RAS #287 – Gun For Hire

On Ron’s Amazing Stories this week we present a short-story written by Mack Reynolds. It is called, Gun for Hire, and explores the one thing a utopian society forgot to include, a hit man. Also, on the show our friend from Berlin is back with a third installment. This time Tom Williams takes us to Berlin in in the year 1961. (See Photo Below)

Tom Williams in Berlin October 1961

Our Classic Story This week – Gun For Hire

We have a short story called Gun for Hire by Mack Reynolds. A Gun For Hire explores in a light hearted but painful way, the fact that hired guns are just that: hired. This story is amazing and speaks to us as much as it did when it was written in the 1950’s for the pulp mags of the time. It is read for us by Phil Chenevert who does a truly impressive job.

Spotlight – Dallas McCord Reynolds

Dallas McCord Reynolds was an American science fiction writer. His work is best known for its focus on socioeconomic speculation. That is a lot of word power that simply means, “How money and people impact on the future.” He liked to write thought-provoking stories of perfect societies from comic or satiric point of view. Reynold’s heroes usually seek to improve their societies by direct revolutionary action. Sometimes their revolution is meant to advance a people’s level of civilization, sometimes to send it back to a simple way of life.

Dallas McCord ReynoldsMack was a popular author in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. You could find his works in both novels and science fiction magazines. Mack Reynolds loved to use pen names and he used several throughout his writing career. These names included Dallas Ross, Mark Mallory, Clark Collins, Dallas Rose, Guy McCord, Maxine Reynolds, Bob Belmont, and Todd Harding.

I first learned of Mack Reynolds from his book, Mission to Horatius. It was written in 1968 and it was was the first original novel based upon the NBC television series Star Trek. Now, you might be thinking that I loved it. I thought it stunk. The producers of Star Trek agreed. They were concerned that it was dull, poorly written, and contained offensive descriptions of Sulu. Gene Roddenberry intervened and it was corrected, but not re-published. In 1999 Pocket Books did so to celebrate holding the Star Trek license for 20 years. I have never read the “improved” story.

This Week’s Podcast:

On Ron’s Amazing Stories this week we present a short-story written by Mack Reynolds. It is called, Gun for Hire, and explores the one thing a utopian society forgot to include. A hit man. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

May 04 – The Fairy of Inverness – (RAS284)
May 11 – The Beast Must Die – (RAS285)
May 18 – The RocketShip  – (RAS286)
May 25 – Gun For Hire – (RAS237)
June 01 – (RAS287)

RAS #286 – The Rocketship

On Ron’s Amazing Stories this week we are jammed pack full of tales. We have a two listener stories, one of which just might the most dramatic yet! We have the second in the original RAS series, A Moment In Time and OTR tale that is nothing short of epic. You won’t believe your ears.

The OTR Story – The Rocket

Our OTR story was written and produced in late 1945 just after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, the actual tale takes place in the year 2000 which makes this a science fiction story (from a certain point of view). It comes from the OTR series Lights Out and is a warning to the past, present and the future. It is called, Rocketship and if it doesn’t terrify you just a bit, you missed the point.

Program Note:  The Horror Express has been delayed by at least a week. I will have more information on this on next week show. Not to worry there are no issues. It is a me problem and I just ran out of time and had to push it.

Ron’s Amazing Stories Empire

As you know the podcast has gone through some changes the past few weeks. Now that all of the work has been completed I thought it would be a good time to go through the new structure of the Ron’s Amazing Stories Empire. Empire might be a bit strong, but it is what it is. Thank you for your patience during the transition. The podcast now consists now of four websites. All are tied together and they support each other.

Ron’s Amazing Stories – This is the main site and is where the magic happens.  All of the podcast are distributed from here. All our destinations are fed from this single source. Think of it as homebase.

http://ronsamazingstories.com   and  http://RASpodcast.com

Ron’s Amazing Stories – The blog –  Here you will find all of the content on the main site and the home of blog posts like the one your are reading now.  It links back to all of the other sites.

https://ronsamazingstories.blog

Ron’s Amazing Stories – The Archives – On this site you will find the archived episodes that have been donated to the public domain. This site contains all of the episodes that are no longer available on the main host site. This summer I plan to take down more of the podcasts and move them here.

https://archive.org/details/archived-RAS-episodes

The Horror Express – This site is dedicated to our second podcast, and Its main function is to act as a communication page. It is place where you can send comments and questions to both Jason and myself. In case you were wondering the main website is also responsible for the distribution of the Horror Express. The URL for this site will be changing soon.

https://horrorexpresspodcast.wordpress.com

There you have our little empire. If you have any questions or comments you can use any of the sites listed to send them. All comments left are fed into a single gmail mailbox.

