Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Sealed Book (Old Time Radio)

Since I am getting all my old posts moved over to my new blog - I thought it would be useful to pickup some season-appropriate topics...hmm....old time radio....Halloween is around the maybe, THE SEALED BOOK!

I have enjoyed listening to Old Time Radio shows lately, either from the Internet Archive or via Sirius/XM Radio Channel 82.

The Sealed Book series is one of my absolute favorites - having been hooked by Greg Bell's XM channel 82. The Internet Archive sums up this radio mystery/thriller series with the lines that were read every week by host Philip Clarke to start the show (after the great gong): "keeper of the book has opened the ponderous door to the secret vault wherein is kept the great sealed book, in which is recorded all the secrets and mysteries of mankind through the ages, Here are tales of every kind, tales of murder, of madness, of dark deeds strange and terrible beyond all belief." What was very cool is how it changed in just the few episodes it ran in 1945. At first, the keeper of the sealed book spoke. But after a few episodes, the keeper of the sealed book became silent - making him far more eerie!

Here are two of my favorite episodes:

  • Welcome Home (the story about the return of the Prodigal son and the deadly consequences for he and his girl).
  • To Have and To Hold (the story about unrequited love and why that crazy aunt....well, you should never visit her).

This program was broadcast on Sunday evening from 10:30 to 11:00pm. It must have been quite spooky on an stormy night in 1945.  Sit back and enjoy these spooky tales...from THE SEALED BOOK!

Three Skeleton Key (A Great Lighthouse Tale for Halloween)

So what could be better this Halloween week than Vincent Price, Old Time Radio and the story of a Lighthouse! George Toudouze's brilliant story about a lighthouse off the coast of Afica was written in 1937. It first appeared in English in the January 1937 issue of Esquire. I would tall you more about the story - but spend a half and hour and enjoy the show. Three Skeleton Key was performed numerous times on Escape and Suspense - the great long-running shows on radio. But the most famous and memorable performance appeared on March 17, 1950 on Escape. The recording featured Vincent Price in the lead role of Jean, one of the three member of the crew on that cursed light. I have heard some of the other performers as one can do it like Vincent Price! Here is the audio...enjoy: Here are some other links that you will want to see.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Corey's Project 365 - Year One

I wanted to start sharing more of my favorite photos and do some writing about photography. Not that I have all that much to say, but it has been a very fun part of my life over these past four years. Here are the ones from my first year of Project 365 - From June 12, 2008 to June 11, 2009. You can follow this link: Or view them here: Here are all of my Project365 sets:

Corey's Project 365 - Year Two

Here are the flickr entries from my Project 365 during my second year participating - From June 12, 2009 to June 11, 2010. You can follow this link: Or view them here: Here are all of my Project365 sets:

Corey's Project 365 - Year Three

Here are the flickr entries from my Project 365 during my second year participating - From June 12, 2010 to June 11, 2011. The first photo is one of my favorites - little girls at a dance recital getting a peak at the audience. You can follow this link: Or view them here: Here are all of my Project365 sets:

Flapjack and Project 365

Out of curiosity - I wanted to see how many times Flapjack was the subject of Project365 (the flickr group where you take a photo every day). The answer: 158 (to date) (but I am sure it is more now)!
 Here are my Project365 Photos for the first three years!
  All Photos
  Year One (June 12, 2008-June 11, 2009)
  Year Two (June 12, 2009-June 11, 2010)
  Year Three (June 12, 2010-)

Flapjack - Man's Best Friend - and a Great flickr subject

I have been happily participating in flickr's Project365 since June 12, 2008. The premise is quite simple. Take at least one photo a day and post them to flickr. You do not have to do it every day - but get them online and posted before too long. I often batch load them for 5 days at a time. I was inspired to do this by a wonderful friend Elizabeth Thomsen(who is also a librarian). Not sure what got me to start on June 12, 2008, but it soon became part of my daily routine. What is interesting is how the family changed their opinion of this activity. At first, we could have powered a small town from the energy in rolling of the eyes. When I moved past one year into year two - there was some questioning, but they let it go. The beautiful element of digital photography is that besides the capital investment into a camera, the ongoing costs are so very cheap. As a kid, I would have taken millions of photographs, but the cost of developing the film kept me from fully expressing myself. That and my mom would kill me for spending all our money at the camera shop! Now, we (as a family) are somewhat enthusiastic about Project365. Maybe that is my Polyanna POV, but in recent weeks, we would see something and my wife or my son would say "Picture of the Day?" This is what happened when we saw them work on the new scoreboard at Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor) 58/365/1153 (August 8, 2011) – New Scoreboard Construction at Michigan Stadium (the Big House) - University of Michigan's Football Stadium (August 8, 2011) or today when we saw Turkey Vultures collecting on the roof of a vacant house 80/365/1175 (August 30, 2011) – Turkey Vultures on the Empty House (Saline, Michigan) or eating at Blimpy Burger - an Ann Arbor Institution 12/365/1107 (June 23, 2011) – Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger (Ann Arbor, Michigan) While you often have a good idea in your travels for a Picture of the Day, many, many days you do not. That is where it is helpful to have pets. Our wonderful Beagle Flapjack has been my Project365 subject 179 times in the 1000+ days since June 2008. So these are not brilliant, but they document my life. When I forget everything else, I will have these to look through. Here are all the Project365 photos of our wonderful dog! Slideshow of Flapjack's Project365 Photos: Here are links to the sets that comprise my participation in Project365.

Year in a Life: Corey's Project 365 for 2011

Originally from 2011 - In two days, I will hit 1300 consecutive days of flickr's Project365. I just love it and as far as hobbies go - it is pretty cool. And with the low ongoing cost associated with digital photography - it is even good for the budget. Best of all, it is a neat way to remember where I was over the course of the year. At my age, it is not always easy to remember. Here are my shots for 2011: Here are my photos from 2010: Happy New Year everyone!

Pictures from the The Man Who Came to Dinner (Saline High School)

Pictures from Saline High School's Drama Club's production of Kaufman and Hart's The Man Who Came to Dinner in November 2012. Friday Night - November 16, 2012
Friday Night - Just the pictures

Saturday Night - November 17, 2012
Saturday Night - Just the pictures

Sunday Afternoon - November 18, 2012:
Sunday Afternoon - Just the pictures

Looking way way back to elementary school (Village School - Holmdel, NJ)

Over the Christmas break, I spent some time scanning photos that my mother had given me a while back. They, like all other photos, are heading over to flickr. I hope that my former classmates from Village School in Holmdel, New Jersey (the home of Bruce Springsteen....really) can find these images on the web. So it is funny when I have a hard time thinking about what the boys did in Kindergarten and grades 1, 2, and 3. But when I think about these times for, I have nothing. So here I am, as a really young New Jersey kid.... Village School (Holmdel, New Jersey) Class Picture (Kindergarten - 1969-1970) Kindergarten (I am the middle of the bottom row). Village School (Holmdel, New Jersey) Class Picture (1st Grade - 1970-1971) 1st Grade (I am the only one on the right of the second row). Village School (Holmdel, New Jersey) Class Picture (2nd Grade - 1971-1972) 2nd Grade (the 3rd from the left on the back row next to the teacher - who's name I cannot remember for love or money). Village School (Holmdel, New Jersey) Class Picture (3rd Grade - 1972-1973) 3rd Grade (ditto on the teacher - I am sporting the great jacket - 2nd from the left on the 3rd row). These pictures are wonderful. I hope that other people who are from Holmdel finds them - maybe they will find themselves. And the Internet should be not about SPAM, viruses, or phishing - but random acts of kindness and sharing that helps make the world a better place. Think if we all did a little bit each day - what a library that would make.

