Monday, July 26, 2010


Then things started getting weird, at the gigs I was meeting people who knew Morrison, or at least claimed to have known him. There was the woman from Oregon who said she met Morrison in a bar on Christmas Eve and they talked about the meaning of life, but the story sounded too metaphorical. Then there were those who claimed to be Morrison, by reincarnation. Those who claimed Morrison was communicating with them either by letter, possession, or from the spirit level. And finally, those who claimed to be Morrison in the flesh.

The first group, the reincarnates, those who thought they were Jim Morrison reincarnated, that was an easy one to solve. I just asked them how old they were, over twenty and it was "sorry, Morrison was still alive when you were born." That usually stumped them and sent them back to the drawing board, except for the hardier, more obsessed soul.
"No, dude, it was a transmigration of the soul. He knew he was dying a long time before he died, so his spirit left." For those people there really was no answer.

Then there were the possessions. Those who claimed Jim was possessing them either full time or only on occasion, and Jim was dictating a new book of poems to them, or was collaborating with them on a book for the purpose of clearing up the misconceptions of his life. And, lastly there were the guys who said they were Jim in the flesh and were just waiting for the right time to reemerge.

One night there was a conversion or collision of the types that presented what I thought was a unique opportunity. Between sets a guy came up to me and told me he was Morrison, this guy had long wild hair, a beard, wearing a plaid workingman's shirt, and jeans he'd been living in a little too long. His face was ruggedly lined like he'd been living outside. I thought he looked more like John The Baptist, maybe he was Morrison after all.
"Where you been man?" I asked.
"Living out in the wilderness where nobody can find me."
"What're you doing here?"
"Making sure you don't sully my memory."
"Sully?" I said, dropping my jaw, "I haven’t sullied in years."
"Don't tell anyone I'm here."
"No problem, man." Not two minutes after this encounter, a woman came up to me and told me Morrison possessed her every now and again and that he was glad I helping keep his memory alive. I saw that an opportunity like this wouldn't present itself again so I decided to have some fun with it when I went back on stage.
"Ladies and gentlemen we have a special guest tonight." The band looked at each other, then looked at me, perplexed. The audience murmured. "We have a confluence tonight, as it were, a strange alignment of stars!" I had the hook baited, "we have Jim Morrison in the audience tonight!" There was a hush. The crowd didn't know what to make of this pronouncement, "we have a gentleman here with us who says he is Jim Morrison," at this point the guy claiming to be Morrison got up and scurried towards the door, "and a young lady who says Jim's spirit visits her nightly!" The audience cheered, the woman actually stood up to take a bow.

Then there was Wanda. That's when it started to get seriously weird. The thing was, she was for real.
"I'm Wanda the Witch."
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, I knew Ray and Jim at UCLA." She looked to be about the right age, "I was a theatre student and I wanted to be an actress. I was in Ray's movie and I've been into Wicca forever. I may have been the first person to get Jimmy interested in witchcraft." She looked at me with such a look of desire, "I could tell you a lot about Jimmy," she said. She seemed pretty drunk, slurring every word she uttered, but I was morbidly interested.
"What'd you talk to Jimmy about?" I asked.
"We talked about a lot of things, like poe-ahhh-tree and Artraud."
"Artraud?" I said, taunting her about her pronunciation.
"Yeah, Antonin Artraud, the French theater guy or something." She said, waving it off.
"Tell me something else about Jimmy."
"Jimmy was a tabula rasa. He could be an altar boy, or a murderer. He was a mirror, get it!? You got what you looked for, he was amazing at reading people."
"What did you see?" I asked.
"A lover." She said, eyeing me lasciviously, "wanna go to my car?" She was in her early to mid-forties, gaudily dressed in tight jeans, denim jacket with fake fur at the collar and cuffs, a low cut blouse with more than a hint of multicolored bra sticking out. Her face was lined, and portions looked like they were about to drop, her make-up was applied thickly. She was working hard to look sexy. She was right at my break-off point, but her sleeping with Jim Morrison added another dimension and tipped the balance. It was still worth a plunge into the pool. I mean how many chances in life do you get to make it with a woman who made it with Jim Morrison?

