A true Rotarian and a great personal friend of mine, Anthony Favale, once endowed me with a quote from his father, “When you’re born round, you can’t die square.” Boy do I get that. I assume the opposite is also true; and, if so, I’m not sure whether I was born round or square, but whichever I was and am, is, in the words of Frost, more likely on the “Road not Taken.” My proof, such as it is, is the things I’ve taken the time to actually write about.
I had a truly memorable and educational experience following my dream to be a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder, that nearly left me bankrupt. I didn’t wallow in my misfortune, but turned it into a humorous story, called “Owning Horses” about my exploits, written in the voice of a Mark Twainish character. The problem is it’s too damned long to be a short story, and too damned short to be a novel. It’s what they call a novella, which roughly translates into commercially non-viable. We’ll see. Maybe the e-book and self-publishing world at Amazon.com might provide a remedy.
The second time I served as President of my Rotary Club, I decided our annual Fashion Show and Chinese Auction should have a theme. I picked “Casablanca” because I regard it as the best movie ever made, believed we could dress the catering hall up to look like Rick’s Cafe Americain, and could secure enough palm trees and a piano player to pull it off. We (Sandy and I) did. To properly prepare myself (ourselves) for the part, I watched the damned movie at least 100 times in the run-up to the event. I watched it so many times, I can recite the dialogue, frontwards or backwards, for any character and from any point in the movie you might choose. Couple that with my eternal dis-satisfaction with the ending. Who the hell wants to see Ilsa leave with Victor, rather than stay with Rick? Nobody, that’s who! If ever a movie called for a sequel, to right a wrong in the original, “Casablanca” is it! No problemmo. I wrote the perfect sequel, in perfect voice, with all the usual suspects in the cast doing very plausible things and with an ending that gets Ilsa to Rick without any betrayal of anyone. Not easy, I admit it. But I did it. You are likely never to see the fruits of my labor. Why? “Casablanca” isn’t in the public domain as yet. Unless Warner Brothers should ever deign to review my manuscript and permit me to publish it, “As Time Went Bye,” my working title, will never see the light of day, or publication.
Are you sensing a pattern here? Good! I remain positive, hopeful and persistent. I’m also figuring a cookbook cannot possibly have any barriers remotely comparable the the other two. We’ll see.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve got a novel in the hopper too, called “Satan’s Story,” which I believe will wow you too, but it isn’t finished as I write. Stay tuned.