“They Had What It Takes – Part 14: Eddie Rickenbacker” by Alden McWilliams
This week we bring you Part 14 of Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation. He called it “They Had What it Takes” and this installment appeared in the March 1938 Flying Aces. It features the immortal Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s “Ace of Aces”.
“They Had What It Takes – Part 13: Bernt Balchen” by Alden McWilliams
Alden McWilliams’ illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation was called “They Had What it Takes”, and this week we bring you the 13th installment, which appeared in the February 1938 Flying Aces. It features Bernt Balchen, the Norwegian pilot known as the “Viking of the Skies”.
The Spider Vs. Academia
The great thing about PulpFest, besides seeing all those gorgeous pulps in one place, is the people you meet. One such kindred spirit is Arlene Hilfer, an english professor at Hiram College in Ohio, who we first met at last year’s show. She had a keen interest in PulpFest 2009 (her first convention) having just taught a pulp class at her small college using Erin Smith’s Hard-Boiled and Otto Penzler’s The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps as the primary texts. Like a sponge, she soaked up everything the pulp collectors and publishers could throw at her in one Saturday afternoon — and that’s a lot. She listened to my breathless spiel about The Spider Vs. The Empire State and even ordered a copy. (We had sold out of it on Friday.) We heard from Arlene again after the show when she reported that her granddaughter’s boyfriend had scooped up her copy of Empire State, and she had to order another one. Love it!
We were back at PulpFest last weekend for the 2010 show, and so was Professor Hilfer. She reports that last year for her pulp class she added the infamous “Ku Klux Klan issue” of Black Mask to the syllabus, something that the Mecham brothers of Girasol Collectables had turned her on to at the convention. This fall, with Hiram suggesting the theme of “war” for the school year, she is planning to have her students read The Spider Vs. The Empire State as part of the class. Fantastic! Tom Krabacher, who wrote the introduction to the book was at the show too, and he, Arlene and I had a rousing discussion about The Spider, the Depression, and what she might do with her students this semester. Who knows, they may even have an assignment to contribute original content to FightTheEmpireState.com. Watch this space for developments!
“They Had What It Takes – Part 12: Dick Merrill” by Alden McWilliams
In the late thirties Flying Aces ran Alden McWilliams’ monthly illustrated tribute to the pioneer fliers of the early days of aviation which was called “They Had What it Takes”. In the January 1938 issue they featured Dick Merrill. Considered the greatest airline pilot of his time, Merrill accomplished the first trans-Atlantic round trip when he flew to London to retrieve photographs of the Coronation.
Next week McWilliams looks at the career of Bernt Balchen, the Norwegian known as the “Viking of the Skies”.