Summer Notes

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Summer Notes[1]
WBAI And NPR Playhouse
Original Broadcast Date
Tim Jerome, Beth Dixon, Arthur Miller, Lester Nafzger, Rosemary Foley, Paul Mantell, Fran Dorn, David St. James, Joe Frank
58 minutes
Preceded by: Arena
Followed by: The Eighty Yard Run

I notice a metal sheet here, lying beside you.

Summer Notes is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series WBAI And NPR Playhouse. It was originally aired in 1979. It was rebroadcast with minor edits under the title Summer Notes (Remix).

A segment from this program was turned into an animated short film.


Joe interviews a guy at the beach who has a reflector screen and a gun (Arthur Miller).

3:10: Dirk (Tim Jerome) and Diana (Beth Dixon) go sailing. (Dirk learnt in New Delhi.) They collide with a large ship.

9:40: Joe interviews a couple about picnics. (I think the man is Arthur Miller.)

12:50: Diana and Dirk go hiking, eat some wild berries, get sick to their stomachs.

17:20: A guy in a crowded space tries to draw attention to himself desperately, says he's going to kill a little girl and serve sandwiches made from her meat.

23:50: Actors declaim random bits of Shakespeare and fake Shakespeare. Some comes from Titus Andronicus.

24:30: A critic (David St. James?), addressing Joe, laments the separation of classical drama from normal life, is happy drama's being performed in public; the fake Shakespeare continues in the background.

28: The guy desperate for attention is back, talking to a guy with a Yiddish accent who was jailed in his former country.

30:30: The fake Shakespeare is back, the critic and Joe, too.

32:20: The desperate guy and the guy with the accent are back; the guy with the accent worries about his heart.

33:20: Diana & Dirk are at home, dealing with mundane affairs, such as buying the soap, fixing the air conditioner, disagreeing about what they're watching on television. They sound not in love.

37:30: 4 people promote their areas: a guy in Woodstock[1] promotes Woodstock 2; others promote the Cook Islands, Montauk, and Georgia.

42:50: Diana & Dirk make a campfire which, predictably, starts a forest fire.

47:10: Joe was riding on the IRT in Manhattan going uptown. He sat next to a blind man. When Joe identified a stop, intending to help him, the guy shouted, 'I'm not dead!'[2]

48: Joe tells us about his next door neighbors: a couple with 4 daughters, who treat the man dotingly - one day he shouts, 'No!', repeatedly.

49:50: Joe tells us about Houdini, the ultimate protester.

50:40: Joe tells the 'old story' about a blind man who carries a cripple on his back.

51: Joe tells us his idea of a good time is shooting surfers. Joe shouts, 'No' repeatedly, then shouts, 'I'm not dead!', then pleads that we listen to him; he says other random things.

53:40: The guy on the beach with the reflector and gun is back, shows Joe more of his stuff.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Interview with an armed guy (Arthur Miller) on the beach.
  • A woman sings and speaks in French
  • Scenes in which a sugary couple encounters disaster, interspersed by a panel discussion.
  • A sailing trip that ends lost in the fog.
  • The history of picnics and picnic etiquette. A hike that ends in berry picking and poisoning.
  • A man in the street tries to get attention - offers little girl sandwiches and sings "you are my sunshine."
  • Outdoor theater, performing scenes according to the time of day.
  • The street performer fights with passers-by, threatens them, then apologizes.
  • The history of theater.
  • The couple builds a fire and sets the forest on fire.
  • Joe interviews people about resort communities - Woodstock, a nature resort in the Cook islands, and some sort of retirement community.
  • The couple argues, watches multiple televisions.
  • Animated monologue describing scenes of summer: a man on the subway shouts, "I'm not dead"; an idyllic neighboring family man goes mad; Houdini's act as the ultimate form of protest; a blind man carries a cripple on his back; shooting people at the beach as art; Joe repeats lines from the street performer and the acted dialog; "the sun shines from one place in the sky."
  • Beach technology: radios, beach scanners, seismographs.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Shared material

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Performers included: Tim Jerome, Beth Dixon, Arthur Miller, Lester Nafzger, Rosemary Foley, Bernie Mantell, Fran Dorn, David St. James, and Joe Frank. Production assistance by Ira Glass. Summer Notes was directed by Keith Talbot."


  1. Mr Nafzger lives in Woodstock.
  2. This story is repeated in Joe Frank In Concert