Tabloid wizard’s first edition — on Wikipedia

This is an experiment… This afternoon I wrote a full page contribution to Wikipedia, one of the first times I have created a page there from scratch. Why? I saw an odd and misspelled reference to a 1920s newspaper editor on the Wikipedia page about the Hartford Courant, where I worked in the 1970s. Before I left I had become fascinated by that particular editor, Emile Gauvreau, who left Hartford to become editor of two of the nation’s most sensational tabloid newspapers of the Roaring Twenties.

At one point I even thought I might try to write a book about the guy.

He may have been a conscience-tortured scandalmonger, but he deserved to have his name spelled right. And after correcting the Hartford Courant wiki page, I noticed that turning his name into a link did not send it to a previously existing biography page… So I sat down and wrote one. Fatigue set in and I didn’t do as much as I could have.. The battles between him and Walter Winchell we’re amazing, with Winchell comparing him to Napoleon and calling him a cripple because he had a limp, and Gauvreau dismissing Winchell as a vaudeville hoofer who had risen above his station by destroying the English language and making an industry out of gossip. But to include those things from memory on Wikipedia would have meant dredging up some references and going through the tedium of formatting them properly for the Wikipedia reference system. I own maybe a dozen books by or about Gauvreau and the Graphic as well as a few 90 year old copies of the paper.

For Wikipedia, I pulled a history of the Hartford Courant and Gauvreau’s autobiography off my shelves and cited them as references, along with a Columbia Journalism Review article that is really little more than a extract from the autobiography.

I did not cite my own articles about the New York Evening Graphic, because I suspect Wikipedia frowns on self- citation. They consist of academic conference papers that I wrote in 1997 and 2003, and a web page I self-published, originally on a University of North Carolina server, so that I could share some of the Graphic’s controversial images with students and colleagues, while also demonstrating my skill at old school web page publishing.

Today’s contribution to the world’s knowledge is a brief Wikipedia biography of Emile Gauvreau, which, it being Wikipedia, does not carry my byline and can be immediately edited, improved, or vandalized by anyone.

That is where the “experiment” I mentioned in the first sentence comes in… I am pasting below the full text of the page as I left it after today’s editing session. There may still be a typo or two, and the things shown in italic on Wikipedia probably appear in a different font here. But the text should be just what I wrote. I hope to check back in a month or two and see whether anyone has added to it, edited it, fixed or unfixed anything I wrote.

Here it is:


Emile Gauvreau (1891-1956) was an American journalist, newspaper and magazine editor and author of novels and nonfiction books.

Born in Centerville, Connecticut, he got his start in newspapers at the New Haven Journal-Courier, before moving on in 1916 to the Hartford Courant, as reporter, legislative reporter, Sunday editor, and assistant managing editor, becoming managing editor at the age of 25.[1]

He launched the newspaper’s artgravure picture section and its Sunday magazine, and, according to the paper’s historian, John Bard McNulty, “developed a strong partiality for the banner headline.” The young editor’s style suited The Roaring Twenties more than the newspaper known as the “Old Lady of State Street,” and led to his dismissal in 1924 over a sensational series alleging that medical quacks were operating in the state with credentials from diploma mills. He was asked for his resignation, but wrote that he left with a healthy bank account thanks to his Hartford Courant stock. [2]

Having helped compensate for a lame leg with exercises from Physical Culture publisher Bernarr Macfadden, and having written confession-style stories for Macfadden’s True Story magazine, Gauvreau went to New York to inquire about more freelancing for the eccentric magazine publisher, but was surprised to be offered the opportunity to start a daily tabloid newspaper for Macfadden. It was to compete with the New York Daily News, America’s first tabloid, which was soon joined by Hearst Daily Mirror.

