(please click image)

the Wanderling

"The envelope was addressed to a man named Russ Miller, the owner of the Normandie Club, one of six legal poker casinos in the city, with those six being practically the only legal poker clubs in the whole state. I knew enough about gambling places to know that no 12 or 13 year old kid was just going up to the front door and walk right in."

With the end of World War II thousands and thousands if not millions of ex-servicemen began wending their way back into civilian life. A whole new wave crested over the nation as former military personnel returned home and began getting married, buying little houses in suburbia on the G.I. Bill along with matching sets of white Kenmore washing machines and dryers from Sears and Robucks and started raising families.

It was then that some of the more seedy side of things that had been offered and acceptable to those same servicemen during the war began coming into the crosshairs of the same people that before were willing to overlook the offerings or even be on the payroll. It was during that budding environment, matched with the cessation of hostilities around the globe, that my dad and stepmother decided they should do a little traveling, picking South America rather than war-torn Europe as their main choice. With their doing so, it required my brothers and me to once again be parsed out like we had been so many times before since our mother died. Thus entered for me, as a young boy, the Normandie Club.

A few days before my dad and Stepmother left for South America a woman by the name of Pauline who had at onetime worked for my stepmother, stepped forward and either asked for, was asked, or consented to, having my younger brother come live with her, my older brother already having been placed with a friend of my stepmother who had a working ranch in Idaho.

With no similar offers surfacing or aimed toward me from anybody or anywhere as those so aimed toward my brothers, and with time running out, I was basically left hanging. My uncle, himself right on the cusp of returning to Santa Fe and by default the only adult left in the loop with any sort of responsibility, everyone else having split by then, after some heavy duty negotiating on his part that bordered on pure begging infused with a certain amount of bribery with Aunt Pauline, as we were told to call her, she halfheartedly agreed to take me in as well.

As South America loomed ever closer on the horizon for my stepmother, within minutes of departure actually, seeing there was a good chance I would end up living with Pauline, she handed an envelope to my uncle to give to me with strict instructions that even though it was OK for me to see the contents I was not show it or give it to anybody else except to the person it was addressed --- in other words, keep Pauline out of it. Big time stuff. Remember, we're talking me being not much more than a 12 or 13 year old boy or so at the time.

When my brother and I were sent to live with Pauline she and her husband had just bought a brand new house in a small but growing community about 12 miles south of downtown Los Angeles --- and a world away from Los Angeles --- called Gardena. It wasn't too many years, even months before, that most of the area had been nothing less than miles of stoop-labor farmland, but as we were moving in, and although you would never know it today since freeways have cut it all to pieces, and it was no Lakewood then or now, it was quickly becoming more and more of a post-war bedroom community as new tract houses began springing up all over the former cabbage fields. In a quasi biggest little city in the world scenario, Gardena was also quickly becoming known, if it hadn't already, as the card club, poker capitol of the world.

The school my younger brother attended went from the 1st through 6th grades, with no middle school. In that I was three grades higher than my brother and with no middle schools I went to a combination junior-senior high, which meant, starting with the 7th grade the school ran straight through to the 12th grade. The junior high classes were all mixed up with the high school classes, with some classes, levels, and teachers overlapping all grades. What it meant to my brother and me was we were on totally different time schedules, and since the high school was so much further away than his school we had different departure and return times. Typically I had to oversee my younger brother during any free or off time almost like babysitting, but because of the differences in the schedules I had all kinds of time at my discretion for both coming and going relative to his coming and goings. Matter of fact, nobody really kept close track of me going back and forth to school, so in a sense, if I wanted, I could build in almost any amount of time on either side of coming or going I wanted as long as it didn't raise any red flags.

With that kind of latitude, I was easily afforded all the time I needed to deliver the envelope my stepmother gave me without anybody knowing. Where I lived was right near South Vermont and 147th Street, not far from the school my younger brother attended, Amestoy. The card club where I needed to go was maybe eight blocks west of Amestoy, on 148th Street and South Western, not so far off the route I used to and from school that I couldn't easily squeeze it in.

The envelope was addressed to a man named Russ Miller, the owner of the Normandie Club, one of six legal poker casinos in the city, with those six being practically the only legal poker clubs in the whole state. I knew enough about gambling places to know that no 12 or 13 year old kid was just going up to the front door and walk right in, especially one that if it didn't operate 24 hours a day it nearly did. I also knew if I didn't give the letter directly to Miller he might not actually receive it. So, I did what any enterprising kid would do, I went around to the back door and talked to the help. One of them was kind enough to get someone to get Miller and I handed him the envelope.

Miller looked the letter over for a few minutes, asked how my "mother" was, then after a bit of small talk wanted to know what is was he could do for me. I told him I was looking to earn some money and was hoping for some kind of regular after school or weekend work. He asked what grade I was in and stretching the truth a bit I told him I went to Gardena High. He said come back in a couple of days and ask for Rick. Which is what I did. When I got home I told Pauline I signed up for after school extra curricular activities with the drama department working with the stage crew, bringing a whole slew of paperwork home testifying to the fact. Instead of course, the same time I was supposed to be doing stage crew stuff I was really working at the Normandie Club.[1]

Because I was just a kid and still in school, and most of the business was off limits to minors because of being a gambling establishment, I basically ended up working in and confined to the kitchen area. One Saturday late in the afternoon or moving into early evening hours several months after I started working, I was in the back of the club washing pots and pans or something when four or five rough looking suit types, rather than coming in the front, came through the back entrance headed toward the casino or Miller's offices. As I looked up one of the men said, "What are you lookin' at fuckface?" I diverted my eyes downward, but as soon as I did he stopped the group and came over to me tipping my head up to get a closer look, all the while squeezing my jaw and chin really tight. Then he said, "I know you, I've seen you before, what the fuck are you doing in this fucking place?" Another of the men, seeing how tight I was being squeezed, put his arm between the two of us, stretching the distance between the man and me causing the man to loosen his grip. In a much nicer much softer tone the other man said, "Hey kid, remember me?" And sure enough I did. Matter of fact, after looking at the men more closely I recognized two or three of them. By then Miller was there with a couple of other guys wanting to know what was going on.

It seems the heavyweights were coming in the backdoor to catch Miller off guard, possibly even planning on using the art of friendly persuasion inflicted through some sort of bodily harm. The interlude with me stopped them just long enough for Miller to confront them with witnesses. Whatever the problem was it was all diffused and before anything could happen, nothing happened --- or at least delayed to another day. Nobody was shot anyway.

