Saturday, March 30, 2013

Analysis of the Uncle Strap fish dinner story

If you are ever bored and want something fun to read and contemplate, I invite you to read the bottom of the Uncle Strap character page.

It was written by Keith Heltsley and it's a superb analysis of what happened in detail each time Uncle Strap's name was brought up in audio episode.

If you have ever wondered what the story was about, you'll still wonder but now with more clarity.  Keith's analysis can't be beaten.

The Gumps and "movie star" Irma Illington

click to enlarge

Storage space season minutea

When I was putting together the episodes on The Crazy World website, I sometimes didn't look or failed to notice slight tidbits that make more sense now in retrospect.

Here's something very small I found today.  It's so small that it's not really worth even mentioning but yet it makes so much sense, I feel foolish not pointing out the fact that I missed it before.

Above are parts of TWO episodes.  The one on the left is this episode and the one on the right is this one.  The one on the right has the year and month but I wasn't (and still am not) sure of the exact date.  However, after inspecting the episode on the left (same year and month) it appears the episode on the left comes before the episode on the right - and since November has only 30 days, we can assume it falls on one of those remaining days.

I realize this is a lot to ingest; for the most part, it's minutea.

Why weren't any V&S shows about Easter?

Easter always falls on a Sunday and Vic and Sade was never on radio on Sundays.

Booker T. Washington

Bloomington, Illinois is home to the Booker T. Washington House, a safe haven for black children, founded in 1918.

An open letter to Bloomington/Normal, Illinois

Dear Bloomington/Normal,

The radio program Vic and Sade ran from 1932-1946.  There were over 3000 programs (no one seems to know the exact number, but certainly over 3000.)  The show was written by one man and one man only - your own Paul Rhymer - who has been compared to writers such as Mark Twain, James Thurber, Charles Dickens and O'Henry.

The local Bloomington paper and the McClean County Museum are obviously interested in the city and county's history and has taken it at heart to showcase as many articles, photos and items as they can to highlight the rich history of the Central Illinois area.

I have scanned the Pantagragh (newspaper) and museum website diligently.  And between the two I find ONE item about Vic and Sade and that article in the paper also mentions Rhymer, the only time he's mentioned in either.

The two are oblivious to the historical benefits and significance the show has for each of them.  They surely have no idea how often "McClean County" and other places worth mentioning are highlighted on the show.

Vic and Sade is a treasure to behold, not simply for it's listening beauty and the laughs that ensue, but for the avenue of insight into the Bloomington/Normal area.  Yes, I know the show is fiction and many of the details of the area are fictional on the show, but many are not.  And it doesn't take a slide rule to figure out that Paul Rhymer used different names for some places as they were businesses.

I do not live in Illinois, nor do I have a stake in the Museum, newspaper nor do I desire to profit financially from Vic and Sade nor from my research about the subject.  I am a simple, diligent researcher who enjoys using a lot of his time persuing the radio show and its contents.  So, Bloomington/Normal, if you are reading this, let me assure you, my Vic and Sade websites (all of them) can benefit you.

Vic and Sade is gone from the map.  You can barely find anything about them as it is.  Do you really want to keep burying this treasure so that in the future, no one will be able to find it?

Please think about it. 

Jimbo Mason

Was 'My Store' really Yamilton?

Article here about Bloomington's 'My Store' which very well could be Paul Rhymer's Yamilton.


Article about Bloomington street names

Check out this very interesting article that tells us where several Bloomington streets got their names.  You will recognize many of these streets from Vic and Sade; if not, check the street directory on my Places page.

click to enlarge

Buildings on West Jefferson street


Bloomington grocery store, 1939

Photo & article about Bloomington's inter-urban station

click to enlarge

Friday, March 29, 2013

Was Garrison Keillor influenced by Vic and Sade?

From the website, Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor:
                                  click to enlarge

Clarence Hartzell the disc jockey!
"Without You"
I can't find the song, "Without You" that was written by Hartzell and his brother but I did find the A-side of the record, "Dis A Itty Bit" on YouTube (below.)

Though the hit "Dis A Itty Bit" is rockabilly, Hartzell's "Without You" must be anything but.

(By the way, there is a connection with Robin Hood Brians and the supergroup, ZZ Top, who recorded their first two albums in the Robin Hood Brians studio.)

Most-popular non-Gooks

According to the 'hits' on my Vic and Sade Character website, the graphic below represents the most-popular non-Gooks.

click to enlarge
Obviously, people are curious about Spickle, Hamilton W. Hunkermanlystoverdelmogintoshfer and for some strange reason Rex Radley but there is a genuine interest in the rest.