Macfadden had wanted to call his paper The Truth,but eventually settled for the name New York Evening Graphic, with Gauvreau as managing editor. Along with focusing on sensational crime stories, photos, and Macfadden’s health crusades, its experimental policies including first-person stories by ghostwriter assisted newsmakers, and composite photos that illustrated scenes for which the paper could not get a real photograph. In his autobiography, Gauvreau, who had drawn newspaper cartoons in his early days, took both credit and blame for the composograph, and admitted getting carried away with it, creating farcical bedroom scenes to a company’s stories about a sensational divorce case.

He also took some of the credit for discovering and promoting Graphic staff members Walter Winchell, Ed Sullivan and others. Both Winchell and Gauvreau left the Graphic for Hearst’s Daily Mirror, continuing a longtime editor-columnist feud into the 1930s. [3]

Gauvreau’s 1935 book about a trip to Russia, What So Proudly We Hailed, got him fired by Hearst, but he continued to write, and later edited a pictorial magazine, Click, for Moses Annenberg of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

His books, starting with two quasi-autobiographical novels about “tabloidia”, include Hot News (1931), The Scandalmonger (1932), What So Proudly We Hailed (1935), Dumbells and Carrot Strips (with Mary Macfadden, 1935), My Last Million Readers (1941), Billy Mitchell: founder of our Air Force and Prophet Without Honor (1942), and The Wild Blue Yonder: Sons of the Prophet Carry On ( with Lester Cohen, 1945).

Gauvreau was profiled by Michael Shapiro for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2011, under the title The Paper Chase For tabloid king Emile Gauvreau, it took a lifetime to slow down.

[4]

  1. ^ John Bard McNulty, Older than the nation, The Life and Times of the Hartford Courant… Oldest newspaper of continuous publication in America. 1964 Pequot Press
  2. ^ Emile Gauvreau, My Last Million Readers, Dutton 1941
  3. ^ Emile Gauvreau, My Last Million Readers, Dutton 1941
  4. Michael Shapiro, Columbia Journalism Review, 2011,The Paper Chase For tabloid king Emile Gauvreau, it took a lifetime to slow down|https://archives.cjr.org/second_read/the_paper_chase.php

note: some of the font and formatting messiness is because this entire blog post was composed on an Android smartphone, and so was the Wikipedia entry. I may come back to this page to add a sensational Evening Graphic image or return to the Wikipedia page to add a picture of gauvreau.

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Finishing off January…

A friend in Florida phoned to chat while she was circling a hiking track in bright sunlight this morning… and I made the mistake of saying that it was just raining here and not below freezing…

Within an hour the sky became full of some of the largest snowflakes I’ve ever seen. They are still melting when they hit the asphalt, but I had a worrisome feeling that wouldn’t go on for long.

However, the temperature were still below freezing this afternoon and the official forecast says that even though it may get down to the single digits tomorrow, things will warm up again at the end of the week.

… and within 2 hours of taking those snowy pictures, I could actually see Blue Sky again… but with a cold wind blowing more clouds out of the northwest…

And in another hour that patch of blue was overhead, and very little evidence of that late morning snow, but it looks like it might be snowing again in the mountains… Where that wind is coming from.

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A 2019 start and 2020 vision

A New River sunset saunter …

… to start the New Year…

Okay, so the getting up early and out of the house resolution still needs some work… kind of a gray beginning to the year, but starting at Dudley’s Landing and walking the length of Radford’s Bisset Park and back gave me a chance to say Happy New Year to a dozen people I didn’t know, plus one squirrel and one cardinal.

The photos show some winter wear and tear, but the big hollow tree is still standing, and city workers have plowed the floodmud off the paved path and taped one place where the river erosion has given us a new mini cliff.

I thought the round-trip was 3 miles but it’s a quarter mile short of that according to the Endomondo walking app in my phone… even with the pauses to take pictures, not a bad distance and time to start the year with.

I also stayed on the paved paths, and on the street light illuminated roadway heading back, in hopes of not spending the rest of January digging mud out of the Vibram soles. It’s a new year. Be good to your souls, however you spell them.

And, by posting this here, I’m fulfilling a resolution about spending less time in the Walled Garden called Facebook, although I do have so many friends there that I let them see these pictures and thoughts too. Gradually, I’ll try to do more here and less there and point people in this open web Direction.

