ZIP Beep #16
BERNO WALKER -- THE FORGOTTEN FOURTH WALKER SPY
The Walker spy case is closed. John Walker, brother Arthur and son Michael have been found guilty and sentenced to long prison terms.
Now comes word of yet another Walker who stood trial for similar charges several years back. Julius Henry "Berno" Walker was acquitted of all charges and his story slipped quietly into the background.
Now, Berno Walker has resurfaced with a book about his life. THEY DID IT ALL WRONG is Berno's revealing look at himself, his brothers and nephew, and the times they shared.
"I'm calling my book THEY DID IT ALL WRONG because I think all the Walkers would be free today if they had just done what I did," Walker told us. "Thanks to the fact that I can't be tried twice for the same crime, my acquittal frees me to say whatever I like. I held back until now because I didn't want to get the other boys into trouble."
Walker isn't afraid to admit his position. "Oh, yeah, I was guilty as sin," he told us. "Still am! But the point is, I'm free and they're not."
Walker believes his freedom resulted from a defense that combined Mom-and-apple-pie Americanism with every conceivable delay tactic available to his lawyers.
"It worked like a charm. See, I was a Boy Scout, choir boy, member of the debating and varsity football teams -- heck, all us Walkers were. I made that clear to the jury. I just didn't look like the spy type! Sure, there were some who wondered. But I stood right up in the stand and said, 'Look, I can't be a spy. I don't look like a spy, do I? I don't even know what spys think, or wear. If I were a spy, what kind of underwear would I have on? I certainly don't know, because I'm not a spy.'"
This sort of speech was well-received by the members of the jury and the visitors in the gallery. Each time Berno Walker took the stand, he left everyone laughing -- including the judge. But more important, he left them confused.
"My lawyers were even better at confusing the issues. It looked like the lawyers representing my brothers would take the same approach at first, then I guess they chickened out.
"My brothers' lawyers suggested it could not be proven that the, uh, 'borrowed' documents were properly classified. They also said there was no proof that any harm resulted from sharing the documents with a few business friends.
"My lawyers said the same things and more. They asserted it could not be proven that the documents in question were not originally written using disappearing ink, which would render them useless to foreign agents. They said it could not be proven that I was not just out for a drive in my car with some important papers when I mistakenly dropped them into that Goodwill box while leaving a bag of old clothes in the back seat of my car. They even put forth the suggestion that there was no way the prosecution could prove I wasn't suffering from mental anguish due to eating too many Twinkies, then they called for a recess so I could eat a well-balanced meal. They questioned everything they could, sought and won delay after delay, and I think everyone finally tired of it all and decided to leave me alone. So I was acquitted."
Berno Walker didn't reveal anything during his trial. But his new book has some interesting revelations about his family.
As most people know, the Walkers engaged in All-American activities and seemed to be as trustworthy as Ozzie & Harriet or Perry Mason. John Walker even had a bumper sticker on his apartment wall that proclaimed "President Reagan - Bringing America Back." But little is known of their lives as performers. That may be because all but Berno dropped his stage name when they received security clearance.
Arthur Walker, the oldest Walker brother, first went on stage as a singer at the age of 14. Known as Banjo, he was soon joined by brother John, who took the stage name of Reddo. Berno was originally part of the Walker Brother act, but was later replaced by his nephew, Michael. Michael called himself Draino and usually left the comedy to the older Walkers, opting instead for roles as a romantic tenor. But as television replaced touring theatrical reviews, the Walker Brothers act fell on hard times. Today the zany Walker Brothers movies are all but forgotten.
Asked about their stage names, Berno rolled his eyes and laughed.
"I guess I'll never be able to escape that question as long as I live. It's part of every interview. Okay, well, Michael was a singer. He relied on his pipes, so we called him Draino. Banjo was a natural name since Arthur liked stringed instruments. He was especially fond of the harp, and wanted to take his name from that. But we convinced him that Banjo was a funnier name than Harp, and he had to agree. Reddo was a natural, too. Don't let anyone tell you Arthur was the leader of the spy ring. He was the leader of the Walker Brothers act. But Reddo -- I mean, John (I'll never get used to calling him that) -- he got us all involved in spying. We were all Marxists. In fact, we considered calling ourselves the Marxist Brothers at one time. I'm surprised the name didn't stick, because everybody knew Reddo as Johnny Walker Red. They used to call him Johnny Walker Red and I was Julie Walker Black. I never liked my first name, so I changed it to Berno. You know, when something is black, sometimes it's because it's burned. So I became Berno and John became Reddo. I thought about calling myself Blacko, but I think Berno is more active, don't you?"
The history of the Walker Brothers act provides interesting background, but Berno Walker's book is really about the recent trials. It ends with a few of Berno's suggestions that were rejected by the rest of the troupe.
