A treasure trove of stories and interviews from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s — small town to Washington DC to Hollywood

My work as a Washington journalist began in 1970 when my husband, Murray Flander, and I moved to D.C. from Coalinga, CA. We had been putting out our newspaper, The Coalinga Record, a prize- winning weekly, for the past eight years.

Murray had accepted the position of press secretary to the newly elected U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Ca. Subsequently, over the decade, I was a copy editor for the Washington Post, and worked for the Washington Daily News and Washington Star, mostly as a general assignment reporter. My arrival in the Washington press corps coincided with the resurgence of the…


Either he is a ‘short, dumpy, rumpled man,’ or he is a ‘tall, lean and pantherlike.’

The Washington Star, August 28, 1977: Frank Mankiewicz, then press secretary to Robert Kennedy, and Dick Drayne, Mankiewicz’s counterpart for Edward Kennedy, used to get together to pool their humor and spice speeches for their respective bosses. In 1966, shortly after Bobby Kennedy survived charges of being a carpetbagger and was elected U.S. senator from New York, Drayne called Mankiewicz and said, “My boss is going up to New York to give a speech. Do you have any funny lines?”

“Why not,” Mankiewicz promptly suggested, “have Teddy say, ‘New York is the one state to have when you’re having more…


The Washington Star, August 2 1978: NEW YORK — When Derek Jacobi, visiting briefly from London, arrived at WABC-TV recently for a guest shot on Stanley Siegal’s talk show, he was greeted with a tacky sight. A half-dozen psuedo-Roman couches were strewn around the studio, and strewn on each was a Playboy Bunny. They’d brought their Mommy, pop singer Lainie Kazan, who presides in Lainie’s Room of the Playboy Club, for a program that would somehow explore the question — are women exploited in today’s society? …


“These long floating chiffons make any woman — small, tall, fat or skinny — pretty. But at $600 I could buy a color TV.”

The Washington Star, November 17, 1974

Every year about this time, the siren call of fashion lures me, a willing victim, to the shores of financial destruction. But this year, those insistent entreaties seem to be going over my head. I’m barely 5 feet tall, after all. Since the fashion industry has decided to take the plunge on hemlines again, I keep seeing ads showing 9-foot models wearing 6-foot long skirts that sweep below their knees.

These same models are enveloped in “steamer coats” and bundled up in thick-knitted sweaters with wide swathes of fur hanging from collars and cuffs…


His beguiling book, “More Than What You See,” illustrates with a profusion of his poetry, art, and photographs.

By Judy Flander, January 5 2021, Philadelphia, PA.

John Creveling is sitting in his “Man Cave,” which is what his wife calls the third floor of their house, which is his sanctuary. The space has his gym and his many collections — books, coins, cameras, paints, guitars, a harmonica and more. They all get his attention but since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease his activity has been progressively limited.

It’s been eleven years since he learned he had Parkinson’s and three years since he published his invaluable book, “More Than What You See.” The book has given heart to…


The Record, October 24, 1963

I have been addicted to newspaper and magazine advertising for years now: in fact, it is among my favorite reading matter.

I figure there are roughly three levels or kinds of advertising (there are many finer distinctions to be made but not this week):

1. The black, blaring kinds of ads (cut rate drug stores are among those who use them) that fill every inch of space with reading matter.

2. Simple ads with good pictures and descriptive copy, enough white space and featuring products in my price range.

3. The kind of ads they run in the New Yorker.


The Record, February 28, 1963

Out in the backyard things are quieter these days. The sound of Civil War artillery has ceased. Armed attacks against the Nazis are no more,

Instead, there are the more ordered sounds of serious young men at work on manual of arms’ exercise. The silence is broken by short orders barked by whoever is top sergeant at the moment and by giggles when confusion reigns,

The boys learned how to go through these paces about a month ago from the Big Boss who sternly taught them rifle drill and a no-nonsense attitude.

There are, however, still some cut -ups who…


California before Coalinga

Before the Flanders moved to Coalinga and Judy and Murray became the editors and publishers of the The Record, the family moved to the Mohave Desert town of Apple Valley and Murray (this was before Murff) became the Editor of the the Victor Press, the semi-weekly newspaper in nearby Victorville.

Judy worked there part-time as the ‘society page’ editor and contributed the earliest versions of Personally Yours. Not many clippings remain from those days, but here are a few to get the flavor of life in California.

To get started, here Judy is…the proud owner of a new radio!


The Victor Press, 1959

Last week we had, what I mean, a TIGHT newspaper … 800 inches of editorial matter. Compare this with the 1,500 inches we had the week before and a comfortable (for me) average of about 1,100 and it will help explain why the roof fell in last Thursday! My dear dependable correspondents didn’t get in at all. There wasn’t a news item that wasn’t chopped off from one to three paragraphs.

Stopped in Middle

We just stopped in the middle of our report on the Apple Valley Flower Show story (con’t. this week) and we have some mighty lovely pictures…


The Victor Press, October 22, 1959

Did you ever stop to ponder what you’d do if you had to do without hot water? Well, I never did, either. But if I had to write a treatise on the subject, I’d be pretty well informed due to an unplanned experiment last week.

Defective Thermocouple

My hot water heater went off. The trouble was diagnosed as a defective thermocouple which could only be obtained in San Bernardino. And what with one thing and another we had cold water for over a week. …

Judy Flander

American Journalist. As a newspaper reporter in Washington, D.C., surreptitiously covered the 1970s’ Women’s Liberation Movement.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store