Hardy Boys
The Bayport Times
Hardy Boys
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Issue # 9       July 1998       Editor: Robert W. Finnan
Bayport Beat
Welcome to the Bayport Times.

This month featuring Ted Magilley's review of the latest Hardy story, The Crisscross Crime, new collectible discoveries, auction news, letters & more!

I'd like to remind my readers about "The Great Hardy Boys Search" section. If you are seeking a Hardy item, let me know and I'll include it there. It's free too!

Hardy Boys - Sons Of The Rover Boys?
Well not really, we all know that they are the product of the Laura & Fenton Hardy union. But are they the direct literary descendants of Dick, Tom and Sam, the Rover Boys?
Frank Hardy is a clone of Dick Rover, Joe is another Sam, with a bit more to do. Tom Rover was replaced by the less vicious, non-psychotic Chet Morton, who, for all intents and purposes, might just as well be another Hardy brother.
The Rovers had girlfriends as do the Hardys. The Rovers traveled everywhere without a care about money, just like the Hardys. For a bunch of kids, the Rovers acted in a pretty high-handed manner, like the Hardys, although the Hardys don't go to the same bizarre extremes as the Rovers. The Rovers associated primarily with their peers, like the Hardys and unlike Tom Swift, who surrounded himself with older men (Mr. Damon, Eradicate, Koku, Mr. Swift and a series of interchangable hunters, scientists, fortune-seekers etc.)
Gone in the Hardy series is the stereotypical Stratemeyer eye-rolling, shuffling "darkie", replaced in the early books by certain ethnic types (Tony Prito; Phil Cohen; the Bayport version of the Keystone Kops; assorted hayseed types) and then supplemented by the appearance of Aunt Gertrude. It's interesting to note that after Gertie appeared, the ethnic characterizations slackened considerably and much of the low humor that had devolved upon those characters previously was now focused on Auntie.
Eventually Tom Swift and the Rovers grew up, got married and sired progeny who appeared in their own series of books. Unlike them but similar to the eternal child-woman, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys never really aged. They remain perennial high school students, faithfully attending Bayport High every year since 1927! Since the Hardys and Nancy remain pop culture icons and the Rovers are barely remembered by the general public (Tom Swift only slightly more so), this clearly was one of the smartest decisions Edward Stratemeyer ever made.

My 3 Favorite and 3 Least Favorite Stories
YAY! :)
1: The House On The Cliff
2: The Mystery Of Cabin Island
3: The Tower Treasure
NAY! :(
  1: The Secret Agent On Flight 101
  2: The Mystery Of The Chinese Junk
  3: The Melted Coins

Haileybury Hardy Boys Committee
Readers may recall that I posted a notice about the upcoming celebration a few months back. I just got the brochure for this and I was shocked, shocked to find out that, in their "About The Hardy Boys" article, they had, without my permission and without crediting me, reproduced entire passages from my Hardy Boys Home Page, specifically from the FAQ and Original Series pages.
Now I hope this celebration is successful but the least they could have done was to credit my page for the items they took from it. SO yes, I'm a bit PO'd!

See you next month!

Hardy Boys News
  • New Collectible Discoveries
    • Autographed photo of Tim Considine & Tommy Kirk, stars of the 1950's Hardy Boys series.
    • Several Tiger Beat magazines from 1978 featuring the Boys.
  • Some eBay Auction Results
    • Shore Road Mystery red binding, no DJ - $52
    • Flying Express 1st edition w/DJ - $26
    • Sinister Signpost w/Gretta DJ - $25
    • Joe Doll - $65
    • Frank Doll - $75
    • Chinese Junk PC w/$1 box - $11
    • Old Mill red binding w/DJ - $308
    • Broken Blade 1st w/DJ - $306
    • Shore Road Mystery 1941 edition wDJ - $255
    • Corgi Hardy Boys Rolls Royce in box - $200
    • Corgi Hardy Boys Rolls Royce no box - $135
    • Corgi Hardy Boys Rolls Royce no box, no figures - $47
    • Great Airport Mystery 1941 edition w/DJ - $179
    • Set of promotional slides from 70's show - $71
    • Broken Blade PC with Nancy Drew list on back cover - $40
  • New On The Shelves

