Saturday, October 5, 2019

61 Years Ago Today :)

10/5/1958 newspaper ad for "Alias Bart Maverick" episode of Maverick, starring Jack Kelly and Arlene (Eurlyne) Howell:

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Season, New Time--But No Brent :)


With the new fall TV season starting, I decided to look back to September 1961, when Maverick was beginning it's fifth (and unfortunately final) season. And, I noticed something strange:

Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert), who was never mentioned before, suddenly showed up in Season Four as Bart's brother. He appeared in only two episodes that season and was never mentioned again. So, why is he featured prominently in this newspaper ad for the Season Five premiere?

I thought maybe this particular newspaper made a mistake, but here's a similar ad in a different newspaper from September '61:

"Three B's--Bart, Brent and Bullets--call the tune for a whole shootin' shebang of Western adventure! Jack Kelly, Robert Colbert star", this ad proclaims. But, this season, Bart was actually riding solo. There was no Brother Bret (except in reruns), no Cousin Beau--and no Brent:

This article states that "Jack Kelly won't be sharing his adventures and romances with any relatives while traveling down the TV trail this fall. Bart Maverick will be happily going it alone when Warner Bros.' Maverick series for ABC-TV begins its fifth year at a new time, 5:30-6:30 CDT. The hardy and contented Kelly will be without his former partners, James Garner, Roger Moore and Robert Colbert, who are currently otherwise occupied."

But, JK didn't complain about having to carry the show alone. The article quoted him as saying, "I've no sympathy for actors who declare how tough it is to play [in] a series week after week. I've never enjoyed acting more since I started to portray Bart, a wonderful, gay character whom I understand and like. It's great to be associated with a success. And, that weekly paycheck is a pleasant reminder of how lucky I am."

JK was indeed lucky to be find a role he loved and be paid for it. However, in September 1961, Warner Bros. did not need to pay the Brent. ;>

Please stay tuned for more fun with JK in TDS.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Jack Kelly's Other Job - Pt. IV :)

Hello Again!

 Photo inscribed by Jack Kelly to Eunice Alter
 ("To Eunice--Because you are my friend I'll always have a good one!!")

Here's the amazing story of how Jack Kelly, mayor of Huntington Beach, came to sign a cache of first-day covers. This wonderful write-up (penned by the covers' artist Eunice Alter) comes from a JONAL Artcovers newsletter dated September 1985. It was kindly provided to me by Eunice's daughter, Amie, and is shared here with her permission:

"[This] cover honors the first civil settlement in California at Alta. Last year [1984] the mayor of Huntington Beach was Jack Kelly. Some of you may remember him as Bart Maverick, from the TV series. Mr. Kelly has retired from acting, and has devoted himself to his home in Huntington Beach and serves on the city council.

"I thought HIS autograph on my Alta, CA, cover would be very meaningful to me, and wrote to him asking if he would autograph one for me, sending one for him in return. I also asked if he might consider autographing 25 of the covers also.

"I received a call from his secretary, who told me he would really be thrilled to receive the cover, and yes, he would be delighted to sign the 25 covers for my friends.

"We made an appointment for last Friday morning, and I went to City Hall to see him. Mr. Kelly was so gracious, and so excited about the covers! We had a wonderful visit--almost an hour--[and] he asked about the cancellations, and about the paintings.

"I brought my album of snapshots of my autographed cover collection, and he looked through the album, reading each signature or asking me to read some of the 'unreadable' ones. He commented on those he had worked with, or met, or admired. He seemed to especially enjoy the connection between each person and the cover signed by him/her.

"And then he asked if I would please personalize his cover with MY autograph? He wanted to have it mounted in Lucite(R), so he could keep it on his desk (beside the photograph of him with James Garner, both portraying Bret and Bart Maverick). So there I sat actually autographing a cover for the person I had asked to autograph mine!

"When it was time for me to leave, he got up and shook my hand. Then, this big teddy bear of a man gave me a special hug, and thanked me once more for including him in my very special hobby. As soon as I came home I framed my autographed cover with the autographed picture of Jack Kelly."

This write-up truly touched my heart. The photo JK autographed for Ms. Alter is shown above and is now in the Kellection, as is a second cover he signed which was also signed somewhere along the way by James Garner! (And the post office delivered both of these items to me on September 16--which would have been JK's 92nd birthday.)

 Double-autographed PNC created by Eunice Alter/JONAL Artcovers
I can't thank the Alter family enough for allowing me to obtain these precious items and share them here with you. I love the fact that Eunice took the time to research the story behind each stamp before creating a cover. That's what I tried to do with these Kellectibles. If I hadn't been curious about the original PNC signed by JK, I would have never reached out to the seller. And, I wouldn't have learned how a request for an autograph--and JK's gracious response to the request--led to a meeting which revealed his inquisitive mind and generous nature.    