Clarence Hartzell and his songwriting brother

According to the book, Cincinnati Radio, Clarence Hartzell's brother was a radio announcer for NBC, Cecil Hale.

According to this page, Clarence and Cecil wrote the 1958  B-side for the single, "Dis A Itty Bit" - their song was called "Without You."

I know you don't believe it, so here ya go:

Is this where Billy Patterson came from?

known to be published before 1923

Vic and Sade lived in many Toby Peters' Mysteries

From Wikipedia:
Stuart M. Kaminsky (September 29, 1934 – October 9, 2009) was an American mystery writer and film professor. He is known for three long-running series of mystery novels featuring the protagonists Toby Peters, a private detective in 1940s Hollywood; Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov, a Moscow police inspector; and veteran Chicago police officer Abe Lieberman.
According to Google Books, many of the Toby Peters books have small vignettes of Vic and Sade's radio plays in them.  Examine these:

All but one listed is recognizable and known to be authentic.  This probably means that the one description listed that is not known to our existing data is probably real as well.

In short, this means I can feel safe about adding this new synopsis to The Crazy World of Vic and Sade database/website, and I have done so.  View it here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Now on video: re-creation of "Rush Brings Home a Dog"

We have been fortunate to have this episode re-creation on audio; now experience it on video, plus a very short interview with Bill Idelson:

A trip around Vic and Sade's world in color

Just when I think the well is running dry and not much else can be found, that's the time when stuff from Vic and Sade heaven falls into my lap.

Here's a few postcards I found that show off various places spoken about in Vic and Sade:

Miller Park:

The zoo and the lake.  No close-up of the picnic area (where people accidentally leave books that the Gooks find by random encounters.)  This is a very large picture, so click on it and enjoy.

The Junior High and High Schools:

Emerson (both top) was a Junior High school yet worthy of at least two post cards back in the day.  Rush attended this school.

The High School was attended by both Rush and Russell.  It looks rather small here and you wonder what the tower was for?  Of course, there may have been more than one high school in Bloomington.

The Chicago Alton Depot:

I'll bet it's much larger than you imagined; it certainly is for me.  Look real hard and you can see Uncle Fletcher goofing off there somewhere.

The Library:

If I recall correctly, the library was only mentioned once in the data we have.  In the episode 41-04-04 Dinner Invitation WithdrawnMr. Cameron was accused and arrested for stealing brass ornaments from (outside?) the library.  (Squint and see if you can see any missing.)

Are you noticing some unusual architecture in old Bloomington?  I sure am!

The Hospital:

Mentioned only a couple of times in our existing data, this hospital looks like a quiet, restful place.  (It's great for unusual head injuries - something that no one other than me ever seems to mention about the show.)

Downtown - not too far from where the Gooks live:
The only photo/postcard I found this morning that isn't in color, this represents the court House (I presume) in the center.  Notice the bell at it's apex.  Also noticeable on the upper far right is a building that looks suspiciously like the People's Bank.  You couldn't possibly throw your shoes over it, could you?

People's Bank:

If you have visited the Crazy World of Vic and Sade, you have surely seen this post card of the People's Bank building.

I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did putting it all together!

Jean Shepard's memories of Vic and Sade

Some people really have an affection for Jean Shepard.  He's the kind of guy I listen to more out of necessity than because I like him.

I do have internet friends who swear by him and of course, I dearly loved the film, A Christmas Story, which would hold a lot more charm if I hadn't seen it so many times, thanks to Ted Turner running it into the ground during the holidays.

Anyway, Shepard once claimed he didn't ever listen to Vic and Sade.  He claimed his mother was the fan and he was only there.  Being there though, the show somehow got into his brain.

Download this Shepard show from the mid-1960's, where he talks about Vic and Sade, Smelly Clark, Four-Fisted Frank Fuddleman and other stuff.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hawkins Falls photo

Flynn is the one in the middle!  ;)

Some video of 'Hawkins Falls' (Bernardine Flynn)

I thought I had posted this once before but several searches finds nothing. So, here's Bernardine Flynn in the soap opera, "Hawkins Falls." (She shows up at 5:40)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not pristine - but new to me (watermarked photos)

Paul Rhymer

1950 Press Photo Billy Idelson Jane Webb Eddie Firestone The Truitis

Part of an episode found - Gravy Boat/Pickle and Olive Shoe Poem


Through a bit of confusion when I first downloaded the Vic and Sade episodes when I first began listening to the show - I somehow had bypassed a 30-second snippet that was called "The Gravy Boat" but what I had named "The Pickle and Olive Shoe Poem" via research.

