Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dedications

Writing a book dedication is like a final punctuation, a kiss goodbye to send your tome on its merry way. But more importantly, it's a big piece of your heart that you've given to certain individuals that is forever embedded in your work.
My first book, IN THE DARK, was dedicated to my wife.
To Laurie, my honey
Wanna see a movie?
She was my constant movie companion and one of the few people on this earth I can stand to sit next to in a cinema. Laurie's not gone by any stretch of the imagination. She just stopped going to movies.

The recipients of of book numero dos, RED ASPHALT, were Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara.
To Don and Mike
Radio Gods
Thanks for the laughs when I needed them the most.
Um, what? Yes, I chose to salute a couple of guys on the radio. RED ASPHALT was a personal book about a guy who flips out while driving for a living, a job near and dear to my butt cheeks. Back in the 90s, my psyche had going through some rough terrain while on the road every stinking day. Fortunately, I had these two jamokes to listen to and laugh my way toward sanity, then writing a book to vent my frustrations at the world.. For that, they got a much deserved thank you.

In the introduction of NOW THAT'S FUNNY, my collection of comedy sketches, I was all over the map.

I hereby dedicate this collection to Rob Petrie, King Kong, Pollardville itself, that motley crew of talented performers and excellent people known as the Palace Showboat Players and to the patron saint of comedy itself, the chicken.
What a load. The chicken didn't even call.

PLEASE HOLD THUMBS, all about my adventures in South Africa, turned out to be a story about family, therefore transforming it into something more than "What I Did on My Summer Vacation".
To my family
Past, present and future

So now we're up to date with my latest, SONG OF THE CANYON KID. I've dedicated this book to my friend, Goldie Pollard.  

I had been a cowboy in the Pollardville Ghost Town as an actor, sorta stuntman and writer and director. During that time, my friend Edward Thorpe and I wrote a melodrama for the Palace Showboat Theater called LARUE'S RETURN. I had yet to appear on that particular stage myself. When I finally did, I had helped Bob Gossett write new material for my first show DOWNFALL OF THE UPRISING. Since I was pretty hungry to add even more material to the show's vaudeville section, Goldie, as one of the producers, helped to champion my cause. The next show she co-directed with Bill Humphreys, GOODBYE TV, HELLO BURLESQUE, the two of them both asked me to write some sketches. I had written the next melodrama solo, LEGEND OF THE ROGUE, and Goldie gave me the highest honor possible. Not only would I have my name on the melodrama, but I would write and direct the olios section as well. Don't think this didn't go to my head. I was Orson fucking Welles, baby!
 
The problem was...I was in so far over my head I didn't realize I was drowning until it was too late. I was too young, too ill-prepared and too arrogant to ask for help. The show was virtually taken away from me and deservedly so.

A couple of years passed and I returned to the Palace Showboat stage, thanks to both D.W. Landingham and Ray Rustigian. I was ready to give it another shot and Goldie gave it to me. I wrote and directed three vaudeville shows in a row, a revival of LARUE'S RETURN and a brand spanking melodrama called SONG OF THE LONE PRAIRIE.

If it wasn't for Goldie's initial encouragement and her ability to grant me a second chance, I don't know what direction my life would have taken. I loved this woman. We lost contact after I left the Stockton area in 1999, but I am so grateful that we were able to have one last reunion at the Palace Showboat when that place closed once and for all. At that event, she addressed the crowd to say:

You all came here as actors, dancers, singers, dressers, writers and you ended up as entertainers. And you know what you are today? You are all my stars and I love you all.

No one shone brighter than she did. She was our beacon, our guiding light. For this, I have dedicated SONG OF THE CANYON KID to her.

To Goldie Pollard
For giving me my first chance, then believing in me enough to give me a second

This book is all about second chances and this is my last to say once more to my friend,
I love you, Doris June. And thank you from the bottom of my heart now and forever, 

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