Thursday, May 16, 2013

Howard, Whistler and a fabulous prize

Among the various birthdays I put together for the ClassicFlix Facebook and Twitter shout-outs today is one belonging to an all-too-familiar face here at Rancho Yesteryear:  Jack Dodson, a.k.a. The Man Who Would Be Sprague.  The Pittsburgh, PA native would have been eighty-two years old this May 15—but in the world of TV reruns, he lives on in immortality as fastidious mama’s boy Howard Sprague, county clerk of the Mayberry township on both The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.

I know my opinion on this is not a popular one—particularly when a large contingent of people have no use for neither R.F.D. nor any TAGS color episode—but Howard is one of my favorite characters in that sleepy little Southern town, and is really the only reason why anyone would want to watch R.F.D. to begin with.  And that’s as good a time as any to mention that there will be an installment of Mayberry Mondays this Monday (May 20); I know it’s been over a month and I really do apologize—I have had other projects competing for my attention, plus my parents are insane.  (Don’t get me started on this last one; we’ll be here all night.)

Also, too: I hope to have an installment of Serials Saturdays ready by this Saturday; chapter—what the hell chapter are we on, anyway?  Oh, that’s right: Chapter 9 of the not-quite-as-thrilling-as-was-sold-to-me saga of Don Winslow of the Navy (1942).

To make up for my laxity in blogging regularly (I should probably take a laxative for that), I have a nifty gifty to give away to some lucky TDOY reader (if any of you are still left, that is)—a brand-spanking-new Radio Spirits 10-CD collection of Dragnet programs for which I wrote the liner notes in January.  (I had two of these to give away, but I’ve already promised one to a loyal TDOY supporter.)  All you have to do to enter is drop me an e-mail at igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com before 11:59pm EDT next Thursday (May 23) with “Crime to Punishment” in the subject header.  Friday morning, I will draw a winner at random (via and mail their prize out to them on winged feet—by the way, in the body of the e-mail, you don’t necessarily have to include your snail mail address unless you want to wait until you’ve been confirmed a winner…but if you do, I can get those winged feet in motion that much quickly.  The set retails for $39.98 and would make a dandy gift for the Jack Webb fan amongst your family or friends—or you can keep it for your very own.  (If it were me, I would.)

In the meantime, whilst I head off to the laboratory and see how preparations for SS and MM are doing, you’re welcome to stop by the Radio Spirits blog for cake and ice cream—because today is the seventy-first anniversary of the debut of The Whistler, one of our true favorites here at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear.  

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