Miller wanted to know what was the nature of the men's business, coming through the back door and all. In an apparent deflection of interests, the man who stopped to look at me initially, pulled Miller aside wanting to know how it was I was working in his club, was I affiliated with or knew anybody else there. Miller told him I was hired as a favor to my stepmother. The man said, "That fuckin' whore, don't you know she and Roselli are tight. Shit, the boy's probably working for him right now." Miller asked me if that was true and I told him I wasn't working for anybody but him, that Roselli was a friend of my stepmother's and it was through her that I knew who he was. The man that stepped between me and the other man earlier, moved into the conversation saying "the kid's alright," that he knew me from long back and that I was OK, Roselli or not.

Not more than two days had gone by after the above event than I was walking along the sidewalk from school toward work when a car pulled up along the curb and from the driver's side a man yelled through the open passenger side window asking directions on how to get to the Normandie Club from there. When I went over to the car I immediately recognized the man as being my stepmother's former bodyguard and driver. He asked me to get in and I did. He said he heard I had been roughed up at the "Club" the other night. When I nodded yes, my stepmother's former driver said that guy won't be roughin' up anybody again for awhile, if ever. Especially boys. The driver wheeled the car into a side ally a few blocks before reaching the club and let me out in order to ensure nobody could make a connection between the two of us and or the car.

About an hour after I got to work that day, Russ Miller, the owner of the Normandie Club, came down to the kitchen to talk with me. He said we must both be living under a guardian angel because he was sure when the man stopped to talk to me in the kitchen a couple of nights before, it interrupted the timing of anything else going forward. He felt those few minutes more than likely saved his life. He told me he was sorry that I had to take the burnt of the man's wrath but said if it was any consolation, they found the same man, the man who had shoved me around, so beat up and pistol whipped he was near death, with one of his eyeballs and everything knocked completely out of it's socket. The thing is, in getting back to my stepmother's driver for a second and what he told me, if there was any connection between him and the man, there could be big problems. The man was mob, my stepmother's driver wasn't. If there was some connection, or if in some fashion he was responsible for it and it was found out, he was a dead man. You don't fuck with the mob, not even for a boy's honor. Eye for an eye.

While the driver and I were riding in the car I asked him how things were going. He said there was nothing like working for my stepmother, and while he did it was the finest job or experience he ever had. He said she was gracious, generous, kind and listened. She would die for you if she had too and her word was her bond. To cross her she was ruthless and in her heyday had the means to carry it out. He said when she left she set aside a whole pile of money, but told him to be careful how he flashed it around. Using some of the money he and a few of the "girls," maybe five, had got together to form their own enterprise, but he said it was rough. He wasn't sure what or how much I knew about anything, if I was fully versed on everything or totally in the dark, so he sort of couched his wording. But basically he was saying he didn't realize how much overhead and payoffs were required to stay in operation and if any of it was worth it. The thing is he said, it was what he knew. In the end, more than anything, he made a concerted effort to ensure my stepmother wasn't cast into an unfavorable light.[2]

A few paragraphs back I mention that the man who shoved me around in the kitchen that night brought up a man by the name of Johnny Roselli, asking Miller how it was I was working at his club and basically yelling in his face that I was probably working for him, Roselli, right now, meaning like I was a spy or something. Miller asked me if any of the man's Roselli allegations were true and I told him I wasn't working for anybody but him.

Roselli was a high ranking member of the mob. At the time I was working at the Normandie Club, the west coast mob scene, more specifically Los Angeles and associated environs because of where the leaders were headquartered --- and where the money was --- was split into two sections. Officially, as far as the back east Dons were concerned, the boss was Jack Dragna. Unofficially, the other side fell under what was left of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's old west coast operation sanctioned by the New York side of things and run by Mickey Cohen after Siegel was shot and killed in 1947. Because the official linage ran from Chicago to Dragna as it did through to Roselli, he was typically more closely affiliated with Dragna.

On the surface, such was the case. However, Dragna had his own longtime core of people around him that he knew, trusted, and was familiar with when Roselli first showed up on the west coat. In a sense Roselli was an outsider, albeit with strong ties to the Chicago outfit. One area Dragna was weak in was the entertainment industry, that is, Hollywood and the film industry. Keeping Roselli at arms length yet still providing a much needed service he put Roselli in charge of dealing with Hollywood --- which in turn he did amazingly well, especially after Siegel was murdered and with Cohen just not having the wherewith all to do it. At least not at the sophisticated level Roselli was able to. With Siegel out of the way, it was just a quick move for Roselli to put his thumb on Vegas as well, which is exactly what the Chicago guys wanted.

So too, it didn't hurt any that Mickey Cohen had been sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion, actually just the year before I started working at the Normandie Club. Most of that side of things, without bosses, by default eventually slid under Dragna's control, at least for a few years. In the meantime, although not a Don in the classical sense, Roselli's power was basically growing limitless, falling outside, beyond, and above the circle of Dragna's control. But, with Roselli not vying for control of Dragna's operations nor even an interest in it, besides providing a substantial sum of money to it on a regular basis, a remarkable truce was formulated. Even after Dragna's death in 1956, although others contend otherwise, Roselli showed no interest in being in charge. Roselli always thought the L.A. mob was a loser organization and beneath him. And I agree.

A few days after I talked to my stepmother's driver the Normandie Club came all abuzz. Roselli had showed up on a social call to to have dinner with Russ Miller, a social call because there was no known overt or covert affiliations with the mob nor business reasons to be there. After a cordial dinner Roselli walked back to the kitchen and everybody was scared shitless. He had me called over, then he put his hand on my shoulder and we walked away from the group. He said he heard I had been roughed up a few nights before because of a possible connection to him, and I told him yes. Then he asked if I knew the man that had roughed me up was beaten fairly severely, to the point he might not recover. I told Roselli that Miller had told me about it maybe the day before. Then Roselli asked me if I knew anything about the circumstances surrounding the incident. I told him I only knew what Miller had told me, and as far as I knew there was no connection between me, the incident in the kitchen, and the man's beating. Roselli said, "That's all I wanted to hear." With that he turned and left.[3]