"Banjo -- I mean, Arthur could have acted more cooperative. You don't have to be cooperative, just act cooperative. Reddo and Draino -- Darn! I mean John and Michael were too cooperative. They should have thrown up a few smoke screens. Take that Reagan bumper sticker. They trusted the press to point out how they couldn't be spys because of things like that. They should have done some courtroom grandstanding themselves, too. Never trust the press. But I really blame their legal counsel. There was no way to prove the glue on the back of the bumper sticker was not laced with LSD. There was no way to prove that this didn't lead to long-term hallucinations. And there was no way to prove that Reddo didn't believe he was actually removing secret documents from the office of Fearless Leader, with plans to pass them on to Special Agent Bullwinkle Moose who he believed to be waiting for him back at his apartment."
ZIP Beep #16
(ZIP Beep is an unusual periodical, so it's not surprising that we're always ready to help publicize the efforts of other groups specializing in the offbeat. This month, we're pleased to bring you word of a marketing company that focuses on discovering unusual new markets for existing products. While we don't normally run unedited publicity releases, we're making an exception with Multiple Function Product Consultants. We hope you find the PR as interesting as we did.--ED)
FROM: Multiple Function Product Consultants, Inc.
CONTACT: A. E. Newman
(New York) After weeks of testing, Multiple Function Product Consultants, Inc. (MFPC) is announcing new uses for products of three of its clients.
According to Hamilton Burger, MFPC President, "Our clients know we maintain a constant search for different ways to present their products. This time, we've outdone ourselves for MTV, Riunite Wine and Cowford Properties."
Of the three, MTV stands to gain the most. The rock music video organization is available on most cable TV systems, but it's shunned by many who believe it to be degenerate and potentially harmful. However, MFPC has discovered MTV is useful as a sedative.
"The MTV thing is fabulous," Burger said. "I'm not kidding. In tests at major mental institutions across the country, we've found it nearly 1OO% effective. We've devised a special 'straight jacket chair' that holds patients in front of the television, then we switch on MTV and relax as the patient's eyes glaze over. It's incredible!"
Burger noted that only a few of the tested patients grew more violent as a result of being subjected to MTV. In almost every case of this type, the patient was fine except during record commercials featuring Dick Clark. "We don't know exactly what causes it," Burger said, "but we think the patients are frightened by all the makeup he has to wear to look so young. I've seen some patients react to Dee Snider in a similar manner, but never to the same degree, so I think it has something to do with the makeup."
Plans to begin using MTV as a sedative in hospitals are underway. MTV acts as a sedative in many homes already, but there is reason to believe this could be dangerous to people with low pain thresholds and restrictive moral organs.
"The people at MTV are happy with our findings, in spite of the minor drawbacks. The people that make Riunite wine, on the other hand, are ecstatic because we turned a negative feature into a positive for them."
Riunite has captured a large share of the wine market in America, but recent reports of bottles laced with potentially harmful chemicals have cast a shadow on the company. Now, MFPC hopes to change that and has proclaimed Riunite to be an effective, inexpensive automotive antifreeze.
"Riunite is stepping up production of its wine now to take advantage of the cold weather that's around the corner. Very soon, you'll see TV commercials showing young people enjoying themselves with their cars, and hear an accompanying soundtrack that's designed to stick in your mind until you go crazy or buy the product."
In anticipation of complaints from people who will miss the old Riunite, Burger said his company will recommend the introduction of a "Riunite Classic" drink next summer.
Finally, MFPC is overseeing the merger of two housing firms that will begin joint operations in several midwestern cities.
"Our good friends at Cowford Properties were facing a problem with poor condominium sales," Burger said. "The buildings that are standing are almost empty, and there's no way they can back out of contracts with construction firms working on new structures. That's why we introduced them to CorrectiCo. CorrectiCo operates prison systems in many midwestern states. And as everyone knows, they're faced with tremendous overcrowding."
When the two companies merge, many prisoners are expected to move to high-rise condominiums currently unoccupied. "All of the buildings are very security conscious," Burger said. "The transition should be smooth. But just to be sure, we're testing the idea in Minnesota. Some inmates from the state prison in Stillwater will be moved into condos in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Uncooperative inmates will be forced to live in the least-desireable locations. Right now, we're trying to decide if that would mean putting them downtown or leaving them in the Stillwater facility which, I'm told, has a rather nice view of the St. Croix River."
More new market announcements are expected early in 1986.
ZIP Beep #16
Every year, this joyous time of anticipation fills the hearts and souls of humans throughout the civilized world. Peace and hope are declared anew. Wherever free men and women speak, the topic is the same: What are the TV networks going to offer us for their second season?
This year, ZIP Beep is proud to present a Preview Review of the upcoming second season.
