Saturday, June 30, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL Chapter 10: “Duke to the Rescue”

Plot synopsis: Duke arrives on his Honda to find the helicopter on the lawn (“which looks like a strange bird”), Satan Mansion on fire and Turnbull in his bathrobe and sandals dancing on the lawn. He doesn’t see the Partridges, so he rushes to the front door of the house where he hears cries and knocking from the other side. He finds the doors locked, but after some work playing with the handles, he opens the door. (Aside: the front door lock is apparently an invention of Turnbull’s. It allows one to lock the door from the outside, so those on the inside can’t get out but a little finagling allows someone from the outside to get in. The utility of this ‘invention’ is never satisfactorily explained.) The Partridges, Kinkaid and Jingo emerge from the house (“a mass of humanity spilled on by him”.) They talk to Turnbull and discover he is the owner of the house and the starter of the fire. Turnbull goes from exhilaration to tears, realizing he is losing his mansion. He tells them about its special features, such as the sound proof bedroom that frightens visitors with scary sounds in the night (explaining the sounds that only Laurie heard.) The Larkland fire department arrives, too late to save the mansion, but able to give the Partridges a ride to the concert when they find that the vehicles have been drained of gas.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Character Development: Keith is portrayed as a child, unable to contribute in an emergency, unlike Jingo, Kinkaid, and even Duke. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Relevant Social Issues: “Fire Safety” (Duke mocks the Larkland fire department for arriving too late to save the house, but Jingo points out that it is fortunate they came at all to such a remote location.) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Hip Slang: “Pulled our fat out of the fire”, “This has been some wienie roast”, “Phew!” and bonus nonverbal slang (“Jingo looked at Duke and raised his hand in a salute – the Peace gesture.”) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Contemporary Pop Culture References: Apparently, too much action was taking place for any such references. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Favorite sentences: “Though Laurie had slept soundly through the sounds of sobs and chains, at least she knew she hadn’t imagined the sound of the horrible laughter.” “A soft cool breeze washed over the panorama of waiting people.”

Friday, June 29, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL Chapter #9 “A House is Not a Bonfire”

Plot Synopsis: As the crowd arrives (“people, young people of all sized, shapes, ages and colors streamed across the countryside”) for the Larkland Rock Music Festival, the Partridges, Rueben Kinkaid and Jerry Jingo talk in the “main room” of Satan Hall. They discuss what the Partridges should play at the Festival and whether there will be stools to sit on. Kinkaid smells smoke, then all notice flames and they try to escape through the front doors, but find them lock. Duke sees the flames and returns to the mansion to investigate (to the mockery of fellow squatter, Indian.) J. Waterson Turnbull admires his handy work, happy with himself for locking the doors (though he thought the mansion was empty.) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Character Development: Everyone again agrees about how wonderful Shirley is as a mother and human being. We learn in this passage that Danny’s vocabulary is not formidable: “’Just because I’m interested in what’s happening to the financial state of the nation is no reason for levity, Mister Kinkaid,’ he said, using his larger words.” Laurie would do a fine job in the question and answer of a beauty contest, as we learn when she says this about the Rock Music Festival, “’Yes,’ Laurie said very carefully and clearly, ‘I think it’s a beautiful expression of the youth of this country. And a beautiful way to show how they feel about things. I think it’s a privilege and an honor that we were all invited the way we were.’” xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Relevant Social Issues: “The Superiority of the Baby Boomer” as seen in this quote, “It would be the music of soul and spirit – music of a generation that wanted the end of wars everywhere and sang its message of love and peace.” “Woodstock as a model for Concert Preparation” (“What everybody would eat and how they would cook was left largely up to guess work. And maybe, good luck.”) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Hip Slang: Again – groovy (“But everything was groovy now – real groovy as the kids might say!”), “Jeepers” (from Danny), “Vamoose”, “Doing your own thing” (which Jerry Jingo says is what it’s all about), and “You bet!” (from Tracey and Christopher, singing Shirley’s praise in unison.) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Contemporary Pop Culture References: Other performers at the Festival include: “The Elephant Five”, “Sandy and Sonny and Sid”, “The Apes”, and “The Loving Six”. U.S. Steel, Coca Cola and Mrs. Wagner’s Pies are mentioned as being traded on the stock exchange. “My Hands Were Made for You” is the Partridges upcoming single. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Favorite Sentences: “They had to get out of the house before it burned down around their ears.” “Laurie lowered her eyes under that smile, but she could feel her knees trembling with joy and happiness.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL Chapter #8 “Laurie’s Heroes”

