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CSBG Archive

Ten Days On The Road, part two

Continuing the account of our wander across the Pacific Northwest in search of old comics, out-of-print books, and geek culture in general. Part one is here, for those who came in late.

*

We’d chosen to spend a couple of days on the coast to kick off the first leg of our road trip mostly because we really enjoyed our stay there a couple of years ago, and since these trips are my anniversary gift to my bride, I’d tried to front-load it with stuff I knew she’d enjoy. We started by driving down the coast from Seattle to Seaside, one of our favorite places in Oregon.

Walk thirty yards west from the door of our hotel room, and this is what you would see.

Walk thirty yards west from the door of our hotel room, and this is what you would see.

After a couple of days there we’d be driving inland from Seaside to Portland for a night, and after that it was all new territory for us, out to the Santiam River valley and eastern Oregon.

In Seaside I’d made certain to book us into the same hotel. Astonishingly, the owners remembered us from the weekend we’d spent there a couple of years back and greeted us like old friends.

This is simply a lovely little place. We love this hotel.

Recommended unreservedly. And the owners are friendly and funny folks. I was amazed Jay even remembered us -- when I said so, he admitted that it was the Monkey Spit e-mail address that reminded him.

Once again I’m going to plug them because they are awesome. It’s the Hillcrest Inn, on Columbia, just across the street from the Seaside Aquarium. If you’re ever in Seaside there’s simply no better place to stay. It’s cheap, clean, non-corporate, roomy, and they take great care of you. (One of these summers I think Julie and I might rent one of their cottages for a week or so of lazing around, if we could find a couple of other congenial souls who’d be willing to split a beach house for a week with a pair of boring middle-aged teetotaller bookworms like us.)

So even though we spent a lot of time visiting places in Astoria we hadn’t been before, we also were sure to budget time to visit the two great places we’d found on our last trip — Buck’s Book Barn and Seaside Antiques and Collectibles.

Conveniently for all Seaside bibliophiles, these are right next to each other!

Conveniently for all Seaside bibliophiles, these two establishments are right next to each other!

I found a couple of interesting things in Buck’s. Since seeing Jonah Hex a few weeks back I’ve gotten on a bit of a Western kick again, especially the older hardcover stuff from the fifties and early sixties when cowboy heroes ruled pop culture. I turned up a nice copy of The Adventurers, by Ernest Haycox, and also The Comic Book Mystery, a juvenile by Janet Townsend I picked up simply for the title. As I mentioned last week, we spent a lot more time on this trip hunting for interesting children’s books than we normally would have, because our friend Lorinda had asked us to keep an eye out for things for her kids, and also our godson Phenix is turning into quite a reader.

This one? Not as cool as I'd hoped. This, I am really looking forward to.

Sadly, I discovered later that The Comic Book Mystery hardly had anything to do with comics and wasn’t all that much of a mystery, at least not for middle-aged me. So we put it in the pile for Rin, thinking one of her kids still might get a kick out of it. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, just not a terribly challenging mystery to solve, and the “comic book” connection was that labored old saw about smugglers hiding coded messages in a comic story, a plot twist that is completely unbelievable to anyone — like, say, me — who knows even a little bit about how comics are produced. Nevertheless, the illustrations by Richard Cuffari certainly lifted the entire effort a level or two, they were really quite breathtaking.

The Adventurers I was rather more pleased about. You don’t hear his name that often these days, but Ernest Haycox was one of the first and greatest Western pulp novelists, publishing hundreds of stories between the 1920s and his death in 1950. The original Stagecoach starring John Wayne, along with both Abilene Town and Man In The Saddle starring Randolph Scott, were all based on Haycox stories, along with literally dozens of other lesser-known film (and later, TV) westerns throughout the 40s and 50s.

All awesome. All recommended. All awesome. All recommended. All awesome. All recommended.

All awesome. All recommended. And all available on DVD for a song.

Ernest Haycox was a local boy, from Portland, Oregon, so it wasn’t unreasonable to find some of his stuff in Seaside. But this was a really lovely hardcover that looked nearly new despite being half a century old. The Adventurers was Haycox’s last book, published posthumously in 1954. It wasn’t a first edition or anything, but it did date back to the fifties and my inner bookscout was pleased at the score.