Posted in Uncategorized

Thanksgiving

I didn’t really get around to being thankful for much of anything on Thanksgiving, except for being thankful I stayed off the highways on such a high traffic day and weekend. I did get out and take a hike along the New River in the local city park, and that was later in the day than I had planned, but I got there in time to take pictures of the sunset that my friends on Facebook seem to like a lot.

And I’m certainly thankful that I can make people smile with a push of the button on a smartphone.

Come to think of it, looking back at the pictures in my phone reminds me that I am also thankful that the big hollow tree along Radford City’s Bisset Park hiking trail is still there after the serious flood we had a few weeks ago.

And I am thankful that I have eight fully functional fingers and a December 5th appointment with a hand surgeon to find out what it will take to put the other two back in action instead of just hanging there like so much dead wood.

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Municipal dysfunction… Repairs in the works

My mobile phone sure does not like the city website. The new mayor says a new website is in the works… and meanwhile he uses Facebook for announcements, pictures, and even live videos.

There must be a better way.

Posted in 2018, civics, communication, photography, public affairs, Radford

Facebook and facing forward

We have had our first ice storm of the winter here in Southwest Virginia. In an entirely unrelated development, I injured my right hand last month so I’m playing less music lately, but down at the Floyd Country Store the dance and music jam session goes on every Sunday, and I do still get out to take hikes along the Blue Ridge Parkway or in Radford City parks. (The picture is one I shot at the Smart View Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway a few months ago. Must look a lot chillier this weekend!)

Those are all things that several hundred people who follow me on Facebook know, including friends in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, England and Ireland, as well as former students and classmates from New England to California.

Most of them do not follow this blog, which I have been writing intermittently for many years. But on Facebook I write shorter, less formally, and include many more pictures… like the ones here.

I have to remind myself to use my own blog out here on what fans called the “open web,” not within the password wall of Facebook, where you give away a lot of privacy to see what everyone else (including spies, politicians, marketers, deluded innocents and outright liars) has to say — all in one convenient package.

Another friend has just posted a note on Facebook saying that he doesn’t expect to be around that neighborhood much longer… Every set of headlines about malfeasance, misfeasance, misdirection and hubris by the young cyber media moguls has brought leaving notices.

My problem with leaving Facebook, as some sort of protest against Emperor Zuckerberg and his inability to recognize the Star Trek prime directive when giving great communication power to non-geeks, is that Facebook made itself just reliable enough and easy enough to use that significant online communities have abandoned other platforms and moved… from places like email lists, Usenet, Fidonet, Yahoo groups, Google Groups and Orkut… all of which I have enthusiastically used at one time or another.

The Old Time Radio Researchers Group I belong to is one example. Its OTRR.org, OTRRlibrary.org and several related sites still exist, but the group discussion is now on Facebook and has never been as easy to join.

Meanwhile, new local neighborhood and interest groups have grown up here that never existed before, such as the “Floyd 411” group where residents of that County share information about road conditions, storms, flooding, lost animals and other things — like a twenty-first-century AM radio neighborly kitchen-chat call-in show.

In the small city where I live, there was much more discussion of local politics and issues during the past year’s city, state and national elections then I have ever seen before. It was like having a robust local newspaper with a four-page letter column daily. Both the new mayor and the registrar of voters are on my Facebook friends list… and both use Facebook to make announcements that are much easier to access than those on the city’s frequently out-of-date web page.

Similarly, some very non-technological and non-political organizations use Facebook to get the word out about events like never before. The interlinked or overlapping membership groups for old-time String Band fiddle and banjo and guitar and mandolin music in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina links to groups interested in the same music in England and on the West Coast and in Australia and everywhere in between.

Yes, there are still independent websites for local music venues and organizations like Floydcountrystore.com and The Crooked Road, or independent bulletin boards for banjo players and mandolin players and guitar players, but the interconnection on Facebook is really amazing.