We were in her car making out and suddenly I was roaring drunk. I was seeing things in swirling disconnected images. But how had I drunk too much? I had a couple extra drinks to make it easier to make it with her, but I had drunk more than this before, without such a dire turn of sensation. Maybe it was the synergy of the beer I drank and the whiskey on her breath. I opened the car door for some fresh air. As soon as it hit me, I felt a rush from my stomach. I threw myself out of the car onto the gravel parking lot and started throwing up. As I lay on the ground I heard Wanda get out of the car and walk around to the side of the car I was on. I looked up and saw her leaning against the side of the car smoking a cigarette, hovering over me like an animal protecting its kill. I heard the crunch of gravel as someone approached.
"Is that our mini-Morrison?" A voice I recognized as one of the boys, appeared in my mind as an island out of the mists, but I couldn't tell who it was. I reached up towards the voice saying "ha, he, hel..." I was trying to say help, but in my state, couldn't.
"I'm going to make out with him some more when he stops puking." I heard Wanda say.
"Yeeeeech, gruesome." A female voice said.
"Live the lifestyle Mikey," the boy's voice said. "You can have him lady, just make sure he's back to the motel by eleven AM tomorrow, or we leave without him." And they laughed.
Wanda pulled her car into the parking lot of her rooming house. I was laying in the backseat, tattered vinyl and used wrappers floating with me in virtual zero gravity. She pulled me out of the car, dragging me towards the house, my boots pushing on the gravel, the best mime of walking I could muster, one arm draped across her shoulders, it was a minor crucifixion. The landscape was bleak the wind howled around me, everything washed out to the color of bone, the moon. It was a tundra of a parking lot. I managed to pull the house into focus, it was larger and somehow harder looking than the surrounding family homes. Maybe it was because the house, as well as the people that inhabited it weren't as well taken care of as the people in the family homes.

Once inside, I bounced off the walls of the communal kitchen. Wanda guided me up the hallway stairs, passed padlocked doors. It reminded me of a prison. We came to the last door down the hall, she opened the padlock and we fell into her room. I stood in the middle of the room, swaying, trying to comprehend. I saw all the possessions of a lifetime that were stuffed into this ten by twenty room. There was her girly dressing table covered with combs, a skirt of ancient chiffon ran around the outside of it. Sticking out of the frame of the mirror, a photograph. I plucked it out and tried to focus on it. It was a picture of her with Morrison. The colors separated, turned yellow with age. It was ancient sepia now. It must have been taken early in The Doors career, or maybe they were still at UCLA, they both looked achingly young, Morrison was still in his cruel handsome youngboy looks. I matched the face of the girl in the picture and Wanda. It was her all right, without the wrinkles, and without the feral look in her eyes. Their clothes were almost antique looking even to my sensibilities, even though I remember people dressing like that. I remembered dressing like that. It wasn't like the other photographs of Morrison I was used to seeing, Morrison, in his natural state, relaxed and in the moment, he’d always looked like a modern among the primitives to me. When I was a kid, I thought all the adults were in their fifties, they all had short hair, black rimmed glasses, and because the clothes they wore were dull and lifeless they, and appeared to be in black, white. Morrison looked more like me, and the people I hung out with, alive and in color. The picture of Wanda and Morrison was a typical posed photograph. The body language of both spoke volumes. She was trying to be close to Morrison, and he was standing rigidly, waiting for the moment to be over so he could pull away. I dropped the picture down on the table.
"Where's the bed?" I asked turning around. Tucked away in the corner of the room was her bed. I fell straight down on it and for a minute everything swirled around me, then I passed out. During the night I remember her waking me up for sex. I responded out of some sense of duty, either to legend or my own ego. I noticed the longer I was with her the older she looked. All I remember was a flash of tit and genital as I escaped back down the darkened swirl. It didn't matter I was unconscious anyway.
Some time after that I woke up, it was still dark out, it seemed like the night was lasting forever. At least I felt like I was sobering up. I looked at the other side of the bed. Wanda was awake, watching me.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" She asked, running her hands over the skin of my chest.
"No, why?" I asked.
"I can be your girlfriend, and follow you to all your gigs. I can be your lover and tell you everything I know about Jimmy."
"What makes you think I'm that into Morrison?"
"Look at you. Dressed like him, you act like him, and you even fucked me because of him."
"No. We don't need any more camp followers." I said.
"Camp followers!" She bellowed. "Well, that's the difference between you and Jimmy. He was an original performer he brought life to the stage. All you bring is a ghost and that's why you'll never be anything but a cheap imitation!" She rolled over and went to sleep.

