Friday, July 29, 2022

LIVE RADIO SHOWS in the 1940’s


In the early 1940’s World War II was raging and the live radio shows of that era provided a much-needed respite for the families waiting at home and for the boys on base. “The Jack Benny Show”, “Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy”, “Burns and Allen” and “The Great Gildersleeve” were only a few of the shows that brought their home-spun humor into our lives.

I was 9 yrs old in 1942 and I can remember many a night that we gathered around the big, wooden radio in the living room and laughed until the tears flowed. There were also nights when we cried as we listened to the news of our brave boys so far from home. The radio was our lifeline for good news or bad.

By 1946 my taste in radio shows had changed dramatically. I was now a teenager and my “romantic” self couldn’t get enough of “The Lux Radio Theater”. Their format was to air one hour radio versions of motion pictures, often using the same cast as in the movie. (examples of these were: “Jane Eyre”, “I Remember Mama”, and “Miracle of the Bells”.) The only problem was that my bedtime was before the show came on. Not to worry. We now owned two smaller radios and I, simply, connected a long extension cord to one of them and took the radio to bed with me!

My folks never reprimanded me, or even let me know that they were aware of what I was doing. But, I recall many nights that I fell asleep mid-show and woke the next morning to find the radio miraculously turned off and set on the floor beside the bed.

Friday, July 22, 2022

...a spider orb web


This is an orb web that a spider weaves at night to catch its prey and here is a web construction diagram that shows the intricacy of the design and how it is achieved.

The spider releases a sticky thread to a spot where it sticks & the first bridge is formed. After this the spider constructs a loose thread and constructs a Y shaped thread. Then a frame is constructed to attach the other radii.

After all the radii are completed the spider starts to make the circular threads. The spider can span the distance between the threads the width of her legs. The web is completed with non-sticky radii and sticky circular threads and now the spider can rest and sit in the center of the web with her head down ... calmly awaiting her dinner ! 

Monday, July 18, 2022

PLUM ISLAND, Massachusetts……1937


The date was 1937 and my sister Nancy and I are enjoying a fun time at Plum Island, Mass. I am balancing a bottle on my head and seem to be very proud of myself. As I gaze again at that picture I can’t help but chuckle. Little did I know then that “putting the cork in the bottle” was to play a huge part in my later life. I certainly didn’t seem to be worried about it then !

It was a big treat to be spending our summer there.  The "great depression" was still with us and we had little money to spare but a friend of the family offered us his cottage on the island for the summer. We 5 girls ranged in age from 4 ½ (that was me, the youngest) to 13 years, so we would be able to care for ourselves and enable Mother to get a well deserved rest.

Our get-away was spent in a tiny cottage named “Alice”. It was one of a group of compact little wooden structures and was directly on the beach. Although we had a rudimentary kitchen there were no bathroom facilities and our community of families shared an outside shower and an outhouse.

There was a small store, a run down board walk and an open-air building where we could play games, listen to music and work on jig saw puzzles. I'm sure that the youngsters of today would be less than happy to spend a whole summer in such rudematary conditions ... no TV’s, cell phones, or other distractions ... just lots of sun, sand and ocean.  

In other words...HEAVEN!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Hitchhiking to North Carolina 1977


In the summer of 1977 my 17 yr. old son and a friend were hot and restless and looking for an adventure. They came to me with a plan and, after a lengthy discussion, I reluctantly agreed.   They had decided to hitchhike from Dutchess County, New York to Pinehurst, North Carolina … a distance of approximately 750 miles. My Husband and our younger son were already there working on a small building project and the boys couldn't wait to surprise them.

As I watched them trek down the highway the next day I wondered if I was crazy to let them go. They looked like Mutt and Jeff… my son being 6’3” and his friend barely 5’ 10”. With tears in my eyes and trepidation in my heart I drove home and waited for their call. Of course I was a nervous wreck but that call did come 4 days later and they were fine. They’d completely surprised my husband and younger son and the plan was for them to stay for the next two weeks and then they’d all drive home together. I remember being so happy that it was a tame adventure and that my fears were boundless … they were safe and sound. 