Corey's Project 365 - Year Four

I have very much enjoyed participating in flickr's Project 365 since starting almost six years ago. I started On June 12, 2008 when I noticed a hawk eating lunch next to the Kresge Library at the University of Michigan. 001/365 (June 12, 2008) Since then, I have been pretty much taking at least one picture a day and adding it to Project365. There have been a few occasions when I took a screen shot instead - OK, I can live with myself...really! Here are the flickr entries from my Project 365 during my fourth year participating - From June 12, 2011 to June 11, 2012. I am just wrapping up my fifth year and will be starting year six on Wednesday June 12th. What is great is to look back at all these pictures to see what I was doing that year. Here are some of my favorites from that year: 38/365/1133 (July 19, 2011) – Squirrel on a very hot day in Ann Arbor (University of Michigan) - July 19, 2011 Squirrel on a very hot day in Ann Arbor (University of Michigan) - July 19, 2011 44/365/1139 (July 25, 2011) – Flapjack and Wanda (July 25, 2011) – Flapjack and Wanda 152/365/1247 (November 10, 2011) – Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf (San Francisco, California) Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf (San Francisco, California) 229/365/1324 (January 26, 2012) – People Waiting in Line for tickets for President Obama's Speech at the University of Michigan (January 26, 2012) People Waiting in Line for tickets for President Obama's Speech at the University of Michigan (January 26, 2012) 281/365/1376 (March 18, 2012) –Ann Arbor Dance Classics 2012 Benefit Show (Saline High School, Michigan) Ann Arbor Dance Classics 2012 Benefit Show (Saline High School, Michigan 315/365/1410 (April 21, 2012) – Visiting Dad and Bev (April 21, 2012) Visiting Dad and Bev (April 21, 2012) You can follow this link: Or view them here: Here are all of my Project365 sets: Fun to think of where the future will take me. As long as I have a camera - I guess I will be OK.

Bob Bailey - An Appreciation on the Centennial of his Birth

Scenes from John Wayne Airport (Orange County, California) - Sunday July 15, 2012 So let's set the is 1955 and we live, well, just about anywhere. We may or may not have a television. According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States (1999), in 1955, approximately 94% of households had a radio and only 63% had televisions. In fact, only 73% had phone service!

Why do I bring this up? Well, I have gotten very interested in Old Time Radio programs thanks to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel on SiriusXM #82. I have also discovered that many of these are freely available thanks to The Old Time Radio section on the Internet Archive.

So in your living room - or your kitchen if you are lucky - you had a radio and your entertainment may have come courtesy of actors and actresses like Don Ameche, Jack Webb, Lucille Ball, William Conrad, John Dehner, Virginia Gregg, Marsha Hunt, Eve Arden...and many, many others. These are some of the biggest names of the Golden Age of Radio....just to name a few. But one name really has me excited - that of Bob Bailey. He would have turned 100 today.

Bob Bailey was one of the most accomplished radio actors of his day. Born in Toledo, Ohio on June 13, 1913, he would gain fame in California as a regular on two huge radio programs, Let George Do it (a mystery series) and Your Truly, Johnny Dollar (one of the most popular programs of all time. In fact, the first time I heard about Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, I thought it was hilarious. Johnny Dollar was a...wait for insurance investigator with an "action-packed" expense account. And while they made a big deal about him padding his expenses for a case, it actually was a nice frame for the story. Each episode had him reading off the expenses as he retells the story of the particular "Matter" that he solved. And while a number of people played him - Bob Bailey was the best.

Stewart Wright wrote: "Bob Bailey, generally thought of as the most popular of the Johnny Dollars, brought a new interpretation to the character – tough, but not hard-boiled; streetwise, but not overly cynical, Bailey's Dollar was smart and gritty when he had to be. But Bailey's Johnny Dollar was also human. His character would get emotionally involved in a number of his cases. He had a streak of impatience, and would occasionally not fully listen to a witness and rush off on a tangent before realizing his mistake."

And from Radio Spirits's CD set featuring Johnny Dollar marathons staring Bob Bailey: "America's Fabulous Freelance Insurance Investigator had little patience for liars, and liked nothing better than females, fishing, and a free hand with an expense account. Bob Bailey's Johnny Dollar was skeptical without being cynical, sympathetic without being a sucker, and had a way of delivering a sarcastic remark with more sincerity than most detectives delivered straight talk." NOTE: I still cannot figure out what is wrong with this sentence...but it has some good bits.

Anyway, I have been a big fan of Bob Bailey for a few years as I have been listening to Old Time Radio. Sadly, his career was cut short when he did not travel with the show to New York. Troubles with alcohol cut short his career and he acted very sparingly after leaving Johnny Dollar in November 1960. I always felt that maybe someone was sending him a message in one of the five part serials that aired first from January 16th to 20th, 1956 (and recorded on January 8th). It was the Ricardo Amerigo Matter and it featured Johnny trying to recover a missing insured master violin and see its owner who was missing. They talked about what a masterful violinist Amerigo was and how his career was ruined by booze. I always wondered if this was a message to Bob Bailey...