Several hours before Roselli showed up at the card club Miller casually saunter into the kitchen with a man he seemed to be on fairly good terms with, visiting under the pretense of the man tasting and giving his opinion on some special Italian sauce Miller was having brewed up. At the time I had never seen the man before nor did I know who he was. However, within a few years all of that was to change. The man turned out to be Anthony "Tony" Parravano, a wealthy multi-millionaire construction company owner who also had under his belt a whole slew of high speed sports race cars such as Ferraris and Maseratis, cars that he raced in road races throughout the Southern California area. I met Parravano through his chief mechanic Joe Landaker who I had met at the little mom and pop restaurant/cafe I was working at during my high school years after having left the couple and moving to Redondo Beach, California. Landaker had invited me up to see all the race cars at his shop and the day I did Parravano was there. I told him I had seen him a few years before at the Nomandie Club with the following results:

"After associating me with the Roselli incident, Parravano stepped back in the shop and in so many words told Landaker to give me the run of the place, with Landaker nodding in approvement and giving a slight sign of a salute. Then Parravano came back out bending to my level putting his face in mine and tapping my chest fairly hard with his knuckle said, calling Roselli by his mob name, that the next time I saw him to put a good word in for him, that he had did right by me. Which, although it was a few years later and Parravano already skipped town, I did."


Wouter Melissen

My stepmother was always a woman of mystery. Nobody seemed to know anything about her really. Until she married my dad and took his last name she had at least three aliases and just as many passports. During the war and postwar years she was a regular at heady celebrity nightspots like Ciro's, the Tracadero, Coconut Grove, while before the war, the Clover Club on the Sunset Strip, hobnobbing on a first name basis with a slew of Hollywood bigshots. The same was true with influential California politicians as well as Los Angeles area mob figures such as Jack Dragna and Johnny Roselli. If she knew Bugsy Siegel or not I don't know. I do know she knew Siegel's girlfriend Virginia Hill fairly well and I write about it extensively in a couple of places, most notably as found in Dr. Margaret Chung.

After my real mother's death, prior to living with Pauline and a few relatives and a foster couple or two before that, I lived for a several years under the auspices of my stepmother after she and my dad got married. At the time my stepmother was very wealthy and she basically hired people to do everything. She did the same in the process of overseeing my two brothers and myself. It worked out great for me because as soon as she noticed I had a certain propensity toward art she talked my Uncle, who lived in the Santa Fe, Taos, New Mexico, area and a well established artist in his own right, and who had been going back and forth per my grandmother's request, to just stay on the west coast. She set him up in a fully equipped artist's studio and covered all expenses, including models, lots of models even though he was a desert landscape or still life sort of a guy. All my uncle had to do was have me as a protege, develop my budding talents, and arrange for me to have as many art and educational experiences as possible although he wasn't so hot on my developing interests in life modeling.

My younger brother had a nanny, but for my older brother, any attempt on my stepmother's part to make things right for him did not work out so well. Bottom line he hated her and made her life as miserable as possible. It was the total opposite for she and I. True, I didn't spend a lot of time with her one-on-one very often, but every once in a while just the two of us would go on errands together where she would pick up little bags of money here and there and sometimes drop off little bags of money here and there.

The only person who seemed to have any amount of control over my older brother other than my father was the person my dad had long ago designated as our Godfather. The problem was that over the years he had continually turned toward the bottle, becoming a heavy drinker and an even heavier gambler. When he wasn't passed out or on the verge of passing out he was constantly playing the horses and betting on boxing matches or other sporting events, most often through a bookie and usually with money he didn't have. Because of same, one of mobster Mickey Cohen's so-called seven dwarfs stopped my godfather on the street one day threatening his life right in front of my older brother telling him that if he did not come through with a large amount of cash he owed he would "end up in Santa Monica bay swimming with the sharks." My stepmother was aware of my godfather's gambling habit but did not realize it had got so out of hand. She also felt it was way out of line for someone as high up on the food chain as one of the seven dwarfs to be running errands for Cohen, let alone threatening someone's life in front of a young boy. Thinking it might somehow be personal she contacted Jack Dragna, the Los Angeles don, and asked him to request Cohen, who my stepmother did not know, to lay off, she would take care of any debts incurred. Re the following from the source so cited:

"Jack Dragna, who was connected to the Chicago mob and Mickey Cohen, who was connected more closely to the New York side of things, did not get along appreciably well. To ensure that Cohen got the message that Dragna did not want any additional or continuing problems regarding the incident, he had mob heavyweight Johnny Roselli join my stepmother for the payoff of my godfather's debt. Cohen sent flowers to my stepmother the next day. My stepmother had a friend, or at least a close business associate named Brenda Allen, who was the top 'madam' in Los Angeles at the time. Cohen knew that Allen and my stepmother were close. He told Allen he felt slighted that my stepmother would be compelled to show up with Roselli, although he thought that in her doing so, it most likely was not of her own making."

THE STEPMOTHER: Footnote [2]

I didn't spend a lot of time with my stepmother one-on-one very often, but every once in a while just the two of us would go on errands together where she would pick up little bags of money here and there and sometimes drop off little bags of money here and there. It was either during one of the aforementioned times my stepmother was picking up little bags of money here and there or dropping off little bags of money here and there that I saw or came across two or three of the men in the group that came into the Normandie Club that evening --- or --- and this is a huge big or, when I was working the theater exit door one night for an underground clandestine Tarzan and Jane "forbidden zone" showing.

On one of those nights I was working the door, in what was really a kid's thing, several big time thugs, adults in suits and carrying guns, came to the exit door, stuck a .45 in the face of one of the guys watching the door and taking money, then shoved him aside and told him to tell whoever was in charge to start showing the movie. I was at the door that night and why or how a couple of the men may have seen and come to have recognized me. I was a great deal younger than 12 years old when the above events happened, so for my stepmother to have a young boy with her under such circumstances was so atypical that I was easily remembered. Those types of dealings were done in an all adult world, kids just didn't exist. If a kid did exist at that level it had to be for a special reason. In my case if it was to diffuse the eventuality of a potential toxic situation or being groomed for later participation in similar type activities I didn't know nor never learned. In later years, now for example, I do have a tendency to lean toward the groomed for later participation in similar type activities aspect of it all. As for the movie theater thing, if not one or the other or a combination of both of the above events, it would all had been nothing but one huge coincidence. See:


Below is a quote from interactions I participated in in later years as found at the source so cited, that pretty much substantiates the view that I was being groomed for later participation in similar type activities that my stepmother was making reference to:

"My stepmother and I had a long and special relationship from the very beginning, she having from very early on taken me under her wing and into her confidence. Until everything she had came crashing down and she lost everything, I think she was grooming me for a very special high position in whatever she did, as she always made it a point for people to know me and who I was, and that I was a person, even though a kid, was someone that could be trusted. When she said that the slot machines should be dealt with on the sly I knew exactly what she meant --- and she knew I knew."