The Ghost Speaks!
Here's some info from a Hardy Boys writer who wishes to remain anonymous but is willing to shed some light on the process of creating a Hardy Boys book.  I did several Hardy Boys books circa 1990 and the drill was always pretty much the same:
  I'd call Mega-Books and talk to whatever editor was currently in charge of the HB series. I'd pitch several ideas for books. If he/she liked one, I'd write up a one-page, single-spaced precis of the plot, send it to M-B, who would pass it on to Simon & Schuster. If S&S approved (which they usually did), a contract would be drawn up and I'd write a detailed outline, which consisted of one single-spaced page for every chapter of the book (usually 16 chapters, though up to 18 were allowed). The outline would be passed around at M-B and S&S (mostly the latter) and would be returned with handwritten comments in the margins and a cover letter filled with suggestions. (Although we were strictly confined to a page per chapter, some editor would inevitably complain that there wasn't enough detail.)
  I'd then write the book, based on my outline and the editorial suggestions. The finished manuscript, which on average took about two weeks to produce, would be about 35,000 words or 150 double-spaced pages long. I'd send it to Mega-Books, they'd send it to Simon & Schuster, and after several eternities I'd get it back for a rewrite, once again with a cover letter and margins filled with suggestions. (The variety of handwriting styles and colors of ink in the margin went up over time, which suggests that more and more editors were becoming involved during this period.)
  I'd rewrite to order, then send it back. This was almost invariably the only rewrite necessary, though when the books appeared in print I would notice occasional editorial changes.
  The hardest part, for my tastes, was developing the detailed outline. (The actual writing of the book was a downhill slide.) Each chapter had to end on a cliffhanger -- usually a startling revelation or a character in jeopardy -- that would inspire the reader to come back for the next chapter. Unfortunately, plots don't naturally organize themselves in this manner, especially in the early chapters when suspense is still thin. The cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter was usually the revelation of the crime itself, but coming up with a cliffhanger for the second chapter was hell, and it was often necessary to force the action a bit or provide some sort of fake out (i.e. a seemingly suspenseful situation that was dismissed in the first paragraph of the next chapter).
  In only one case was I provided with an outline not written by myself. As far as I know, this only happened for Very Special Stories (to borrow a term from television promos).
Where is Bayport?

From: (Gary L. Sanders)
Bayport would have to be down around Atlantic City, New Jersey. In WHAM, the boys say that they have never been to New York City, if they lived on Long Island, that would be very unlikely. Atlantic City IS about 200 miles south of NYC, and there are a number of bays and rivers down there. Bayport also is supposed to have a population of about 50,000 people in the late '20s, and no real city matches that in the area. I think that there have been other references that put it south of NYC, but I can't remember specifics. Chet is lured to Boston in "A Figure In Hiding", and that does jibe better with a Long Island location for Bayport; since Boston is north and east of NYC.

Hey Readers! You are invited to write in and share your opinion on this burning issue!

Hardys In Review

This Month: The Crisscross Crime

A Five Star Review

by Ted Magilley

#150 in the Digest series
Published June 1998 by Minstrel Books
The Plot: Frank and Joe Hardy get their mother's car out of the shop before meeting their friends at Mr Pizza. While Frank is in the garage Joe witnesses some strange activity at the bank. Is a robbery about to take place? Alarms sound and the Hardy's are in a high speed chase through Bayport in their Mom's car. It ends at the junk yard with their car the size of a paperweight and no sign of the bad guys. What gives? Meanwhile they find another bank has been robbed across town, but the cops responded to the first (false) alarm. Very clever. Thankfully Joe video taped the whole chase and Phil Cohen tries to electronically analyze it for clues. Biff is also on hand to help as another bank is hit. The junk yard yields several clues but how do ex-cons, municipal maps of the sewer system, and counterfeiting add up? Through in a wave runner and the boys are stumped. By the time they figure out the pattern and the real target the cops aren't interested. Its up to the Hardy boys to go down into the storm drains and stop the biggest heist Bayport won't know about!
Comments: Those in the know know this title started out as Hardy Boys Casefiles #130. If you look on your shelf you will realize the Casefiles ended with #128. Thankfully, The Crisscross Crime was re-edited for the digest series. Okay, so maybe the Hardy's and Co. get into a few more fist fights then normal and maybe the pace is a little faster then previous books, but this works to its advantage. The Crisscross Crime is fast and tight and a fun little read! Very strong writing throughout, I loved the Hardys in the car being crushed- great descriptive narrative. We also get to see a little more of Bayport then normal. Biff and Phil get supporting roles and even Mrs. Hardy has some dialog! Wow.
    Hardy Facts:
  • In football Joe is a starting halfback on offense and middle linebacker in defense . (pg 22)
  • Mrs Hardy drives a new gold-colored sedan (pg 149)
  • Frank Hardy is not allowed to drive Mrs Hardy's new car (pg 150)