Thank you for reading!

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week I just may call it, “Power Stories”. It is jammed pack full of tales. We have a two listener stories, one of which, just might the most dramatic yet! The OTR tale is nothing short of epic and of course we continue with our five minute mystery series. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

May 04 – The Fairy of Inverness – (RAS284)
May 11 – The Beast Must Die – (RAS285)
May 18 – Three Epic Tales  – (RAS286)
May 25 – The Horror Express #16 (May be Delayed)
June 01 – (RAS287)

RAS #285 – The Beast Must Die

This time on Ron’s Amazing Stories we debut a new segment called, A Moment in Time, have a listener’s tale about growing up in the Philippines and psychological thriller from the classic series Suspense.

The OTR Story – The Beast Must Die

The OTR story for this episode will keep you guessing until the very last moment. The Story is called The Beast Must Die, and it is based on the 1938 novel written by Nicholas Blake. The Story is  about a man seeking revenge for the death of his son in a hit-and-run car accident. The Beast Must Die stars Herbert Marshall, comes from the series Suspense, and first aired on July 13, 1944.

New Segment: A Moment in Time

We are testing a new segment this week called, A Moment in Time. Basically, I will be presenting old time radio news reports with a short background of where and when it is from. I love listening to these because they transport you back to a time and let’s you feel what it was like. I hope you like this new segment and please do send me feedback!

-Ron

Art Can Tell A Story Too

I was thinking this week about my blog. I have covered so many topics as it relates to stories. However, I have never talked about famous works of art and what stories they might tell. Works of art often tell stories. Artists can present a narrative in many ways. For example, they might use a series of images to represent a story or tell a single moment on one canvas. These works often illustrate well-known historical, religious, legendary, or mythic stories. Sometimes however, artists invent their own stories, leaving the viewer to their imagination. On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories – The Blog I will take three pieces famous art and tell you what story they tell me. I encourage you to look at these pieces and determine your own story. Feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments section. Let’s get started.

-Ron

American Gothic by Grant Wood

American GothicAmerican Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood. Wood’s inspiration came from what is now known as the American Gothic House, and was created in 1930. The figures were modeled by his sister Nan, and their dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. I have always loved this picture and thought that the story this tells me is one of love for home, country and each other. I have always thought that it represents the feeling and times of the great depression. Hardship is the word of the day and I can see that on their faces.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

NighthawksNighthawks is a 1942 oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper. It portrays people in a downtown diner late at night. It is Hopper’s most famous work, and is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. I have used this one as the background for many computers over the years and it is my personal favorite work of art. I have spent countless hours dreaming about this and thinking about the stories the diners patrons could tell. For me – The lone man has always been a detective keeping an eye on the couple talking with the restaurateur.

Note: Joyce Carol Oates wrote interior monologues for the figures in the painting in her poem, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, 1942.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Stary NightThe Starry Night is an oil on canvas painting by Vincent van Gogh. It was painted in June of 1889 and it depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is regarded among Van Gogh’s finest works and is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture. I have seen reproductions of this painting and would one day like to view the real thing. It seems shame to assign one story to this glorious work of art. So, I like to think of it as the beginning to many stories. Just look at the lush blue tones and you can imagine the beginnings of any story at any time in history.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we debut a new segment, have a listener’s tale about growing up in the Philippines and psychological thriller from the classic series Suspense. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

May 04 – The Fairy of Inverness – (RAS284)
May 11 – Suspense – (RAS285)
May 18 – Three listeners tales revisited – (RAS286)
May 25 – The Horror Express #16
June 01 – (RAS287)

RAS #284 – The Fairy of Inverness

On this episode of Ron’s Amazing Stories a listener sent in a strange account all the way from from Inverness, Scotland. It tells the tale of a fairy who tries to interrupt a Journey home. We also, look at a time in England’s history when King Charles was exiled!  And, of course, we have another Five Minute Mystery. So take a chair and listen to this adventure pack podcast.

Our OTR Story – The Exile

Our OTR story for this week we have one of America’s earliest social media Icons, Mr. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. In addition to his movie credits he was a decorated naval officer of World War II. Our story is simply called, The Exile, and is an adventure set during the time of England’s upheaval. It comes to us from the classic series Screen Director’s Playhouse and first aired on July 23, 1949.

