Thursday, July 5, 2012



Growing up in Nebraska

For Frank O'Hara, it couldn't have been easy growing up as the youngest in the family - even if Jim was only a few minutes older.

There was no competing with their older sister, of course. Helen J. O'Hara was the apple of her father's eye and could do no wrong - and she never did. Not even the scandal that forced her to go into hiding could diminish her standing with Chief O'Hara.

Frank's twin brother Jim was smart, but he had to work at it. He was a stolid, determined young man, and to Frank's way of thinking, maybe a little too grim. "It wouldn't hurt you to crack a smile now and again," he would often complain to his twin. Frank believed that there would never be another example of a guy just like himself being so close with a guy who was so emotionless and lacking a sense of humor. It would probably take a couple hundred years for it to ever happen again.....

Frank O'Hara considered himself just as smart as Helen, but unlike Jim, he had no intention of working hard to obtain his goals. He wanted it fast and he wanted it easy.

Just like his women. "Hey now!"

Frank managed to get accepted into Channing University, but that was mostly due to his manipulation of his transcripts and his incredible resemblance to another student, Tom Erasmus - he used pictures of Tom in civic undertakings to pad out his extracurricular resume. 


(Unlike Frank, Tom was an over-achiever who would one day run for the position of state's attorney. Dean Baker was proud of Tom; Frank... not so much.)

During his sophomore year, Frank dropped out before Channing had the chance to expel him - for dealing in stolen test answers and gambling on the school's football games played against the Blue Mountain State Goats, the California University Condors, and the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles.

By that point Frank knew the regimen of school life was not for him. Instead he set his sights on a journalistic career like his cousin, Tim O'Hara.

But again, he found reporting the news to be hard work and worst yet, it was dull. More fun it would be to make up the news stories, so he went to work where such talents would be appreciated - at the "National Inquisitor".

At the Inquisitor he created out of whole cloth stories about Alien Life Forms, as well as reports on monster sightings in Canada's Possum Lake, among many other fantastical "news" items.

People in the Possum Lake area
still remember the traumatic hysteria caused by
the "Possum Lake Monster" craze.
He came to the attention of Donald Stern, the publisher of "The World Chronicle" and they tried to recruit him to work at their paper. But when Frank discovered that their bizarre news stories were real, it only meant that he'd be back to doing the drudgery of real reporting, but with real monsters. And that was a little too dangerous to his way of thinking.

Meanwhile, Frank sought out Tony Fleming, the American cousin in the infamous Fleming-St. Clair family of confidence tricksters and convinced the rogue to take him on as a pupil. Fleming saw a little bit of himself in Frank and agreed to be his mentor, teaching him all the tricks of the trade.

By the late 1960's, Frank came to the attention of the US government. But instead of becoming their target for his misdeeds, instead he was offered the opportunity of a lifetime - the Republican party offered him the chance to come work for the Nixon White House. It was felt that Frank's "talents" would come in handy as they prepared for a run at a second term in office.

So Frank moved to the Nation's capital and devised many of the dirty tricks which would soon enough become national headlines. But he always made sure that there was no way it could be traced back to him. This is why the name of "Frank O'Hara" never came up during the fallout from the Watergate scandal.

At least one good thing came out of his time spent in Washington - he met his future wife (the first one), J.J. Drinkwater.....

Coming up next - "D.C. Follies"

  • 'Adventures Of Superman'
  • 'ALF'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Beverly Hills, 90210'
  • "Blind Ambition"
  • 'Blue Mountain State'
  • 'Channing'
  • 'The Chronicle'
  • 'Coach'
  • 'The Governor And J.J.'
  • 'The Larry Sanders Show'
  • 'My Favorite Martian'
  • 'O'Hara U.S. Treasury'
  • 'Psych'
  • 'The Red Green Show'
  • 'The Rogues'
  • 'Star Trek'

* Most mentions of William Shatner in his one episode of 'Channing' only list him as Tom.  But it looks - from the fleeting glimpse of the campaign signs in the YouTube clip - that his last name is Erasmus.  Until proven wrong, I'm going to stick with that.

No comments: