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Issue # 22             March 2000             Editor: Bob Finnan

  Bayport Beat  

Welcome to the Bayport Times.
This month featuring new collectible discoveries, letters, my review of The Haunted Fort and more!
Series Books By The Sea
The South Jersey Series Collectors' annual convention will once again be held in Sea Bright NJ on Saturday April 8.
In addition to many series book dealers, there will be exhibits and guest speakers.
Contact Karen Plunkett-Powell for more information at
Hardy Boys Musical in San Francisco
There will be a new production of the Tim Cope & Paul Boesing Hardy Boys musical The Secret of the Old Queen in San Francisco. Presented by Kaliyuga Arts, reviews will begin at the New Conservatory Theatre Center on June 1 and officially opens June 10, running Thursdays-Sundays until July 16.
This play was a hit during it's Chicago run and a review of that production may be found in The Bayport TimesIssue 18.
The Bayport Times Needs YOU!
To contribute an article, book review, letter or announce a new Hardy Boys discovery!
Please send via e-mail to: - Please use "Bayport Times" as your subject heading.
Hardy Boys Mailing List
Please note that this is NOW the place to subscribe to the Bayport Times.

If you have not done so already, you'll have to register with the provider of this service, ONELIST.COM.
In addition to being notified of new issues of the Bayport Times, you'll be able to exchange letters with other Hardy fans, look for elusive Hardy Boys books & collectibles and participate in Hardy Boys related surveys.
I've just added many new books & collectibles to my SALES PAGE .
Many Hardy Boys with DJ's and many PC editions including many original text editions as well as many other series.

See you next time!

New Collectible Discoveries

Promotional Poster - From ABC network promoting the 70's series.

Casefile Gift Set - Yet another variant using the cover art from Casefile #1.
Swedish Editions The Mystery Of Cabin Island; The Great Airport Mystery

Dutch Editions - The Secret Of The Old Mill; The Sinister Signpost
New On The Shelves
Recent additions to the Hardy canon
Daredevils (#159)
A Game Called Chaos (#160)
Training For Trouble (#161)
Clues Brothers
Slip, Slide and Slap Shot (#15)
Fish-Faced Mask Of Mystery (#16)
The Bike Race Ruckus (#17)

3 In 1 Editions with Dust Jacket
3 in 1 Special Edition (Vol. 1)
Tower Treasure, House On The Cliff, Secret Of The Old Mill
3 in 1 Special Edition (Vol. 2)
Missing Chums; Hunting For Hidden Gold; Shore Road Mystery

Applewood 1st Edition Reproductions
The Mystery Of Cabin Island (#8)
The Great Airport Mystery (#9)
What Happened At Midnight (#10)

  The Mysterious Case Of The Masked Monkey  

It's seems that the 1972 Hardy Boys story The Masked Monkey (#51) was originally slated to be the 1971 revision of The Flickering Torch Mystery (#22)
Why this was done, I have no idea but in a future edition of The Bayport Times, I'll be examining Masked Monkey and the revised Flickering Torch. Meanwhile, if anyone can shed some light on the mystery, e-mail me and I'll print it in the next issue.

Special thanks to Bob Nelson for bringing this to my attention.

  Hardys In Review  

This month: The Haunted Fort
#44 in the series - 1965
Written by David Grambs

Synopsis: A long-distance telephone call from Chet Morton's uncle summons Frank and Joe Hardy and their staunch pal Chet to a summer art school, located near old Fort Senandadga which is reputed to be inhabited by a ghost. The young detectives assignment: recover two famous oil paintings stolen from the valuable Prisoner-Painter collection owned by Jefferson Davenport.
    Mr. Davenport, millionaire sponsor of the Millwood Art School, reveals that one of the famous Fort Senandaga pictures painted by his artist ancestor, General Jason Davenport, contains a clue to the hiding place of a priceless chain of gold.
    Vicious threats and deadly traps beset Frank, Joe and Chet as they search for clues to the stolen paintings and the gold treasure--a search that is complicated by a stormy fued between a proud Englishman and an equally proud Frenchman over the military history of the ancient fort.
    NOTE: Contrary to my normal practice, the above was taken from the synopsis printed in the book. This story is so inane and poorly written that I just can't bring myself to recount it. Doing so could only bring up the shockingly traumatic recollection of reading it in the first place! Lord knows how many unwitting Hardy fans have been driven to the brink of insanity by this story. The horror, the horror!