Plot Synopsis: Laurie gives Jerry Jingo a tour of the mansion, the attic particularly Jingo thinks will work well for his next movie. The Partridge’s agent, Reuben Kincaid arrives at the Mansion. Duke returns to the mansion for his bike and lets the gas and tire air out of Rueben’s car. J. Watterson Turnbull starts a fire in the basement.************************ Character Development: Jerry Jingo is very, nice person (according to Laurie.) Shirley had a “very clear, very sweet voice”. Laurie thinks nothing can go wrong with Rueben Kincaid in charge.********************* Relevant Social Issues: “The Mentally Ill” Pyromaniacs shouldn’t be given access to matches. “Movie Special Effects” Apparently, movie makers must find house with creaky floors and cobwebs, because special effects crews can’t replicate such things themselves.*************************************** Hip Slang: “Just A-1” ******************************** Relevant Pop Culture References: “Come Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl” is sung by Turnbull begins to start the fire (This song, with lyrics such as “For tomorrow I’ll merry, merry be” was sung in the movie “The Lady Eve”.)*********************** Favorite Sentences: “He climbed aboard, revved the engine and the bike shot forward, putt-putt-putted, blasting the silence, and zooming into action.” “Orange flame licked up the length of the drapes, touched the gause-like curtains and they billowed out magically in flames.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Plot synopsis: Laurie recaps in her mind the departure of Duke and his gang and the arrival of the helicopter. The Partridges greet Laurie, then Jerry Jingo as he emerges from his helicopter. Jingo greets the Partridges and admits to being a fan of their music. Jerry brings food from his helicopter and they prepare and eat a more substantial breakfast. Jingo admits that he was scouting out “Satan Hall” as a location for his new film. Laurie gives him a tour of the mansion. Meanwhile, Duke and his gang rest in a new hiding spot in the woods, waiting for fellow gang member, “Indian” to join them. Indian returns, and brags about letting the gas out of the Partridge bus. Duke heads back to the mansion to retrieve his bike.************************************************ Character Development: We learn Jingo is actually 23 years old, not 20 as his publicity falsely states. Laurie is grateful to her mother for letting her give the handsome Jingo the tour of the mansion. Danny is impressed with Jingo’s income (1 million a picture and 10% of the gross.) Duke and Indian are both tough guys.*********************************** Relevant Social Issues: The Power of Media (Laurie brags, “We’re goin to make a picture. Someday. And it will be a big, beautiful thing. With music and romance. Something that will talk to all the kids of the world.”)******************************************* Hip Slang: “Cool it!” and Jingo says, “Well, I’ll be blowed!” (An expression I’m glad never really caught on.)****************************************************** Contemporary Pop Culture References: Jingo starred in “Love My Green Beret”, which may have been inspired by John Wayne’s “The Green Berets”**************************************** Favorite sentences: “The wonder mounted – this was no policeman!” and “In his mind revolt was forming. Some would call it mutiny.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL Chapter 6 “Morning at Satan Hall”

