Back In The Day
The following is the email that really started the ball rolling
re putting this site together. This reader found "Shirley"
because I had an article by "her" on janeymilstead.com
and her name showed up in a search engine. (If you haven't read
the rest of the background info on this site, this might not make
any sense.) (It might not make any if you HAVE read it, but back
in the day, I wrote under the name Shirley Poston, among others.
If you care to know why, and thousands will understand if you don't,
click on Magical Mystery.) Anyroad (thank you, John) (for everything),
George Harrison died on Thursday. So sad. My brother and I were
emailing each other back and forth, sharing memories, when he asked,
"Hey, whatever happened to Robin Boyd, anyway? Were those stories
as good as we thought? And whatever happened to Shirley Poston?"
I reminded him that, after The Beat, she used to write for the unfortunately-named-but-oh-so-great
Teenset, but since S.P. was an alias anyway, who knows. She could
be Joyce Carol Oates or Camille Paglia, but we would never know.
It was just one of those great mysteries of life. But I found you!
I tried "google search" and there you are! I remember
the Beatles poems by Afan (I always knew that was you), and there
was the X-Files story, by Afan. And there was young Zigi BOYD, a
drummer with Ludwig droomsticks, just like Robin's sister Ringo.
And "Boyd" was my ultimate proof. I knew it was you!
In those long gone days before Rolling Stone, there wasn't much
on the market for a poor girl who loved rock and roll. So when I
was about 12, I would save up my meager allowance, and bike a few
miles to this little bookstore in Cupertino that sold The Beat.
If there was an episode of "The Adventures of Robin Boyd,"
I would buy the paper. I'd share it with my little brother and my
friend Debbie. Later, when The Beat folded, we'd read your occasional
writty in Teenset. Even when you disappeared, your words remained
in our vocabularies: "writty," "blither," "drooms,"
"shirley you jest." And now,here you are again.
As for our beloved George, let me just throw one of your own
poems back atcha: "George Harrison--no comparison." May
he rest in heavenly peace.
A long time fan, Lori E.
I emailed Lori back, telling her how her communique had blown me
away and letting her know I'd decided to set Robin loose on the
web (as in Look Out, here she comes!!). I also asked her if I could
reprint her email or at least parts of it on the site. Here is her
Well, of course you can use whatever I wrote to you. Feel free.
I was so excited to find you, and then to hear from you. I bragged
to my husband about what a good detective I am, then to my brother,
and then to my friend Debbie. They ALL used to read "The Adventures
of Robin Boyd," so they were properly impressed. I also told
my two oldest daughters, who are in college. They weren't quite
so impressed--they thought the whole thing was a little weird! But
somehow the whole search and discovery offset the sadness about
George, just a little. I guess it reminded me of how those four
pulled us all together, "when we was fab." Well, THEY
were certainly fab--but they made us all a little bit fab, as well.
I read the tributes to George in Rolling Stone, and it brought
back such memories. Recalling Shirley Poston brought back such a
fun time in my life. And yes, it was a MEANINGFUL time. I would
gather 50 cents (sometimes I would convince my little brother Bruce
to contribute, since he dug Robin Boyd as much as I did). Then I
would ride my bike the three miles to the store. If The Beat was
there, I would sit at the curb in front of the store and read it
right then. Then I would ride home and read it with Bruce, the two
of us chortling over the amazing adventures that girl would get
herself into. (Bruce, who was quite the cartoonist in those days,
would draw funny interpretations of Beatles lyrics and sometimes
his George character would come out of a genie's lamp, and sometimes
his Paul character would have wings.) [Editor's Note: this was only
a few million years before the real Wings. Pretty prophetic, huh?]
I would bring Robin to school the next day so that Debbie could
read it. I didn't know it at the time, but in a house a few blocks
away, a guy named Dennis was enjoying Robin's adventures, along
with his brother Johnny. So that is FIVE kids in San Jose who were
reading you, and loving it. I know that your writing style affected
the way I write, and as for my brother--he is the MASTER of parentheses,
and he owes it all to you.
Then came Teenset, and we would occasionally read articles by
you. And by that time the whole San Francisco scene was starting,
right in our favorite city. I LOVED Teenset - it was so funny, and
hip, and so respectful of the musicians without the ickiness of
"16" and those others. For the first time, I noticed the
names of photographers . I especially noticed the name "Jim
Marshall." Don't know if you ever knew him, but he was an integral
part of the Teenset look, and a good friend of Judith Sims.
About 10 years later, Dennis who loved Robin Boyd was my boyfriend.
He and his brother (who also loved Robin Boyd) had been in a band
for years (inspired by the example of those lads from Liverpool,
of course). But in 1976, Dennis decided to publish a magazine. He
called it BAM, which originally stood for "Bay Area Musicians"
but soon was distributed throughout the state. It was a free mag,dedicated
to the musicians and listeners of the great music that was still
coming out of California. Within the first few months, he met up
with Jim Marshall and they are still great friends today--a Teenset
connection, for sure.
And here is a definite Shirley Poston connnection. From the
very first issue of BAM, we featured a column called "Newsreels,"
full of gossip and funny stories, and purposefully written in her
sassy style. I mean, you influenced us a decade after we were reading
your stuff! And if any of the five of us ever says "Surely
you jest," you KNOW we are secretly spelling it "Shirley,"
and that we are thinking of you. Is that immortality, or what?
So Dennis and I got married, and had four kids, and BAM continued
for 22 years. Jim Marshall told us when Judith Sims died, and we
were sad. And at the same time, we both thought, "Whatever
happened to Shirley Poston?" Well, now we know.
We can't wait to re-read the adventures of Robin. I think they
will hold up very well! It's so nice to have you back in our lives.
This letter is so cool, words totally fail me. Except these: Judy,
this is for you, too.
There must be many more memories and thoughts out there that we
can all share. Please send them to me so we can fill the Help From
My Friends section of this site with exactly that.