Bayport BeatSeason's Greetings and welcome to the second issue of the Bayport Times. Issue One was well received and I'd like to thank everyone who e-mailed me their kind remarks.
This month's issue is jam packed with new information. Karen Plunkett-Powell (author of The Nancy Drew Scrapbook, St. Martin's Press, $10.95 and still available on Amazon.com) has contributed an article about Edward Stratemeyer, The Disappearing Floor is reviewed, new collectibles have been discovered, there are some informative letters and other articles of interest.
See you next month! Happy New Year!
The Year Edward Stratemeyer and his Daughter "Nancy" Met Young Indiana Jones
Author of The Nancy Drew Scrapbook
© 1997 Karen Plunkett-Powell -
Used by permission.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have had their share of media appearances through the decades, including the Nancy Drew movies of the 1930's and the Hardy Boys serials on the Mickey Mouse club in the 1950's. But the creator of these intrepid sleuths, Edward Stratemeyer, wasn't featured on broadcast TV until 1993. That was the year the critically acclaimed Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (the brainchild of George Lucas) premiered on ABC. (Editor's note: Edward Stratemeyer was portrayed in an episode of "The Hollywood Detective", a short-lived series cablecast on the A&E cable network around 1990.)
Episode 7 was titled "Princeton, February 1916," and for Stratemeyer Syndicate fans, it was a special episode indeed! In this episode, Young Indiana Jones and his current girlfriend, Nancy Stratemeyer embark on an adventure involving secret plans for an electric car that are housed in the factory of Thomas Edison. Nancy is depicted as the daughter of a famous author named Edward Stratemeyer, who created the popular Tom Swift series for boys. The scriptwriter was Matthew Jacobs.
A paperback book for middle-graders was soon released by Random House, which was a close and accurate adaptation of the television show. It was called Race to Danger, and was written by Stephanie Calmenson. On the cover, there is a photo of the actors who played Young Indiana and Nancy Stratemeyer sitting in a fancy Bugatti car. (The gal looks an awful lot like Pamela Sue Martin, by the way!) and the book includes six pages of black and white still photos from the teleplay. This is a great (but difficult to find) collectible for Syndicate fans. It originally sold for $3.50.
When I was writing my Nancy Drew Scrapbook for St. Martins Press, I did not include the Indiana Jones episode, because it premiered after the manuscript was already in production. Recently, I wrote an overview of this Indiana Jones episode for an upcoming edition of my book, and decided to premier it here on Bob Finnan's Bayport Times page.
But meanwhile, back to the story..
The teleplay and book are very close in terms of content. The year, as I mentioned, is 1916. The place is Princeton, N.J., where Young Indiana Jones is living with his scholarly and eccentric father, Professor Jones. Young Indy is working as a soda jerk at a local ice cream parlor, trying to save up money for the big Valentine Dance, which is only days away. He needs some cash to buy a fancy corsage for his girlfriend, Nancy Stratemeyer. (Of course, WE all know that was really Nancy Drew). Indy then heads to the high school to meet Nancy. As he waits, he reads Tom Swift and His Amazing Electric Car. Suddenly, Nancy arrives on the scene and says: "My gosh, Indy! If my father knew you spent all you time reading his books, what would he think of you?"
The story starts moving along rapidly at that point. We learn that Indy's rival, Butch, will be driving his Model T to the dance. But Indy is ready to one-up him. Indy will be borrowing Mr. Stratemeyer's fancy Bugatti for the dance. Indy is so excited he cannot contain himself. Later, he gets into another squabble with Butch, but Indy knows having that Bugatti for the dance will really show Butch who is the top dog.
Suddenly, Indy's dreams are shattered. The Bugatti is on the blink and will require weeks of repair. Devastated, Indy visits Mr. Stratemeyer, noting the many books in his home, along with a picture of Glenn Curtiss, who Indy knows was Stratemeyer's real-life inspiration for the book, Tom Swift and his Motorcycle.
Indy talks Stratemeyer into letting him take the car to a local mechanic who is a whiz at generators. But it still too complicated a job, even for this local pro. Indy heads home, totally dejected, where a dinner is being held with Professor's scholarly friends. During dinner, Young Indy speaks with a Mr. Thomspon, who is working at Thomas Edison's West Orange, NJ plant. He is working on a secret battery for an electric car, a car which would never need fuel. Indy asks Thompson if he could reconstruct the Bugatti's battery. Thompson says he can and Indy is happy again.
The next day, Nancy and Indy take the train to West Orange carrying the Bugatti's generator. Mr. Thomspon exits to give the generator to his assistant for repair . While waiting outside, Indy and Nancy look around the test grounds of the factory. Indy watches with fascination as Edison's specially designed sportsy car whirls around the track. But minutes later, a mysterious van screeches by, and lo and behold, Mr Thompson is in the van. He is kidnapped!
Nancy and Indy rush into the factory for clues. They find the assistant bound and gagged and learn that the secret plans for a war machine are missing, as well as the plan for the electric car battery! Edison makes an appearance and it totally upset. If these machine plans get into the wrong hands, especially with the war going on, it could mean a disaster for America.
Indy and Nancy get right on the case. The police are also trying but can't find a clue. At this point, Indy and Nancy embark upon a series of chases, near misses and great detecting until the mystery is revealed. It seems that Dr. Thomspon was in on the robbery! He faked his own kidnapping to get the plans, which he was to sell to the German spies. In doing so, Thompson had planned on using the cash to start his own company, a company where he would get credit for his years and years of hard work and invention. An embittered Thompson felt that Edison was getting all the credit for Thompson's hard work. At one point, a crazed Thompson cried out: "Do you understand what it's like to have another man get credit for your work?"
(This is an ironic insert considering the fact so many Syndicate ghost authors had similar negative views about Edward Stratemeyer and his Literary Syndicate!)
In the end, Indy and Nancy are triumphant, and America is saved, but in all the ruckus the Bugatti's generator was not fixed. This left Nancy and Indy heading to the dance in a friend's beat up jalopy.
But Edison smiled, he had a plan...
Edison loaned Indy his personal race car for the big dance! Indy and Nancy dance the night away, hero and heroine of Princeton, 1916.
SPECIAL NOTE: Karen will be adding to this article as she compiled more information, such as the exact dates the episode premiered, the names of the actors, and interesting notes about the historical research of the teleplay.
Hardy Boys NewsAn unusual (and unknown to me!) Hardy Boys collectible turned up on eBay in November:
Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys Meet The Mad Scientist.
Copyright 1978 by The Stratemeyer Syndicate.
Illustrations copyright 1978 by Grosset and Dunlap.
A fold-out mystery puzzle and paint book with a sheet of colors you wet and paint on.
Hardys In Review
This Month: The Disappearing Floor # 19 in the series.
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