Main Website Complete:

The website transfer is complete and we have a brand new blog site. There is nothing for you guys to do at all. All the old links now point at the new links and vice versa. I want to thank Libsyn for making this happen and I hope you enjoy the result. In addition to the new home website I have moved the blog to wordpress.com. I encourage you to subscribe to the blog so that you can read my other ramblings and get news about the show. In this week’s blog we play True or False with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  To subscribe to the new blog go to ronsamazingstories.com and click on the follow the blog banner. Previous members will have to resubscribe.

True or False with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

I remember as a kid sitting down on Saturday night to watch a local program called Adventure Theater. It played great old movies like Robin Hood, The Exile, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Ivanhoe. It was a treat to see these films from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s.  One of the frequent actors on the program was Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  In memory of that and to have some fun, lets play true or false with the man.

Q1 – In the days of silent films, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (1883-1939) was the king of dramatic actors. He surged across American motion picture screens performing dangerous stunts such as jumping from one high balcony to another or swinging by a rope from an old pirate ship. Fairbanks was an expert swordsman and handler of guns, a fine athlete, and managed to win the hand of the leading lady with perfect manners in almost every film he made.

False – Well, actually that is very true but that description belongs to Douglas Fairbanks Sr. our target’s father. I have watched a few of those silent films that the man truly was a marvel.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.Q2 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was born in New York City, the only child of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully. His parents divorced when he was nine years old, and both remarried. He lived with his mother in New York, California, Paris and London.

True – Yep, that is our guy, and for the record he is no less amazing than his father.

Q3 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was a war hero?

True – For his part in planning the amphibious assault on Southern France, Lieutenant Commander Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy’s Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French Légion d’honneur, the Croix de guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross. Fairbanks was also awarded the Silver Star for valor displayed while serving on U.S. PT boats. Fairbanks stayed in the US Naval Reserve after the war and ultimately retired as a Captain in 1954.

Q4 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was married to Joan Crawford?

True – His first notable relationship was with the actress Joan Crawford, whom he began to date seriously during the filming of Our Modern Maidens. Fairbanks and Crawford married on June 3, 1929 at St. Malachi in New York City. Fairbanks was only 19, and Crawford was four years older.

Q5 – Fairbanks has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame?

False – Fairbanks has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, one for television and, one for radio. In 1969 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Best Dressed List.

Q6 – Douglas FairBanks Jr. was buried with his dad.

True – On the morning of May 7, 2000, Fairbanks died at the age of 90 of a heart attack and was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same tomb as his father.

There you have it. A short but look at the life and times of one of Hollywood’s best.  If you want to know more about the Fairbanks Family Museum Website.

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we have a tribute to Douglas Fairbanks. We also have a listener’s story all the way from Inverness, Scotland. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen to it on your radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

May 04 – Fairbanks Special – (RAS284)
May 11 – Suspense – (RAS285)
May 18 – Three listeners tales revisited – (RAS286)
May 25 – The Horror Express #16
June 01 – (RAS287)

RAS Replay – Sincerely, Iris

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This week we take a spring break and present this replay of one of my favorite episodes. Last spring in 2016 I did a special tribute to Mark Twain. While doing the research for that show I ran across a song about Twain called 1,000 Years by Sincerely, Iris. I contacted them and got permission to play the song as part of the tribute. Since then I have had the good fortune to meet the founder of the group, Todd Murray and he is here to share his music, tell some stories and tell us all about Road Trip music. This is a very cool episode of Ron’s Amazing Stories!

Sincerely, Iris show links:

Website

Facebook

Official Video for Just Like a Dog

Cover of AC/DC’s – Done Dirt Cheap & Thunderstruck

Program Note – All of the music used in today’s show was approved by Todd Murray and Sincerely, Iris. Ron’s Amazing Stories appreciates Todd for allowing us to play his music, but hold no rights to these works and any questions about their usage should be directed to Todd Murray <todd@sincerelyiris.com>.

Click here to Listen to this Episode.

Spring Break? Now?

As is with all things in life you have to adapt and overcome. When most of the free world has completed spring break, I am about to start mine. I had to adapt my schedule and overcome some uncompleted work with a few roadblocks thrown in. That being said, it is not a bad thing. After all I will miss the crowds! So, here is hoping that all of you enjoy the week. I will be back.

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast:

On the podcast this week we will have a replay for you. In case you missed it I am on spring break and will return next week. Enjoy the show! You can listen to the podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your AM/FM radio Saturday night at 6pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

The Calendar:

March 30 – The Horror Express #15
April 06 – The Ghost of Berlin, NV.  – (RAS #281)
April 13 – The Kaleidoscope – (RAS #282)
April 20 – The Titan of Kansas – (RAS #283)
April 27 – RAS Spring Break!