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Local authors to appear at the Rocky River Public Library Book Festival

On Saturday, April 25th, the Rocky River Public Library will host 50 local authors, including Gray & Company, Publishers authors:  Neil Zurcher, Dan Coughlin, John Gorman, Michael HeatonGail Ghetia BellamyScott LaxJames Renner, and Les Roberts.

The event will be held at the Don Umerley Civic Center Auditorium (21016 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River) from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Festival, sponsored by the Women’s Committee of Rocky River Public Library and the Friends of Rocky River Public Library and the Foundation of Rocky River Public Library, is free and open to the public.

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Authors Mike and Janice Olszewski talk about Cleveland TV Tales

 

Mike and Janice Olszewski, authors of Cleveland TV Tales and Cleveland TV Tales Volume 2Q&A with Mike and Janice Olszewski, authors of Cleveland TV Tales

Q: In your new book, Cleveland TV Tales, you mention in the introduction that this book isn’t a complete history of Cleveland television. What criteria did you use to make your story selections?

A: A complete history would fill volumes, so we wanted to select stories that would give the reader an idea of what made Cleveland television so special. When my wife Janice and I were doing the research on this, the toughest part was not getting so swept up in the history and the memories that we forgot to write a book.

 

Q: Were there any local television shows or trends that were particularly innovative?

A: McDonald’s based its national advertising strategy on the tremendous success in Cleveland of its ads on local children’s shows. And then you have The Morning Exchange. Network producers came to Cleveland to see what made the show a success. They replicated the format, and eventually Good Morning America took over the time slot that the Morning Exchange had.

 

Q: Who were some of the Cleveland TV personalities who made the big time?

A: There were a lot of them. Ernie Anderson was Ghoulardi, but went on to become one of the highest paid and most in-demand voiceover artists in the world, really. As far as news is concerned, you had Carl Stern and Al Roker. Jack Riley was with Baxter and Riley at WERE, did a lot of TV here and went to become Mr. Carlin on The Bob Newhart Show.

 

Q: Why did Gib Shanley light an Iranian flag on fire live on TV?

A: There were protests against the US going on during the Iranian hostage crisis and Gib took it upon himself to light the flag. When you watch that clip you see everyone in the studio looking at each other rather uneasily, thinking, “Oh no, what’s going to happen?” Were there complaints? Sure, but there were a lot more people who supported him, too.

 

Q: Dorothy Fuldheim is described as being “tough as nails.” What are some examples of how she might have been tough in her interviews?

A: Yippie Jerry Rubin came to town promoting his book, Do It! When Rubin came on the set, she told him, “I don’t understand this book. You refer to the police as ‘pigs.’ Some of my best friends are police.” He said, “Oh really? Some of my best friends are Black Panthers.” She physically threw him off the set. He wasn’t prepared for that, and Dorothy became a hero.

 

Q: There have been more than a few pranks pulled in local television, but what were some of the most outrageous?

A: Nothing could shake Jim Graner while he was on the air. In an attempt to throw him off, some coworkers went down to the Roxy Theatre and brought back a stripper. They brought her behind the cameras and she dropped her coat. She was totally nude. Jim Graner saw it, didn’t want to let the audience know what was going on, and kept giving the scores, but forgot to give the names of the teams.

 

Q: Is it true that Channel 3 tried to adopt a live wallaby as a mascot?

A: Big Wilson and the station wanted to have a mascot. They were able to pay some Australian dignitaries and get a wallaby. Big Wilson lived on a yacht most of the year, so he brought the wallaby home and it really made a mess. He finally brought the wallaby to the studio and it did not like the lights. They ended up giving it to the Cleveland Zoo.

 

Q: Ghoulardi and Big Chuck and Lil’ John were memorable late night hosts, but were they the only ones in Cleveland TV history?

A: Pete “Mad Daddy” Myers portrayed a gothic beatnik who wore a cape and a hood. He hung upside down like a bat for a month when he was on the air and the blood would rush to his head—especially after three martinis. There were some phrases that Mad Daddy used that showed up in Ghoulardi’s vocabulary, like Amrap instead of Parma.

 

Q: Music has always played a big part in TV programming. What were some of Cleveland’s popular music shows?

A: There were a lot of them, but you can’t beat Gene Carroll, who presented so many acts over the years. Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders and Ben Orr from The Grasshoppers were on there. Motown acts would play on Upbeat and music producers would see how the Cleveland audience reacted to the groups. If they were big in Cleveland, they could make it big anywhere.

Q: What made children’s show hosts so popular, and why do they stick with us today?

A: Captain Penny had this quality about his voice and his demeanor. He was sort of like everybody’s dad. He would give you some homespun humor and some direction. Barnaby had this endearing quality that made him seem bigger than life, but at the same time you could picture yourself just sitting and talking with him. Linn Sheldon was multi-talented, and he could relate to everyone on every age level.

