Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Was A Card Carrying Member of "U.N.C.L.E."

I have a small collection of vintage television star photographs. My cousin Debbie told me how to write to studios for autographed photos when we were in junior high.

My favorite television show in 7th grade was The Man From U.N.C.L.E. When other kids were going to the Boy-Girl Dance on Friday evening I was at home riveted to the television. The show was big, big, big among us kids. Most of the girls swooned over David McCallum but I preferred Robert Vaughn. McCallum was too cool.(These days I enjoy McCallum as Duckie, Dr. Mallard on N.C.I.S.-he can't get away from shows made up of initials!)

I got an envelope with two color photos and 'membership' card and rules.
No, the signatures are printed on the photo cards. The enclosed membership card reads,
United Network Command for Law Enforcement
This is to certify that _____has qualified for service with U.N.C.L.E. and may be called to active duty with his section on 12 hours notice. (Y3K7-Hazardous Duty)
Norman Felton, Section 1, Number a. Policy and Operations
Boris Ingster Section 2, Number 1 Operations and Enforcement
Note that the member is referred to as "he." Norman Felton was the producer of UNCLE as well as Dr. Kildare, starring Richard Chamberlain, which I watched with Mom.

Also included was a form to join the "Inner Circle."
**U.N.C.L.E. Inner Circle**
Classified Material +++Destroy if Nervous
Attention U.N.C.L.E. Enthusiasts!!! Otherwise known as fans of Robert Vaughn, David McCalum and Leo G. Carroll!!! Otherwise known as Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakim and Mr. Waverly!
Congratulations--You are now eligible to become a member of the U.N.C.L.E. Inner Circle!!! And received the following U.N.CL.E. goodies-- an autographed 8x10 color photo of secret agents Solo, Kuryakin and Waverly; an I.D. card in full color, proving your loyalty to U.N.C.L.E.; and a giant journal containing the inside story behind "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."
Plus...Photos and secret specifications of the fabulous U.N.C.L.E. gun, together with classified bulletins about upcoming shows throughout the year!!! And...you may be asked to help promote "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." in your neighborhood!!! How about that???
It's easy to join, too. Simpy mail your membership dues of $2.00 per year to Central headquarters and Squadron Leader Mark Whitsett, Re., Mild-mannered machine-gunner recently appointed to head this super-secret arm of U.N.C.LE. Inner Circle!!! You'll be sensational!!! (Last one to join is a T.H.R.U.S.H.!!!) Please allow sufficient time for delivery of your first goodies!!! 
Squadron Leader Mark Whitsett, Ret.
U.N.C.L.E. Inner Circle
Central Headquarters Box 704
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Foreign members may send 20 coupon response international available at your local post office. (Mexico and Canada use money orders)
Don't you love all those !!!!  I did not send in my $2.00. I doubt I could have scrapped up $2.00 in 1964. My allowance in high school was $2.00 a week; in junior high I likely didn't even get an allowance! According to The U.N.C.L.E. Timeline the Inner Circle was created in 1965.

Bewitched premiered in 1963 and I was a big fan. The show was funny and Samantha was amazing and beautiful and smart. Darrin was pretty lucky she gave him the time of day; he was snarky and old-fashioned and a wet blanket.This photo of Montgomery must have been for the men.

This pic is actually hand signed, "To Nancy, with my sincere best wishes, Tony Franciosa"! I remember he was on a TV show, but for the life of me I can't figure out what it was.

In 1963 Inger Stevens starred in The Farmer's Daughter . I kind of remember the show.

Who is Van Williams? And why did I send for his photograph? What was he in around 1963? I don't even KNOW. I see on IMBD he played a character named Ken Madison on Surfside 6 and also on Seventy Seven Sunset Strip (which I know I watched, I still remember the theme song). Otherwise I am a big blank. But hey, he's pretty cute.

My writing for television star photos was short lived. In Ninth Grade I decided to give up television! I had too much to do: play the piano, read books, day dream, write in my journal. Once in a while I did homework. I did watch one show: Star Trek. Yes--I was an original Trekkie from the beginning.

Live Long and Prosper
R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

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