quite the same hold on the American public that Will Rogers did.  Nearly four decades after his death, people still recall the shy grin, the easy manner, the total absence of sham, and above all, the way he had of putting things that went to the very heart of the matter.  He was, in the first place, a direct link to the original Americans - the Indians - and to the frontier that determined so much of the nation's history.  He was also, as has often been said, the most beloved figure of his time.  Americans became acquainted with him in a variety of ways - as a performer in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies, in silent and talking pictures, and radio; as the newspaper columnist whose down to earth, spontaneous humor were the first words they turned to and chuckled over each morning.  He was a kind of gently, smiling deputy of everyone who was little or had once been little and who still had love for and faith in the basic institutions of the country.  And what he somehow succeeded in doing was to bring the affairs of the world into the living rooms of America, as if he were part of the family, making people realize that the goings on of kings and presidents and congressmen were not much different, after all, than those of the folks next door.  In the end, the news of Will Rogers' death in an airplane crash made the kind of headlines reserved for the world's great, and the sense of loss was as keen abroad as it was in the land of his birth.  It was not simply the realization that a friend was gone but, as one of Will's friends said that "a smile has disappeared from the lips of America."  Over two hundred and eighty photographs enhance the text.   The thirteen-page index covers over thirteen hundred entries.  Price:  $10.00

 

Pat's Note:  You know, I bet he read at least three of these books as he put them on this crate!  Am I right, John?  I know, I found several of these of interest to me, and I confess I was tempted to order one of them for my brother, who is also a big Western fan.  I was tempted to order for me, the one about the locations of sites where movies  and television shows were made.  If I just had a driver, I'd be up for

a day or so of driving to see where some of my favorite movie sites are really located. 

 

My brother drove his bus that took the cast of {"Hoosiers"} back and forth to the school in Knighstown, Indiana, where that movie was filmed, but that is as close to stardom as I had come until we went to Branson, Missouri.  That is another story for another day!

 

Hope you find something you might like on this Crazy Crate, and when you do, just call me, and we'll get the book right out to you.

 

I have a feeling that first bout with the snow storms is not going to be the last one this winter!  I am so glad I don't live in New York City or anywhere in New England in the winter!

 

However, I live in Indiana on a Snow Emergency Route.  My grandson owns a truck with a snowblade on the front! I have a gas fireplace in my family room, a comfy couch, a good lamp, [plus three kerosene lamps for emergencies.] a television and a remote control on the same cabinet as the lamp. I have a warm fleece throw, and a whole building full of great books to read. 

 

I am eight steps away from the refrigerator and the stove and ten steps away from the kitchen sink!  The bathroom is twelve steps away in the opposite direction. Missy, my cat, likes to lie on the floor at my feet. 


So bring it on if you want, Ole Man Winter, I am so ready for another day or two of being snowed in.  Don't worry, folks, I am also only twelve steps away from the telephone! 

 

Anyway, the snowstorm did give me another great reason to know I can be happy because I don't have to live in New York City!   Pat from YOGs 


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