Cleanup Time

Nate and I had a good time going through his bookcases. I don’t we’ve combed through them in the nine years we’ve lived in Cooperstown and it showed. We tossed old car buying newsletters that, I think, were from Illinois. We also cleared out some old books, but not as many as you’d think. For a near 22-year-old, Nate still has an affinity for his Magic School Bus books, as well as the more age-acceptable piles of Calvin and Hobbes compilations.

Most interesting was watching Nate go through lots of old printouts – bathrooms, Simpsons, etc. – of documents he’d created. There were a couple of gems in there.

Look at this beauty:

It had me in stitches! I think it may have to do with a cartoon Nate saw once about Walt Disney’s head being cryogenically frozen. But Mickey’s head? If you look closely at the panel on the upper right, it seems as if the line into the Disneyland Hotel is composed of Disney characters. You can spot the mouse ears, and, I think, Goofy’s hat. And the lower panel, with the arms pulling off Mickey’s head, despite the angry dude screaming “it’s illegal,” is brilliant. But nothing tops the Lays product giveaway.

Nate’s people always look the same, even now, with those funny faces and acorn-like hair.

Then there’s this one:

I’ve written before about Nate’s movie creations, particularly Snow On My Feet, starring Ethel Merman and Buddy Hackett. This sci-fi classic, The Lady from Planet Coria, made up of course, stars Katie Hepburn and the legendary Frank McCapria. I’m guessing that’s an obvious Frank Capra takeoff, but you never can tell for sure.

While the very real June Foray of Bullwinkle fame, gets a co-star billing, Rosie Halls is made up and, as for Bob Lester, I did find an insurance agent in Uvalde, Texas by that name. Bruce Cabot, of course, is from the original King Kong. The producer and director are of unknown origin.

The tag line for the film could be applied to raising Nate and trying to get inside his head. “The Quest for the Untold” indeed!


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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