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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rattle Me This!

The recent release of the latest Batman movie stirred up memories of the 1960's Batman television show where the caped crusader and his loyal sidekick, Robin, fought a series of villains each week to keep Gotham City crime free. The special effects, consisting of comic book action words such as KAPOW!, SPLATT!, and ZOK!, were primitive by today's standards but entertaining and effective in a much simpler era.

The villain of the week provided opportunities for a variety of plots. Each of them had catchy names including the Penguin, the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and Cat Woman. My favorite was the Riddler, played by that ham actor, Frank Gorshen, who should have won an Emmy in the overacting category.

Frank Gorshen as the Riddler

Should you be unfamiliar with the Riddler or doubt my claim that Frank Gorshen tended to overact a bit, click on the short video below.

The Riddler's favorite expression, as he taunted Batman in his attempts to stop the Riddler from carrying out his nefarious escapades, was "Riddle me this!" Batman, of course, always figured out the riddles and thwarted the Riddler's every attempt to exact mayham on Gotham City.

By now, you are probably wondering, "What in blazes does all this have to do with a Bass River History Blog?" Well, I'm getting to that!

Bennie Broome and Russie Adams both lived on North Maple Avenue which was called Allentown Road at the time. 

Ben & Russie's house locations on present day Bing Map
Both have been modernized and enlarged

They had a long standing partnership in running a local saw mill. The other day, I was reading a September 12, 1946 Tuckerton Beacon news item about an encounter that they had with a rattlesnake while riding through the woods with a load of wood for their saw mill. 

As I read the brief new item, the phrase "Rattle me this!" ran through my mind, followed by my Batman memories from the 1960's. I can't explain why. They just did! Sometimes my brain makes weird associations. This was one of those times. 

Ben Broome logging in a local cedar swamp

Russie Adams enjoying his pipe

Well, I hope you found Bennie and Russie's encounter with the rattler family interesting and my memories of Batman and Robin entertaining. Sometimes history makes strange bedfellows!

Pete S

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