In the opening paragraphs at the top of the page I write that Pauline, who had at onetime worked for my stepmother, stepped forward and either asked for or consented to, having my younger brother come live with her. She and her husband's plans to start a family showed no promise as four years into their marriage they still had no children --- hence her interest in my younger brother. As for me it was another thing. According to my uncle, after some heavy negotiating that bordered on pure begging by my him, Pauline halfheartedly agreed to take me in as well. So, from the very beginning I was the odd man out, I was older and had history and Pauline never let me forget it.

Sometime into the second year of living at Pauline's, out of the blue, my dad came to visit. Under the premise of seeing my brother and me he actually spent more time behind closed doors with Pauline. When we did have time to talk, giving no reason, he told me he and my stepmother had divorced. After continued harping or pressure on my part he finally gave up that she was now either in the process of buying or already had bought property in the high desert in some business deal with an old friend of hers the famed aviatrix Pancho Barnes, most likely he said in an effort to reestablish herself. With that tiny seed of information, seemingly driven by an overwhelming need, desire, or just plain want to see her, and with no one willing to make any kind of arrangements to help make it happen, I started plotting on how to connect up with her in my own inimitable way.

My own inimitable way was fairly simple. I was going to run away and find her. After that I had no plans, although I was highly aware of the fact that the summer I chose to run away just happened to be the summer before I was to start high school --- and I wasn't sure in that respect of what, if any, the ramifications might be.

About a month after school was out for the summer I had accumulated enough money for a Greyhound ticket to the then little desert town of Palmdale which I knew wasn't far from Pancho's. Using the cover story of going to a friend's house for the day, without anybody's knowledge or approval I gathered up a few things to be gone longer, especially so my Sgt. Preston Prospector's Camp Outfit which included a small camping tent and a camp stove that just happened to arrive in the mail only a few days before (total cost: buck fifty) and I left. Several days later I found my stepmother with the following results:

"Although impressed that I ran away just to be with her she thought it best to get in touch with my dad and see what she should do next. Unwilling to talk with my grandmother she called the woman of the foster couple I ran away from, who she knew and was friends with, hoping to find out if I should be returned to them or to locate my father, telling the woman that I was in good care and everything was OK. The woman of the couple, Aunt Pauline, told my stepmother to 'keep the fucking little asshole, I don't give a shit what happens to him.' Then she added, 'Don't forget his prick of a little brother, either.' My stepmother, taking into consideration there were no subtle or hidden messages in her response, being quite clear as well as taking her at her word, contacted my uncle to see if he had any idea where my dad was. He didn't, but told my stepmother if she could find no other solution and she could get me to Santa Fe he would deal with situation until everything could be hammered out. With that, having no success locating my dad for whatever reason, rather than sticking me on some grungy multi-day cross desert bus ride to my uncle's and not knowing for sure if I wouldn't just get off somewhere on the way, she arranged for the same former World War II P-47 pilot that flew my uncle and me to Sacramento a few years before to fly me to Santa Fe, ensuring, she hoped, I would be less likely to get out mid-trip."[4]


(please click tent image)

Even though my dad and stepmother were no longer together, I spent a good part of almost every summer while I was in high school on one property or the other she owned in the high desert. During the summer just before I started high school she had only just returned from South America and bought the property or was in the process of buying it. At that time the place she bought was pretty much a run down, long shuttered former attempt at a dude ranch. One year later, during my first full summer there, what she called a 'ranch' --- even though as a ranch it was a little on the sparse side in what I would call standard ranch fare --- had been completely rebuilt and refurbished with a rather long fully stocked bar, food service facilities, swimming pool, dance hall, live entertainment, along with rodeos and boxing matches on the weekends. It also had a Wurlitzer bubbler model jukebox and at least two dozen one-armed-bandit slot machines in a secret hidden room, plus like I like to say, a flock of ever present hostesses --- several of whom took me under their wing and one or two that may have been slightly more friendly than they should have been considering my young age, the youngest at the time at the very least being six years older than me.

At the end of one of the boxing days, some Runyonesque types, knowing I was the "son" of the owner and having been ferrying bet money between them on some of the matches invited me to sit down and have dinner with them. My stepmother, circulating through the crowd, after noticing me at the table with some fairly risky types, came over to see if all was well. In small talk one of them said they had come up for the day from Del Mar and would soon be heading back to continue their gambling on the thoroughbreds, then asked if I could go back with them and learn about the horses. My stepmother, having a complementary bottle of wine sent to their table, asked to let her think on it.

Later, when she and I were alone she told me I was welcome to go if I liked but to be aware, despite their appearance and demeanor they were pretty rough types, possibly some even packing heat. That night five of us left together counting me, with me riding in the middle of the back seat of a brand new 1953 Cadillac convertible with the top down, the whole of the trip to Del Mar done mostly at flat out high speed. Cigars, booze, and sometimes shooting at stop signs with .45 semi-automatics. Not me of course, I was just a boy. In the afternoon of the second day, and nearly $500 bucks ahead thanks to their suggestions, I was put on a train to L.A. where I was met at Union Station and taken back to the ranch. Little did I know at the time that for the whole trip I was being watched closely, albeit from a distance, by one of my stepmother's employees.

The interesting part of it is that one of the Runyonesque types watching and betting on the boxing matches that day was one and the same man who had, at the Normandie Club several years earlier, put his arm between me and the other man saying he recognized me. At my stepmother's ranch he recognized me again and during our trip to Del Mar in an astute fashion basically kept watch on my overall well being. My stepmother told me that years before, his wife and young son had been killed in a horrific auto accident with the two of them burnt beyond recognition. She said if his son would have lived he and I would have been just about the same age.

One morning early during that very same summer as the Del Mar excursion above, my stepmother came to me all dressed up with high heels and everything and said she was going to Los Angeles for some meeting or the other and wanted to know if I would like to go along. What I thought would be a more formal meeting, say like at a lawyers office or some other equally important happenstance, turned out to be basically no more than eating at Tiny Naylor's Drive-In restaurant in Hollywood followed by a trip to Forest Lawn Cemetery --- all the while my stepmother looking at her watch as if she had to be someplace at a certain time. She bought a bouquet of flowers as we entered the cemetery then drove along the roads just as though she knew where she was going or had been there before. She pulled up behind a taxi, the only car parked anywhere in the area and stopped, telling me to stay as she got out.