I also purchased a more modern Western novel, Richard Crockett’s Trooper Smith, mostly because I thought the jacket copy sounded kind of cool and it was next to the Haycox in the hardcover Westerns.

Just on a whim.

It’s the story of an outlaw named Smith that’s pressed into service by a desperate cavalry commander to rescue a young woman and her father before the massing Apaches to the south move in on the commander’s fort… and in the course of trying to get the girl to safety, Smith discovers his own inner nobility that he and everyone else thought was gone. I’m a sucker for a redemption story and this sounded like fun so I picked it up on a whim. It wasn’t until we got home and I looked it up that I discovered that this book is a bit of a rarity from 1995; Crockett self-published it and it only had the one edition. Usually it goes for about thirty bucks and the Book Barn had it for six. So again the inner bookscout was pleased.

But, same as last time, Seaside Antiques next door was where the really cool stuff was.

Same pulp awesomeness on display as two years ago. Maybe next time I'll be able to bring myself to spring for a copy of the real WEIRD TALES.

Same pulp awesomeness on display as two years ago. Maybe next time I'll be able to bring myself to spring for an actual copy of the legendary WEIRD TALES.

Although the place is billed as an antique shop, and there are of course antiques, what I love about it are the stacks of books, pulps and comics that are there. I found a couple of cool things right off the bat…

Bought this mostly out of curiosity, though it looks like a good time. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Some of you may recognize “Franklin W. Dixon” as the author of the Hardy Boys books. That was a house name used by all the Stratemeyer Syndicate authors that worked on those books, but this was the first time I’d discovered that “Dixon” was ever applied to another series. This series actually predates the Hardys — Ted Scott had his mid-air adventures starting in 1927, twenty in all, until the series ended in 1943. Since I’m somewhat interested in Stratemeyer Syndicate juveniles and this was a series I had read about but never seen, I thought I’d check it out. Especially since this one, Rescued In The Clouds, was only the second entry in the series, published in 1927, and the lady had it priced at three dollars.

Likewise it felt almost like fate running across an issue of Gold Key’s Dagar the Invincible just a couple of days after finishing the mammoth column about barbarian heroes in 1970s comics. And though most of the comics in the store are bagged and boarded and neatly on display in about half-a-dozen longboxes, this one was dumped in the dollar kid’s pile next to them along with a bunch of copies of Brigade — you can put together an entire run of Brigade from thrift shops and antique places for pennies, if you were crazy enough to want to — and a couple of coverless copies of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I have no idea why Dagar was consigned to this ghetto, unless it was the Gold Key brand. Unlike the other older books in the pile, it looked brand-new. At any rate, I snatched it up so fast it left a smoke trail.

While I was discovering those, Julie had disappeared into the back of the store. My bride loves to shop but almost never for herself, it’s always for other people. She’s really more of a shopping enabler. Anyway, she had remembered that, on our previous visit in 2008, there had been a huge stack of Zane Grey’s Western Magazine digest-sized pulps buried back there…. and that I was on my vintage Western kick again this trip.

I love these. I love these. I love these.

Julie called out to me that I should join her and I did. The little nook where she was standing was all about Westerns, actually. Amazingly, the Zane Grey digests were still there, and for the same price, $3.50 each. I picked up the three pictured above because they were in the best shape and thus less likely to crumble when I read them. From 1949, 1951, and 1952 respectively.

But those weren’t actually the big scores. Right next to the Zane Grey pile were several older western pulp magazines bagged in mylar. Now, I’d wistfully eyed several of the pulps there on display during our last visit, and even taken a photo…. simply because, for fans of my generation, the closest we ever get to these magazines is usually a paperback reprint, or maybe a facsimile edition from a specialty house. I’m not a capital-C Collector or anything, but over the years I’ve always had the itch to own a real pulp magazine from their heyday, just to hold in my hands and really get the sense of what it was like when they ruled the newsstands.

The closest I’ve ever been to the real thing, after years of reading reprints and devouring books on pulp history and even contributing to the literature on the subject myself once or twice, was on our last visit to this little antique shop in Seaside, Oregon. But I’d talked myself out of buying one then because the asking price for one of them, which was usually about fifty dollars, seemed like a foolish amount to spend just to scratch an itch. (Though let the record show that Julie was encouraging me to get one of the Weird Tales hanging on display. “You keep saying ‘what the hell, we’re on vacation,’ and I can see how much you want it.” Fellas, when a girl loves you enough to not only let you spend that kind of money on your hobby but actively cheers you on, marry her.)