Here are the five parts of the Ricardo Amerigo Matter (from the Internet Archive):

Links worth following:
And while he had a brief career outside of radio, here is him on screen with Laurel and Hardy in their 1943 Film Jitterbugs.

I am sure that Bob Bailey did not have any idea what joy he has provided....but I hope he did. Happy Birthday Johnny Dollar.

150th Anniversary of Gettysburg - Old Time Radio

Scenes from John Wayne Airport (Orange County, California) - Sunday July 15, 2012

(NOTE: originally published earlier in the summer of 2013)
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the close of the Battle of Gettysburg - one of the most important battles in the United States Civil War. Despite so many critical fights over the course of the three days in early July 1863, one of the most famous occurred 150 years ago today as Major General George Pickett and others led Confederate troops against the Union positions on Cemetery Ridge. To be known as Pickett's charge, it was a decisive victory from the Union and it forced the Confederate troops to retreat out of Pennsylvania. With so many of the great stories of American history, we find that they were recreated on the Radio in the 1940s and 1950s.

As you may know, I have gotten very interested in Old Time Radio programs thanks to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel on SiriusXM #82. I have also discovered that many of these are freely available thanks to The Old Time Radio section on the Internet Archive. As we recognize the 150th anniversary of this great battle, I want to share some of the old time radio programs that talk about Gettysburg.

The Battle of Gettysburg (from You Are There) - Broadcast February 22, 1948. From You Are There, a CBS radio program that ran from 1947 to 1950. The program envisions what would have happened had the CBS news been in place and reporting from the event. Among the many programs that were in this series were the Alamo, Assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and Julius Caesar, the signing of the Magna Carta, and many others. This is very well done - and they can be a bit campy - but all in all - an interesting and creative way to recreate great moments in history. This episode as it relates to Gettysburg focuses on the last day of the battle when Pickett's Charge ended the Confederate hopes for victory in that battle.

Gettysburg (from Cavalcade of America) - Broadcast September 13, 1948. From DuPont's Cavalcade of America, one of the longest running programs in radio history. Presented by DuPont Company ("Maker of better things for better living through chemistry"), this program portrayed many aspects of American history. These featured not only political and military events, but also covered an amazingly diverse group of portraits that counted lighthouse keepers and baseball players among the stories presented. They also featured great star talent, and on September 13, 1948, they were able to have actor Dick Powell (most famously of Richard Diamond and Rogues Gallery fame).

The Battle of Gettysburg (from the CBS Radio Workshop) - Broadcast June 30, 1957. From the CBS Radio Workshop, a great program in the long tradition that the network had to exploring the boundaries for Radio. This followed the Columbia Workshop as one of the places where truly amazing stories could be told. The CBS Radio Workshop ran from 1956 to 1957 and told a variety of stories in this experimental anthology series. This episode on Gettysburg covers the full battle and (like everyone else in this program) simply fantastic. Featured in the acting crew is John Dehner (as narrator), Raymond Burr, and Davis Butler (among others). Additional links worth following to learn more about Gettysburg:

Biographical Statement (who I was in 2007)

Had to come up with this a few years here I am.

 Corey Seeman is the Director of the Kresge Business Administration Library of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Corey started at Michigan in November 2005 as the Associate Director, assumed the role of Interim Director in May 2006 and became the Permanent Director in October 2006. Prior to this position, Corey's jobs included: Associate Dean for Resource and Systems Management at the University of Toledo (Ohio) (May 2001 to November 2005); Library Training Consultant, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. (January 1999 to April 2001); and Manager of Technical Services, National Baseball Library at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. in Cooperstown (November 1996 to November 1998). He started his career as an archivist at the Chicago Historical Society and Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, but with every successive position, moved more into library systems and technical services. He has a M.A.L.S. (1992) from Dominican University (with an emphasis in Cataloging and Archival Management) and a A.B. (Bachelor Degree, 1986) from the University of Chicago (with a major in European History). He has written articles primarily in the areas such as library systems, cataloging (especially in the context of special library collections) and on collection development issues associated with autism. He also serves as one of the autism book reviewers for Library Journal. Now as a director, he will be focusing his writing on change management in the library and special collection needs management in an academic library. He has been very active in the Innovative Users Group (IUG) and is the Chair for the organization this year (through their annual meeting in San Jose, May 14-17, 2007). For a full vita, please visit: or