She hurried across the road going many rows deep, with each step sort of wobbling because of her high heels sinking into the grass until she reached the site of a grave where a lone woman was standing. After what seemed to be not much more than a slight cursory hug and a cheek touch between the two she put the flowers next to some already there then the two women just stood next to each other over the grave for quite some time looking down. However, even at the distance I was I could tell the two were talking a good part of the time as they stood there. After a while they both walked back toward the car and it was then I was introduced. The woman was Brenda Allen, a few years before Hollywood's and L.A.'s most prosperous madam. The gravesite they went to see? I never learned.[5]

(please click image)







(please click)

As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.

Footnote [1]

Further down in the above main text, more specifically as found in Footnote [2] and the paragraph it is associated with, you will learn that during the summer before high school, right after I heard my stepmother had returned from South America, I ran away from the home of the aforementioned foster couple I was living with, i.e., Pauline and her husband, ending up at my stepmother's ranch totally unannounced. Although she was far from advocating it, she was pleased with the fact, in that I did run away, I sought her out specifically to be the person I ran away to.

"I reminded her that as it was, just before she left for South America, she had written a letter that was responsible for me getting a really good part-time after school job, and it was money from that job that helped finance my bus ticket and finding her that summer."

The money I earned working at the Normandie Club did a lot more than just pay for the bus ticket to my stepmother's. When my uncle was overseeing me we used to go down to the giant Palley's Surplus Store off Alameda Street and Vernon in Los Angeles, often with my brothers going along, For us the place was like Disneyland, sometimes we would spend the whole day there because the place had everything --- big things like half tracks and bomber machinegun turrets to little things like GI issued lensatic compasses and packets of fluorescent green sea dye markers. My brothers and I, in what was one of the few things we ever did together, were always cooking up some kind of an excuse go there with me always returning with a ton of World War II army surplus stuff --- canteens, pistol belts, parkas, infantry backpacks, army M43 folding shovels, and two of my very favorites, an Army Signal Corps J-38 Handkey, one in its own little case, the other with a leg-band tagged as a KY116/U, both for sending Morse code and an ESM/1 Emergency Signaling Mirror.

Take a look at the beautiful machine work that went into making the KY-116/U, an item, like the formidable four wheel drive jeep, that was made in the time of war for war. Both in their own ways masterpieces each built for a different function but to serve the same purpose --- defeat the enemy. Wartime jeeps and telegraph hand keys like the KY116/U were turned out by the thousands and thrown into extremes as far ranging as the Arctic, the sweltering wind blown desert sands of North Africa and the steaming jungles of the the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, and expected to win the the war with all possibilities of being destroyed any second doing it --- along with their human operators and caregivers. Even so, made for war or not, or to last seconds or forever, there probably isn't a more beautiful piece of machined metal than the KY116/U below. Well there may be one thing: SEE

(for larger size please click image)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When my dad and stepmother went to South America for a couple of years and our de facto family broke up, with my uncle going back to Santa Fe and my younger brother and I going to the foster couple, most of my army gear got lost in the shuffle --- and going to Palley's, for the couple, at least as far as me and my little brother was concerned, was out of the picture.

The thing is, at the time I was a kid and I did kid things. As a kid it seems like a large portion of almost everything I learned came from reading comic books. Over and over, even today in the stuff I write I often refer back to something I read at one time or the other in a comic book, that is, except maybe for one major time when there was not just comic books involved, but the coming together of both comic books AND Saturday afternoon matinee movies of the day. That time I flew well over two-stories high in a Da Vinci-like flying machine I built myself as described in Tarzan and the Huntress.

Below is an ad from a comic book that just happened to start showing up for the first time around August 1949, just at the exact time my family was breaking up or on the verge of breaking up. On top of that, with the prospect of me not having the unfettered cash resources that had been provided me so freely in the past, my stepmother arranged for me to get a job so I could pick up some extra money. With that money and the comic book ads like the one below I was never without all the Army surplus stuff I wanted.

Anybody who is familiar with or has read any amount of my online works knows that as a young boy I was big on box top and the like offers such as Ovaltine's Captain Midnight's Radio Premiums, especially Captain Midnight's Code-O-Graphs, and more specifically so the 1942-1945 Photo-Matic version that figured so prominently throughout my childhood into adulthood. As I viewed it, comic book ads were a quick jump, falling into a similar or like category. Matter of fact the first comic book ad I ever answered was for me to become a Junior Air Raid Warden, of which the ad appears just below the Army surplus ad. I don't think I was even in kindergarten when I sent for the Air Raid Warden kit. Please notice the two smaller versions of the surplus ad below the Air Raid Warden ad, although similar to the color ad above, both offer signaling mirrors for 35 cents. Signaling mirrors played a prominent role between the famed mathematician, meteorite hunter, and astronomer Dr. Lincoln La Paz and my uncle regarding a pre-Roswell UFO encounter. Remember too, from the main text, every time I went to Palley's I always came back with a bunch of World War II army surplus stuff like canteens, pistol belts, parkas, infantry backpacks and Army M43 folding shovels. The comic book mail order made it a lot easier. Notice as well, in those days a kid could order knives, machetes, and axes if one was so predisposed. My dad actually bought a brand new, or at least never used, World War II jeep right off the docks in San Francisco by responding to a similar ad. The jeep, along with hundreds of others, were piled up on the docks just about to be shipped off to the South Pacific when the war ended. The government was selling them off as fast as they could, first come first served for $225.00 bucks.(see)

(please click image)

(please click image)

Footnote [2]

It wasn't unusual for people like my stepmother's driver to be called or known by a name other than their real or given name. Not a nickname per se', but an identifying moniker used by others and usually earned or descriptive. Most of the people who traveled in the wider general circles my stepmother traveled in, at least peripherally, were aware who my mother's driver was and how respected he was and how efficient he could be. To those people he was known by the same name my godfather used to address him in the garage that night, "Nighttime." The moniker was used by my godfather specifically to ensure my stepmother's driver that he knew full well the rep of the drivers abilities.

As the story goes, at least how it has come down to me, the reason he was called by what he was known by was because one night in the pursuant of fulfilling a reasonable request by my stepmother in a rather upscale formal black-tie environment, he politely asked three men to comply with her request. The men, making it clear they were unwilling to do so, looking at each other with a three to one advantage and knowing they were in such a high profile setting, one of them said, "And if we don't?" My stepmother's driver stepped forward and leaning into them a little bit said only one word, "Nighttime." Legend has it they complied, although how it was accomplished is not clear.

