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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication !! *****
Submission address: [email protected]
Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
Please use the following addresses for subscribe/unsubscribe
and back issue requests:
[email protected], [email protected]
*NOTE* It is now possible to subscribe JUST to the newsletter and not receive messages sent out through the reflector. If you wish to change your subscription type, just email me.
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**Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
DATE: February 12, 1996
Hope the winter months are treating everyone better wherever you are than they have been in Philadelphia! Anyway, onto the latest & greatest news for this issue. As always, some
to start things off. Those people on the newsletter-only list have likely not heard that there have been some concerns about our possibly losing the [email protected] address in a few months when the current maintainer is no longer going to be there. I'm still waiting to hear if we will "pass the test" and get a real listserv address through America On-Line. As I mentioned earlier, if you'd like to voice your support of "Onthejazz" send a message to [email protected] All the votes of interest we get I'm sure will help our chances! Several other people at umich who are on the group have expressed willingness to take over maintenance of the server in the future if/when necessary, so it looks like one way or another we're going to be around for the long haul. But stay tuned for more details...
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
In other group-related news, I've been getting inquiries about when I'd be throwing the next A-Team Party. Seems those who attended the first one really had a good time (I know I did!) and are eager for a repeat. So...I hereby announce plans for the 2nd Semi-Frequent A-Team Philly Fest, to be held on a Saturday sometime around the end of March/early April. If you are interested in possibly attending, send me an email letting me know which dates in that time period are best/worst for you, and we'll finalize a date sometime in the next few weeks.
No new news on Mr. T's health, but apparently he put in a performance on Howard Stern's E!-network show about 2 weeks ago. I'll be getting a tape of the show this week and will try to write up a transcript of the proceedings for the next newsletter when I do. From what I've heard about it, apparently it was a real wild show.
In regards to The A-Team in syndication and the possibility of it being released on video tape, I received the following email message this week and thought it merited inclusion in the newsletter. One of our subscribers wrote:
>I was wondering if you could put something in the newsletter. As you
>might remember I put a question on the mailing list about wathching
>the A-Team on WWOR. Well, I found out from somebody the address where
>you write to the programming department at WWOR. I was wondering if you
>could put the address in the newsletter and ask everybody if they would
>write to the tv station. Even if they can't get the tv station it would
>help if they wrote anyways. I'm trying to get a write-in campaign going
>to see if they will start showing the A-Team again. Also, I heard that
>Columbia House sells videos of tv shows and if there is a tv show that
>they don't carry right now but they get a lot of requests for they will
>add it to the collection. They don't carry the A-Team right now so
>if enough people call in and request it they will add it to there collection
>The phone number is 1-800-457-0866.
>The address for WWOR is:
>9 Broadcast Plaza
>Secaucus, NJ 07094-2913
>Thanks for your help and all the work you put into the A-Team newsletter.
I think it would be great to start a campaign to get Columbia House to carry the A-Team, so everyone, let's all make that call! They can't ignore *this* many requests for a show!
PHL17 in Philadelphia has also taken The A-Team off the air this year. Their address and phone number is:
5001 Wynnefield Ave., Philadelphia, PA. 19131
215-878-1700, fax: 215-879-3665
Now, if you want to write to station that has stopped carrying the show to complain, here's a simple set of rules that you should follow (I'm borrowing them from a web-page of another show and just replacing the show's name. I just liked the way they presented this information :-))
1. BE POLITE.
2. If your station is running The A-Team, thank them for doing so.
3. If your station seems likely to drop The A-Team, ask them to keep running it -- BE POLITE.
4. If your station is running The A-Team during an inconvenient timeslot that seems likely to damage its ratings, ask them to move it a more accessible timeslot. BE POLITE.
5. If your station is already running The A-Team during a convenient timeslot, THANK THEM for doing so, and generally express your support for the show.
6. Be brief. A succinct note saying why you like The A-Team is more likely to be read and taken seriously than a seven-page tome explaining why The A-Team is better than "Full House."