I am going to start spending more time on a couple of those independent groups, just to see whether there is any growth there and decline at Facebook. I will continue to encourage improvements in the City website, because I’m uncomfortable with its doing doing so much City business on Facebook. And I will try to remember to post my own writing out here in the public web more often instead of letting it sit in easy to use but ethically troubled Facebook.

But I still feel like a media research anthropological Observer, doing my thing while trying to figure out what’s going on out there. Am I part of the solution, or part of the problem? I don’t know.

(Thanks, as always to Dave Winer of Scripting News, whose sadly defunct Manila and Radio Userland systems blended blogging, shareable RSS feeds and discussion forums rather nicely in 1999… And whose reminders to stay out on the open web I highly appreciate.)

Posted in 2018, Appalachia, communication, Digital Culture, Facebook, Floyd, Internet, Online-Only, Social media

My other damn book(s)… and, belatedly, Beth

In keeping with Dave Winer’s (scripting.com) occasional reminders to write things outside of Facebook, where non-facebookers can read them, and taking inspiration from Stephen T Wishnevsky (wishnevsky.com), I may be writing another book.

Its title and contents are evolving, but this page may be the start of the introduction.

Wishnevsky’s volumes, “How the Hippies Ruin’t Hillbilly Music” and “Write Your Own Damn Book” (both available on Kindle or in paperback) have been a major inspiration. I have recommended “How the Hippies…” so often on Facebook and in messages to friends that my smartphone now recognizes “Ruin’t” as a correct spelling.

The other inspiration, sad and wonderful, was picking a handful of earth last month from the bucket at my friend Beth Wellington’s graveside to sprinkle down onto her coffin. She was Jewish, but the bucket was utilitarian… an accidental pun I like to think would make her laugh… The bucket was orange plastic with bold letters that said “Let’s Do This.” Or was it white with orange letters? Have I forgotten already? Did it have an exclamation point at the end? I am getting old.

Beth had survived two broken legs and a broken shoulder, run down in the crosswalk while bringing home groceries a couple of years ago, but she kept doing everything… Cooking, helping organizations, going to concerts and contradances, even if she couldn’t dance the way she used to, and writing… She used an all-terrain walker to get across downtown Blacksburg to the University Library to use its computers.

After a newspaper she worked for folded, around the time I moved to the area 10 years ago, she wrote in a variety of places … her blog (http://bethwellington.blogspot.com) and for the Guardian and elsewhere, as listed on her Linked-In page, perhaps her most detailed professional autobiography in outline form. I am sorry that she did not get to write her book. I wonder if she had one in progress. We may never know, because she left us without warning or hospitalization, at home, independently, from a blood clot or a stroke or something. She had suffered enough with hospitals, nursing homes and rehab after that accident.

Anyhow, this train of thought began with something that I wrote in a Facebook discussion today, one that also sent me off to rewrite part of the Wikipedia definition of “Bluegrass,” which had left Bill Monroe out of the first paragraph. The bluegrass discussion brought a comment from Wishnevsky on Facebook, so I digressed into recommending his books…

… I really meant the “inspiring” part.. Even before I finished it, reading “Write Your Own Damn Book” got me started on mine, tentatively titled “How I wrote four damn books, and why you haven’t read them” … but the title is a problem, since the fourth book isn’t finished (and may be better suited to remain in its current jheroes.com online-only multimedia status), so “How I wrote…” could be the fifth, and I have two or three others in mind, so I wonder whether I should save “How I wrote…” until they are all done…

That would be difficult since at least one of them, maybe two, should only be published posthumously. And maybe they should only be written that way.

The potentially controversial (sensationalized & exaggerated) two are tentatively titled, “How We Killed the Newspaper” and “I Got a Girl Scout in Trouble (Me Too).”

Time to stop wasting time on Facebook and get back to the typewriter… by which I mean a computer with a more typewriter-like interface than this Smartphone where I compose almost everything with voice to text these days.