Footnote [3]

The below quote is the opening paragraph to Footnote [13] as found on the Johnny Roselli page, linked previously, and refers to my last face-to-face meeting with Roselli:

"The very last time I came in contact with Roselli himself personally in any fashion was during the late summer of 1973. On August 26 of that year Roselli was transferred from the prison at McNeil Island, located in southern Puget Sound, northwest Washington to the prison on Terminal Island, located in the harbor a few miles south of Los Angeles, California. A month and a half later, on October 5, 1973, he was released from Terminal Island and placed on parole. Before his release I went to see him, by request."

The content within the context of the footnote contains references to a number of things surrounding our past and what was to be expected of me from that meeting, which as you can see by the quote, "was by request." One of the things I make no mention of in the footnote, mostly because I couldn't squeeze it in comfortably had to do with that night at the Normandie Club. The night Roselli came to see me at the Club was 20 years before our meeting at Terminal Island. In those days I was only a 14 or 15 year old boy, and really at the time, nobody special to anybody about anything.

That night at the Normandie Club Roselli said, "That's all I wanted to hear." Twenty-plus years later during our meeting at Terminal Island Roselli brought up that night. He told me by the time he came to see me all indications pointed to the fact that the beating had been perpetrated in some fashion by my mother's driver. What he didn't know was if I knew, and if I did why hadn't I come forward with the information. He figured, since I hadn't come forward, in that my top loyalty should have been to him first, Roselli, and not the driver, I must not have known. Roselli told me most of the people who traveled in the wider general circles he traveled in were aware, at least peripherally, who my mother's driver was and how respected he was and how efficient he could be. He wasn't however, mob. Roselli said he just let the whole thing go because there was a certain ring of loyalty about it he liked. Besides, he said, the man who had the shit kicked out of him was one of Mickey Cohen's men and an asshole, saying he didn't like him anyway, plus he didn't see any reason I should have been roughed around so bad just because there may have been some connection back to him, i.e., Roselli.


Footnote [4]

The primary source for the quote is found in THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER linked below. However, it is THE GERMAN SUBMARINE ATTACK ON HOOVER DAM, also linked below, that pretty much revolves around and gets into the whole summer I spent on my stepmother's ranch the following year after I ran away --- that is, the summer between my ninth and tenth grade in high school. It gets fairly in-depth into who I ran into, what I did, and what happened that summer. Chasing locomotives across the desert in a top-down jeep, my stepmother pulling a pistol on a hooker, former German POWs and submarines trying to blow up Hoover Dam during World War II. The usual stuff that typically happens to a teenager when he visits his stepmother for the summer. The list that follows beneath the link, although somewhat redundant in some of the material it presents does offer a whole lot of insights to and about Pauline including photographs and whose full name was Pauline Page. Have fun:



That first summer, the one I ran away from Pauline's in the first place and went to my stepmother's, if you recall she tried to get in touch with my father. When she was unable to reach him she contacted my dad's brother, my uncle, who said he was willing to take me until things could be worked out. In that my uncle lived in New Mexico and I was on my stepmother's ranch in the high desert of California and she felt time was at an essence, she arranged for me to be flown to Santa Fe. She had a pilot she knew fly into a close-by one-time, albeit long abandoned military airfield called Victory Field and pick me up. The pilot, a former P-47 Thunderbolt jockey was flying a two seat North American AT-6. It was the first time I had ever been off the ground and into the air in any kind of a World War II aircraft, so for me the trip to my uncle's was not only highly memorable, it was as well white-knuckle exciting.

As soon as my father found out he wanted to know what he hell I was doing with in Santa Fe in the first place then going on to the east coast with plans for Europe. He told his brother, my uncle, in no uncertain terms he wanted me back in California immediately --- if for no other reason just because I would be attending a new school in the fall and needed to register, telling me I would no longer be staying with the foster family I had been living with in Gardena, but instead, living with my grandmother and going to Redondo Union High School. So, once again in my young life I was staying with someone else, although this time it was my grandmother, and starting a new school. See The Wanderling and His High School Chums as found in:


Footnote [5]

It seems early in the year 1946 a Los Angeles police officer had been shot and killed on the streets of Chinatown during a gambling raid. When the news of the officer's death eventually filtered down to my stepmother, for reasons not known to me even to this day, she somehow felt responsible for ensuring his widow or the woman he was closely associated with and her young son were properly cared for. Somewhere along the way my stepmother learned the woman, who wanted to leave the city, had previously inherited a rundown dilapidated piece of property in Idaho that had been at onetime a working ranch. My stepmother hired a crew to fix up the place, make it livable with reliable running water and even paid to have the electricity extended to reach the ranch as it had not yet got that far. Then she sent the woman, her young son, and if not with the two of them initially, within a short time, my older brother, for whatever reason, to live there.

Regarding the police officer who was slain, the following, in my own words, is an extrapolation of events recalled to the best of my ability some years after the fact after having been initially researched from official sources:

The policeman killed in the line of duty during the 1946 Chinatown gambling raid was assisting members of the Los Angeles Police Department's Vice Squad. As the primary contingent of the Vice Squad rushed the front of the building, the policeman, as assigned, had positioned himself along with several other officers toward the rear of the building in order to assist in stopping or apprehending any fleeing suspects. A gun battle erupted between those on the inside and those on the outside when one or more of the men providing security for the illicit gambling discovered any potential escape route through the back had been blocked. The gunmen on the inside fired a significant number of rounds through the rear entrance just as officers entered. A random slug from the volley unleashed by the assailants struck the policeman in the abdomen puncturing his kidney, the officer dying in the hospital from his wound the following day.

Witnesses as well as ballistics connected a specific gun to one of the shooters, the gunman being convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one to 10 years.

Personally I hold the belief that my stepmother was on the other side of the law on this one. Her concern for the slain police officer may have stemmed from the fact he may have been on her payroll --- or not --- and that he tried or did warn her of the impending raid. As I look back at it all now as a grown adult with a much wider perspective, there is also a chance my stepmother had some sort of a wider connection back to the police officer, possibly even inter connection, financially or otherwise, with the Chinatown gambling den so alluded to such as anti-raid bribes or maybe as an owner of the building, or providing hostesses, backing high stake players, or any number of things.

