Memoirs are all about making connections, and so I couldn’t have been more pleased to see a link on one of my Facebook pages to a blog written by Tad Callin (http://mightieracorns.blogspot.com/2015/02/famous-playmates.html).

When Marty’s twin sister Mamie reminisced for our collaborative book, Some Memories – Growing Up With Marty Robbins, she talked about a school friend named Nancy. I recorded what she related, but it never occurred to me that I’d find out any more about Nancy. After all, so often childhood friends turn out to be ships that quickly pass in the night.

So I was surprised and delighted to read the Facebook comment from Tad, who is Nancy’s grandson.

Apparently he’d come across the book and read Mamie’s anecdotes about Nancy. According to Mamie, their first meeting was not promising. Nancy began by asking Mamie what her name was, and “laughed, saying it was the funniest name she’s ever heard. I happened to agree with her, but nevertheless I started to cry. Later she became my best friend during the years we went to Peoria School.”

Like Mamie, Nancy had a brother who could be intimidating for the girls. While Marty’s teasing and practical jokes reduced Nancy to tears on more than one occasion, Mamie remembered Nancy’s brother Richard as “cruel and scary because he was a bully.” Even Marty couldn’t recover Mamie’s nickel, she said, when Richard took it from her on the school bus.

Tad notes that Richard grew up to be a Maricopa County judge. So perhaps Mamie’s verdict was a little premature.

 

http://www.theblueguitarmagazine.org/4.html

Many thanks to editor Rebecca Dyer for running excerpts from two of my books in the online magazines Blue Guitar (from my novel Shine Like The Sun) and Blue Guitar Jr (first chapter of The Trouble Upstream).
On Sunday (Oct 27th) at 12:50, I’ll be reading from The Trouble Upstream at the Arizona Consortium for the Arts’ free Fall Festival, at Arizona Historical Society Museum, Papago Park, Tempe.

Could country music legend Marty Robbins soon get official recognition from his hometown, Glendale, Arizona? Hoping to find out more when I sign my memoir, Some Memories – Growing Up With Marty Robbins, at Krispy Creations, 7013 N. 58th Avenue, next to Murphy Park in downtown Glendale, 1-3 Saturday (June 22nd).

The format may be digital, but the thrill of seeing one’s work on public display is tangible enough no matter what the medium.

I’m among the creative spirits featured in the Spring 2013 issue of The Blue Guitar, an Arizona-based ezine that takes its name from a Wallace Stevens poem, “The Man with the Blue Guitar”.  

As always, I look forward to reading the work of fellow contributors and hope that they find similar enjoyment in reading the featured excerpt from my novel, Shine Like The Sun.

Sometimes it seems that the book world is altogether too preoccupied with celebrity and sales. Of course most of us want recognition. But a publication like The Blue Guitar is a reminder that the essence of creativity is close to home. The themes may be universal, but the details and the passion are right in front of us. And that’s why local support counts for so much. So thank you editor in chief Becca Dyer and her talented team.

http://www.theblueguitarmagazine.org/resources/Blue+Guitar+Spring+2013_FINAL.pdf

 
Trouble_Kindle_Cover
Home for Beaver is a wild river in Arizona, and like Ratty in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows he can think of no better place to live than somewhere surrounded by water.
The snag is that the river seems to be drying up and someone needs to do something about it. The Trouble Upstream chronicles the adventures of Beaver and his friends Skunk and Ringtail as they trek to the river’s source in search of a solution.
In their journey they tangle with a succession of creatures native to the area — each with an impact on their mission. Pack rats, ground squirrels, a rattlesnake, javelinas, coatimundis and a Gila monster are among the more prominent characters.
As in the human world, difficult decisions have to be made and the result will not satisfy everyone. But, in fighting to preserve their homes, the creatures are surely following a justifiable precedent.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AL5RFU2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Trouble-Upstream-ebook/dp/B00AL5RFU2/ref=la_B001HO5RL0_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1355261588&sr=1-7

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/265631

Read about Sav Scatola, who created the cover illustration, at http://www.boxy.co.uk/

Can rock stars find solace in retirement? Roy Huntley thought so, but it’s hard to shed the role that had dominated his life. He’d come of age believing music could change the world, and that he could play a part.

As with each generation, he struggles to reconcile advancing years with the aspirations he held in former days. His identity is defined by the spotlight. Can he give it up? Will fans and family let him?

As the new century dawns, Roy Huntley is in his early 50s and well past the usual shelf life for a rock and roll star. He has had his share of fame and fortune, and settled for a scenic Shangri-La in Arizona and a second wife young enough to be his daughter.

Hanging out with fellow British bandmate Chris Russell has passed the time nicely for a couple of years. But time to reflect has had its down side. A chance to reactivate their rock group revives dormant dilemmas. Is Huntley ready to let go of the role that has been so central to his life? Is he still capable of a comeback? Questions of legacy and self worth come into play. After all, performing music and the accompanying acclaim seemed to have come to him as a birthright.

Leaving the old life behind seems to be the rational choice. It’s not so easy to walk away though. There’s one last chance to prove himself. As the group assembles for its comeback concert without him, Huntley confronts his estranged colleagues. His credibility hangs in the balance. Even Huntley isn’t sure what he wants. But his fans have not forgotten him. Whether he likes it or not, he can’t escape what he has become. Even his wife will not allow that.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009F7JKXC

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240012

http://www.xinxii.com/en/shine-like-the-sun-p-337766.html

Arizona-born singer-songwriter Marty Robbins is the subject of “Some Memories – Growing Up With Marty Robbins”, a childhood memoir related in part by his sister Mamie.

A new version of the book, available through Kindle and other digital platforms, adds family photos collected by Marty’s twin sister, the late Mamie Minotto, to the text of the original print edition available from Booklocker.com

Photos of Marty and Mamie, their parents and also of Marty during his service in the Navy accompany Mamie’s reminiscences about the childhood they shared in and around Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1920s and ’30s.

The book takes its title from “Some Memories Just Won’t Die,” one of Marty’s final recordings before his death from heart failure on December 8th, 1982.

Descended from Texas and Arizona cowboys and Utah Mormons on their mother’s side and Polish stock from Michigan on their father’s, Marty and Mamie spent their early years in poverty and domestic strife. What they lacked in material wealth though, they found in the riches of their desert playground.

In anecdotes about the family’s frequent moves and squalid living conditions, Mamie recalls the feisty brother who always seemed able to laugh off setbacks. There are also glimpses of Marty’s developing interest in music, from playing harmonica with his father and uncle to his first gigs as a shy sideman in a local band.

Marty moved to Nashville in the early 1950s, but he never lost his attachment to the Southwest. Stories he heard and the wild open terrain he loved inspired him to write his international hit “El Paso” and other gunfighter ballads.

In 1960, “El Paso” won him the first of two Grammy awards in the Country and Western category. The second followed 10 years later for his composition, “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.” Among his other 18 Country chart toppers between 1956 and 1976 were “A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation),” “Devil Woman” and “El Paso City.”

In addition to his music, Marty acted in television Westerns and even wrote a short Western novel, entitled “The Small Man.” His great passion outside music and family was stock car racing, and he was nationally rated as a NASCAR driver.

Sadly, Mamie passed away before this account was completed, but the adventures she shared with her brother live on in these vivid and heartfelt descriptions. Much of the material was adapted by journalist Andrew Means from interviews given to him by Mamie. Additional material came from friends and family who knew Marty in his formative years living in Glendale, serving in the Navy during World War Two, and subsequently making a name for himself on the Phoenix entertainment scene.

The 136-page print version of the book (without photos) can be ordered from Booklocker.com, priced at $12.95.