What Were You Reading in ’76?

07/13/2017 at 10:57 pm (It was 1976)

I’ve had fun compiling lists and collages of the places, books, and songs (Yes, there IS a Playlist!) from the novel, so here’s another post – with the magazines, comics and newspapers that appear in The Bear. (more on that Playlist for the novel in a later post)



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Books Inside of Books Inside of Books

07/07/2017 at 4:03 pm (It was 1976)

Another “just for fun” post, with a collage of images from The Bear – this time, it’s all of the books read or referenced in the novel. Feast your eyes …


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A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing

06/21/2017 at 12:39 am (It was 1976)


Recently I was involved in doing last-minute proofs on the novel in anticipation of the August 1st publication date, and I was reminded just how many East Bay locations and specific places are either featured or referenced throughout. So, like my main character Stephen, I created a list with all of the Berkeley and Oakland landmarks, book stores, movie theaters, and restaurants that appear in the book – real places that existed in 1976 and most that still exist today.

Strolling From Northside through Campus to Telegraph Ave. and beyond:

  • LaVal’s Northside
  • UC Berkeley Campus – Sproul Hall, Strawberry Creek, the Campanile / Sather Tower, Memorial Stadium, Cheater’s Hill
  • Top Dog
  • Leopold’s Records
  • Rasputin Records
  • Mario’s La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant
  • People’s Park
  • Moe’s Books
  • Comics & Comix
  • Caffe Mediterranean
  • Shakespeare & Co. Books
  • The Body Shop
  • Willard Park / Ho Chi Minh Park
  • Willard Pool
  • Emerson Elementary School
  • The Co-op


Off the Avenue and down on Shattuck and University

  • Snoopy’s Ice Cream Parlor
  • The UC Theatre
  • Hink’s Department Store
  • Edy’s Restaurant
  • Berkeley Public Library – Central Library
  • Berkeley High School
  • Barrington Hall
  • Berkeley Seventh-Day Adventist Church
  • Giovanni’s Restaurant
  • Hare Krishna Temple
  • Bekins Storage
  • Pay ‘n Save
  • LeConte Elementary School
  • Ashby BART Station / Weekend Flea Market
  • Headquarters Barber Shop
  • The Starry Plough
  • La Pena
  • Flint’s Bar-B-Q


Other Places of Interest in and around Berkeley:

  • Codornices Park
  • Berkeley Rose Garden
  • Indian Rock
  • Ortman’s Ice Cream Parlor
  • Mahar Books (now Pegasus Books – Solano)
  • The Oaks Theater
  • Northbrae Tunnel
  • Live Oak Park
  • Chez Panisse
  • Fat Albert’s (now Fat Apples)
  • Mr. Mopps’ Toy Store
  • Ashkenaz
  • The Rialto Theater
  • The Berkeley Marina
  • The Claremont Hotel


And Out-of-Town – Oakland and The City and Beyond:

  • The Oakland Museum
  • Jack London Square
  • Mervyn’s
  • Children’s Fairyland
  • Bay Meadows Racetrack
  • North Beach / City Lights Bookstore
  • The Fillmore (a.k.a. Majestic Hall / Fillmore Auditorium / Fillmore West)
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Fremont BART Station
  • Great America


Thanks for strolling back in time with me. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Berkeley and Oakland locations, and memories of those places from your childhood. Feel free to share them in the Comments.


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The Fads and Obsessions of 1976

12/11/2016 at 12:04 pm (Author Updates, It was 1976, Publishing News, Telegraph Ave.)

With the completion of the design files for The Bear Who Broke The World Advance Reading Copy, it’s time for a small celebration! In January, printed copies of the ARCs will be sent to blogs and magazines for possible review, as well as to a handful of people who I hope to get blurbs from so that I can publicize those when the novel is “officially” published and available to the public in Summer 2017.

Here’s the ARC cover, which makes me insanely happy every time I see it. Hoping people are as taken with the book inside as they are intrigued by the cover.



Because 1976 was such a memorable year for me, the fads and obsessions of childhood lost on the generations that followed, I wanted to revisit some things very particular to that specific time. A few of these get shout-outs in the novel, and others are fondly remembered from my own time as a kid. Enjoy this step back into my old memories of a Berkeley past.



So much great candy growing up – KitKat, the $100,000 Bar, Lemonheads – with most of them surviving the 70’s. Sadly, this one did not. (There is a Nestle “new” version of this, but it’s divided in sections, instead of the big block o’ chocolate that was the original.)



What kid couldn’t resist this precursor to the Garbage Pail Kids stickers? As a MAD Magazine freak, I loved being able to stick these all over my school notebooks and on my dresser drawers.




The place to buy all the new releases and back-issues of Uncanny X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, and all the rest. My personal faves in 1976 – Marvel Two-in-One and The Incredible Hulk.





If you remember the days when there were only 3 networks (ABC, CBS & NBC), then maybe you remember this show. Pitting the “stars” of TV against each other in Olympic-type events, this was one of my favorite shows. Howard Cosell, Lynda Carter, Gabe Kaplan, Farrah Fawcett, Ron Howard … they were all there. Most memorable from the series: Robert Conrad (of “Wild Wild West“ and “Black Sheep Squadron” fame) always trying to prove he was the best on the field, and unbeatable in every event.


This was fun! I’d like to make this little trip down ’76 Lane a regular feature here on the blog. Look for more memories soon.


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