Daughter didn’t come home with us from AZ. Stayed behind to be with cousins and family, heading back Saturday night. So! Friday evening wife and I stayed up chatting about this and that, having a nice happy matrimonial conversation until midnight, and -

Say, where’s the dog?

Around here somewhere. SCOUT. SCOW-OUT.

Nothing. Huh. Check the sun porch where he likes to relax. Not there. I get out the food and make it clink in the bowl, which would bring him up from the shores of Styx if he heard it. Nothing. Go outside, check the perimeter; all gates shut. No holes in the fence slats. Inside. Full sweep. NO DOG.

This can only mean he got out somehow. You get that sick feeling because you know there’s nothing as bootless as walking around the neighborhood looking for the dog. You go one way, you know he went the other. You walk fast, you fear you’ll miss him. You walk slow, you’re giving him more time to run for the river. This is hopeless before it begins.

But you have to begin.

So wife set out in the car; I walked around the neighborhood, heading to the school, the park beyond, circling back. Giving the sharp whistle every so often. Using my ultra-powerful flashlight to pick up the flash of eyes in the bushes. Dead quiet in the neighborhood; silent and cold. You can only imagine him losing track of whatever quest took him away, and realizing he is far away and hungry and it’s cold and home isn’t where it was just a while ago. When I got home I half-expected to see him at the back door inside, looking out, wondering where everyone was. But of course he wasn’t there.

I stood outside, wondering what to do next. Posters, of course. Always posters. Wait and hope - he’s friendly; someone will say hey there boy, and he’ll trot over. He’s chipped and tagged. He will come back.

Then I heard a dog bark far away up the alley that leads to the water tower, and I ran: blasted out the gate and across the street and shouted his name, and he came running faster than I’ve ever seen him run. Ran right past me. Ran across the street and up the stairs and into the back yard and up on the stoop and waited at the back door, tail wagging: food, right? Because food!

Texted wife: I got him. No response. Called wife: voice mail.

Repeat. Repeat. New assumption: wife, grief-stricken, crashed her car into a tree. But she came home with a stricken expression that vanished the second she saw my smile, and then it was tears. Which was funny, because I’d been berating the beast in stern tones. I later discovered he had dug a hole under the fence, no doubt crazed by a taunting raccoon, and now we can’t trust him with the backyard any more.

So I’ll have to bury steel plates about two feet down the entire length of the fence, I guess.

And that was Friday night. Gah.

Saturday! The postcard show. Big bonanza for the motel site; we’re now good through 2016. Found some other cards that gave me the idea for two new sites. Beauties they will be. Also found some stuff that doesn’t go anywhere, but requires some sort of respect on the web. This place is still around:

And it has the same name, possibly because it would cost too damned much money to take down that sign. The colored panels are gone. Then there’s this one:

The Sherman House - “in the swinging heart of Chicago’s Loop” says the card. That’s the 1967 addition; the rest of the old hotel stretches into the distance.

It closed six years after the new building went up.

If you think there's a big site on 50s and 60s downtown hotels coming up, you'd be wrong. That's why I'm putting these up here. Just wait.

It's the return of an occasional recurring feature, beloved by all!

Dick C. Fatty Shatswell. Oh the poor man. The sudden gender switch is confusing at first, but then you realize they're talking about Mom, who was Hattie Shatswell.

She was raised by some church people.






I imagine the meeting for this one:

Okay, what do we have here? A programmer based on The Inner Sanctum. What’s the gimmick for the show?

Well, RJ, they open with a creaking door. A long, painful squeal of a dungeon portal. Then there’s creepy organ music, and we meet our host, who’s droll and slightly insane. He tells bad, morbid jokes, and then the story begins.

Got it. Okay, lose the door and give me a head in a glass ball.

But - but then what connection does it have to the Inner Sanctum?

The name. Now get going.

And so:

This must have been fun to hear around the hospital:

I’ve never really liked the Inner Sanctum. The host, yes. I think Raymond, the original, invented the ghoulish pun / edge-of-madness persona, which would be the standard for decades. The show itself was never creepy, but perhaps that’s because I have seen movies where alien babies leap out of chests. What would a movie version of the Sanctum be like? Would it be scary?

Of course! It has the Wolfman!

Who isn’t wolfy at all. Instead he’s tortured. But he’s always tortured. He’s always looking worried, and that’s Lon Chaney’s constant personal.

When we meet Lon Chaney he's unhappy, because his wife never comes home. And she's mean. He stares at her portrait, for that anti-Laura vibe, and says in voiceover how much he disliked the modern-art technique the artist used.

Modern art? Brother, you ain't seen nothing yet. He hears her car pull up, and here's where I started to pay close attention:

That's a nice shot. It's not a great shot, but everything heretofore had been straightforward, and then we get a heavy-shadow / light elements angular composition, and I started to wonder.

The wife shows up, drunk and contemptuous and HOT.

Maybe a bit too much on the Bride of Frankenstein hair, but man, 40s women had something. Ramsay Ames, who wasn't all that great an actress, but for roles like this she was juuuuust fine. Imdb fun fact: "According to director William Witney, Republic Studios stuntmen suffered more injuries running on rooftops to get a better look at Ramsay Ames walking across the backlot than were hurt performing dangerous action sequences in the studio's westerns."

I'll buy that.

No she won't give him a divorce! Hahahahhahahaahahaa! Lon Chaney is despondent, and finds solace in the sympathy of his nurse.

Patricia Morison. IMDB says she was known for her long hair; not here. "Woefully misused" by Paramount. Born in 1915. Last acting job: An episode of "Cheers." Still alive. The LA Times caught up with her in advance of her 100th birthday here.

Anyway. Lon gets drunk and drives straight into a montage. Stop signs! Policemen with whistles!

Somewhere on Sunset Boulevard. It's possible to find out where; I'm just not up to it today.

Then he returns home and his wife is dead. I love this POV approach with the newsman.

Oh, right sorry, your wife. Sorry.

Of course there's a cop who suspects the good Dr. Lon, but he's interested in truth above all. Does he look familiar?

J. Carrol Nash, who was the Japanese Supergenius in the Batman serial we did last year.

In the end, it goes full noir:

And you know what? Start to finish, it's pretty good. Another one to come; the series has been released on DVD, and we'll soon see if the next one's as good as this.

That's it for today! See you tomorrow.



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