Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Pulp Convention

The Pulp Convention

There are conventions for just about every hobby you can think of, and some you don’t wish to know about. Folks like you and me probably like Comic Book conventions, Old Time Radio conventions, Serial & Western conventions, and Pulp conventions. My wife and attended several in our younger days, and is one that we especially liked, The PulpCon. The above picture was taken in 1977.  If you will start from the center, you have Nick Carr (cousin of mystery author John Dickson Carr). To his right is pulp artist Norman Saunders, and next is pulp publisher Harry Steeger, then pulp collector and airline pilot Jack Deveny, and then Walter B. Gibson, creator and author of The Shadow, pulp collector Earll Kussman is next, and the fellow that’s just out of the picture is Robert Sampson, pulp author, historian, and collector. Finally myself, Tom Johnson directly to the left of Nick Carr. The picture was representing Walter Gibson’s Shadow pulp cover, “The Lone Tiger, where The Shadow and his agents were seated at a table.

The above picture is me again, with SF author Leigh Brackett, shortly before her death.

Above is Norma Dent, the widow of Lester Dent, the author of Doc Savage under the Kenneth Robeson pseudonym.

And above is, from left to right, comic book and paperback cover artist, Jim Steranko, centered is Walter Gibson, and far right is Frank Hamilton, fanzine artist and outstanding black & white illustrator. The PulpCon is no more, but a new couple new pulp convention have taken its place, the Windy City Con, and PulpFest.

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