Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Just to be sure I was not hallucinating about everything I said in my earlier post that made a loose association between the positive way I have been "marked" by my friends and the 50's TV program, "Dragnet," I did a little research about the "Dragnet" music and about that image of the hand that had imprinted itself on my now 64-year-old mind, which as it turned out, was not playing tricks on me. 

In addition to the distinctive "Dum da dum dum" theme music, officially called "Fugue for (Sgt.) Friday," Wikepedia cites a hallmark of the "Dragnet" show that came at the end of each episode: 

  • A sweaty, glistening left hand appeared, holding what would turn out to be a stamp for indenting metal; a heavy hammer struck the top of the handle of the stamp, twice, loudly; the stamp was removed to reveal the imprint "VII" (over which the words "Mark" and "Limited" were superimposed on a title card), referring to Webb's production company, Mark VII Limited Productions. The hands were Jack Webb's own, giving a signature/personal stamp to the end of the show.
Now THERE was a guy ahead of his time! To those of us in the comparative literature business, the concept of the "signature" has become very hot in recent years. As hot as Jack Webb's Police Sergeant Joe, "just the facts, ma'm" Friday?  You will have to be the judge of that.

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