Grade: **** out of 5 - Buy this book from The Crisscross Crime

Ted's Request: if anyone has a copy of Casefiles #129 Explosive Force let me know- I'd love to read it!

Next Month: I'll be reviewing The Tower Treasure.
Hardys For Sale
Yep, I need your help in getting these darn Hardy Boys shirts out of the house!
Think of all the high compliments you'll be paid when your friends
see you sporting your own spiffy Hardy Boys T-Shirt!
Nancy Drew Fans: I still have a couple of the Drew shirts left also.

Hardy Boys T-Shirt - $15.00 postpaid
The One And Only! - Brown Logo on Tan Shirt
Perfect when riding your motorcycle, motorboat or roadster!

Click here for more of my Hardy Boys Books & Collectibles for sale.

Bayport Mail Bag

From: (Bill Durland)
Your recent article about Chief Finch and other anomolies in the original text "What Happened At Midnight" reminded me of a happening in the previous book - "The Great Airport Mystery". Originally published in 1930, this book includes Frank, Joe, Biff, Tony and the whole crowd GRADUATING from high school. Yet in 1931's WHAM, they're all back in high school. I have always wondered if Edward Stratemeyer (who died in 1930) had planned for the Hardys (as he did for the Rover Boys earlier) to go to college, get married (to Callie and Iola, of course), and have sons who would star in the second Hardy Boys series? Possibly that was his game plan, but when Harriet Adams took over, she decided to keep them in high school forever? Comments? Keep up the good work. My .02 on the location of Bayport, has always been the Jersey coast, based on Edward Stratemeyer living in central New Jersey and probably being more familiar with that area, than any place in New York state.

From: (Peter J. Curry)
I'm new at this e-mail/internet stuff (age 54) but had to send my praises for your wonderful "publication" which I just discovered. I inherited a set of about 20 HB books around 1950. That summer, while I was laid up with a bad leg, my mother read them all to me, and my "chums," on our front porch in Philadelphia. Somewhere along the way (c. 1968), on a whim, I looked up "Franklin W. Dixon" in the Index to Contemporary Authors and learned the horrible truth about E. Stratemeyer's "fiction factory" in East Orange, etc. In the early '80s I contacted an out-of-print book finder to help me locate some early edition HBs and he turned me on to "The Ghost of The Hardy Boys" by Leslie McFarlane which was a thrill to read (a mint copy with dustcover is sitting on my bookshelf nearby as I write this) My favorite HB volume is "Cabin Island" which, like one of your readers, I reread every winter (too bad the Applewood Books reprints did not go that deep into the HB canon). Not sure why I like this one so much: perhaps it has to do with winter and snow and cabins and islands, etc. which are very appealing to a city boy (not unlike the Indian lore and bread-on-a-stick aspects of Boy Scouting). Keep up the good work.
P.S. I agree with you on the location of "Bayport." However, the best clues to the "Bayport Mystery" are probably sealed forever in Stratemeyer's tomb. If his daughter is still living, maybe she can shed some light on this topic.
PP.S. Good thought about getting a t-shirt from the real Byport H.S. in New York!

