April 29, 2012

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon in 1954

by Stephen Bly
Copyright 2008

Research eras can seem like ancient history for some writers. For my novel, Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon, the year 1954 wasn't all that long ago for me.

Here are some events from that year. Perhaps this will be a stroll down memory lane for you or provide some research tips for your own project:

** The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus was launched
** First polio vaccinations
** 4 Puerto Rican nationalists open fire in the U.S. House of Representatives
** Best Actor - William Holden in Stalag 17
** first color TV set with 12" screen with price tag of $1,000
** Roger Bannister runs a 4 minute mile
** the words "under God" are added to our Pledge of Allegiance
** Viet Nam i partitioned into north and south
** Miss America pageant is first televised
** Texas Instruments develops the transistor radio
** the immigration port of Ellis Island closes
** the Dow reaches an all time high of 382
** Burger King opens its first store in Miami, Florida
** Oprah Winfrey was born
** Ernest Hemingway wins the Nobel Prize for literature
** Joe DiMaggio marries Marilyn Monroe
** N.Y. Giants beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series
** NBA: the Minneapolis Lakers beat the Syracuse Nationals for championship
** Sam Sneed wins the Master's Golf Tournament
** the Male Athlete of the Year: Willie Mays
** the Female Athlete of the Year: Babe Didrikson Zaharias
** Bill Haley and His Comets record "Rock Around the Clock" as the B side to a tune called "Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town). "Rock. . ." becomes a hit the following year when used in the movie "Blackboard Jungle."
** Elvis Presley records "That's Alright Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky"
** Biggest hits of the year: Doris Day's "Secret Love"; Rosemary Clooney's "Hey There"; Chordettes "Mr Sandman"; and Crew-Cuts' "Sh-Boom"

Looking over this list, I realize it was a long time ago. Stalag 17  was my favorite movie of all time, right next to High Noon. I had a radio with replaceable tubes. And I still can sing the opening line of "Sh-Boom." 

But I can't tell you about TV in 1954. We didn't have one yet. Didn't matter. Didn't need one. When I came home from school I did chores then played outside until dark. Now, that does sound like a century ago.

Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon

What seems most remarkable to you about 1954?

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot
Now available -- hardback & ebook -- paperback edition soon
Stuart Brannon's Final Shot, by Stephen Bly
with Janet Chester Bly, Russell Bly, Michael Bly & Aaron Bly
Finishing Dad's novel was a family affair. Can a committee create fiction? We had the passion and four months to find out.

It's 1905. Two orphans flee from Oregon's Tillamook Head. One of them is branded a hero. Dare they tell the truth and risk the wrath of a dangerous man? Meanwhile, a retired lawman searches for his missing U.S. Marshal friend while he grapples with the game of golf on behalf of a celebrity tournament.

The first 3 original Stuart Brannon Series and Stuart Brannon's Final Shot now available on Amazon Kindle, Nook & Apple iBook. Paperback releases soon.

"Stuart Brannon's Final Shot delivers and reminds us what we'll miss most about the beloved author." Jerry B. Jenkins, NYT Bestselling novelist & biographer


Frances said...

Where can I find a list of his books in order. I'm intrigued but want to read them as they were written unless they are stand alone.

For His Glory said...

i enjoy your blogsite so much. to come and find an inspirational and/or educational writing is a pleasant experience. hope to be able to order the new book, soon.

Janet Chester Bly said...

For His Glory: Thanks much for taking the time for your kind comment.