It would be years before they shared the actual facts of the trip ! 

They had a little money with them but even that was rarely spent. They concentrated on getting rides to big cities along the route.   Then they’d find the busiest hotel in the vicinity and pretend to be registered there. They’d swim in the pool, which cooled them off as well as acted as a shower and, after lounging for a bit, they’d wander to the lobby and check out the billboards. There was always an eating event of one sort or another listed and if not they'd check out other hotels until they found what they were looking for.  Then, with the hubris of youth, they'd wander in and eat to their heart's consent. The amazing thing was that they were never questioned, not even once.  

Then, to add insult to injury, they’d take the elevator to the top floor and bed down on the roof !! One night it rained and they settled for a deserted corridor.  So the only expense they incurred was for food and I’ll bet that wasn't much either. I'm sure they weren’t shy taking  “doggie bags” from those free dinners they attended. 

So, that’s the “rest of the story” and when I think of the “what if’s” I can only agree with the old adage … IGNORANCE IS BLISS ! 

Wednesday, July 06, 2022



It was a balmy April evening in New York City and my date was escorting me home after an early movie. It was a weekday and we both needed to be up early for work. As we crowded into the elevator I was surprised to come face to face with an old college schoolmate. I hadn’t seen Pete for 3 years and we were, naturally, excited to run into each other.

Pete was also on an early date and we managed to exchange eye signals that said, “Lets say goodnight to our dates and then meet in the lobby”. I’m not quite sure how we pulled that off, but we did, and about 30 minutes later Pete and I reunited. All of a sudden it didn’t matter that it was a week night. This was my old friend Pete from Upsala College days and we had lots of catching up to do.

My apartment was in Tudor City and Pete had friends who lived just two blocks away. “There’s sure to be a party going on”, he said and he was right. This was a 4th floor walk-up apartment and we could hear the music and the conversation long before we got to the door. We were warmly welcomed and I was introduced to a new and invigorating group of New Yorkers. The talk was eclectic but typically liberal and heavily concentrated on the Arts.

As the evening went on a new man arrived and I found myself drawn to him. Dick was a photographer who had just left a two year stint on “Life” magazine and was starting a free-lance business. He was attractive, in a rough boyish style and not very tall. His mother lived in the apartment one floor up and he had moved in with her while he launched his new career.

Suddenly this thought came to my mind: “He’s too short for me, but this is the man that I’m going to marry !” I guess Pete saw the hand writing on the wall because he kind of faded away after Dick told him, “Don’t worry, old buddy, I’ll be happy to see that Ginnie gets home safely.”

So there it is...three dates in one night. It was the only time that I ever did that, but I don’t feel guilty about it since my third date and I were married four months later. Dick and I tied the knot on August 23, 1958 and our marriage lasted 32 years until his death in 1990

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Merv Griffin, 1958


In 1958 I was working for WABC Radio in New York City. It was an exciting and exhilarating time for me but it was a very shaky time for the radio industry. The stations were losing audiences by the droves, as TV was just cresting over the horizon. My job was to write promotional material aimed at selling time on these live shows and one of them was a prime-time game show called “Keep Talking”, starring the young and up-coming Merv Griffin.

I never actually met Merv but I was in his presence quite a few times and could see that he certainly exuded charisma, both off and on the air. However, I never guessed that he’d become one of the most successful business men in the world.

Merv was still pretty heavy at that time and it was just a short time later that he decided to “clean up his act”. He realized that TV meant being actually seen as opposed to talking on the radio so he lost a lot of weight and either quit or cut way back on his drinking.

When NBC TV came out with color it was the end of the live radio era … and the beginning of the “newly invented” Merv Griffin. I followed his career for many years and was not surprised to see that he was the creator and executive producer of Jeopardy and many other successful TV shows.

When he passed away in 2007 he was lauded for all he’d done to make TV such a success, but I will always remember the “real” Merv that I’d known in 1958.