LETTERS  PCR #256     (February 14--20, 2005)

  • Lonnie Dohlen Remembers Dr. Paul Bearer
  • Anyone Remember "Nightmare Theater"?
  • Miss June of "Romper Room" is alive and well! (Andy Lalino responds)
  • Reader comments Christo's Gates Project

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    Lonnie Dohlen here. I wanted to tell Ed Tucker thanx for the Tribute of Dr. Paul Bearer in this week's Issue #256. I was so angry with myself 10 years ago for not watching his show of Feb. 18, 1995 (last movie was "Graveyard Shift", 1990, Paramount). I had to pull a double-shift for some ***hole I was working for at the time. I was so tired. I didn't learn about Bennick's passing until two days later (Feb 20,1995). Then, the following Saturday, having to watch WTOG 44, Barbara Callahan, Walt Belcher & Staff reduce his Tribute to 30 Minutes! My Question: how can they do this to a man who spent 22 years at this same TV station, doing endless promotions, building WTOG & Hubbard Broadcasting to great lengths, passes away all of a sudden, then show a rerun of his bits, having Callahan steal the show? It makes me sick. It just goes to show, if you don't make out a will & you leave all business unfinished with a lot of strangers you can't trust, it becomes a mess.

    That's my opinion. Another question: Did Andy Lalino stop writing for you? I didn't see his column last week, so I assume he's on a business asssignment or film location. I wish he was going to Megacon.

    Lonnie [Dohlen]

    Lonnie, thanks for writing and I think we all agree ED's homepage tribute stirred some meaningful memories. I can't account for WTOG's practices back then (they're a UPN station now), but obviously they felt Bennick's passing was worth a footnote and little else. That they didn't save ANY broadcast tapes of Creature Feature is a crime (I still get inquiries about that).

    Andy Lalino has had computer problems the last week or so and is putting his system back together. I mentioned it in last week's PCR, but maybe you missed that. He is back on track and should be resuming Oddservations next week.

    And he is DEFINITELY going to MegaCon--he and a number of other area filmmakers have a table there. Hope to see you there, too!



    I just read your article on Tampa Bay Horror Hosts (Presumably "La Floridiana", PCR #73--"Local Fright Shows". --N). I was wondering if you had any info on the old 60's Miami Horror Host shows. MT Graves was the most well known of the hosts down here in the '60s. But there was a local show called Nightmare Theater that scared the heck out of me. The intro had an optical wheel with a disembodied head floating towards you. He was called the Ghostly Host.

    Just interested if anyone has heard of this show or even remembers it.


    Al, thanks so much for writing. I forwarded your question to Will Moriaty, the author of the piece in question, who, in turn, forwarded it to his contacts in Miami. As of this writing (Fri, Feb. 18, 2005), we've not yet received any responses. ---Nolan


    To Andy Lalino,
    I was looking at your website when you were mentioning Romper Room and Miss June after running a Google Search. You made the following statement "Sadly, 'Miss June' Hurley passed away years ago, but her memory will always live on with countless children who grew up with her.". That statement is incorrect.

    She has not passed away. She is still very much alive and well. Her last name is "Young" (for the past 28 yrs), and her husband, Bob, just passed away Jan 29th. She attends the church I attend, Bayshore Methodist in Tampa.

    You might want to update your website.

    Tracy Coady

    Hi Tracy. Thanks for the e-mail. I apologize for the erroneous statement about Miss June. As you can see I forwarded your e-mail to Nolan Canova, the editor/publisher of Nolan's Pop Culture Review. I'm sure he'll post a correction.

    I apparently got that info from an unreliable source (probably a statement on the web) and it was obviously not true. I'm so glad she's still with us. I would love to see her again and show her the picture from 1973.

    Thanks again for writing and catching the error.

    On behalf of Andy and myself, thanks so much for writing, you can barely imagine what this means to know Miss June is still alive! She educated and entertained "baby-boomer"-era kids like Andy and myself through our pivotal years! While it's usually against my policy to "back-edit" old issues of PCR, in this case I will make an exception by annotating Andy's original Oddservations column. Again, thanks for taking the trouble to write, and please, TELL MISS JUNE HER DO-BEES IN TAMPA REMEMBER HER!
    --Nolan B. Canova


    I was pleased to read your reference to our work together on the web (Ref. "La Floridiana", PCR #199). I thought you might be interested in learning the source of Christo's Gates for Central Park (http://www.nyc.gov/html/thegates/).

    A couple of months ago, I spoke to Christo when he was giving a talk at Cooper Union. I asked him when he designed The Gates. His answer was 1979. Then I asked if he remembered seeing my "Canopies for First Night 78," at midnight on the Boston Common January 1, 1978, and if he remembered asking me questions about how I "made the Canopies work." He was unwilling to answer my questions and hurried away....The truth of the matter is that he was (to put it tactfully) inspired by seeing the Canopies.

    In today's art world people do not acknowledge sources for their work as was the tradition in the arts for centuries. I have discussed this with artists and critics, supporters and friends. The last artist that they remember giving attribution was De Kooning. At their encouragement, I am sending images of the source of Christo's piece ( the "Canopies for First Night 78" ) to appropriate critics.

    Christo's Gates are a static take-off from the fluidity of the two 250' long 10' wide nylon spinnaker cloth Canopies which I designed. This stasis is predictable when one takes a design which was meant for fluid movement and makes it stationary. On First Night the Canopies were carried from two different directions to meet at the Boston Common at midnight. They were a huge hit. Revelers were so eager to be a part of the action that they took the Canopies away from the 60 bearers I had chosen, and carried the Canopies themselves. There were thousands of people on the Common that night. The Canopies were written up in all the Boston papers, Time magazine, and by Lucy Lippard in the November 1981 issue of Art in America: "Another outlet is the community festival like those...by Hera, whose First Night '78 consisted of a canopied sculpture accompanied by a torchlit procession through the Boston Common on New Year's Eve..."

    In 1982 Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis wrote a 251 page official refusal to have The Gates based on solid environmental concerns. Our current political climate admires business and development. In this atmosphere The Gates are more acceptable. The great part of the appeal of The Gates lies in the huge publicity effort Bloomberg has carried out. As we know all too well, people are much more comfortable going with a name brand.

    As a responsible artist who believes in attribution of artistic sources, I feel it is appropriate for Christo to credit the Canopies for First Night '78 as the source of his inspiration. Anyone is free to use the enclosed photo if attribution is given: "The Canopies for First Night '78" copyright Hera 1978... designer/sculptor/procession leader...for procession on the Boston Common, January 1, 1978.

    "The Canopies for First Night '78" © Hera 1978... designer/sculptor/procession leader...for procession on the Boston Common, January 1, 1978.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions you may have.

    145 Cold Brook Road
    Bearsville, NY 12409
    (845) 679-4439 vox
    (845) 679-4441 fax

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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