Anyway, I’d talked myself out of it, but Julie hadn’t given up. The pile she found next to the digests were priced much more reasonably — and they were Westerns.

My first REAL pulp magazine from the forties. Huzzah!

The pick of the lot seemed to be the Summer 1948 issue of Giant Western. It was the real thing, an honest-to-God pulp magazine and not a digest, and seemed to be in good enough shape that reading it wouldn’t destroy it. And, hell, it was just four and a half bucks, which is cheaper than the Superman Elseworlds comic that came out this week.

So I bought it. Finally, I own an actual pulp magazine from the 1940s. I haven’t read it yet but just looking at it was enough to delight me every time I did it for the rest of the trip. In fact, glancing at it here in the office as I am typing this still makes me smile. There’s something truly satisfying about crossing something like that off your maybe-someday list.

But that wasn’t even the best score from Seaside Antiques. Next to the pile of pulps in mylar was a small bookshelf, and on that bookshelf was….

Most people don't know that Burroughs did quite a few Western stories as well. This was the first.

Most people don't know that besides Tarzan, John Carter, and all his other loincloth-clad savage warrior stories, Burroughs wrote quite a few Westerns as well. This was the first.

The Bandit of Hell’s Bend by Edgar Rice Burroughs, from 1925. This was another one of those things that I’d read about but never seen for myself… Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first full-on Western, and in a remarkably well-preserved hardcover edition from the 1920s. The story is an awful lot of fun and was even a comic at one point… Al Napoletano adapted it for the Burroughs fanzine The Jasoomian in 1973.

How awesome is this? Man, I miss the old semi-pro fanzines. A web page just isn't the same.

How awesome is this? Man, I miss the old semi-pro fanzines. A web page just isn't the same.

The book was priced at $9 and I snapped it up. All in all, it was quite the haul that day; I think between the two stores we probably dropped fifty or sixty dollars. But Seaside’s always been good to us. If you ever get down that way, be sure to check out both Buck’s and Seaside Antiques, and let them know that comical book internet-writer guy sent you.

*

The following morning we hit the road for Portland, taking the old Columbia River Highway.

A map of our route for the Northwest-impaired.

A map of our route for the Northwest-impaired... we were coming in from Astoria there in the upper left along Route 30, down through the Clatsop State Forest and Clatskanie to Portland... a MUCH prettier drive than Interstate 5 on the other side of the river.

The old Route 30 goes through country that is largely forest with a few small towns scattered along the route. Most of the small towns seemed to be hurting.

We’d noticed it a little on the drive down 101 from Seattle, but it hadn’t really registered… we were too giddy at finally being on vacation and anyway, Aberdeen always looks like it’s falling apart. But as we drove out from Astoria we started to see that every other storefront seemed to have a big FOR LEASE banner hanging over an empty retail space, or worse, had just been abandoned. Continuing along Route 30 it got more and more pronounced. Town after town with nothing but a gas station, a tavern, maybe a grocery… and a lot of empty shopfronts and boarded-over windows. By the time we stopped in Clatskanie for lunch it was really getting depressing.

Believe it or not, this is Clatskanie on a good day. Back then it was just sort of sleepy. Now it's dying.

Believe it or not, this is Clatskanie on a good day. Back then it was just sort of sleepy. Now it's dying. At least, the retail district looked terminal.

The last time we were there we’d found an antique mall that had a lot of interesting old books and things, particularly juveniles, but that place was closed up tight. We circled the downtown a couple of times after lunch, sort of half-looking for an interesting thrift shop or a bookstore or something like that, but mostly just shaking our heads at how many businesses had folded since our last time passing through in the summer of 2008.

We did turn up a flea market and there were a couple of mildly interesting finds there.

Julie complained that she was in too many of the pictures and insisted that I had to be in this one of the Clatskanie flea market.

Julie complained that she was in too many of the pictures and insisted that I had to be in this one of the Clatskanie flea market. Despite its cheery sign, it was not a happy place.

I found a James Bond book for me and Julie found a children’s history of Oregon for Phenix.

I'm a Bond guy and this looked interesting. And it was a dollar. This one was all about the Wiese.

