When Writers Were Prestigious

I’m back at my home base again, typing this blog entry at the Franklinton branch of the library.  I’m back in Franklinton, where the moon landing is fake and professional wrestling is real.

I was looking at YouTube clips yesterday while Steph and Susie were getting ready for a recital.  One of the ones I saw was the opening credits for The Saint, the spy/mystery drama starring Roger Moore which was televised in the early ’60s.  I liked Roger Moore as James Bond (although, watching Saint reruns, I see that he played James Bond as Simon Templar), but something else made me respect the show even more.  During the opening credits, the title of the show, The Saint, would be shown, next to its trademark–a stick man with a halo.  It would then say “by Leslie Charteris,” before “Starring Roger Moore.”  In that era, writing was even more prestigious than acting, and either one was more prestigious than television.

Another clip I watched (and saved to my favorites) was the ending clip from Stephen J. Cannell Productions.  I never knew which shows he produced, so it was always happenstance if I saw the ending of them.  (I knew he did The A-Team, one show I wouldn’t watch if you paid me.)  Instead of the M-G-M lion, the ending shot showed Cannell sitting in his study, busily typing away on an IBM Selectric III.  He’d pull the paper out of the platen and toss it in the air.  Then it would become animated and freeze into the Cannell trademark.  (Except for research, he still uses a typewriter today.)

While Steph and Susie are in California next week, my numero uno project is finishing The Sad Hospital, my children’s book about mental illness.  I’ll be wielding a ballpoint for much of that project, until I finish it.  Then I’ll do the rewriting on the computer.  I hope I can have my Pilot EasyTouch in hand by the time they clear Columbus airspace, but nobody will be more surprised than I am if that actually happens.  To expedite things, I may even bring my portable Royal Royalite manual typewriter out of retirement.  (This is the one I bought for $ .80 at the Salvation Army!)


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