So too, in sort of a sidebar here, the whole raid could have been a set up. While it is true Chinese gambling ran outside the law it also operated outside the mob's purview. L.A.s official illicit gambling trade was run by two major warring mob factions. Bugsy Siegel and his lieutenant Mickey Cohen on one side with Jack Dragna and Johnny Roselli on the other, with both sides often overlapping, sometimes ending in adverse consequences. The Chinese ran their own. My stepmother's involvement in any of the three, if at all, wink, wink, is not known.


For the record, the aforementioned mobster Bugsy Siegel, who was shot to death in 1947 in a clearly Mafia related hit, had a girlfriend, a moll by the name of Virginia Hill, pictured above. In some connection my stepmother knew Hill through one Dr. Margaret Chung, a woman of some notoriety herself, some very positive, some considered somewhat more on the negative side, re the following:

"Before my stepmother and dad got married, every year she would go on weeks-long elaborate vacations, alternating them yearly between three locations. One year she would go to Hawaii, the next Mexico, and the third Canada's northwest territory. She mentioned one of those vacations to me when the two of us first met. After she noticed my interest in the Flying Tigers she told me that she had been on vacation in Mexico and while there had gone down to Mexico City. In Mexico City she had dinner with a 'former physician to Chennault's Flying Tigers named Dr. Margaret Chung' and two movie actresses, Virginia Hill and Sophie Tucker --- all of which was confirmed to me by her much later in my life. I did, however, have good cause to remember Virginia Hill, and not because she was said to have been a movie star but because of an incident that happened a few years later."

JOHNNY ROSELLI: Mafioso (Footnote [6])


When my uncle was overseeing me we used to go down to the giant Palley's Surplus Store off Alameda Street and Vernon in Los Angeles, often with my brothers going along. For us the place was like Disneyland, sometimes we would spend the whole day there because the place had everything --- big things like half tracks and bomber machinegun turrets to little things like GI issued lensatic compasses and packets of fluorescent green sea dye markers. My brothers and I, in what was one of the few things we did together, were always cooking up some kind of an excuse go there with me always returning with a ton of World War II army surplus stuff --- canteens, pistol belts, parkas, infantry backpacks, army M43 folding shovels, ESM/1 Emergency Signaling Mirrors, and two of my very favorites, an Army Signal Corps J-38 Handkey, one in its own little case, the other with a leg-band, both for sending Morse code.

When my dad and stepmother went to South America for a couple of years and our de facto family broke up, with my uncle going back to Santa Fe and my younger brother and I going to the foster couple, most of my army gear being lost in the shuffle --- and going to Palley's, for the couple, at least as far as me and my little brother was concerned, was out of the picture. It was because of my army gear getting lost in the shuffle that prior to running away to find my stepmother I had to wait, or wanted to wait, for the Sergeant Preston camp outfit.

Before living with the couple, while traveling with my uncle in the desert southwest, I Invariably I wore, carried, or had close by a two-canteen G.I. belt along with a couple of "Carlisle" first aid pouches in of which was full of all kinds of stuff. Stainless steel pocket knife with a fold-out fork and spoon. Compass. Signaling mirror. Waterproof matches. Left unsaid elsewhere was the fact that one of the canteens had a standard G.I. issue fold out handle cup that fit snugly on the bottom of the canteen with both fitting into the canvas carrying case. The other canteen had what the Army called a canteen stove that fit the same way as the cup and case. Always in one of the pouches as well, was one of my most prized possessions, a pocket-sized sun dial watch-like thing called a Little Orphan Annie Miracle Compass Sun-Watch, a one-time radio-premium offer given me by the grandfather of the girl who used to babysit me when I was even a littler kid.




(please click image)

"My stepmother, who you may recall was quite wealthy, in her new found motherhood role, noticed my younger brother and myself, along with a bunch of other neighborhood kids, spent an inordinate amount of time 'playing cowboys' --- with cowboy hats, capguns, holsters, boots, etc., and in doing so we often ended up in the street. Using her logic, she thought, what could be better than having their own real ranch to play on, especially so, not in the street."

THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE: Their Life and Times Together

So that's what she did, she bought a ranch. A whole section of land in size, that is, one square mile, with twenty acres set aside on one corner for the ranch house, barn, horse corrals, you name it. Then off we went to ride real horses and shoot real guns, of which the ranch house had a number of them --- some on the wall and above the doors such as a lever action 30-30 Winchester, a shotgun or two, a couple of .22 rifles, and a genuine antique 1847 Colt Walker handgun in a case. Every once in awhile I would take the 4.5 pound Colt out of the case and run around playing cowboys with it, sometimes even mixing genres by wielding the colt in one hand and a Buck Rogers Disintegrator in the other. In that the Colt was a black powder revolver and since nobody knew how to load it and everybody was afraid to, it was never loaded. In my later teenage years the Colt was sent to a gunsmith for some reason or the other and while there the gunsmith let me fire three rounds through it.

No sooner had we moved onto the ranch than my dad started to look around at tractors and such. Instead he decided on a four wheel drive World War II jeep to tool around in. Even though none of us kids were old enough to drive legitimately on any of the paved roads around or near the ranch, on the dirt roads and the scrub bursh desert lands surrounding the ranch, as well as on the ranch itself, we drove all over the place.

My dad actually bought the Jeep after answering an ad similar to the one below. The ad offered surplus Jeeps for $278.00. After looking into it he discovered he could actually purchase a brand new, or at least never used, World War II Jeep for $225.00 cash right off the docks in San Francisco, which in reality turned out to be not docks in San Francisco, but across the bay in the naval ship yards at Vallejo or Alameda.

I still remember as a boy showing up with my dad and brothers. The whole place turned out to be a huge labyrinth of buildings, cranes, railroad tracks, and narrow between the structures roadways. On the docks were literally hundreds and hundreds of jeeps lined up row after row along with all kinds of other military hardware and equipment. The jeeps themselves had been taken right off the factory assembly line to the docks months before for transshipment to the South Pacific just as the war ended and when I was there with my dad as a kid, all of them were still just sitting there gathering dust and getting flat tires.

Other than learning a new word and having it added to my vocabulary, i.e., cosmoline, except for one thing, I don't recall anything specifically about the logistics of how or what my dad had to do to get the jeep, how long it took, how much paperwork he had to shuffle, or how the jeep was prepared so we could drive it home, only that it was and we did --- drive it home, that is. The one thing I remember is that the man who sold my dad the jeep told him he couldn't pick it up until the next day because of some longshoreman rule. The thing is, my dad brought two longshoremen with him and the man who sold my dad the jeep gave it to him. The two longshoremen were provided by a longtime old friend of my stepmother named Johnny Roselli.