We were still kind of on the prowl for a copy of the Lewis and Clark children’s history book with the John Severin illustrations for him, and Julie thought this one was at least in the ballpark. It was illustrated by Kurt Wiese, who was a staggeringly prolific artist in his day. He did the first American edition of Bambi in 1929, as well as the Freddy the Pig children’s series by Walter E. Brooks. He also did some extraordinarily dark and moody pictures for The Wreck of the Dumaru, by Lowell Thomas. My grandfather was one of the Dumaru survivors, as it happens, and so I’d always felt a sort of slight family connection to Mr. Wiese… the signed first edition of his Dumaru book is a family heirloom, or it once was, anyway. (I’m not sure what happened to it… Mom had it, and when she passed away I assume my brother got it.)

Wiese wasn't in any rut. He did all kinds of stuff. Wiese wasn't in any rut. He did all kinds of stuff. Wiese wasn't in any rut. He did all kinds of stuff.

Wiese wasn't in any rut. He did all kinds of stuff.

Anyway, apart from all that, I reasoned that if I couldn’t find a Severin-illustrated Lewis and Clark book for our godson, a Wiese-illustrated Oregon history book was a fair runner-up.

But the real find was, once again, Julie’s. I’d stepped out to find an ATM — the depressed lady that ran this cramped little place had told me in a bored voice that it was cash only, no exceptions — and so while I ran across the street to find a bank, Julie continued to pore over the kids’ book section trying to find something either for Phenix or for Lorinda’s third-grade readers.

She found three of Ian Thorne’s Crestwood Monster Series.

Awesome, right? Awesome, right?
Awesome, right? Awesome, right?

They were ex-library and beat to hell, but nevertheless intact and perfectly readable. She’d found Godzilla, and continuing to search had come up with The Blob and Dracula.

“What do you think of these?” Julie asked me.

“Are you kidding? Those are gold,” I told her. “When I was a kid those things were probably the biggest-circulating copies of anything in the school library. There was a whole series of them.” The Crestwood Monster Series were regarded with great fondness by horror fans of my generation — for many of us in elementary school, these books were our introduction to the classic films we were sent to bed too early to see on the Saturday night late show. A man named Ian Thorne wrote them, and though they were kid’s picture books he tried to include all sorts of history and things like that. The Dracula book, for example, talks about Vlad Tepes as well as Stoker’s novel, and even summarizes a few of the different attempts at filming the story. And all lavishly illustrated with photos, usually borrowed from the collection of Forry Ackerman.

Julie was pleased at finding something I was so clearly delighted with. (Shopping enabler, remember.) We dug through the musty stacks of battered children’s hardcovers one last time and turned up one more, Mad Scientists.

“Phenix needs these,” I told my bride. “After all, as his godparents we are responsible for his education.” We piled the Crestwoods on with the other two books we found and picked our way through piles of junk to pay the depressed lady proprietor … there was no register, she handled it all out of her jeans pocket. In fact, the place was so cluttered and cramped that we ended up having to complete the transaction out on the porch.

With that, we took our leave of Clatskanie, feeling pleased with our finds and even a little virtuous at having done something stimulating for the local economy. Of course, it was only ten dollars at the flea market and another twenty or so for lunch, but from the looks of the place, that was probably more than that downtown retail district had seen in a while.

*

And once again I seem to be running out of room. So we’ll pick this up next week, with the story of what we found in Portland as well as an amazing cartoonist we stumbled across in Silverton…. and the riches no one knew he had. See you then.

16 Comments

I’m enjoying this series. Sounds like it could inspire a great novel or screenplay. Or comic!

Thanks for this! The Godzilla book from Ian Thorne’s Crestwood Monster Series was my ABSOLUTE favorite book in elementary school! I read it so many times.

I’m really enjoying these adventures of yours. Can’t wait for the next installment!

The elementary library I work in still has most of the Crestwood Monster Series. I can’t discard any of them even though the books are falling apart. The kids check out Godzilla and King Kong regularly; Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy at Halloween time. The Mad Scientists and the Blob just don’t get that kind of love unfortunately. Maybe it’s because there hasn’t been an awesome Blob remakre/mad scientist movie/video game out there lately. A local public library got rid of their Crestwood series – can’t imagine what they replaced them with – so I now have my own set of Godzilla, King Kong, The Blob, It Came from Outer Space, and the Deadly Mantis. I hope Phenix enjoys them as much we all do.

