Barring only the one time I took over my father’s weekly promotional movie column in my home-town newspaper in March 1957 (briefly excerpted in my first book, Moving Places, on pp. 123-124), which doesn’t exactly count, this must be my first published film criticism, even though my name was misspelled. (The correct spelling was Jonny.) It appeared in The Stimulator, my biweekly high school newspaper (published at Coffee High School in Florence, Alabama), on October 16, 1958, when I was 15, a sophomore. Phil Stanford, incidentally, was a senior and good friend at the time. I’m nearly positive that the title wasn’t my own, and if this “column” had any sequels, I have yet to uncover them. (Esoteric footnote: “The Tri-Cities” in this period consisted of Florence, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia, before Muscle Shoals City grew, thanks to its recording studios, from the size of a modest speed trap, thereby yielding The Quad-Cities.) — J.R.
Front Row Center
By JOHNNY (sic) ROSENBAUM
This column, which will alternate with Phil Stanford’s, is to be devoted to reviews of movies, television programs, and the occasional plays put on in the Tri-Cities.… Read more »
This is a story initially written, as I recall, during the summer of 1959, as I was preparing to leave Alabama for a boarding school in Vermont, although the version I’m posting here, most likely revised, was printed in the school’s literary magazine in June 1961, around the time of my high school graduation. I’ve done some light editing. The illustrations, which I realize are not always precisely congruent with the story, are gleaned from the Internet. This story is the last in a series of three to be posted on this site, all fantasies and all written when I was in high school . — J.R.
By Jonathan Rosenbaum
It happened near the end of summer, which is when I guess a lot of changes take place. The three of us, Mickey, George and I, were out at Mickey’s family camp on the lake, swimming and doing our best to forget that we only had two more days before we went off to start our first year at college.
The sun was hot and white that day, but the lake was dark and cool.… Read more »
This is a story, never before published, written during my first years of high school — most likely in 1958, when I was a sophomore. I’ve done some light editing. The illustrations, which I realize are not always consistent with one another or precisely congruent with the story, are all gleaned from the Internet. This story is the first in a series of three to be posted here, all fantasies and all written when I was in high school . — J.R.
By Jonathan Rosenbaum
When I first woke up in the tower, I looked around, feeling strange and disoriented. I’d never been there before – never been anywhere before, as well as I can recall – and I’d just woken up, yet I’d never gone to sleep. I felt clean and fresh and wore plain clothes, but who was I, and what was I doing here?
I was in a small room that was empty except for the cot I was lying on and a chair.… Read more »