During the heat of the summer my dad didn't want to drive down California's central valley on Highway 99 or cross over the Sierras to use the 395, although once to either highway it would have been the most direct to the ranch. Instead he chose to drive down the California coastline on Highway 1 --- and what a trip it was no matter what highway we would have used. A jeep, no top, my dad and three kids, no real back seats and all before seat belt days. At first the jeep wouldn't go over 45 miles an hour. When we stopped for gas for the first time and with my dad complaining, the attendant, who had been in the Army and knew about jeeps said it was because of a "governor," a device or some such thing the Army put on vehicles to ensure they weren't driven too fast. The attendant took a screwdriver, fiddled with a few things, and the next thing we knew the jeep could do over 60! A couple of days later after camping along the way we were back at the ranch.

Living on the ranch in the high desert of the Mojave in those days were heady times. With the war finally over almost everything was doing nothing but going upward. All kinds of things were happening, especially in the aircraft and automotive fields and happening in the desert besides. The ranch was located not far from Muroc Dry Lake the same place Edwards Air Force Base was located. So too, the ranch wasn't far from Mirage Dry Lake either. On the ground at Mirage were nothing but numberless hot rods and belly tank lakesters. My uncle would take us out there to watch some of the hopped-up Ford flatheads hitting 150 mph. In the air, flying right over the ranch, were B-36s and flying wings. Higher up they were testing the Bell X-1 and breaking the sound barrier.

For us, we went from a bunch of kids tooling around the ranch to chasing locomotives out across the raw desert land at 90 miles per hour all the while watching B-36s and flying wings and hearing and sometimes feeling the sonic booms from the X-1.




"The ad offered surplus jeeps for $278.00. There were literally hundreds of scams around right after the war saying you could buy surplus jeeps from $50.00 and up and that's what most of them were, scams. After looking into it my dad discovered he could actually purchase a brand new, or at least never used, World War II Jeep for $225.00 cash right off the docks in San Francisco, which in reality turned out to be not docks in San Francisco, but across the bay in the naval ship yards at Vallejo or Alameda."


(please click image)



People have come forward on-and-off over a period of time asking or saying, in that I make such a big fuss over Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, or at least one, Tarzan and the Huntress because of the Cheetah glider scene impacted my life so much, how is it possible that I "missed" Jane? The people, usually composed of my same age or older males, continue usually with something that goes like: Jane was an outright babe, especially so in the six movies she was played by Maureen O'Sullivan, how could I have missed that?

The series of Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies started in 1932 with the first being Tarzan, the Ape Man. By the time the movies ran their course a total of 12 movies had been made, the last being Tarzan and the Mermaids in 1948. During that 12 movie stretch, which started long before I was born, with nearly four made before I was even born, I grew to the ripe old age of around 10 or so when the last one was made.

Generally speaking, when people talk about Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies and Jane, by Jane they mean Maureen O'Sullivan. So too, even if they are Tarzan movie aficionados, most can't name any of the other women who, if they weren't O'Sullivan playing Jane, who they were. O'Sullivan starred in six of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies and those six are usually considered the best of the series. From that point the franchise changed studios, from MGM to RKO. The movies ended up having smaller budgets and Maureen O'Sullivan, under contract with MGM, not being able to make the switch. There was a sort of formula movie decline in quality using scenes and stock footage from previous Tarzan films over and over.

The question is, since O'Sullivan's last Tarzan movie was made in 1942, in that I was quite young, how is it she, or anybody else for that fact during that time or era, fall into being a female person of my admiration? Well, for one thing, she didn't. However, that didn't stop my older brother and same age first cousin going nuts over her and me and my much younger buddies, but wanting to be somebody too, being caught up in the residual outcome of their actions.

"Like so many young boys growing up during my era I loved cowboy-western movies and the actors that showed up in them. As well, right up there with westerns were Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, especially Tarzan and the Huntress, Warner Brothers cartoons, Leonardo Da Vinci, astronomy, the cosmos, rockets to the Moon and Mars, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, along with a myriad superheroes, especially the 'mortal' type such as the Spirit and Captain Midnight. But still it remained, the cowboy western movie stars and heroes such as the Durango Kid, Lash LaRue, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers, their horses Champion and Trigger, and their sidekicks Smiley Burnette, Gabby Hayes, and Andy Devine were the ones that in the end interacted in my life in real life."

The Wanderling Unmasked

The point being brought up, and why I'm making it again, is because even though the Tarzan movies had been released previously they continued to show up like they were brand new in Saturday morning movie marathons and matinees, one after the other along with a zillion "That's All Folk's" Warner Brothers cartoons. Remember this was all long before anybody had ever heard of DVDs and video tapes. Somehow, through the grapevine or other means, my older brother and cousin became privy to the fact that in the 1934 movie Tarzan and his Mate there was a special place and time in the film that what was becoming to be called by them and their cronies, Jane's fully exposed and visible "forbidden zone" --- in other words, her vagina.

After one of the local theaters showed a Tarzan movie marathon and a small group discovered what was going on they did everything they could to get a clearer or better view. In what turned out to be a much more coordinated effort than done by a couple of kids, a number of them would break into various theater's projection booths and steal the reel it was on, usually with or instigated by older kids that seemed to be more post high school teenagers and often guided from a distance by adults, sometimes ones working in the booth, unrolling film from the can and cutting out just the frames they wanted and trashing the rest. Often, after breaking into the closed theater in the middle of the night and letting a number of "audience" members in through side exit doors for a price, they would make their way to the projection booth running the reel forward to just the right point and stop it, projecting it onto the screen frame by frame until the heat of the bulb just burnt it away then move on to the next frame. How many films were damaged, ruined, or destroyed in such fashion is not known. I do know there was a sizable underground culture that existed around the whole thing and a lot of Pee Wee Herman going ons in the dark theaters. To see how clear Jane's forbidden zone showed up click image below. There is also a video of same at the link.

  1. Tarzan, The Ape Man 1932

  2. Tarzan And His Mate 1934

  3. Tarzan Escapes 1936

  4. Tarzan Finds A Son 1939

  5. Tarzan's Secret Treasure 1941

  6. Tarzan's New York Adventure 1942

(please click image)





(please click image)