Comments: This story originally appeared a couple of years after I had given up reading the Hardy Boys for more typical teenage pursuits. At the time, I little realized just how lucky I was! The mid-60's was a low point for the Hardys and this story (along with The Secret Agent On Flight 101) represents the series' nadir. It's almost as if the Syndicate was deliberately trying to destroy the series.
    There are just too many characters running around in this book and the author doesn't know how to handle them very well (actually, not at all!). The characters rush to and fro in a purposeless frenzy, there are numerous pointless scenes and many acts of senseless violence. Even in the few rare scenes that do somehow contribute to the plot, it's clear the author simply does not know how to write. Really, he doesn't have a clue! His ham-handed approach to exposition and characterization and his apparent tin ear to dialog is laughably bad. It's clear who the culprit is early into the book, despite the antics of obvious red herring, Ronnie Rush. There is more suspense in wondering if the sun will rise in the morning than there is in this entire story.
    Although the basic premise of the story (lost treasure in old fort/clue in painting) is a pretty good one (and frankly, the only halfway decent thing in this whole abortion), the execution is abysmal. Furthermore, the idea of the treasure being a gigantic solid gold chain is simply ludicrous. In the first place, what type of imbecile would make such a thing during a war then haul it up to the middle of nowhere and hide it? The treasure could just as easily have been a far more sensible cache of gold coins or bullion. Can anyone tell me why a Civil War prisoner would be held captive in an upstate New York pre-Revolutionary fort? And why would he be allowed almost free run of the place? Why, despite the fact that everyone knows his name, is he invariably referred to as "the Prisoner-Painter"? Stupid, Stupid, Stupid with a capital "S"!
    Some of the scenes are so absurdly idiotic that they border on the surreal. Can anyone imagine a full grown man being so terrified of a rubber sea serpent that he would jump out of his boat? Or that anyone would seal a boy in a steel drum, throw him in the middle of a lake and NOT expect him to die? Or how about Frank and Joe being completely conversant in the esoteric terms used to describe the various parts of an 18th century fort? Then there's Chet winning an art contest with a painting he's forced to revamp at the last minute after a vandal smears paint on it! Furthermore, if I never hear or read the word bateau again, it will be bateau goldarn soon for me!
    If this story were to made into a movie, only the demented directorial talents of the immortal Ed Wood Jr. (who made Plan 9 From Outer Space, Glen Or Glenda and countless other grade Z epics) would be able to do justice to it's complete imbecilic lunacy. Fortunately for all concerned, Ed is dead, so the chances of this horror reaching the silver screen are thankfully nil.
    According to the archives in the NY Public Library, this story was heavily edited by the staff at the Syndicate. This is hardly surprising, since author David Grambs clearly is unfit to write even a coherent grocery list! Grambs first work on the Hardy's was his abominable revision of The Shore Road Mystery in 1964 and he continued to display his startling ineptitude in his revisions of Footprints Under The Window in 1965, The Secret Of Skull Mountain in 1966, finally culminating in the odious The Secret Of The Lost Tunnel in 1968. At that point, apparently someone at the Syndicate came out of a coma long enough to realize that Grambs was either an idiot, apathetic or incompetent (or maybe all three) and informed him that his services would no longer be required. The rumour that the Syndicate sued him for taking money under false pretenses is undoubtedly false but they certainly would have been well within their rights in doing so. His work on the series is so atrocious that I've often wondered if English was Grambs' primary (or even secondary) language or if he was somehow related to the Stratemeyer family.
    Enough! It would be child's play to go on skewering all the idiotic things that occur in this story or to continue lambasting the author's total incompetence but why go on beating this poor, dead horse? Suffice it to say that this story ranks among the worst in the Hardy canon, surpassed only by the unreadable and totally meritless The Secret Agent On Flight 101 (which, by the way, will NEVER be reviewed here!).

Rating: F
Suitable only for masochists, long-suffering reviewers or diehard Hardy fans who have read every other story (twice)!

Brave souls can buy The Haunted Fort from AMAZON.COM.

  The Great Hardy Boys Quiz  

Test Your Cover Art IQ!
Can you match the cover art description to the story?