The above has been updated and edited a bit from what I said on Facebook… Anyway, thanks to all of the above inspiration, in the coming weeks I plan to do more Thinking Out Loud here in this mostly-neglected-since-retirement blog.

Maybe the ultimate title should be “How I wrote seven damn books…”

That number seven has a nice “marketing” feel to it. Maybe I should settle for “How I wrote seven damn book titles“? Sounds like an autobiography about attention deficit disorder, doesn’t it? That would not be inappropriate.

The somewhat false advertising of this whole thing is that the first “three books” are of the academic thesis variety, and exist on my bookshelf and on the bookshelves of two or three College libraries, and that is about it.

Part of the story of book five or six or seven would be explaining why I never attempted to have any of the other three published more widely. For now, let’s just say I had reasons.

And, if I don’t get around to writing anything but more blog posts and Facebook notes, perhaps that will be enough to inspire someone else to keep writing after they see this little essay. And, having noticed that her own LinkedIn page is as close as Beth Wellington got to a public obituary, I will have to go update mine one of these days. My LinkedIn page, that is.
 

 

 

Posted in 2018, biography, jheroes, Journalism, Memorial, personal, Stepno, storytelling, WordPress, writing

Newsroom vultures

This is just a list of depressing news about “investors” dismantling independent newspapers… I’ve been following the stories via the Washington Post and other news organizations in my Facebook feed. Yes, there are bigger threats to a free and independent press than “new media.”

A Denver Post intern summed it, as quoted by Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan:

“I don’t understand the business plan,.. How does cutting off a leg help you keep running?”

I keep expecting someone to come up with a smoking-gun link between the political right wing and these vulture-capitalist “investors” dismantling the infrastructure of the free press in America.

BUT the “someone” would rightly be the independent investigative journalists who are losing their jobs. There are some bright spots on a national level, but fewer strong regional and local organizations.

https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2018/03/14/massive-job-cuts-coming-to-the-denver-post.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/is-this-strip-mining-or-journalism-sobs-gasps-expletives-over-latest-denver-post-layoffs/2018/03/15/d05abc5a-287e-11e8-874b-d517e912f125_story.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/02/15/cuts-probably-won-end-for-boston-herald-under-new-owner/wVZfKt6RjBZFmg3jmBL2rJ/story.html

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-ocr-layoffs-20180115-story.html

http://www.robertfeder.com/2018/03/15/layoffs-hit-chicago-tribune-newsroom-2/

And where to look for some hope…

http://billmoyers.com/story/10-investigative-reporting-outlets-to-follow/

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Analog Newsroom Memories

This started as technostalgia and finally got me to write something I’ve been trying to get around to for a week… On Facebook, Kathryn Lord, a former Hartford Courant colleague posted this photo of our former Mansfield (Storrs) bureau  teletype machine — just before it was replaced by a 1979 computer and modem. 

I believe the sign on the door is an old University of Connecticut press parking pass that I had stuck there under a Hartford Courant nameplate ripped from a front page a half-dozen years earlier.

While the sign and teletype remained in 1979, I had moved on from being UConn-area bureau chief to be higher education editor in Hartford in ’75, and by ’79 had started the grad school program that led to my leaving the paper in 1980. But I was already riding a wave of memories about that office and the people in it — one in particular — when this picture appeared in the Hartford Courant “alumni” Facebook group. So I asked Kathryn for permission to repost it outside the members-only space.

About a third of my Courant career traveled over that very teletype, from 1971 to ’75, stories I wrote or edited, never thinking that I was part of the last wave of analog communication technology. This was no digital computer and modem operation. The machine had no storage — it sent one character at a time, uppercase only, to a corresponding machine in Hartford. Push down a tall mechanical key and it would simultaneously type a letter on the yellow roll of paper in front of you and signal a similar machine to type an identical letter at the other end of a leased telephone line — where the Hartford Courant state desk crew was busily laying out pages, writing headlines marking up the printout so the composing room could set it in type in proper upper and lower case. 

