HOME FROM SCHOOL on Sept. 10, 1974

Okay, so you've managed to con your mom into believing you're not feeling well so that you don't have to go to school. How will you while away your hours? With television of course. And you know I Love Lucy will be on at 9 am. I swear all over the country she was on at 9 am. But what else is on?

The world before cable. Make sure to take a look at the stuff that was on for the early risers who were trying to get their act together and get out the door to work. I'm sure there were a lot of people who got in late because they were enraptured by the 6:30 showing of "Superintendent of Schools Annual Report"* or perhaps "Group Therapy with Dr. Irene Kassorla." I don't even want to know what "Across the Fence" was.

Okay, by 1974 I was already one of those poor souls already out the door by a little after 6 for my two hour drive to work.

*Please note that should you not make the first viewing of "Superintendent of Schools Annual Report" you can catch it again at 10 am. Remember this is pre-VCR days so you could not tape it to watch later. Pity, huh?



You'd better check the back and bottom of that dresser drawer to see if you've got a collectible. You could be the proud owner of a genuine Lincoln-Kennedy penny. It might be lurking beneath your unmentionables. Wonder what it's worth? 1 cent. That's right, the penny is still worth a penny. The Lincoln-Kennedy penny is basically a fraud. It wasn't government issued. It was some guy thinking he could make a buck so he defaced official US coins.

(SOURCE: TV Guide, Sept. 7-13, 1974)

Now, the cardboard the penny is stuck on, the actual ephemera, that is probably worth more than the penny, but barely. You can see one of these coins and read a bit about it here and here.

Decades come and decades go, but there's always a snake oil salesman with a new gimmick to sell. And there are always suckers willing to part with their pennies.

Two pennies for a dollar! This sounds like a Wall Street scheme.


TALK SHOWS in 1974

Talk shows in 1974 were different. There was no Jerry Springer. There was no Maury Povich. People didn't throw chairs at each other, beat each other up, or trash talk each other about things they should have been talking about in private. When you turned on a talk show in 1974 you got entertainment, showbiz, not skank biz. Granted it wasn't always GREAT showbiz, but doggone it the people knew who their babies fathers were.

Now, quick...count how many people shown or listed on this page are dead.

And for the younger crowd just count up how many people you've never heard of.

Who knew that showbiz would turn into "You show me yours and I'll show you mine."


TV SEASONS come and go, PART 4

In 1974 I was looking for work. I'd been out of college for awhile and bounced around several jobs before finding one to stick with. Okay, I only stuck with it for a year and then chose the world of freelancing. So the last time I had an actual job in an office with benefits was in August of 1975. On weekends I went to the mountains. Weeknights I watched tv and dreaded going back to the office.

I do not remember the tv show Paper Moon (based on the wonderful movie of the same name) which apparently ran for 13 episodes, but I do remember the actor Christopher Connelly. When I lived in Los Angeles he lived near where I lived and I used to occasionally see him drive by. When I'd see him behind me I'd find myself just staring into the rear view mirror and sighing. And I don't think anyone needs a reminder as to who Jodie Foster is. As a kid she always played the part of a tough little cookie.

I didn't watch Police Woman, but it's at least a show that had a run longer than most of what came on during the 1974 season. It ran for 4 years and had to have made life tough for any woman on a police force. Sexy cops soon gave us the horrendous Charlie's Angels which has now apparently been revived. No comment other than to say if you like what you're seeing in this new Charlie's Angels I'd recommend you make backup copies because I don't imagine it's going to have a very long run.

The Paul Sand show Friends and Lovers did not last long, but I watched every single episode. I was a big Paul Sand fan. The show was created by James L. Brooks who also created The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant, Room 222, and Rhoda which premiered in '74. He also co-created Taxi. So the Sand show had a pedigree, but no viewers except a friend and me...and probably his mother. This friend and I still chat about him.

1974 was also the year Little House on the Prairie premiered. I watched it every week. It's still in reruns.

Movin' On, starring Claude Akins and Frank Converse, with a catchy opening theme by Merle Haggard, ran for only two seasons. I loved it. It reminded me of Route 66 which I also loved. Both shows can currently be seen on the RTV network. Each of these shows bring back vivid memories of what it used to be like to travel across this country. Each show was filmed on location. The diners and the motels seem all too familiar.