01: A Mexican spies on the BoysA: The Yellow Feather Mystery
02: The Boys bound and gagged in chairs.B: A Figure In Hiding
03: Boys behind rock, hermit in distanceC: The Secret Of Wildcat Swamp
04: Boys in canoe by cliffD: The Missing Chums
05: Frank in a treeE: While The Clock Ticked
06: Boys in cowboy hatsF: The Mark On The Door
07: Large ship with searchlightG: The Tower Treasure
08: Both Boys standing outside cabin window   H: Footprints Under The Window  
09: Ray of light from high windowI: The House On The Cliff
10: Boys with flashlightJ: The Clue Of The Broken Blade
11: Boys in Sleuth during stormK: The Phantom Freighter
12: Big fight on a pierL: The Disappearing Floor
13: Boys in Sleuth by cliffM: The Flickering Torch Mystery
14. Glowing "ghost"N: The Secret Of The Caves
15: Boys in front of safeO: Hunting For Hidden Gold
Answers at bottom of page.

  Bayport Mail Bag  

Well, I've been working on the Mystery of Cabin Island Movie stuff and it's starting to come together. Here's an image of the one sheet poster. The fictional production company is "Enigma Films". The actual ad is itself is some time away. I'll post more artwork as I make it. As always the credit line is: Peter Cullum, Hardy Boys Cabin Island Poster 1, 2000.
Hey! Although it's been awhile since I last contributed I'm still working on more altered Hardy art. Here's a couple of images from the little thumbnail sketches inside the 60s books. Again, I added myself into each picture as the third Hardy Boy, Peter Hardy. I'll also try to get some more scans of altered covers soon, but that project is being slowed down as I make an ad for a non-existent animated movie version of the Mystery of Cabin Isle. Whew! I'm glad you enjoyed the movie poster. I've got a few other versions in the works and I'll pass them along as I complete them. Thanks! As always, the credit information: Peter Cullum, Self Portrait As Hardy Boy, 1999

Thanks for yet another wonderful issue of the Bayport Times. I especially enjoyed seeing that colorful ad for the Hardy Boy's episodes on the Mickey Mouse Club! - Karen Plunkett-Powell

Just wanted to let you know that we're going to be doing a new production of Tim Cope & Paul Boesing's Hardy Boys musical "The Secret of the Old Queen" in San Francisco this summer. Previews will begin at the New Conservatory Theatre Center on June 1, the show officially opens June 10 & will run Thursdays-Sundays until July 16. We should have a page with a lot more information up on our website -- -- within the week. Been doing a LOT of net searches lately & this has been a great resource. Thanks! - Steven Patterson - Kaliyuga Arts

In 1966, when I was 9 years old, my brother bought me a copy of The Missing Chums. I was hooked. For the next two years I purchased every volume up through The Haunted Fort (or whatever the actual title was). These were the blue spine volumes, although some of the stories (The Mark on the Door, What Happened at Midnight) had not yet been updated for 60's sensibilities. As the years passed I tucked the books away, recently giving them to my 9 year old nephew.
While browsing on eBay I saw Hardy Boys books for sale - the old ones with the highly colorful dust jackets. A wave of nostalgia settled over me and I have now purchased some 10 titles. I read them with guilty pleasure now, as I can remember still the 9 year old boy who loved those books. That, I think, is the true charm of the books.
This is a long winded way of saying how much I enjoy your website. I have read through all the issues and am impressed with your knowledge of Hardy lore. I look forward to new issues and, if you have any sort of mailing list, please include me. Thank you. - Glenn Miller

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Letters may be edited for content, spelling etc. but, then again, maybe not!
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imageHardy Boys Pocket Flix Cassette - $24.99 postpaid
Mint Condition! Still sealed on original card!

Hardy Boys Thermos - $16.99 postpaid
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Disney Hardy Boys 78RPM Record - $34.99 postpaid
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Contains Gold Doubloons & Pieces Of Eight from the 1st Mickey Mouse Club Hardy Boys serial.

image J65: Hardy Boys/Shaun Cassidy Disco Amp
Only $54.99 postpaid!

Still in the ORIGINAL BOX!!!!!
Battery (not included) operated.
Good condition - Box has wear and there is corner wear on the amp.
This hard to find collectible is rare with original box!
Note: Image is not of actual item and is for illustration purposes only.

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2000 Robert W. Finnan
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Quiz Answers: 1-F, 2-E, 3-N, 4-M, 5-B, 6-C, 7-K, 8-A, 9-G, 10-O, 11-D, 12-H, 13-I, 14-L, 15-J