As “bureau chief” I knew how to change the paper rolls and ribbons, and operated the machine well enough myself to get in a breaking story on deadline when I had to, and to teach the basics to a series of part-time teletype operators, most of whom typed faster than I did. They were the ones who sent off stories by our bureau’s five daily correspondents, me, and one or two staff reporters. I recently learned that at least one of the half-dozen teletype operators I hired stayed with newspaper journalism far longer than I did, and one went on to become a successful author of a book about women executives’ “glass ceiling.”

And last week I learned that the first full-time reporter I was able to hire to share that office has passed away, after a remarkable journalism career that never ended. Terese A. Karmel, known to everyone (sometimes confusingly) as T.C., started as a small town correspondent,  a mom with two kids at home, somehow finding time to cover school board and planning and zoning meetings, being paid a pittance per story, but in love with writing. She soon became a part-time reporter-editor, then full-time staff, and eventually took over my old job as bureau chief. 

But she kept going, building a career as a feature editor, sports writer, magazine writer and journalism teacher. She started writing about women at the University of Connecticut just as the women’s movement and Title IX arrived, empowering women’s sports. She paid attention when others didn’t. She shared an amazing amount of passion, ideas, humor and energy, both in print and in person. 

As her first editor, I mostly just got out of the way. That teletype machine — and print — ultimately saw many more stories with her byline than mine. I am proud to have known and worked with her, and very sad that she is gone.

Of course someone at the Courant has written the more complete obituary, one that doesn’t “bury the lede” the way this little memorial does.

Posted in community, Connecticut, Journalism, Newspapers, personal, Stepno, Technology, The Hartford Courant

Gone into the new ether

I found out yesterday that I have lost a friend, just an acquaintance really, but someone whose interests and mine overlapped in this new ethereal world of social media and online research.

   Jimbo should have become obsessed with at least the title of the old TV show “I Led Three Lives,” because the Web, online forums, blogs and podcasts certainly made it possible for him to lead many more than that. 

His biggest obsession in recent years was a decades old radio show called Vic & Sade, a brief quirky daily  serial that might be considered a Depression-era Midwestern Seinfeld if those weren’t complete contradictions in terms. His Vic & Sade blog was one of more than a dozen websites he created with the Blogger program, stretching it to its limits, but he also has had a career in podcasting on more general subjects. He recorded a 13-chapter online “audiobook” about Vic & Sade with a wonderfully modest introduction that mentioned how relatively new he was to the oldtime radio hobby, that he was in poor health, and that he had lost his wife in an auto accident some years ago. 

If you want to “meet” Jimbo, that’s where I would start. He gave that opus a “Vic & Sade” inspired title:
The Audiobook that Choked Billy Patterson.

Someone on Twitter posted a link yesterday to what they said was Jimbo’s obituary under his real name. It is a blank except for the name, date and town he lived in, with no funeral arrangements mentioned. Did his family there near the Georgia coast really have no bio to post, and no idea of his lives online? Was his use of the names “Jimbo” and “Jim/Jimbo/James Mason” based on a real need for privacy? Were there other names he used for Old Time Radio Researchers Group OTRRG uploads at archive.org? He mentioned once that folks confused him and OTRRG’s Jim Beshires because of the first name and initial.

I have decided to let him remain “Jimbo” to me and pay my respects with this note, and listening to some of his and his friends’ podcasts, a phase of his online publishing career that began around the time we lost touch. That included not only a Vic & Sade podcast, which I new about, but a collaborative online audio drama I just learned of today, Hometownville, which takes place in Alaska and has Jimbo as “Nanook.”

I “met” Jimbo on Twitter, where he posted as http://twitter.com/jimbo_otr (his last posts there were Nov.30) … At the time I was looking for help in my research into old radio show portrayals of journalists. I used to be one, and later was a journalism professor, but his research was purely a labor of love, with as far as I know no goal of making money, selling a commercial book, or getting some arcane credit toward tenure and promotion, which had been part of my own motivation for researching old radio shows.