 

Price and Availability

Cleveland TV Tales ($15.95 / softcover / 192 pages) is available at Northeast Ohio bookstores and online at Amazon.com.

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Local authors to appear at Western Reserve Book Festival

On Saturday, June 21, the Western Reserve Book Festival will celebrate more than forty local authors, including four Gray & Company, Publishers authors: Gail Ghetia Bellamy, Scott Lax, James Renner, and Les Roberts.

The event will be held at the Hiram College Kennedy Center (11730 Garfield Road, Hiram, Ohio) from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Festival, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Hiram College Library and the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature, is free and open to the public.

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Meet Charles Ramsey: Public autographings for his new book

Charles Ramsey

Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who rescued three kidnapped women from the Seymour Avenue home in Cleveland, will sign copies of his new book, Dead Giveaway:

Friday May 9
7-8 pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
7900 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH

Saturday May 17
1-3 pm
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Eton Collection, 28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere Village, OH

The events are free and open to the public.

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Books and Wine: An Evening with Scott Lax

Photo (c) Joe Gunderman
Photo © Joe Gunderman

Wine lovers—and book lovers—take note!

Author Scott Lax will present “A Perfect Pairing: a Novel Approach to Wine” a combination talk and wine tasting. This special evening will be held at Chuck’s Fine Wines; 23 Bell Street in Chagrin Falls on Friday May 9, 2014 from 7-9 pm.

At the event, Lax will talk about the importance of wine as a kind of “character” in his new novel, Vengeance Follows and why he chose wine as a motif for this book. He’ll share some of his thoughts about wine, as well as those of a number of his characters, including the idea of “l’âme du vin,” or “the soul of wine.” He’ll chat about the role of wine in literature from ancient times all the way through to his novel, and share a few passages of wine descriptions through the eyes (and palates) of his characters, male and female, French and American. The event will be “interactive” in that it will involve tasting the very wines Scott’s characters drink in the book, and comparing tasting notes with those same characters.

Cost of the event is $30 per person which includes wine samplings and a free copy of Lax’s new novel Vengeance Follows (Gray & Co./ hardcover/ 256 pages). Credit card reservations are strongly advised as space is very limited. For reservations and more information,call the wine shop at 440-247-7534

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Upcoming author events in Cleveland…

Win, Place, or DieLes Roberts will sign Win, Place, or Die
Friday Nov 22 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4015 Medina Rd., Akron (Map)
For more info: 330-665-3614


Blimp Pilot Terrorizes Akron—And Other Hot AirBob Dyer will sign Blimp Pilot Terrorizes Akron—And Other Hot Air
Friday Nov 22 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4015 Medina Rd., Akron (Map)
For more info: 330-665-3614


No Mopes AllowedDavid Oliver will sign No Mopes Allowed
Saturday Nov 23 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Acme, 4445 Kent Road, Stow (Map)
For more info: 330-733-2263


Cleveland Christmas MemoriesGail Ghetia Bellamy will sign Cleveland Christmas Memories
Saturday Nov 23 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Penitentiary Glen Nature Center, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland (Map)
For more info:


Cleveland Christmas MemoriesGail Ghetia Bellamy will sign Cleveland Christmas Memories
Sunday Nov 24 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Christmas Connection, IX Center, Cleveland (Map)
For more info:


No Mopes AllowedDavid Oliver will sign No Mopes Allowed
Friday Nov 29 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Indie First Movement, Learned Owl Book Shop, Hudson (Map)
For more info: 330-653-2252


No Mopes AllowedDavid Oliver will sign No Mopes Allowed
Saturday Nov 30 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Acme, 1474 N. Main Street NW, North Canton (Map)
For more info: 330-497-0718


Cleve Summertime MemoriesGail Ghetia Bellamy will sign Cleve Summertime Memories
Saturday Nov 30 from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Fireside Book Shop, 29 N. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls (Map)
For more info: 440-247-4050


Win, Place, or DieLes Roberts will sign Win, Place, or Die
Saturday Nov 30 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Indie First Movement, Learned Owl Book Shop, Hudson (Map)
For more info: 330-653-2252


Cleveland Christmas MemoriesGail Ghetia Bellamy will sign Cleveland Christmas Memories
Saturday Nov 30 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Indie First Movement, Mac’s Backs Paperbacks, Cleveland Hts. (Map)
For more info: 216-321-2665


No Mopes AllowedDavid Oliver will sign No Mopes Allowed
Monday Dec 2 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Barberton Public Library, 602 West Park Avenue, Barberton (Map)
For more info: 330-745-1194