Monday, September 19, 2011



Paul Dexter, who has three short plays in Short Plays to Long Remember, just heard that his play FEEDING FRENZY won first prize in the Ohio State U. playwriting contest -- out of 300 entries! Congratulations to this dedicated and hard working author.

Saw a unique entertainment Dublin by Lamplight at 59 East 59. Meticulously directed by Tom Reing, Michael West’s white faced romp moved with the precision of clockwork and enchanted and surprised constantly. Not sure I got all the message, but enjoyed it all the same.

Am involved in an unusual Greater New York Independent Publishers Association book launch on a boat no less this Saturday, Sept. 24 from 4- 7 PM on board the Lighthouse Tender ship Lilac, an historic vessel, docked at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 at West Street. Readings which start at 5PM include river and sea poems from award winning Perry Brass; veteran playwright/novelist Norman Beim’s novel ZYGIELBAUM'S JOURNEY; Bob Apuzzo thrills with tales of sunken ships; illustrator Maggie Cousins shows her art, plus Andrea Troy reads from Daddy, An Absolutely Fake Memoir. I’ll MC the readings and discussions of writing, editing, publishing and illustrating , and read selected kids stories from PIXIE TALES and ELFIN TALES with youngsters selected to help read; (kids who help get free copy of books!). During this free family event, Light refreshments will be served, you can see the 9/11 exhibit, and take a tour of the boat. Great chance to get autographed books and ask authors about inspiration, etc.


Read a huge multi biography by Michael Holroyd about the families of Henry Irving and Ellen Terry called A Strange Eventful History, A terrific read for anyone involved with or in love with theater and its former greats.

Also read Brooke Astor’s Footprints in which you get her slant on her life’s story. And what a story it is.

Am polishing and rewriting the final book in the read to me series, Gremling, Genires and Trolls, oh My! Which is my favorite of the four. Maggie Cousins is slowly providing terrific illustrations for the book, which has 5 read to me fantasy stories and one to grow on which presents a real surprise.

Have returned to work on my childhood memoir about growing up during the great depression – which has lots of similarities to today. You get the feeling the Republicans of that day were ready to say “let them eat cake” rather than try to alleviate the working man’s suffering.
Prejudice was as rampant then as now, only then it was concentrated on the Jew haters who tried to keep Jews out of clubs, restaurants, jobs, neighborhoods, etc. It’s amazing to me that I was a Republican most of my adult life, because I favored their economic policies – until the Bush Leagues took our surplus and threw it into wars. I remember many of those depression years clearly as my Italian, Irish and Jewish neighbors all struggled to survive.
I was accused of killing Christ and being as, what sounded to me like Dirty Chew Basket – which is the title of the memoir. Then, during the war which ended the depression, it was those very Italians who were hated and feared by many of the people we lived amongst. And these people were all supposedly so religious!

I thought we had progressed. Interracial couples were as condemned and feared then as gay couples today - My family is now both black and white. It raised a few eyebrows but not the storm of protest and law breaking it would have been in the thirties.
Why is it people need to find someone to hate, someone to whom they can feel superior? Someone they can prevent from having the same rights they enjoy? That is the supreme unanswered question of my life. Maybe looking back at the stupidities of the past will awaken some to the stupidities of the present? One can only hope.