7. Tell them a little bit about yourself demographically. (I.e., a 24-year old male bus driver; a 49-year-old female boxer; a nineteen-year-old unemployed chemist, etc.)
8. You guessed it -- BE POLITE.
Letters should be addressed to General Manager or Director of Programming, unless otherwise noted.
Also, on the subject of why letter writing is better than phone calls:
Greg Bryant reports, "By Federal law, these stations are required to keep any letters from viewers in their files (probably to measure complaints when their FCC license comes up for renewal). So... the stations are not tossing these letters - they keep them around constantly reminding them of their viewer's interests. So the more letters sent the better, at any time, not just at season's end. These letters should then have a definite impact when the show comes up for renewal. With regrd to phone calls, he adds, "I think they have much less impact than a letter does, for precisely the reason listed above that letters are saved, but that phone calls (or a record of same) are not."
If you're in another market that's stopped showing The A-Team, send me the station's address and I will post it in the newsletter in the future.
Now, on to a...
"The Agony Column #1" edited by Jan Harley, first printed 1994. Available currently as authorized reprint from Peg Kennedy & Bill Hupe, Footrot Flats, 916 Lamb Road, Mason MI 48854-9445. Current price $10.50, U.S. postage $3 extra.
A few months back someone recommended this 'zine to me, and after a printing delay I finally got my copy about a week ago. I can see why it was so highly recommended, and I'd like to do the same here, especially for those of you who are (like myself) really big Dwight Schultz fans. Not only is there a terrific - if rather sad - Murdock story, but there are not one but TWO Star Trek:TNG stories that are centered around Dwight's character Reginald Barclay! "I Don't Like Mondays," by the editor, describes Murdock's experiences in the prison camp the team was held in during the war, what happened to him after the Team's capture after the bank job and how he ended up in the V.A. It's well done and an offers an interesting perspective on Murdock's character, and kept me thinking about it quite a long time after first reading it. Also by the editor is "The Little Engineer That Couldn't," a short (2 page) piece on Barclay's thoughts as he is onboard the shuttle craft taking him to his new assignment on the Enterprise. The real kicker of the 'zine, however, is "Some Far Flung Shore," a ST:TNG/DS9 crossover centered on Barclay and Doctor Bashir, who is on board the Enterprise after a special medical assignment. While attempting to rescue the survivors of a terrible natural disaster on a planet, Barclay and Bashir are trapped together in a cave-in and Bashir is critically wounded. This is a terrific 25-page novella, written by Helen Leithead, and all of the characters well-drawn, especially Barclay and Bashir. Really great stuff if you like Barclay!
Also in this 'zine are stories based on Highlander, V, Quantum Leap, Dr. Who, and several other fandoms. My only word of warning is that if you have a low tolerance for pain and suffering, think twice about this one. It's purely hurt/comfort and wallow, and the sub-title on the novella ("Doctor Space-Puppy Suffers in Eight Chapters of Sheer Bloody Hell") is right on the nose.
I'm really, really, REALLY pleased to be able to present this story here in On the Jazz, and I think you'll all like it as much as I do. It's rather long, so it'll have to come in several installments over the next few issues. Much thanks to Michele for agreeing to let me reprint this here - and also greetings to Michele who just recently joined us on the list!
SHADOWS IN THE RAIN
by Michele Lellouche
Originally printed in "Closed for Remodeling #1," 1986
Sunset, although no one could see the sun for the rain or feel its warmth for the chill. The search teams drifted in, soaked from the pine barrens and shaken from their chase. Most of them said nothing, only climbed onto their trucks to be taken to the flood zones. Their leaders had to report, and all gave the same report in the same dead tone.
"We lost them."
"With all that equipment? All those people?"
"They rode right past us. We shot but couldn't hit anything." The veterans shook their heads and plunged on. "They were like Charlie...in, out, gone."
General "Bull" Fulbright finally roared out, "They fought Charlie! They *aren't* VC! They're flesh and blood -- not goddamn ghosts!"