He helped me with leads for a blog item about the radio characters Vic & Sade as newspaper *readers* as well as Vic’s flirtation with writing for newspapers. I wrote this: 

https://jheroes.com/comedies/#VS

Our Twitter and email conversations led to his interviewing me about my OTR research. He published the results on one of his blogs in 2012.

Coincidentally, both of us had been exploring the research potential of Google’s scanned-newspaper project. After Jimbo interviewed me about my work, we tagged each other back and forth on Twitter for a couple of years. But since retiring, I’ve been devoting more time to music and less to radio research, more time to Facebook and less to Twitter. As a result, I pretty much completely lost touch with him. I’m terribly sad to hear that he has passed, and to hear the wheezing sound of his voice on a couple of podcasts I’ve listened to since getting the news. I had downloaded his Vic & Sade audio book, but had only listened to part if it, and had no idea how extensive his audio work had been. For almost a year he had hosted something called Overnightscape Central, as well as his Vic and Sadecast, both of which his friends plan to continue. Some of his collaborators there built a collective tribute broadcast that is almost four and a half hours long. He touched people! 

Well, all I can say is that I hope Jimbo had as much fun and fascination — and love — in all of the parts of his life that apparently few of us knew anything about. Rest in peace, Jimbo, and in this strange new kind of internet ethereal immortality.

[This blog post is an expanded version of a note I posted in response to one of the podcast tributes to Jimbo.]

Some links into Jimbo’s world:

http://otrbuffet.blogspot.com

http://otrbuffet.blogspot.com/p/my-other-blogs.html

http://otrpodcast.blogspot.com

https://www.blogger.com/profile/06727628684761174393

A “Superhuman” effort at combining all the 15-minute episodes of the 1940s Superman radio serial into “complete story arc” mp3 files… cutting down the repetitious reloading and commercial interruptions for those whose “research” interests involve listening to the full stories. (There are other Archive collections and Web pages with individual episodes in date-sequence.) To give you an idea of Jimbo’s commitment to the Old Time Radio “hobby,” there are 80 stories here, ranging from one to six hours long!

Dec. 21 addition… I finally got to hear Jimbo’s podcasting friends pay their respects — with more than four and a half hours of memories, excerpts from his broadcast, and other tributes!

On Facebook, I pointed Dave Winer & Christopher Lydon, as pioneer podcasters, to Jimbo and friends’ world of interlinked podcasts at onsug.com

It’s not “like public radio,” “like talk radio,” or like anything I’ve been listening to elsewhere. Unfortunately, it was his death that made me finally give a listen to this aspect of his online career.

Addressing the Facebook note to tge?erudite Chris Lyndon also prompted me to observe that “Jimbo” was like a Joe Gould who didn’t need a Joseph Mitchell — and whose biggest secret was his real name. In fact, I wish The New Yorker would get someone as obsessive as Mitchell to tell the story behind Jimbo’s online publishing career! (The way Mitchell did about Gould, making him perhaps the worlds best known unpublished writer half a century ago.)

I had only listened to a few episodes of Jimbo’s Vic & Sade audiobook, and had no idea how far beyond that one podcast his podcasting career went, and now I am just a little fascinated by the non-OTR online community podcasting made him part of.

I’ve just spent the morning finally listening to his fellow-podcasters’ memorial program… almost four and a half hours of tributes and clips from his past programs! And that is only part one! Quite the memorial.

It reminded me that some early podcasts about old-time radio shows were what got me started listening to and writing about them (at jheroes.com)… something I discussed with Jimbo when he interviewed me for his blog almost 6 years ago. (I just tracked down that piece too… his questions got me composing a better explanation of what I was up to than I had written on my own blog at the time…
http://otrbuffet.blogspot.com/2012/02/interview-with-bob-stepno-about.html )

His death also prompted me to dust off this general purpose blog that I haven’t been using as much since retirement, and since getting over-involved with Facebook.

Posted in 2017, biography, Blogging, communication, Memorial, oldtime radio, personal, podcasting, socialnets
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