The episode is about both and you can find details and a cleaned up audio snippet at the link above.

There is just SO MUCH to keep track of that these kinds of mistakes were/are bound to happen.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dennis the Menace = Rush Gook?

When I was a kid, I watched re-runs of Dennis the Menace as often as I could.

On YouTube, there are currently five complete episodes of the show available for viewing.

I recently watched those five episodes.  It occurs to me that there is quite a bit of Rush Gook in Dennis Mitchell.

That's not to say that all kids don't have a bit of Rush inside of them; I think they do.  But the early days of Rush (of which we only have scripts and script sypnosi) show a very Dennis the Menace-type character. 

Dennis was probably not at all patterned after Rush but I do think Paul Rhymer's Rush did influence quite a bit of the TV characters of the 1950's and 1960's.  And it's probable Vic and Sade influenced other television shows of the same time period, especially in events concerning lodges (The Honeymooners, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Flintstones, etc.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mr. Albert R. Johnson was kept in the basement

If you read the script synopsis' after Rush brought home his dog, Mr. Albert R. Johnson, you may wonder why he rarely shows up.

We find out in 33-09-04 Vic and Rush Make Molasses Taffy that the dog is in the basement.  In the episode mentioned above, Vic tries to get Rush to go down to the basement to play with the dog.

More unusual food

Add these to your list of unusual food dishes on Vic and Sade:
  • Tomato Surprise
  • Fillet of Fish au gratin
  • Oyster Croquettes

Mr. Gumpox - the baker?

Do you remember the 1935 episode (notes from Barbara Schwarz, only) where Vic comes home and needs his lodge robe?  The fact is, it has been hidden from Vic.  Mr. Gumpox borrowed it for a masquerade party and returned it secretly with a raspberry pie and a thank you card.

Raspberry pie is an unusual pie; that is to say, it's an unlikely pie for a man in 1935 to make, I would think.

The point I am making is that Mr. Gumpox must have been an extraordinary baker to be able to whip out a raspberry pie.


There were at least two episodes where writer Paul Rhymer used "whoosh" to describe noises made: the first was an iron that shot 'lectricity (1933.)  The other time was Mr. Albert R. Johnson - a dog that Rush brings home (1936.)  He can't bark; instead he makes a whooshing sound.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

French movie starlets

A good deal of the female movie stars at the character website are actually French movie starlets from the 1930's.

Who's the most popular family member?

This is not scientific, but it's probably as close as we can get; according to my Vic and Sade Character website, the most-popular family member (or - times the character page was chosen to view) are:

1. Uncle Fletcher Rush
2. Vic Gook
3. Rush Gook
4. Russell Miller
5. Sade Gook

I find the list to be surprising in several areas:
  • How is it possible for Sade to be behind Russell?
  • I would have never guessed that Vic would be ahead of Rush.
  • Uncle Fletcher is first (which is not a surprise to me) but he's WAY ahead of Vic.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Unbelievable! The Bright Kentucky Hotel song

I'll be the first to admit that this isn't my cup of tea; however, this song seems to be inspired by the Bright Kentucky Hotel in Vic and Sade for it starts out with Vic talking about the hotel!

By a group called, "Cannons."

80 years ago: Chicago World's Fair

The Vic and Sade show performed at the Chicago's World's Fair at least twice and maybe three times.

The videos below show a surprisingly modern world.  It is fascinating to watch these videos and imagine that world!

The first 3 videos don't seem to have any sound... The fourth video not only has sound, it's in technicolor!

Sade's Thimble Club inspired others?

Check out this video:

Did you notice this sign?

I have a feeling the Thimble Club on Vic and Sade inspired other ladies to start their own such clubs.

Small talk of no importance

I saw the first robin of the spring!

Yesterday, I had a big Vic and Sade moment; I took a walk out to check the mail and up on a tree, not far from me, was a robin.

Now, 3 months ago, I couldn't have told you what a robin looked like.  But since the two episodes in Vic and Sade speak of "the first robin", I had done some research and even had posted a photo of a robin on the website.

So there was the robin.  I stopped, looked long and hard and smiled.  There was no one around to see us but I knew then and there I would be afforded all the luxuries of seeing the first robin of the spring.