As always, you can expect successful shows to return again and again under different names on different networks. But among the new trends is a shorthand version of the old ripoff formula. Instead of pinning all hopes on one carbon copy, this new phenomenon lets network programmers cover as many bases as possible.
ABC, for instance, will introduce a new cast of evening soap characters who drive around Dallas chasing drug smugglers and protecting their own financial empire, accompanied by popular rock music and pastel color schemes. The name of the show says it all: Dallas Vice.
NBC is going one better by doing a double ripoff of their own products. In Ebony Girls, five aging black women share an apartment. They're all retired professional women with medical and/or law degrees from Ivy League colleges, and the plots revolve around the basic idea that their lives are filled with the same joys and sorrows as ours.
CBS may have outdone both of its major competitors with two new second season entries. The Misfits Of Law Enforcement is a comic book treatment of the current vigilante movement sparked by Bernard Goetz. The Misfits are actually a bunch of kooky guys and gals brought together by the New York City police department. Each has some mystic power as the result of a freak accident or other unlikely occurrence. One guy can shoot lightning bolts (the result of a short circuit in a bullhorn he used while standing in a mud puddle), one can shrink to the size of an atom, and so forth. Together, they pursue obvious villians, keeping just this side of the law (most of the time). Somehow, they always manage to bring in the bad guys and get themselves out of trouble, week after week.
CBS is also offering a new program featuring a young-looking career woman working at a major media outlet in a midwestern city. She and her gruff-but-lovable boss share office space with a group of looney coworkers who touch our hearts with their all-too-human characters. That's right, it's The New Mary Taylor Made Show.
Anthology series have reappeared with a vengeance this year. Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, George Burns, Alfred Hitchcock and the rest have had their effect on the second season lineup. There are plans to bring back Police Story, an anthology show noted for its high production values and believable scripts. Mystery, horror, science fiction, police -- they're all good catagories capable of supporting an anthology series.
During the second season, you can expect to see School Story debut. School Story will present a different tale every week, each taking place in and around a high school classroom.
History Story will focus on things that occured in the past.
Gas Story takes place at different gas stations across America.
Dog Story has the point of view you might expect from your canine friends, complete with a lot of knee-level shots.
Finally, there's Computer Story. Week after week, peoples' dreams and defects unfold when an IBM-PC comes into their lives. At the end of each show, some tragedy befalls the humans, and the computer is sold. The new owner or owners become the basis of the next week's show.
It's all pretty exciting. And probably pretty unnecessary, for that matter. But hey, it's just television.
ZIP Beep #16
IRONY ON THE RANGE
The economic strife in northern Minnesota has been keeping Governor Rudy Perpich busy. In an effort to bring new industry to the state, Perpich has found it necessary to fly all over the world.
Many have suggested Perpich uses his office as little more than a travel agency. And while the Governor is sensitive to this criticism, he has done very little to counter it. Until now.
This week, Perpich announced a new plan to help all unemployed Minnesotans who are seeking travel as well as work.
"We expect to provide over 10,000 new jobs next year," the Governor said, "and we're going to put them all in one convenient location."
The proposed name for this new job center is Factorama. It looks like it could begin operating in Hibbing by late next year.
"The Factorama concept is simple," Perpich went on. "Many different businesses will use a single factory-like facility. Each will operate in its own part of the building. But they'll all share the maintenance expenses. In a way, it's like a shopping center with manufacturing firms instead of stores. We prefer to think of it as a wonderland for workers."
It's unclear how many firms have already signed Factorama leases. But several known participants include Kaseland (currently of Rhinelander, Wisconsin), The Kow Pi Chopsticks Corporation (Japan's leading supplier of chopsticks) and Atomic Peace Garden Enterprises (currently producing ethanol near Harvey, North Dakota). A new venture, the Integrated Alternative Chrome Consortium, is hoping to begin production of chrome using a new smelter that will be moved to Hibbing from the University of Minnesota.
When asked why all of the new businesses were being located in Hibbing, the Governor showed surprise.
"Don't you see?" he asked. "Everyone who wants to work will have to go to Hibbing. That's one of the really great things about Factorama. It gives people a chance to travel. And they'll travel right here in Minnesota, so all of the money they spend will stay right here. I think this will do great things for the state's tourism industry, too."
When 10,000 new jobs open in Hibbing, one might expect the population of the town to swell accordingly. Not so, said Perpich.
"If we allow everybody to move to Hibbing, what will happen to the towns they leave? To prevent massive relocation, Factorama will only hire people who agree to commute from other parts of the state on a daily basis. In fact, the first jobs will go to applicants with home addresses the greatest distance from Hibbing -- and within Minnesota's borders, of course. We want to make the most of this travel angle."
A Korean/French architectural firm, Pei & D'Sqi, has been selected and will begin making final adjustments to Factorama blueprints sometime next month.
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