Plot synopsis: Laurie wakes up to a beautiful sunny morning and wonders if she had imagined the sounds she heard in the mansion. Shirley calls her down for breakfast. But on her way, Laurie hears Duke and his band of squatters. When Laurie goes to investigate, they abduct her and hide her in a room. Meanwhile, Turnbull, still in his sanatorium bathrobe, returns to the mansion and breaks into the basement, intent on starting it on fire. The Partridges worry about Laurie’s whereabouts and search for her. When a helicopter arrives at the mansion, the squatters panic and let Laurie go. The Partridges discover that in the helicopter is “Jerry Jingo himself – the movie star with a flair”. (I’m sure writer Michael Avallone knew what he was doing…but I wondered if it should have read “the movie star with flair” or “the movie star with a flare.”) ************** Character development: Shirley is described as “looking like a million dollars”, always looking good with “a perfect peaches and cream complexion” and, in case you missed it, as “pretty”. Christopher and Tracy seem not to have finicky tastes as they are “busily engaged eating plain white bread with milk” while Danny and Keith were mumbling about the “plainness of their fare”. ************* Relevant Social Issues: “Non-violence” Laurie scolds her abductors, “I thought you were real rock people… dedicated to non-violence.” (The book was written post Altamont, but…) **************** Hip slang: “dig”, “Sorry, chick”, “the Fuzz”, “loco”, and “man oh man”. *************** Contemporary Pop Culture references: None ************** Favorite sentence: “Girls were always doing silly things, weren’t they?”

Friday, June 22, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL: Chapter #5 "More Sounds in the Night"

Plot synopsis: Shirley comforts her daughter, Laurie, who goes into a sound sleep. Everyone sleeps through other house sounds: a woman sobbing, low wailing and chains dragging. Meanwhile, we learn that Reuben Kincaid’s secretary sent the telegram about the Partridges staying in Turnbull Mansion to the wrong place. She sent it to Parkland, instead of Larkland, and to the wrong Carolina (to North when it should have been South or visa versa, which is not made clear.) We also learn that J. Watterson Turnbull has escaped from the Blue Rapids Sanitarium….With a box of matches!!! ********************************************************************************* Character Development: We learn the 65 year old Turnbull is intelligent and agile. ********************************************************************************* Relevant Social Issues: “Youth Culture” a full quote is needed here, about the Larkland Rock Festival< “It would be a thing of their very own – a musical sit-in to tell the world about love, the milk of human kindness, peace – all wrapped in a non-violent demonstration of the best that there is, an all the best that could be in mankind.” ********************************************************************************* Hip Slang: Laurie describes Duke as “cool and groovy” as well as “the most”. Laurie also explains to her mother that “Kismet” is fate. ******************************************************************************** Contemporary Pop Culture References: Boris Karloff (horror actor incapable of making the sounds Laurie heard.) ******************************************************************************* Favorite sentences: Reuben thinking about the Partridges in Larkland, “They would be twice as much in demand now that rock festivals were all the rage.” “J. Watterson Turnbull’s house was like some dark gigantic shadow crouched among the trees, down in its circle of damp earth, flanked on all sides by dark forest.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Plot synopsis: Laurie remembers the evening in the bed in her room in Turnbull Mansion. Duke scavenged chicken soup and bread and all had a good time around the table. All then went to bed except Duke who said he was going to town on his motorcycle. After midnight, Laurie is awakened by the sound of fiendish laughter. Laurie screamed and ran to her mother’s room, but no one else seemed to have heard the sound. Meanwhile, we find out Duke didn’t go to town, but is squatting in the attic with four other young adults. Duke is not the doorman or caretaker of the house. They seem to be musicians (they have guitars, banjo, tambourines, and bongos) also in town for the Larkland Rock Festival. But they are in the house without permission. ************************************************************************************ Character Development: Shirley looks nice when she laughs. Relevant Social Issues: “The Vietnam War” – Keith, Danny and Duke discuss “whether or not it is right to fight in Southeast Asia.” Hip Slang: “dig this scene”, “split out of here”, and “cats”. *************************************************************************************Pop culture references: Two brand names: Honda motorcycles and Hilton Hotels. Favorite sentence: “No phone, no electrical lighting, cut off from civilization itself, as it were.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Plot synopsis: The doorman of what they call “Turnbull Hall” informs the Partridges that the phone and electricity is out, so he had no idea they were coming and there is no food in the mansion. Laurie finds the doorman, Duke, quite “dreamy”. Shirley arranges the bedrooms. Duke informs them that the place used to be known as “Satan Hall”.********************************************************* Character Development: Laurie keeps a journal. Keith and Danny share a room. Shirley stays with Chris and Tracy. Apparently, Laurie alone gets a room of her own. Laurie considers Duke the doorman, “Relevant”.************************************************************************** Relevant Cultural Issues: “Spirituality” Laurie not only considers “Duke” to be “relevant” but also “alive” and “So aware of his existence”. ********************************************************* Hip Slang: “Copped out”, “Cat” and “Yo-yo” (as in “The cat that owned this place was a yo-yo.”) Contemporary Cultural References: Dracula, Lurch, the Adams Family (assumed residents of the mansion.) Clint Eastwood, David McCallum, Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Michael Caine and Jack Lord (all pin-ups on Laurie’s wall.) Paul McCartney – the apex of dreamy. ************************************************************************************ Favorite sentence of chapter:”Shirley’s visions of a pleasant stay in this house as they prepared for the Larkland Rock Festival vanished in a flash – a purple flash of mingled disappointment and rage.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY #2: THE HAUNTED HALL Chapter 2: "Off to Larkland"