No, it's not quite spring but there he was!  Pat me on the back.

Rarely-seen Clarence Hartzell photos

The following photos were given to me by the National Lum and Abner Society [Thanks to Donnie Pitchford, Sam Brown, Tim Hollis and The National Lum and Abner Society - Visit Donnie Pitchford's wonderful Lum and Abner Comics.]

I believe the bottom right photo is either Doc Withers (Lum and Abner) or Uncle Fletcher.  The rest, I believe, are for his television appearances.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pickled watermelon rind

In at least this episode and this one, pickle watermelon rind is mentioned.

It is a strange food to most of us but it seems to be quite common in the upper midwest. 

This video will shed some light on the food:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cousin Willie

Here's something I'll bet you didn't know: "Billy" Idelson was the star of his own radio show.  In 1953, Cousin Willie was a Summer replacement show.

Idelson played Cousin Willie.  He was a relative visiting California from Milwaukee and he never had the inclination to leave.

There are a few episodes available at OTRR.

1938 Stand By magazine

Not a magazine circulating on the internet

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bathhouse Theater?

Anyone have any info on this? (I can find very little.) 

A closeup of the photo reveals this might have been a re-creation of the episode about caramels (36-xx-xx Caramels on a Hot Day.)

Still, why would a photo of a re-creation bring $29 bucks?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blue Tooth under Gook davenport - ah ha!

The episode where Blue Tooth Johnson is under the Gook davenport is one of the first episodes of Vic and Sade I remember hearing.  It's taken me all this time (almost two years now) to have an "ah-ha!" moment of realization...

The episode takes place on October 31, 1939 - Halloween night.  Halloween is not mentioned in the script.  Realizing now that it's Halloween night tells me, for one thing, why all the kids were skulking around outside.  We don't know exactly why Blue Tooth is hiding from Smelly Clark but maybe the motive has something to do with Halloween or candy.

This would also explain why Vic and Sade (in particular) are freaked out about Blue Tooth hiding underneath the davenport.  Halloween night has an extra creepy chill in the air.

The first robin of the spring (an Illinois' thing?)

When I first read the Barbara Schwarz notes on this episode and also this one (each dealing with Hank Gutstop spotting the first robin of the spring and being hailed for it) I found them to be in the 'ridiculous' category.

Now, this very well could be or perhaps it was a tradition in Illinois or the Upper Midwest.  I write this because just this morning, I was checking out a Fibber McGee and Molly episode from 1945 where Fibber can't find his newspaper and he's anxious to find it because there is word in there about him being the one who spotted the first robin of the spring (the episode is from April 10 of 1945.)

Now, you may recall that the McGees live in Wistful Vista, which is very much like Peoria, Illinois.  Peoria and Bloomington (the city the Gooks live in, despite what you may have read) are not that far apart - less than 50 miles.  This might be some sort of tradition in this part of the country - or it could be phony stuff cooked up by writers Paul Rhymer and Don Quinn.  Rhymer and Quinn were buddies (one reason because they grew up in the same neck of the woods, one would think.)

So, without further ado, here's that bit of Fibber McGee and Molly - from the episode titled, No Newspaper:


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rush Gook enjoyed nudity

We know Rush went to the Bijou and saw Tarzan in 1934. Here's a shocking clip from the film:

Imagining Vic admiring his lodge sword

A bit of a silly premise but you'll have fun if you enjoy the nonsense of Vic and if you will simply play along with this helpful video:

One of the favorite things I have read about Vic and Sade

Fan Jim Sizemore did an interview with me in my early days of listening to the show.  He commented about the show in a way that  is almost exactly how I feel.  He wrote:
V&S is the very top of my all time favorites, and there is no close second. It's the only radio show that I often think of out of the blue, without the prompt of a bit of music or some comment I happen to hear. The voices of Vic, Sade, Fletcher and Rush will just pop into my head unannounced; and when they do they always have something clever or wise and/or interesting to say.
This happens to me a lot. I especially 'hear' the voice of Rush and his feelings about whatever it is I happen to be doing.  It makes me giggle when it happens, as I sometimes say what he 'says' in my mind, in a very audible way.  When I am alone.  I think I am perhaps a bit crazy.

I do sometimes 'hear' Sade as well.  Not so much Vic or Uncle Fletcher though, and I am not sure why.

'Shock and Awe' will remind you of Vic and Rush and the faulty washing machine

See: Washing Machine on the Blink
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