 About the Library: The Kresge Business Administration Library ( is an independent library at the University of Michigan and we report to the administration of the Ross School of Business. While it is not part of the University Library system, Kresge works closely with the main library to collaborate on the purchases of electronic resources for the whole U of M system. We have an library materials budget of just over $1 million a year and the bulk of that goes to electronic resources.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Michigan Library Association 2013 Presentations

Getting ready to head up to Lansing for the 2013 Michigan Library Association Annual Convention. I am fortunate to present twice. One during the regular session and one during the Ignite MLA Session on Thursday October 17th. I will be the first of seven librarians presenting in this format: "Get ready for a rapid fire session of ideas that will inspire, challenge and motivate you. Ignite MLA will feature speakers who each have just five minutes and 20 slide to share an idea, story or solution that ingnites their passion for the library community." Here are my session information and the presentation slides & handouts available via Deep Blue. Please write me at with any questions, thoughts or comments.

Program Title: Where is the Hospitality in Your Library?
Date: Wednesday October 16 at 4:15-5:15pm (Room 101-102 - Lansing Center)
Abstract: In the library and information fields, we spend countless hours focusing on making our world a more self-service environment. While many patrons much prefer to work independently and easily find resources on their own, we have placed our emphasis on creating a self-service environment that removes the “middle man” from the information equation. And with the move that many have made away from conventional reference desks and reference service, we can (at times) look more like self-check express lanes at the grocery stores than like the libraries that we used to be. And while our patrons most certainly enjoy accessing resources in an unmediated fashion, there are many instances (especially with more difficult research projects) where they do need assistance with finding print and electronic resources. This presentation takes a look at how we have used methods from the hospitality and service industries at the Kresge Business Administration Library (University of Michigan) to ensure that we are not only meeting the information needs of our patrons, but also being available to assist them when it is needed. In this presentation, we will discuss the role of public service in the library and how the lessons on the hospitality industry can improve our interaction with the patrons. NOTE: This is a program I have been giving for a few years, but it is continually evolving and growing. I am hoping to write this up more definitively in the coming year.

Program Title: Bitter Coffee & Watered-down Bourbon: Lessons for Libraries from Chase & Sanborn Coffee and Maker’s Mark
Date: Thursday October 17 at 3pm (Ignite MLA session runs from 3pm to 4pm (Banquet Rooms 1-4 - Lansing Center)
Abstract: The story of Chase & Sanborn Coffee provides all organizations a great morality tale for all organizations, including libraries, about how small changes may lead to larger problems down the road. Chase & Sanborn ranked with Maxwell House as one of the leading coffee brands in the early 20th century. They were known not only for their fresh sealed coffee, but also for the Chase & Sanborn Hour variety show that featured many stars including Don Ameche, Nelson Eddy, and Edgar Bergen with his wooden dummy Charlie McCarthy. In the years after World War II, there was a belief at the company that they could make small changes to the process to reduce costs, without changing the quality that much. A similar decision was made earlier this year by Maker’s Mark to reduce their alcohol for their Kentucky Burbon as a cost reduction plan to help boost profits. Using these two examples from the business world, the presentation will explore how small decisions can, over time, fundamentally change the very nature of any organization. For the library, the presentation will show how modest and sometimes seemingly consequence free decisions about resources and services that a library provides can snowball into a complete change in the overall perception of the library. So changes that seems minor at the time, when considered together, transform and (more importantly) potentially undermine what the library is attempting to provide for their community. In the light of continued encroachment on a libraries space and budget, this type conundrum might be easier to fall into than we might think or like. NOTE: This is a program that I am very excited about. I am very interested in the use of library services by our communities and what I see as erosion of the 'library brand'. While this is starting off as a small presentation (like the hospitality one), I am hoping that it grows into a more full exploration of library identity and services in the era of declining resources.