I woke up early the next morning. Light was finally starting to pry its way through the lone window in the room. Wanda was snoring next to me. I pulled on my pants and shirt. Next to her bed was a scrapbook, one of those huge old-fashioned kind where you can keep adding more pages. I sat on her dressing table chair and looked through it. It started with typical childhood photos, proud mother and father holding the baby, growing up modeling different chiffon dresses and Wanda smiling broad toothless smiles, first communion. Then there was a newspaper clipping of a little girl, Wanda in a tutu, a production of Swan Lake. The caption gave the little girl's name as Stephanie Mulgrew, but it was Wanda. I could still see the little girl in her face. I turned the pages, there were more pictures and reviews; from high school plays, the perennial production of Our Town, followed by pictures of her in college at UCLA, the plays now Ibsen and Beckett. Then some reviews and programs from small L.A. playhouses, this was her rise to stardom! I noticed a few early Doors reviews interwoven. There was an early connection. Then a movie ad, I read it over carefully, her name wasn't anywhere on it. But she must have had a part in it, or else why would it be in her scrapbook? Then it became a scrapbook about Jim and The Doors, culminating, of course, in Paris. Then there were a couple of blank pages. They were yellowed and brittle like the pages before them. When it resumed the pages were newer, cream colored. It became a diary and there was a ferocity in the entries until towards the end they became manic. I realized I had been wrong it wasn't a scrapbook chronicling her rise to stardom. It was a scrapbook chronicling the death of her dreams. How many years did the blank pages represent? Where had Wanda come from? A character she carved out of, perhaps, her conversations with Morrison, like Alice Cooper in Morrison's conversations with a young Vincent Furnier. When did she go from being Stephanie to Wanda? When Stephanie became powerless in life and Wanda offered her that power and control again? In the clarity of the morning light, and my clearing head I realized the look of want I had seen on her face the night before wasn't for me. What I had mistaken as desire for me was really a desire for what I represented and the desire to try and rewrite history. A desire to change this leaden reality of her life and restore the golden dreams of her fantasies. Maybe she and I weren’t that far apart. She looked deep inside for the simmering essences of truth; she had found madness. She moved a little in the bed, even asleep she didn't look at rest. I pushed a lock of sweat matted hair off her forehead, I could see the hurt child with dreams that was in her, that had made her this madwoman.
"Peace, Stephanie, peace." I said, softly.

I stumbled out into the cold morning air I pulled my leather jacket tight around me against the cold. The wind still tore through me, the word mourning bouncing around my hung over head. I looked around trying to get my bearings. I seemed not to be too far from the bar and motel. I started the cold trek back in the direction I thought I should go. By the time I was at the end of the gravel parking lot, Wanda was out the back door yelling at me.
"Just like Morrison, asshole!"

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Close Cover Before Striking

On one of our ever increasingly rare nights off, Tom and I were just hanging out in his room having a few beers, watching TV. He went to get a couple of beers for us out of the sink we had iced down. I saw his sketchbook lying on the bed I absently started flipping through it, it was filled with drawings of Iron Maiden album covers. When he came back into the room he stopped dead when he saw me looking through it. "This is what you've been drawing?" I asked.
"Are they bad?" He asked.
"No, they're great," I said. "But Iron Maiden? You hang out with a Doors cover band for a few months and all you can draw is Iron Maiden album covers? Aren't there any other bands with cool album covers?" Tom just shrugged his shoulders. "I expected caricatures of us, landscapes, or even sketches of truckstops. I haven't even seen you with any Iron Maiden albums, or play any Iron Maiden tapes." Then I realized, "you've been drawing these from memory?"
"Yeah, I just like the covers, so I draw them." Tom said.
"WOW!" I said, genuinely awed, "you ought to do something with that."
"Yeah, I know." Tom said, hanging his head down. I glimpsed some hurt of the past in the look. "I've been thinking about entering this contest." He threw me a matchbook. I opened it, there was a picture of a pirate and it said, 'draw and send in for a free evaluation.'
"And in about six weeks you'll get a letter back saying 'congratulations! You're a budding Picasso. And with some refinement of your technique you can make a living as an artist and we can offer you courses to help you attain your dream, for as low as..." I said, "the thing is no one fails. They prey on your dreams, charging you, promising fame and fortune, but all you end up doing is giving them your money. You have to consider what do your dreams cost?"