From: (Edwin L. Schoen)
This is in response the the Laura/Mildred flap that seems to have your "readers" all confused AND also about the Mystery of the Missing City of Bayport debate.
First, book 20, The Mystery of the Flying Express (original text), one of the best Hardy Boys' mysteries, is the only original in which Mrs. Hardy is called "Mildred." This is an error on the part of the author, John Button, who was only hired to write books 17-21 (1938-1942). All other Hardy Boy books refer to the mother as Laura. Mr. Button was apparently a talented author but pretty short on attention to details. Not only did he simply pick "Mildred" out of the air but he changed Aunt Gertrude from a tall, thin commanding woman into a short, skittish, portly woman! Basically, Johnny boy could not be bothered with the historical facts of Hardy Boys' history as represented by books 1-16. And as the final word on that subject, be advised that Mrs. Hardy did not share the current craze for 3 names as Sara Jessica Parker, Mary Stewart Masterson, John Michael Montgomery, Sarah Michelle Gellar etc. Mrs. Hardy WAS always referred to as Laura except for the one instance noted above.
Please note that any references here (to "books") refer to the "original" texts not the "new-speak" revisions with which the under-30 generation is familiar.
Now, as to the location of Bayport. It is definitely in the South. Mr. Hardy left New York to retire to the country and start a private practice. Also the boys frequently go to New York and refer to it as being "about 200 miles" north of Bayport. Go figure.

From: (Peter Curry)
I was watching a documentary about Joe Franklin, longtime WOR-TV and radio talk/music host, on WYBE-TV in Philadelphia tonight (9-9:45) and during a montage of scenes about 35 minutes into the program it showed him praising an elderly guest he referred to as "... McFarlane, one of the world's great writers." I am certain that the man was Leslie McFarlane, as he looked like an older version of the smiling man on the back of the dust jacket for "Ghost of the Hardy Boys." It is possible that the complete program with McFarlane is available from WOR-TV's archives. Thought you'd like to know about this.

I first started reading the Hardy Boys way way back in 1952 or 1953 -- quite along time ago, now that I think of it. An older friend had given me the books that he had apparently outgrown -- THE TOWER TREASURE, MISSING CHUMS, HOUSE ON THE CLIFF, SECRET OF THE OLD MILL, and a dozen or so others.
Back in the mid-70's, I passed them on the some young kid, and pomptly forgot about them. Until 1990 or so when, on a spur-of-the-moment impusle, when I was in WaldenBooks, I spotted some, and treated myself. Somewhat to my surprise, I found myself enjoy them now easily as much as I did back in the early 50's.
And I actually found them to be easily more enjoyable, much better written, and much easier reading, than any of the boring, tedious stuff that I had read by both Agatha Christie and P.D. James.
Here's to Frank and Joe and the gang -- and here's to us unabashedly nostalgic baby-boomers.
Hope to be hearing from other readers.

From: (Jonathan K. Cooper)
I just wanted to tell you that you're doing a fine job on your Hardy Boys webzine. Your paper makes fascinating reading -- keep up the good work! I've archived all of your previous issues and am eagerly waiting for more.
As for my favorite Hardy Boy book? Ah, it'd have to be the original text version of #1, "The Tower Treasure". That was the very first series book I ever read, and it got me into collecting all sorts of series: Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Rick Brant, Ken Holt, and a slew of others. I'm afraid that it has a special place with me...

Readers - This is your forum to tell the world your thoughts on the Hardys!
Letters may be edited for content, spelling etc. but, then again, maybe not!
Full name & verifiable e-mail address must be supplied for your letter to appear here.

The Great Hardy Boys Search

Is there a Hardy Boys item you simply must have for your collection?
Let me know and I'll publish it right here in the very next issue!
One line per reader please!
2 in 1 Book Club PC: Secret Warning/Twisted Claw
#11 - While The Clock Ticked - White Spine DJ in Red Binding
Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys Meet The Mad Scientist
British Collins picture cover Hardy Boys titles #48-56
Several titles for his Hardy Boys research. Contact him for info.
Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Be A Detective Mysteries Vols. 2-5
GAF View-Master - The Hardy Boys
Hardy Boys Casefile #11
1998 Robert W. Finnan
All Rights Reserved
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