Again, really enjoying this series – you and Julie should take more road trips. :)

From Kindergarten through sixth grade I absolutely lived for the Crestwood books. Wow, I’d forgotten about them, but now I’m on a mission to put together a collection!

funkygreenjerusalem

August 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

Since seeing Jonah Hex a few weeks back I’ve gotten on a bit of a Western kick again, especially the older hardcover stuff from the fifties and early sixties when cowboy heroes ruled pop culture.

I would imagine it’s a film that either makes you need some time away from westerns, or drown yourself in them to remember what they truly are.

And, hell, it was just four and a half bucks, which is cheaper than the Superman Elseworlds comic that came out this week.

What did you think of that?
I’m somewhat conflicted about it – I was enjoying reading it, but just left feeling a bit ‘that’s it?’ when I finished it.

It didn’t leave me quite as puzzled as Neal Adams return to Batman – I still don’t know what to make of #1 – but I’m really not sure what Cary Bates is doing here.
Obviously the twins will be raised differently to set up a conflict with Clark and rest of family, but where exactly is going to go with that… I’m just not sure what this is supposed to be.

Words cannot describe how much I am enjoying these columns – in fact, all of your road-trip columns. Thanks, truly.
I’m also a bit saddened by your reports of the sorry state of many of the towns you’ve passed through. I always loved those little places on Oregon’s backroads, and it’s depressing to see them hurting so much.

I would imagine it’s a film that either makes you need some time away from westerns, or drown yourself in them to remember what they truly are.

Truthfully, it was writing the column after and talking about all the great Western movies we have here at home, and thinking about great Hex comics from the past…. this happens a lot. Wrapping up the barbarians a couple of weeks ago had me ordering Grell’s new Warlord book and a discounted Red Sonja collection. Talking about the stuff brings it to mind, I go noodling around on the net to see if anything’s out there, and our mailbox fills up with discounted trades. That’s the vast majority of the comics here any more.

What did you think of that [Superman elseworlds]?
I’m somewhat conflicted about it – I was enjoying reading it, but just left feeling a bit ‘that’s it?’ when I finished it.

Enjoyed it well enough. Thought it was a bit overpriced but chances are that with the current state of the printing industry this was the most cost-effective presentation, and at least Bates is getting some work at DC, which pleased me.

What really struck me about it was the sheer technical prowess of the writing. You can see that everything there was there for a reason, even if we don’t know what the reason is yet; the economy of the storytelling, and at the same time its very old-fashioned density, really impressed me. First time in a long time I felt like I got what I paid for, even though I wouldn’t characterize the book as wordy — it was just full of Stuff Happening. That’s old-school.

Art was pretty too. The whole effort just made me wish there wasn’t such ageism in superhero comics. It’s not like writers are pro athletes who pretty much have to find a new career after age 45, writing isn’t something you have to be young to do well. Most people tend to get better and more technically proficient at a job after spending decades doing it. Bates is no exception to this and it made me sad to think about how comics editors don’t see that, most of the time…. though I’m glad someone at DC realized it so we could have this comic, at least.

I’m also a bit saddened by your reports of the sorry state of many of the towns you’ve passed through. I always loved those little places on Oregon’s backroads, and it’s depressing to see them hurting so much.

I’m afraid it’s going to be something we’ll be revisiting in the coming installments. Believe me, we were upset too. It really brings home how hard people in the real world get hit when bankers and politicians play their games. In eastern Oregon, especially, we started to feel like we weren’t going through a series of ghost towns so much as a series of murdered ones.

Are you sure Ted Scott predates the Hardy Boys? I really thought they were around before 1927.

Never mind. I just looked it up. The Hardy Boys began in 1927.

funkygreenjerusalem

August 7, 2010 at 11:39 pm

What really struck me about it was the sheer technical prowess of the writing. You can see that everything there was there for a reason, even if we don’t know what the reason is yet; the economy of the storytelling, and at the same time its very old-fashioned density, really impressed me. First time in a long time I felt like I got what I paid for, even though I wouldn’t characterize the book as wordy — it was just full of Stuff Happening. That’s old-school.