The Florida Guard commander looked coolly at him. "Well, you go out there, General. You go out and try to find four men in those trees, in that rain. We'd see them, and then they'd disappear. All that's left is hoofprints and broken brush."
* * *
"Good evening. This is CBS Evening News, Dan Rather reporting. Today the search for the A-Team continues. One of the largest manhunts in U.S. history is still going on in northeastern Florida, despite heavy rains and flooding which has hampered efforts and has called away many of the National Guard Troops to aid stranded Floridians. Despite the weather, the lack of men, and the miles of pine-covered country shrouded in mist, the search goes on -- a search that has lasted thirteen years. Bruce Hall has the report."
"The third day of the intensive search proved to be as futile as the entire decade-long hunt for the A-Team has been. Heavy rains and dense fog saturated the enlarged search area which now stretches from the western edge of the Osceola National Forest to Jacksonville, across northeastern Flordia north of Interstate 10. Florida National Guardsmen, already spread thin over the hundreds of acres of pine forest, will be spread even further tomorrow as Guardsmen have been reassigned by Governor Bob Graham:"
"'This morning, the Suwannee River reached flood stage. I have declared a state of emergency in Madison, Suwannee, Lafayette, and Hamilton counties and have ordered 750 of the 10000 National Guardsmen searching for the A-Team to be reassigned to flood duty in the Suwannee River Valley.'"
"By late today, Army officials in charge of the search were able to reconstruct the fugitives' route over the past three days and determine exactly how the A-Team arrived in Florida from their home base in Los Angeles. According to the Army's sources, the A-Team left Los Angeles five weeks ago. The three wanted men were joined by a fourth. He is believed to be ex-Army Captain H.M. Murdock, now a permanent resident of the psychiatric ward of the Veterans' Administration Hospital in Los Angeles. They were allegedly in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana via I-10. General Harlan Fulbright, the Army officer assigned to bringing the A-Team to justice, found them in Lake City, west of the national forest, but they managed to escapeinto the woods. By sunrise two days ago, they were on four horses they had apparently taken from a ranch on the edge of the forest after leaving one thousand dollars in cash to pay for the animals.
"General Fulbright assured the press two days ago, 'We are closing in on them. It's only a metter of time.'
"Since then, only the hoofprints of four quarter horses, mangled brush, and spent rifle cartridges are all that can be found of the legendary A-Team. Bruce Hall, CBS News, in the Osceola National Forest, Florida."
* * *
Hannibal Smith had learned long ago that you never asked men to follow you into hell. You just plunged into the Styx and trusted them to follow, just as they trusted you. Now, he knelt by the small smokey fire, wondering if there was a point at which even the most loyal troops stayed on the banks of the river. He straightened and stood, wincing as his bones creaked in the misty cool of dusk. He wondered, staring at his men, if they were about to reach that point.
They were sleeping hard, rolled in their olive drab dusters, heads resting on their saddles. "Camouflage cowboys," he thought, his gaze straying to the four dark horses that slept standing in the fringes of the trees around the tiny clearing. The horses looked less tired than their riders.
Hannibal's gaze returned to Face and Murdock, both shuddering with cold even though they were close to the fire. They were still chilled from days in the rain. It was strange to see them fully bearded -- they hadn't been since the days in the NVA prison camp. He looked over at B.A. on the other side of the fire. The Mandinka cut was gone, the shaved areas grown in, and even he was shivering. Hannibal knew they were cold, wet, and tired; he was, too. They had
been worn down by their month in the Cajun swamps, running with their employers and stopping a crooked land scheme.
They had gone a little too deep into those swamps, Hannibal decided. He had been a little shaken by their swift transformation into the legendary jungle fighters they had been. But there was an edge to their return that Hannibal did not like. The years on the run had layered cynicism and distrust masquerading as arrogance over their usual cocksureness. He could see it in the team as they had shut down the operators in Louisiana; he had felt it in himself. Did sixteen years make that much difference?
