Friday, April 30, 2010

Johnny West and his plastic cowboy hat

I only had a few of these guys. Marx made a durable toy, but it wasn't as flexible as a G.I. Joe. Like I said, I didn't play cowboy much. These guys would get dressed in Joe's clothes and forced to fight Nazis. I had the General Custard figure. For some reason he always seemed lost and out of place.

Marx did make Army action figure, Stony Smith. I did like that guy, his molded plastic face seemed somehow wise beyond his plastic years.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hey Sarge....

Bobby, you mentioned that you also enjoyed Combat! as a kid.  There is a toy company, Dragon, that makes the best looking sixthscale figures I've ever seen.  They make the most historically accurate, and most articulate action figure around.  Not too long ago they came out with an action figure by the name of 'Sarge'.  Now, I'm sure the company can't come out and call him Sgt.  Saunders, but it's him all right.  They also packaged set  of Sarge with Lieutenant Handley and called it King Company.

Like the Wayne figure, it's another toy that I would have treasured when I was a boy.  The only thing is, these action figures are just as expensive as they are cool.  You and I know good and well that this figure wasn't made for kids today because kids today don't know who Sargent Vincent Saunders is!  I spotted the Sarge figure for $100.00 on Ebay   I can't dish out that kind of money - but if I were a young again - I'd be spending my whole Summer mowing yards and washing windows.

Again I ask, why didn't somebody make these back then?  I used to think that all the best toys were made back in the good old days.  Nope. There's apparently some great toys out there today - I JUST CAN'T FREAKING AFFORD THEM!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sandbox of Iwo Jima

 Sgt. John M. Stryker
John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima

Golly-Gee, I would have loved this action figure when I was a kid.  Who am I kidding?  I'd still like to have this one.  I remember as a kid being in a five & dime (what is now Gadsden Variety) downtown and seeing a Johnny West action figure for the first time.  I at first mistook it for a John Wayne figure.  His first name was John and he had some of The Duke's facial least I thought so as a kid.  It's the only reason I eventually asked for it...even though I didn't care to play with cowboy toys.  My favorite toys as a kid were G.I. Joes.  Why didn't Hasbro think about selling a John Wayne action figure in the day?  They would have sold a ga-zillion of them.  It would've been my most favorite toy of all.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

old men on a mission

Back in 1978, my brother Brook asked me if I'd like to go see a movie with some friends.  It was a movie entitled The Wild Geese.  It wasn't long before Jamey Moore and John Alred showed up at our front door wearing trench coats and driving caps turned sideways to emulate wearing berets.  Needless to say, the attempt was a fail - but we got a good laugh.

I can't say that this was a great movie, but for some reason, I can't help but say it's a personal favorite.  This was one of the last times I recall seeing Richard Burton on the big screen.  At the time Roger Moore was still playing James Bond.  I am sure the movie might have been disappointment to those going to see the film expecting 007.

The move was chock full of great actors, but the character that I enjoyed the most was played by Jack Watson.  Jack's character, Sandy Young, was hired on as a drill instructor for the old mercenaries.  Sandy wasn't asked to go on the actual mission but he insisted on going.

Jack Watson is a familiar face to my generation, having starred in so many British films.  No wonder he did such a great job in The Wild Geese, during World War II he was a physical training instructor in the Royal Navy.  He looked the part because he was the part.  Watson is one of the main reasons I like this picture.

The movie is memorable on so many levels.  It had a quirky theme song that I will never forget.  Good show wot!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Joe Rumore

July 17, 1920-December 20, 1993

I'd forgotten all about Joe Rumor until I saw some photos of him among Stephen Snead's  facebook photos.  Joe was with WVOK that broadcast 50,000 watts out of Birmingham, Ala.  He started with WVOK in 1948 and remained on air for over forty years.  Joe Rumore quickly became a local radio icon.  I might go so far to say that he was radio in Alabama.  Through out most of Alabama, Joe Rumor was a house hold name.

Is this where we insert the Yellow Label Syrup commercial?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Gallant Men...again

The pilot of the old television show the old television show 'The Gallant Men' at  This show was broken down into six parts on YouTube.  Though this episode was directed by Robert Altman, it has an entirely different feel that that of his 'Combat!' involvement.  The battle scenes and integration of stock war footage, I thought, was better than most of the Combat! episodes.  The Gallant Men, at least from the pilot, was shot like a movie.  'The Story of G.I. Joe' comes to mind.  The war, and those American G.I.'s fighting it are seen through the eyes of a war corespondent much like that of Ernie Pyle.

Like Combat!, The Gallant Men was also an ABC production.  Altman decided to get himself transferred over to Combat!, because the concept appealed to him.  I remembered watching Combat! as a kid, and only vaguely remembered The Gallant Men.  I've blogged about this before.  I'm blogging about this show again because someone posted the pilot episode on YouTube.  It's great to get to finally see this show.