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Robert F. Schulkers is the author of a series of children's novels. The 11 novels were first published between 1921 and 1932, although many appeared first in serialized form in The Cincinnati Enquirer and hundreds of other newspapers around the country. The eleven novels are: Stoner's Boy, Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba, The Red Runners, The Gray Ghost, Stormie the Dog Stealer, Knights of the Square Table, Ching Toy, The Chinese Coin, The Yellow Y, Herman the Fiddler, and The Ghost of Lake Tapaho.
Schulkers further popularized the series through a nationally syndicated NBC radio broadcast from Chicago and an extensive number of Seckatary Hawkins clubs in larger metropolitan areas. The official club name was "The Fair and Square Club". The club slogan was "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits". Except for Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba and The Ghost of Lake Tapaho, the setting was a river bank that was a composite based on Schulker's familiarity with segments of the Ohio River, the Licking River, and the Kentucky River.
Seckatary Hawkins, a fat boy with a cowlick hairdo, records daily minutes of the adventures of a remarkably organized group of boys. The group of ten or so boys (some boys rotated in and out of the club) have their own clubhouse on the river bank, complete with a stove for heat, a telephone, and even an organ for the required singing practice.
While never the president of the club, Seckatary Hawkins is clearly the smartest member and the leader. He is regularly called upon by the books' few adult characters and many of the youthful ones to solve various mysteries and to keep the river bank safe. Most of their enemies in the end go home to their mothers or end up in the school for bad boys. A few reform during death scenes.
Seckatary Hawkins has a small cadre of loyal followers who have, under the guidance of one of the author's grandsons, re-established a "Fair and Square" club. The books, which originally sold for a few dollars, now command premium prices, with Stormie the Dog Stealer, the rarest, sometimes selling for $1000 or higher on internet auctions.
The books have always enjoyed an enthusiastic readership, the most notable Harper Lee, who mentions two of them in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird and the late television personality Bill Cullen, who spoke of Seckatary Hawkins during at least one broadcast.
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