...They raised four battered lead glass shot glasses into a toast with enough force to spill some of the Cajun rotgut over onto their chilled fingers. It was late afternoon on an overcast day and the clearing was dark enough to begin with.
"Sixteen years...," Hannibal thought, trying to remember their first toast, in another swamp, with rice wine captured from a Cong commander. They had been bearded, covered in grime and weariness then, AK-47's slung over their shoulders, still in the black Cong fatigues they had escaped in and had worn in the NVA camp. They were celebrating their escape, then as now, in a swamp, but there were changes. B.A. wore some of his gold and his Mandinka was still almost visible. Face had matured, his features sharpened, in some cases lined. Murdock had, too -- his prominent bones sharply delineated, his brown hair receded even further; he somehow seemed more gangly. "I've changed too gotten older...heavier, gray, even white." he was roused by their concern, suddenly feeling their scrutiny. He grinned in return.
"Sixteen years...what shall we drink to?" Face asked. They stood silent for seconds longer, then B.A. began. It was his right, this being the only day each year he drank.
"To brotherhood," he barked softly.
"To survival," Face added.
"To the future," Murdock grinned. Hannibal ended,
"To the A-Team."
"To the A-Team indeed," he thought, brought back to the present by a sharp crack in the fire. He tensed, but it was truly the fire. He shook the chill that had been with them since he had seen the gray tinges in Murdock's and Face's beards.
It was much too close this time, on unfamiliar ground, evading pursuit by inches but with the arrogance that Fulbright had come to expect. Hannibal had led them close to the Guardsmen, closer than he should have dared. At times, he even saw Face and Murdock talking as they rode around search teams, their pursuers making so much noise they could not hear their quarry.
But their quarry was tiring. Even the sheer adrenalin rush of their desperate flight was wearing off. "How long can we run? How far, before we give out completely?"
* * *
General "Bull" Fulbright was thinking the same, but wondered more, "Where are they?"
It was a litany he chanted in his head day and night for weeks on end. The question never changed, only its scope. Now the scope was narrowed to two counties in Florida, far out of his normal range and theirs. But he had the advantage -- he had detailed maps, secure quarters and backup. He at last voiced his question.
"Where are they?" It was addressed to the Florida National Guard commander as they both stared at the maps of Columbia and Baker counties, laid together in a perfect match. The squares drawn in by surveyors years before were re-outlined in red, moving in an arc radiating from Lake City through the Osceola Forest.
"They're either still in the forest or north of it in Impassable Bay. We've covered their route south through the forest around to I-10 and west to the Suwannee. It's at flood stage with no way across."
Fulbright nodded, staring at the map as if it held all the answers, as if the exact location of the team would appear as clearly as the red blocks.
"What's Impassable Bay?"
"A swamp. It leads north to Pinhook Swamp, west to Sandlin Bay -- another swamp."
"Basically sawgrass prarie, cut with waterways, dirt roads, oak and slash pine groves, palmetto, Spanish bayonets. Nearly impossible to find people in and easy for people to lose themselves in, 'specially if they've been hanging out with Cajuns. Lots of animals, edible plants..."
"So what you're saying is that they can evade us..."
"Indefinitely. We can't fly in this weather. I haven't got enough men I don't think there are enough men."
"Don't believe the stories, Commander. They can be caught."
"Maybe...but I've heard the stories, and I've seen them -- or rather, I haven't. And I don't think you will either, General."
"You're wrong, Commander. I'm going to see them. Tonight." Fulbright turned from the maps and left. The commander shrugged, swallowing his protests. If the general wanted to plunge headlong into the night swamps chasing ghosts, he wasn't about to get in his way.
He simply stood and watched as Fulbright rounded up the men he had come in with, all fresh from staying at the command post all day, loaded them into the four-wheel drives, and set off.
* * *
To be continued...
That's all for this week, everyone! Until next time, stay on the jazz...
Quote of the week:
FACE (to Murdock): Have we ever given you a lobotomy?
(from "Judgement Day")