Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Leroy has no Middle Name

Listening to the September 25, 1946 episode of Great Gildersleeve, it comes out that Leroy has no middle name. It's simply Leroy Forester (sp?). How about that. On a more significant note I finished my second cd of Gildersleeve episodes today. That means I've made it through approximately 200 shows of that series. Visiting Dave Goldin's site I'm encouraged to know that there are still at least 400 more to listen to. Summerfield is such a pleasant place to escape to, I'd hate for the fun to end.


One of my favorite aspects of the OTR hobby (besides actually listening to the programs) is keeping up on discoveries made by dedicated fans who spend countless hours digging through old scripts, old correspondence, and forgotten audio recordings. It is this thankless work that occassionally leads to a newly discovered program or clarification of broadcast dates and performers. Such research was shared recently on the OTR Digest about a CBC series called Nightfall. I admit to having a long run of the show but never having listened to a single episode. Neil Marsh gives the lowdown on some of his findings in regards to two supposedly missing episodes:

"It turns out that 'Dreamy' wasn't a Nightfall episode after all. It was a holiday special written by Len Peterson (who was a prolific writer for the series, among many others), produced by Nightfall creator Bill Howell, and featured many of the actors who regularly appeared on Nightfall (Chris Wiggins, Elva Mai Hoover, John Stocker, et. al.). It aired in the regular Nightfall time slot on Christmas Day of 1981. I had a chance to listen to 'Dreamy' at the CBC Radio Archives while I was in Toronto doing research on the show last summer. It's quite a delightful little play about the elf named 'Dreamy' who is despised by all the other elves because he's perceived as lazy. Christmas is almost ruined when the other elves attempt to dispose of 'Dreamy' whose secret job, it turns out, is to put a dream into every toy.

"'The Prize', by Don Bailey and Milo Ringham, is a different matter. From what I can tell, it was never produced. References to it appeared in the CBC Radio Guide for that month, though the episode that aired on its supposed broadcast date -- December 12, 1980 -- was Max Ferguson's 'Where Do We Go From Here?'. Series creator/producer Bill Howell doesn't recall the story, though it would have been he that produced it (he produced 34 of the 38 episodes made that season). Based on my research, I would venture a guess that 'The Prize' was a script that was submitted for Nightfall and either not accepted or scrapped for one reason or another. Sadly, Don Bailey died a few years ago and I have been unable to locate Milo Ringham, otherwise I'd probably have a definite answer."

So, if you're a Nightfall fan who's been looking for these two shows, I hope this tidbit helps you out. Neil has a very nice Nightfall site.

Gas and Gildersleeve

Pulling up my local paper on the Internet I noticed the top story was the price of gas. The cheap stuff finally hit three dollars. Luckily I walk to work and my wife only has a two-hour round trip once a week for her classes. Our gas expenses will still be low. In any case, it reminded me of a Gildersleeve episode I listened to yesterday. Leila Ransom was leaving Summerfield to marry some gentleman she'd met over the summer. Nevermind that I would swear this storyline has been used at least once before in the series. What jumped out at me was that Leila was leaving by train. Normally such a fact wouldn't have attracted my attention because characters in the series often arrive and depart Summerfield by train. My limited reading of transportation history leaves me with the impression that train travel was past its peak by this time (1946), though still much more popular than it is today. There are countless pundits - often of the environmentalist persuasion - who insist that mass-transit will soar in popularity as gas prices rise. I don't think so. That's like the old-time radio bugs who foresee a resurgance in dramatic radio as the quality of film and television declines. I don't think so. While they both will always have a die-hard group of loyal followers, I daresay neither will ever be as culturally prominent as they were in decades past.