Plot synopsis: Shirley drives the kids/band in a bus to Larkland (it is explained they always drive to locations in the psychedelically painted bus, rather than say, flying, is for the publicity.) It’s a long drive through rainy weather, but eventually they arrive at the Turnbull Mansion, which they all agree looks creepy.**************************************************************************** Character Development: Chris is angry at his mother for forcing him to leave his turtles behind. Shirley gets tired from driving a long way. Keith and Danny derive pleasure from teasing Laurie. The creepy mansion thrills Laurie “to the marrow of her bones”. **************************************************************Relevant Cultural Issues: “Violence in Movies” Laurie bemoans the fondness of men for Westerns and war movies and wishes more movies were made about serious issues like Love. “The Draft” Keith and Danny speculate why movie star Jerry Jingo hasn’t burned his draft card or gone to Canada.***********************************************Hip Slang: “Square” ******************************Contemporary Cultural References: the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (Danny thinks the film’s characters had the right idea “robbing all those banks the way they did”), “the Burt Bacharach song” from the afore mentioned film (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”), “Dark Shadows” (the Turnbull Mansion is compared to the Collins House), “Green Acres” (the show Shirley would prefer living in rather than “Dark Shadows”), “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” (the fictional worlds Laurie would prefer to enter.)******************************************************Favorite Sentence from Chapter: “But, for Laurie Partridge, just as for Jane Erye, the worst was yet to come.”

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Plot synopsis: While most of the family is at high school band practice, Shirley Partridge (“one groovy mom” according to the cover copy) receives a call from the family band’s manager, Rueben Kincaid, for a gig at the “Larkland Rock Festival by special request by the Governor of the state”. Readers are left in the dark about which state this festival takes place in, but apparently the appearance of the Partridges and movie star, Jerry Jingo, is “the biggest thing the state has had”. The catch is that all hotels and motels are booked and the Partridges must stay in a deserted mansion in the woods. The owner of the mansion, J. Watterson Trumbull, was sent to a sanitarium twenty years ago when he “turned into a firebug of some kind and burned down a lot of buildings”. Rueben doesn’t tell Shirley the mansion is believed to be haunted. ************************************************************************************** Character Development: Son Christopher likes to play with his two pet turtles. The daughters may have been exposed to radiation as it is said of “teen-ager Laurie” that “her lovely face (was) radiant” and “baby of the family, Tracy”had a “pixie face aglow.” Danny was just a “practical, ten year old red head”. Rueben Kincaid says he was raised in a housing project. “Keith (is) the oldest”. Shirley likes time alone to read magazines. ************************************************************************************* Relevant Cultural Issues - "Women's Liberation" Shirley tells Reuben she can't cook and clean AND be a groovy rock star while doing a gig. Reuben agrees to get her a staff at the mansion.*********************************************************************** Hip Slang – “Neat-o” and “Demo” (tape)**************************************************************** Contemporary Pop Culture References – “Simon and Garfunkel” (Chris’ turtles), “John Wayne” (Chris’ favorite movie star), “Red River” (film frequently viewed by Chris on TV), “David McCallum” (Laurie’s favorite TV star), “McCall’s” (one of Shirley’s magazines), “Wall Street Journal” (Danny’s source of financial information), “Pepsi Cola” (one of Danny’s stock trading concerns), “The Beatles” (band the Partridges hope to rival) ************************************************************************************* Favorite Sentences from chapter: “It was the rock fans that had made the Partridges a top singing group attraction.” … “Shirley Partridge had no way of knowing that the Wheel of Life was about to take a weird and terrifying turn for herself and her children: that their stay in the old dark house in the woods was to prove altogether ghostly and ghastly.”

