Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Shadow Knows

I awoke to rain that lingered in one form or another through most of the morning. Brightened the gloom with Lemon Blueberry Pancakes and The Boy Friend. Julie Andrews was a winning Polly in the original Broadway cast. "Won't You Charleston With Me?" sounds much better here, and "A Room In Bloomsbury" is especially sweet.

Did a tiny bit of writing before I left for work. Added some details about Yasmin Hutt's late husband, a grotesquely obese gangster who recently died from what was believed to be cardiac arrest...though some claim it was poisoning. Leia is trying to figure out how to get the Sword from Yasmin's ill-gotten antiquities collection when one of her pig-like goons comes up and tells her they've taken one of the chorus girls for questioning...

It had rained hard while I was writing. The rain had slowed to a mild shower by the time I headed to work, which allowed me to take my bike. Despite the ongoing showers, I spent most of the day outside, rounding up carts. I also gathered baskets, gave the bathrooms a look, and did returns and the indoor trash. We were really busy today, especially early-on. People are starting to prepare for Labor Day and kids going back to school. Others may have canceled or curtailed weekend vacation plans due to the weather.

The rain was down to a soft mist when I headed home. I was so sore from doing carts all day, I could barely move. I settled for leftovers and some episodes of The Shadow. This radio show from the 30's and 40's is kind of a cross between a superhero comic and a pulp horror mystery. Lamont Cranston (performed by Orson Welles in these early episodes) picked up the ability to cloud men's minds and appear invisible on a trip to India. Agnes Moorehead was originally his girlfriend, Margo Lane. Naturally, he uses these abilities to fight crime. I figured the chilly, damp weather was appropriate for these fairly dark mysteries.

Of the three episodes I listened to tonight, my favorite is "The Bride of Death," the spooky tale of Lamont and Margo rescuing a young girl from being sacrificed by an Indian cult. "The Temple Bells of Nibun" has an Indian woman who has been drugging the son of a rich man threaten to eliminated the Shadow's invisibility powers if he tries to stop her. "Poison Death" is a cat-and-mouse game that pits Lamont and Margo against a madman who is using poisons in the city's water to kill off innocent victims. Killing the head of the sanitation department clues Lamont in to who he is and what he has planned.

If you're a fan of pulp fiction and unique superheroes like I am, all three episodes (and many more) can be found on YouTube.

The Bride of Death
The Poison Death
The Temple Bells of Nibun

I've had these episodes on cassette for a long time. I bought a set of four cassettes, each holding two episodes, from Borders during my college years, probably sometime in the late 90's. (I also have an additional cassette with two shows from one of the later non-Welles seasons. I forget where I got it from. It was possibly a yard sale or thrift shop find.) When we lived together with three other girls in around 1999-2000, Amanda and I used to lay in our shared bedroom and shiver during cold night while listening to The Shadow to drown out the party noises above us. Oh, how we wished we could send away for that trial ton of Blue Coal! I've never been able to listen to these recordings without fondly remembering those nights we spent huddled in our beds, drifting off to sleep while The Shadow cackled in the background.


Just Jenny said...

I am a big old time radio fan too! There are a TON of old radio shows on I’m partial to Jack Benny myself! Have a great day! :-)

Emma said...

I love Jack Benny! Mary Livingstone is my favorite. I have a cassette of two of his shows, plus a couple on a CD set. ;)