After serving as mayor, JK continued his civic involvement in Huntington Beach, while also accepting occasional acting and voiceover work. He won his final berth on the Huntington Beach city council in 1990. His term was scheduled to expire in 1994. Sadly, JK's council seat was left open by his passing at age 65 on November 7, 1992.

He definitely made waves in "Surf City", and his candid shoot-from-the-hip political style didn't always endear him to critics. But, no matter how people felt about him, they'll never forget Jack Kelly in HB.

What's next in TDS? Please stay tuned and find out! :) 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Jack Kelly's Other Job - Pt III :)


How is the incredible first-day cover below connected to Jack Kelly's political career in Huntington Beach? Let's find out:

PNC created by Eunice Alter/JONAL ArtCovers 
and autographed by Jack Kelly
I recently purchased this Kellectible and noticed the seller lived in HB. Naturally, I had to ask if they had more information about this item.

They sure did, because the cachet was hand-painted by Eunice Alter--the seller's mother.

Now, I wasn't too familiar with philately (the study of stamps) and its associated terminology. So, I did some research and found a Facebook page for Ms. Alter's work. From this page, I learned that (1) this first-day cover is more accurately described as a "Philatelic-Numismatic Cover" (PNC), because it contains a coin as well as a stamp, and (2) Eunice Alter has a unique place in the world of PNCs. Her FB page explains:

"Philatelic (stamp) Numismatic (coin) Covers are envelopes with cancelled stamps on them, a coin mounted inside and showing through a dye cut-out, and often times a silk screened or printed picture. First Day of Issue Covers have their stamp cancelled on the first day the Post Office makes the stamp available for sale to the public...PNCs are often designed to commemorate a historical, political, or social event - just as the stamps you buy at the Post Office which commemorate a President, end of a war, Nobel Prize winner, holiday, etc.

"Eunice Alter, founder of JONAL ArtCovers, has created a unique niche for herself in the world of Philatelists and Numismatists. Her First Day of Issue Covers and PNCs are each researched and designed so that the coin, stamp and illustration are all inter-related and celebrate an important event or famous person. Each JONAL ArtCover is HAND PAINTED and signed by the artist. You can see why JONAL ArtCovers are so popular among serious coin and stamp and art collectors! Also, some of JONAL's PNCs are autographed by great political, entertainment and sports heroes making them an incredibly unique and valuable collector's item!"

Eunice's daughter, Amie, graciously shared the story behind JK's PNC with me. It's coming up in the next TDS--please stay tuned! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Happy Anniversary, "Maverick"! :)


I'm sorry I couldn't post a crazy caper involving carrot cake as I usually do for Jack Kelly's birthday on 9/16. I drove the Bartistamobile about 300 miles round trip last weekend to participate in a model horse show. Then, I was taken out of commission by a migraine followed by some tummy trouble over the next couple of days. But, at least I got JK's name up in lights...that's the best I could do lying down with a cell phone. :)

I'm feeling fit as a fiddle now, though, and I'm rarin' to continue with Part III of "JK's Other Job". I just received some additional and unique Kellectibles (including a photo!) relating to Part III, and I need to get these scanned and digitized. Believe me, it will be worth the wait when you see them!

In the meantime, I'd like to commemorate a very special anniversary: the premiere of Maverick on this date in 1957. Here's a first-day cover from the Kellection with an illustration of JK and James Garner and a brief write-up about the show. I've actually had this cover for years but I kept forgetting to post it until now:

First-day cover created by Cover Scape Cachets

Incidentally, first-day covers play an important role in the next post in TDS, so please stay tuned! :)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Jack Kelly's Other Job - Pt II :)

Continuing with our Labor Day look at Jack Kelly's role in Huntington Beach politics:

In November 1983, JK was elected to a one-year term as HB's mayor by the city council. The position was largely ceremonial and pretty much a given because JK had served as vice-mayor since April of that year.
But, JK was thrilled. He told the LA Times"I always thought that old actors just faded away, but my peers have given me the chance to re-debut in what may prove to be the finest act of my career." 

An unusual memento of JK's term as mayor now resides in the Kellection:

I know very little about this beautifully-crafted badge--which is actually miniature-sized--except that the seller remembered buying it at a badge collector's show in the 1990's and at the time didn't connect the name on the badge to the actor in Maverick. They suggested I e-mail the manufacturer for more info. (I did, but never received a response.)

So, I don't know if JK actually wore this badge or if it was created as a keepsake. If anyone out there knows the facts behind the badge, please let me know! :)

COMING SOON: Some incredible autographed items and the story behind them--the story of a very gracious man and mayor named Jack Kelly. Please stay tuned--you will not want to miss this! :)