During the mid-1970's, Rochester, New York newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle, published a Sunday feature called Speak Out on Sports, soliciting readers opinions on sports happenings, local and national. Here's how a typical Speak Out on Sports looked back then, (August 25, 1974), from Section D in that paper: Just 16 at the time, I didn't think it was enough to try and have my sports opinion published- just once. Besides, after they used one of my letters they probably wouldn't take any more of my stuff. So I got pal Bob Masten to come up with names and I would contribute the opinions. The paper wasn't asking for any confirmation of the letter-writers so we thought we could pull it off. Here's the goofy list of names Bob came up with: Harold Cronze, Webster Phil Clongi, East Rochester Sifford Berfer Zac Grongo Marvin Fortzer Anthony Flitz George Poofer Jefferson Brown, Portland Avenue Reggie Grok Eugene Dorviski Melvin Korvockiwicz Ned Blunk Frankie Hedsnerf Herman Cronfertz Manfred Gorbongo Finnie Fantoni Jerome Fetzmitzer, Brighton Chi Li Frong, Rochester Charles Yorfing Ronnie Clenbroficz Henry Boulenditz Larry Phlotz Horacio Dablondiser Gregory Hanksnot Hank Nostrunck Mandi Filtibertz Philip Pulcrap Norman Burtecoltz Lennie Flingdirf Kevin Brownolfz Bill Skatwicz Bob Balldort Peter Puldit Johnathan Zipfreck Regis Renco Robert Rotnamny Bruce Skyernall Bob added towns to a few, to help in the "believability." Would the paper actually bite, and not question who these people were? Yes! The first letter/name taken was Sunday June 23rd, 1974. We didn't want to push too hard, and it took five weeks for the next letter to get in, Sunday July 28, 1974. (Nice touch, Bob, adding the "Mr. and Mrs." prefix!) The next one may be controversial. Eugene R. Frug (gotta be FR-OO-G)is not on the list above. But the more I think about, I'm pretty sure this is ours. The name has that Masten flair, and I'm thinking that I did indeed write the body of the letter. I've searched to see if there is a Eugene Frug out in the world with no luck so I gotta believe this came from the warped mind of Masten after all! (the entire column is pictured above, here) Sunday August 25, 1974 What may have been the final letter published (there may be more I can't find) is below. And they misspelled the first name. (should be F-I-N-N-I-E- jesus, ya send a fake letter to a newspaper and they can't even get the spelling right!)... published Sunday November 10, 1974 Not being able to leave well-enough alone, I went for the jackpot. I wanted to try and have a Speak Out on Sports column to include as many of our letters as possible- perhaps only our letters. According to Bob's original list, I see names checked off that apparently were chosen for the multi-submission. These would be at least... Harold Cronze, Sifford Berfer, Ned Blunk, Frankie Hedsnerf, Larry Phlotz and Gregory Hanksnot. Seems like a list of typical citizens wouldn't you say?! (Maybe we came to the conclusion that George Poofer wasn't believable enough, but sure was one of my funniest favorites!) And so, I wrote the letters- in different handwriting, probably got others to write one or two, probably typed out a couple. I then used different sized envelopes, different stamps etc. and mailed the various letters from mailboxes all over the county depending on the towns attached to the names. Flying too close to the sun, the jig was finally up! Not a single letter in the batch was published, and the paper started requiring "a day time phone number and mailing address" for verification. Somebody finally got wise. No matter. Something to do in the summer and fall of 1974. We had had our fun and now the letters will sit on microfilm spools for ages, available for future generations to wonder about some of the crazy-named people from the Rochester area from 1974! -Bill Flynn