Digging through an old scrapbook, I found something extraordinary, the fragile remnants of a long forgotten memory. I tucked these items in an envelope, 45 years ago, and there they have remained, unseen, until today. The envelope, which bears a large NBC logo, contains three things; The first, is an advertisement for a TV Special that aired on Valentine’s Day, February 14,1970, on WNBC TV. That’s channel 4, in New York City. The show was called, “NEW YORK ILLUSTRATED”, and this Valentine’s Day episode was titled, “THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION (IS MY COLLECTION).”
The half an hour long program was narrated by Edwin Newman. It covered many aspects of collecting, beginning with a segment about the Collier brothers, followed by an interview with the director of the auction house, Parke Bernet. Then came a noted art collector, a rare book collector, and a segment about collecting Nostalgia, leading into a discussion of objects that are less valuable. This consisted of a woman who collected “woodpecker holes!” And last of all, “Act Three” was an unrehearsed interview with me, which ended the show.
The second item that the envelope contained was a typewritten transcript of the show. There was a lead-in that ended the second act, designed to hopefully keep the viewers watching past the commercial:
And then, came the final segment. My god ! I was saying the same things I do now, 45 years ago.
Last, is this photograph, one of several, shot by the production team to publicize the show. It captures a brief moment in time,1970, the final days of our decade in New York City. This small apartment on 28th Street had become a sort of meeting place for New York’s Comic Character collectors. A few months later, we moved to the country, and things, thereafter, were never quite the same.