Tag Archives: Empire State Building

Throwback Thursday: “King Kong” trading cards (1976)

I figure this is probably a very obscure Throwback Thursday post, even for my niche demographic of weirdo 40ish horror-sci-fi nerds.  Believe it or not, I actually can remember receiving a pack of these “King Kong” trading cards in 1976 or 1977 or so.

I mentioned the 1976 “King Kong” remake here at the blog not too long ago.  Wikipedia tells me that it was a huge commercial success despite its campy approach compared to the 1933 classic.  I can only imagine that the film would strike a strange emotional chord today; in this version, the title monster climbs not the Empire State Building, but the World Trade Center.  I actually hadn’t seen the movie by the time I’d gotten the trading cards — these would have been made available in 1976 or a year later, I think …  I only saw this version of King Kong when it hit broadcast television years later.  I remember watching it with my older sister and being frustrated by it … it seemed to take a very long time to get to the giant gorilla.

I would have been four or five years old, I guess, but I remember riding in the back of my Dad’s car on a hot summer’s day while my pal David Darling and I eagerly thumbed through the pack my father had bought for each of us.

David was my best friend at the time; he lived in the house on the corner.   His family had an incredibly cool housekeeper who gave us fruit, without exception, every time we asked for it.  I tasted a pear for the first time after she handed them to us through the side screen door of that corner house.  She’d been in a hurry; Jan rushed around a lot … she seemed to have a lot of responsibilities.  I didn’t know what a pear was, having never seen one.  It looked … wrong to me, like a maybe a defective apple.  David talked me into taking a bite, chomping down into his first and reassuring me that it was good.  I followed suit and I loved it.

Anyway, I don’t know where David was going that day with me and my father … that wasn’t something that happened a lot.  (Had he come to church with us?  Or the beach?)

I can’t remember.  I’m impressed with myself that I can even vaguely recall an afternoon when I was four.  Those King Kong cards made a big impression on me.








Car fire today on West 34th Street, Manhattan (Photos)

This happened just before 1 PM outside The Javits Center.  The driver sprang out.  True to form, the FDNY was there in minutes.

Watching them at work was educational.  They do not simply hose a vehicle down and take lunch.  They have to actually tear it open in places to hit its insides everywhere with water, to make sure there is nothing smoldering, I guess.

Also, there were two tremendous “POP”s as flames enveloped the vehicle.  To a guy who’s seen a lot of war movies, it sounded like ammunition cooking off.  A bystander helpfully informed the rest of us that this was the sound of the airbags exploding.

In some of these shots, you can see the Empire State Building in the background.

Hey — while we’re on the subject of public safety in Manhattan, the members of the United States Army guarding Penn Station were looking as tough and professional as always.  I actually did feel safer traveling.  If you know someone who serves in such a capacity in NYC or elsewhere, thank them for their service.