Chico and the Man premiered on September 13, 1974 and ran for 4 seasons staring Freddie Prinze and Jack Albertson. Had Prinze not committed suicide who knows how long it might have run.

And then there's my favorite show from 1974, The Rockford Files. I still love this show. I'd loved James Garner in Maverick and loved him as Rockford. And Angel...loved Angel, played by Stuart Margolin. Both Rockford and Maverick have been rerun for decades.

It's funny when you look back at old shows because you remember where you were in your own life and I personally wonder what happened to some of the actors from the old shows.

Christopher Connelly died from lung cancer.

Angie Dickenson dated Larry King...oh I just won't say it.

Michael Landon died of pancreatic cancer.

Melissa Gilbert continued her career, but suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse.

Claude Akins died of cancer.

And of course Freddie Prinze shot himself.

The only one I have anything in common with is James Garner. My knees are now crap.


TV SEASONS come and go, PART 3

If I can't tempt you with some of the tv shows from 1974, how about some classic hits on 8-Track?

Now remember, you only get to choose 10 for 99 cents and then sign over your life for the next 3 years and or your first born.

Click on either image to see it larger.


TV SEASONS come and go, PART 2

Raise your hand if you remember any of these television shows from the 1974 season, two of them based on feature films.

The New Land was originally a Swedish film starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, released in 1972. The tv show ran only 6 episodes. The stars of the tv show, Bonnie Bedelia and Kurt Russell, have stayed fairly busy over the years, but I find nothing about Scott Thomas after a 1986 tv movie called Charley Hannah.

Planet of the Apes is of course a tv version of the 1968 film with Roddy McDowall reprising his role from the film. The show ran for 13 episodes starring McDowall, James Naughton, and Ron Harper.

And then there's Nakia. I have no memory of this show. The two preceding shows create momentary memory bursts in my muddled brain, but this one doesn't light up any neurons. It ran for 14 episodes. Appears to have had a pretty pretty good cast with Robert Forster, Arthur Kennedy, and Gloria DeHaven. Who knows what went wrong. From what is written in TV Guide it almost sounds like a Tony Hillerman novel. It will be forever relegated to the "Huh?" pile of tv shows.

More shows to come, including one of my all time favorites.


TV SEASONS come and go

Is it any wonder that the network tv season shows up in the fall? Most of the shows wither and die before the first frost.

I can remember when the fall premier of the three networks was a big deal. They really had us where they wanted us. Same with sweeps month. Now...fuhgetaboutit. I have no faith in what the suits will turn out anymore. I have my HBO and I'm happy. And from what I have seen of this seasons new shows I don't hold much hope for any of them to be in constant reruns 37 years from now.

But what about the shows that premiered in 1974? Were there any hits?

Before we get to the hits lets look at some misses and one cult classic.

Now, I'm a big Jack Elam fan, but I have no memory of this show with Mark Hamill and Gary Busey. And think of it, this is only a few years before Hamill became a household name for Star Wars and 36 years before Busey became whatever it is he became for Trump. Mind you, The Texas Wheelers was pulled after I think the fourth episode. Don't expect a Blue-ray release any time soon.

As to the young girl shown above, Karen Oberdiear, she died in a plane crash in 2009.

More to come.



What's truly stunning about this vintage post card is not the image on the front, nor the ornateness on the back, but the purple prose used to describe the scene. The sender was left with little space within which to write their note.
In the wildness of its rock formation amid which the rushing Potomac, after leaping the falls, still churns, eddies and foams into the great gorge below, Great Falls presents from a hundred different points a new surprise of enchanting scenery that makes the hours spent in its vicinity seem composed of winged moments all too fleet.

This card was published by the J.P. Bell Company in Lynchburg, Virginia. Such an unfortunate sounding name for a town except that it's actually named after a man named John Lynch and not what first comes to mind upon seeing the work "lynch."
J.P. Bell Co. (1891-) 
Lynchburg, VA

A printer and publisher of a variety of materials including many books and tinted halftone postcards of regional views. Some of their cards were printed under contract for businesses and groups. While their own printing was not of the highest quality, they had some of their cards printed by other well known publishers like Raphael Tuck & Sons. (SOURCE: Metro Postcard)