The "I Love A Mystery"

In the News!

Several years ago, I was astonished to learn that someone wanted to interview me about my web-site for a Florida newspaper!

As a somewhat humble Canadian medical resident, I was a little doubtful about blowing my horn, but agreed to be interviewed by Norman Cukras, who is as a rabid an OTR and ILAM fan, as I am. In fact, Norm was the 34th person to ever visit my web-site, earning him the nick name 'Ol 34.

The column with our E-mail correspondence interview first appeared in his column on April 16, 1999 in The News-Sun a weekly newsper located in Sebring, Florida. He sent me a copy of his column, which has occupied a place of fame on the side of our refrigerator ever since, which has gone a long way towards legitimizing my hobby in the eyes of my wife Caroline (grin).

Norman, who admits to be old enough to have listened to ILAM when it was first broadcast (actually 68), now writes a column (Ramblings) and feature stories for a daily paper, The Highlands Today, with offices in Sebring. 
He is a General Motors retiree who moved to Florida in 1989 and took up writing as a hobby. He has recently been appointed to his county's Historic and Preservation Commission and, "...views the efforts of Dr. Brian as a real and serious form of historic preservation."

Recently, Norman sent me an electronic copy of his column, and after some deliberation, I thought I'd include it on the web-site since it does include a little background information about myself that may interest you. Below you can find a copy of Norman Cukras' column reproduced for your edification.

Thank's 'Ol 34!


January 18th, 2001

Norman A Cukras
The County Line for April 16th 1999
Copyright 1998 Norman A Cukras

 I guess we try to hold firm to some portion of our past as a bridge to what we perceive as a happier time in our lives.

 I do this through a collection of old time radio shows.  Remember The Aldrich Family, Jack Benny, Suspense, The Hermit's Cave, Fibber McGee and Molly? Not only do the characters but also the situations and commercials heard on these tapes bring back memories.  These shows are a study in how our society went about its daily business five or six decades ago.  And there is a renewed interest by some members of the younger generation who are rediscovering these slices of Americana.

 One of the shows that began in 40s has developed an almost cult following.  Even though it only lasted on the air about five years.  That is I Love a Mystery.  Know by the aficionados as ILAM, it featured as you might remember adventurers Jack Packard, Doc Long and Reggie Yorke of the A-1 Detective Agency embroiled in daily fifteen-minute fast-moving serials with wild plots.

 Contributing to the show’s mystique probably is the fact that recordings of only two complete shows of the 51 produced are known to exist today.  There are however some episodes of many of the other serials available.  It is the dream of all ILAM fans to somehow uncover recordings of any lost episodes.  Which in some convoluted way is the purpose of this week’s column.

 A year or so ago I was surfing the Net looking for old-time radio outlets when I chanced upon an ILAM chat room.  I e-mailed one of participants and have been communicating with him ever since.  He is one extremely interesting individual.

 His name is Brian Christopher Misiaszek.  He’s a 32 year medical doctor who is in his second year of residency for internal medicine in London, Ontario where he was born.  Brian is a prolific writer – at least in e-mail communiqués.  His messages have guided me through his experiences in ICU,  CCU, Nephrology and ER where he was ignominiously decked by an under the influence patient.  When I didn’t hear from him for a couple of months I jokingly asked if he had gone off and gotten married.

 At that time he in fact was returning from his honeymoon in Germany.  His blushing bride was the fair Caroline, a resident psychiatrist at the same hospital who admits that she doesn’t necessarily share Brian’s interest in old time radio – well nobody is perfect.

 The young Doctor Misiaszek’s somewhat erratic career path started with a degree in Molecular Biology, then “by chance” he fell into selling securities for a “penny’ brokerage firm.  Back to school for graduate work in Medical and Molecular Genetics.  While working for Eli Lilly he felt he had something better inside himself.  Through a friend a seed was planted, perhaps medical school would be the best place to apply his innate skills and acquired background.  He applied and was accepted.

 Another of his friends, one he met on the Net, introduced him to the old radio shows including ILAM, which Brian described as containing, “…stories too wild to be called wooly, too frantic to be called adventures.”

 For a person like me, who only knows the multi-talented medical man casually, there seems to be nothing too adventurous for him to tackle.  And it’s chance meetings with persons like Brian that makes subscribing to the Internet worthwhile.

I thought I'd be clever one day and instead of typing in Brian’s Web site I decided to search for it by using key words.  I also figured on picking up some other related Web sites.

First I looked up 'ILAM' through AOL.  I got 441 suggested sites.  Mostly for the 'International Library of African Music' [after scrolling through the first 50 I gave up].

Next I tried 'I Love A Mystery' -- 561 sites.  Nothing in the first ten remotely referred to what I was looking for.  No. 11 started 'The mystery of love I want...'; so I hopped over to Infoseek.  190 sites for ILAM.  The first was for the 'Institute for Laboratory Animal Management", nothing much for the top 25.

I uncovered 418 sites on my Infoseek search for 'I Love A Mystery' and finally I found one that referred to the radio show.  It was buried in the Thrilling Detective Web site -- but at least they gave the titles and airing dates of all ILAM stories.

Anyway if you have any interest in old time radio shows like ILAM take a peek at Brian’s Web site.  It’s  He’d love to hear from you.  Just tell him Norman sent you.

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