Over at Great but Forgotten Chuck Rothman is looking for the author William Johnston. He wrote novelizations and media tie-ins by the dozens but seems to have left few traces.
Mr. Rothman's post stirred up some memories:
Sometimes, usually on a Saturday, when my mother couldn't get a babysitter she would bring us along to the escrow office she ran in a little shopping center somewhat north of Seattle. For lunch money, and to keep out of her hair she hand us each a dollar and we'd go explore. This was in the mid-sixties and a buck was enough to buy her a few hours of peace.
Me and my brother would generally head over to the lunch counter over at the Grocery Boys store at the other end of the mall. A hamburger and fries left me just enough for a 50 cent paperback, or a comic and some candy (my brother, however, was all about the food).
One time I faced the spinner rack and saw a Get Smart! book and my heart stood still. Get Smart! I loved that show. Want it want it want it...
But wait... 60 cents? One full dime more expensive than the books I usually found. A ridiculous price! I couldn't see supporting the publishers in this unwarranted inflation, it might give them ideas. More importantly, I couldn't buy it And a hamburger and fries.
But... I couldn't see walking away from Get Smart, either.
So that day I learned something about budgeting, and bought just a hamburger and Get Smart!
And you know, I've never regretted it, but sometimes I buy extra fries.