Friday, June 15, 2012

"The Partridge Family #2: The Haunted Hall"

For no good reason whatsoever I’ll start tomorrow with a chapter by chapter synopsis of this 42 year old novel, but I’ll whet appetites with appetites with the copy from the cover of the paperback: Front cover: “Curtis Books: It’s a real spook-out – when rock’s coolest supergroup invades a mansion filled with ghosts – and deadly danger! The Partridge Family #2 The Haunted Hall Read the novel by Michael Avallone See the hit Screen Gems-TV series starring Shirley Jones” Back Cover: "IS THIS ANY WAY TO HAUNT A HOUSE? YOU BET IT IS! Take five spirited kids and one groovy mom (who just happen to be the coolest group in rock). Put them in a deserted mansion sit deep in the woods. Add assorted creepy ghosts, a smattering of sinister secrets, and enough danger to frighten King Kong. What so you get? A super-swinging saga of suspense starring rock's first family - THE PARTRIDGES!SEE THE SCREEN-GEMS TV SERIES STARRING SHIRLEY JONES"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pentecost Skit

Surfer with Christian 1 Scrapbooker with Christian 2 Diner chef with Christian 3 Narrator **************************************************************************************** Narrator: In Acts 2 we read, “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.” And each spoke with a different tongue. *************************************************************************************** Surfer (looking distressed): Dude, that was such a diddy-mow! I’m a flounder, just foobar, like a frube! Nacho! Kiff? Like kiff should I do? Christian 1 looks puzzled (Translation on screen: I took a huge hit and fell badly. I’m drifting and nothing’s going right. I’ve really messed up! What? What should I do?) **************************************************************************************** Scrapbooker: My heritage is lignin covered! I’d like to trim the aberrations and erratum, but mere embellishments can’t cover the muffs. Christian 2 looks puzzled (Translation on screen: My life has turned dark! I’d like to rid my life of my sin, but I know I can’t cover my transgressions.) ***************************************************************************************** Diner chef: You know, I thought life would be easy as Eve With a Lid On. But I’ve made my life into a Yesterday, Today and Forever! I’m in the weeds! Christian 3 looks puzzled (Translation on screen: I thought life would be easy as pie, but I’ve made a hash of it. I can’t keep up.) ****************************************************************************************** Narrator: Also from Acts 2, “When the day of Pentecost came, Jesus’ followers were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where the disciples were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” And the visitors from other nations heard their own languages spoken to them. Christian 1 to Surfer: Jesus is the Big Kahuna! He’ll make your ride glassy and clean! (Translation on screen: Jesus is the best and He can change your life for the better!) Surfer: Most excellent! Jesus will be my Brosiah! (Translation on screen: Wonderful! Jesus will be my Messiah!) ******************************************************************************************** Christian 2 to Scrapbooker: Jesus can be an eyelet in your journal. He can trim and punch the muffs from your life. Join his LSS! (Translation on screen: Jesus can bring security and stability to your life and cleanse you of sin. Be a part of His fellowship [Local Scrapbooking Store]) Scrapbooker: I want to be a part of God’s crop night! (Translation on screen: I want to be a part of God’s party!) *********************************************************************************************** Christian 3 to Diner Chef: Jesus said he is living Adam’s Ale and that He will be our B. & B.! You are to be His Sea Dust! (Translation on screen: Jesus said He is living water and our bread [and butter]. He calls you to be salt.) Diner chef: Order up! (Translation on screen: I’m ready.) ***********************************************************************************************8 Narrator: So what language do you need to learn? Whatever it is, the Holy Spirit can teach it to you!