Yeah, it took some time to read, which was cool, and plenty happened.
I was just a little shocked by how few changes there were – I’m assuming Clark is with the Kents to explain why he will have the same personality as an adult, I just wished we’d seen more differences in their world so we could see where this is going.
It almost felt like an #0 for me, and that the real story will start next issue – which is really weird considering quite a lot did happen in the issue.

As for the price, well, I certainly felt like I got more for my buck than I did with this month’s $3.99 Return Of Bruce Wayne #4, but this week, I got off of ebay (for like a buck) The Eaters One Shot from Vertigo, by Milligan and Ormston, which had a cover price of $4.95, and it has only eight more pages of story than Last Family Of Krypton.
So whilst it’s not quite the 80 page giants of the past price, Last Family OF Krypton isn’t insanely over priced.

“My grandfather was one of the Dumaru survivors, as it happens”

What was his name? You might not know there’s a Dumaru.com, with a page listing them all:

http://www.dumaru.com/crew.html

God knows I hope he wasn’t one of the poor survivors forced to eat “long pork.”

“My grandfather was one of the Dumaru survivors, as it happens”

What was his name?

Grandpa was Staff Jennings. He was indeed on the third ill-fated, incredibly overcrowded lifeboat that got caught in the trade winds and drifted for three weeks, before finally landing on Samar in the Phillipines. He had shipped out with his dad, my great-grandfather Harold, who died in the lifeboat. After the Dumaru disaster Grandpa came back to Portland and went into the boat business, and I used to play at the marina a lot when I was little. He died in 1968 but the business stayed there for decades, and we had a small interest in it for quite a while after. My uncle Bob ran it, till he died a couple-three years back. I guess it finally closed a little while ago.

God knows I hope he wasn’t one of the poor survivors forced to eat “long pork.”

I honestly don’t know. Grandpa would never talk about it and anyway he passed away when I was eight. I found the book when I was ten or eleven and read it through, and also Rough Passage, which also has an account of the wreck of the Dumaru. That was the first I learned about any of it.

I pressed Grandma for details but she usually blew me off with “when you’re older,” and that was the end of it, she died before I reached an appropriate age. But my understanding of it from the little Grandma DID say is that Grandpa was not one of the ones that went cannibal; that was mostly the engineering crew, a bunch of big beefy guys who’d only joined the Navy to avoid the trenches in Germany anyway. Grandma’s dismissal of the books was always “sensationalist bullshit.” But the truth of the matter is that no one knows and it’s not the kind of thing Grandpa would have admitted to his daughter — my mom — anyway, and probably not Grandma either. He was a guy who felt women should be protected.

I had seen the website but haven’t contacted the guy because there’s really nothing I can add to it. My own theory, for what it’s worth, is that Grandpa held out as long as he could, because he was young and strong and had a HUGE thing about what he called ‘common decency,’ plus I think he was a bit of a snob about the lower-decks crew, he would have considered them ‘roughnecks.’ Grandpa in his youth was a sort of Rover-Boys jock, team-captain kind of a guy. And he was there with his deeply religious father. Great-grandpa Harold was passing his water ration to Grandpa and that’s why Grandpa made it and Harold didn’t, because the big problem was water, the men were badly dehydrated.

But AFTER Great-grandpa Harold died and Grandpa had to put him over the side? That’s anyone’s guess. My personal gut hunch is that Grandpa finally caved and drank the broth at least, because of the dehydration. But no one knows.

The web site is certainly worth checking out for those who are wondering. But the Lowell Thomas book is probably the best documentation anyone’s going to get at this late date. Everyone that really KNEW for sure what went on is dead.

This trip sounds awesome!

Y’know, my library actually puts out a couple of the Crestwood Monster Books on display for Halloween every year. I remember reading the King Kong one but I also remember a similar book about The Invisible Man. Was that a later addition to the series or something else?

Will someone please pay Greg to be a guest of honor/major speaker at a convention? The only thing that would improve these columns is to hear you. Tone, inflection, and passion can’t come across in this format.

After this trip is there a new “cleaning out the collection” post coming? Room must be made!

Now I have to wait until next Friday for the next part. That’s the worst I can say about Greg’s writing. The inevitable end.

I love these travelogue columns, by the by.

My elementary school had a good collection of those Crestwood Monster books when I was there in the late 80s, and to this day, I have a deep and abiding love of all the classic Universal horror movies because of them.

I must have read that godzilla one a 1000 times.what a blast from the past, thanx

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