Finally, our old program titled HOUSES AROUND HERE is coming out on DVD.
Today I make some final corrections and tweak the copy on the “box” (really just a printed cover sheet) for the DVD case, and then it’s off to the printer. Paula Zetter, video and graphic designer for WQED (and my foodie-friend), has updated the show’s old logo and look a bit by adding some classy wallpaper, and the new back cover includes critics’ comments and a partial list of extras that WQED editor (and friend but not-a-foodie) Kevin Conrad put together for this “Special Edition.”
HOUSES AROUND HERE has long been one of my favorites of all the productions I’ve worked on at WQED, and it’s great to know it’ll be available again. The VHS has been out of print for two or three years now. Paula has also taken the original drawing (it’s a colored-pencil illustration of a grand old house in Friendship) that we commissioned for the front of the old VHS box, and she’s made that circular medallion the design for the disc itself too. It all looks great.
About 6:30, Matt Conrad, editor and computer wiz, stops by to borrow some music CDs, and he says Why don’t you come and have a hot dog with Bridget and me at D’s? And I can’t think of a reason to say No. So we meet at the hot dog shop in Regent Square, and the place is packed, as usual. While we’re waiting for a table, Matt buys the first round of beers (!) and I show Bridget and him these old postage stamps that came on a letter to my mother the other day. (One 3-cent stamp is from 1947, celebrating the Centenary of American postage stamps! This stamp itself is now 62 years old.) Then, when we finally get seated, Matt’s roommate Garrett Cooper stops by unexpectedly, and Matt notices Alina Keebler standing by the front door of D’s. She’s one of the stars of HOUSES AROUND HERE, and taught me everything I know about Hulley Houses, the handsome old Pittsburgh houses built in the 1920s by a developer named E.B. Hulley. I haven’t seen Alina in a long time and we hug and laugh, and I tell her the DVD is finally coming out soon. Oh, she says, was that ten years ago that we did that? Longer than that, I say. Now I see it’s a full 15 years ago. 1994.
It’s still a decent and interesting show. I watched the whole thing as I picked where the various chapters of the DVD would start. Now the discs are being prepped, the print elements are being printed. We won’t have the finished products for a couple of weeks yet, but I hope they’ll sell well. Old TV shows (like old stamps) can still be good.