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Monday, July 12, 2010


During the first set of the night in Nashville I looked out across the smoke hazened bar. We were playing a real roadhouse, we were in the land of belt buckles and cowboy hats there were spittoons that I don't think were decorative. It was a large room with tables and chairs that filled the center, and lining the perimeter, on the walls were booths. People were coming and going out of one of the booths, like bees from a hive, including 'the girlfriends'. I wondered whose booth it was. A record industry executive’s? A local bigshot? Or maybe a country western star? All I could see through the spotlight and the people gathered around were flashes of a beautiful red headed woman. In between sets, everyone backstage and at the bar was talking about this woman. All the interest was starting to piss me off, so I asked Alex about her.
"That's Caitlin Stewart, she's the daughter of Jerry Osprey." Alex said.
"Jerry Osprey?" I said, "The Jerry Osprey? The guitar player?"
"I knew that would impress you. Yeah, him."

I sauntered up to the booth, putting on my best Morrison pout. She had burnt red hair. Nothing of the carrot there but of the flame, it was the color of a dark fire, hot enough to burn. She was dressed the same as every other woman in the club that night, in jeans and a blouse but she had a sense of style that was far and above the taste of every other woman there, including the sequined 'girlfriends'. Her breasts were as nearly perfectly rounded as could be and were pulling the fabric of her blouse in interesting directions, her jeans seemed melted to her skin. She looked like the type of woman I was looking for. And if she really was Jerry Osprey's daughter, maybe she could help me. I just couldn't figure out why a girl like her would come to a place like this.
"I'm Michael Desmond." I said, extending my hand, "are you really Jerry Osprey's daughter?"
"Really." She said. I examined her features, she smiled nervously under the scrutiny and a light entered her eyes as her face rounded to the familiar shape of her father's.
"Can I buy you a drink?" I asked. Before she could answer I saw the band milling around the darkened stage, "Oh sorry, it's time to do the next set." I sauntered back to the stage, making sure she got a good look at me.

After the last set, I walked back out into the club, into the glare of the house lights. A thin layer of cigarette smoke still hung in the atmosphere, and the sound of the band still rung in my ears and echoed off the walls. I could see the devastation of the closed club, cocktail napkins and cigarettes on the freshly beer stained floor. The waitresses silently milled about from table to table cleaning up the half filled glasses and overflowing ashtrays, and trying not to look interested in anything except what they were doing. The band and 'the girlfriends' stood in a circle around Caitlin and a guy who I hadn’t noticed before that seemed to be with her. The bouncers stood around the edges in a looser circle trying to look cooler than the band. They weren't succeeding. I joined the inner circle.
"We're just doing this to get a little exposure," Johnny was saying to Caitlin, "and do our own songs."
"You have originals?"
"Yeah. We even have a demo tape." The other band members stood around shaking their heads in agreement.
"Really?" She said, "so what do you have to say for yourself Mr. Morrison?"
I smiled politely, "Michael, please." From the back the owner of the bar came up to our group, he was a good looking young guy in a silk shirt, with slicked back blond hair, constantly fidgeting with it, running his hand over the sides of his hair, or adjusting his sleeves. I wondered what he was doing, speed or coke.
"Time to go now. That includes you, Caitlin." I could tell there once had been something between them, and that he hadn’t been the one who ended it, he kept glaring at the guy with Caitlin.
"I'd love to hear your tape," she said to Johnny, "why doesn't everyone come to our house for a little party and we can listen to it?"

Caitlin and I walked up the path to her house, it was a huge modern tri-level with windows that ran its length, it was surrounded by a copse of trees hidden by and meant to be part of the environment. Everyone else was lagging behind us.
"What kind of music do you like?" I asked.
"All kinds."
"Everybody says that."
"But I really do like all kinds of music!"
"Everybody says that too."
"I can prove it." She said as we walked up to the front door of her house. A warm light shone out into the night. We walked into the living room, everybody fanned out of the vestibule behind us, we were all taken aback by the sight that greeted us. The decoration, like Caitlin, showed a simple but eloquent taste. Lining the walls of the living room were record albums, wrapped in plastic, and neatly arranged on shelves that spilled over into the other rooms I could see.
"Wow." Was all I could say, breaking the awed silence.
"Start here." She said, pointing to the closest shelve in the room. I pulled out the album closest to me.
"Abba." I said.
"They're arranged alphabetically." I pulled out the next album.
"Abba, Waterloo."
"And in order of release," she smiled.
“How far to AC/DC?”
“Farther down.”
"Impressive." I said, "how many are there?"
"Eight hundred." I ran my hand over the albums and walked about two feet before pulling out another album. It was Black Sabbath.
"You ever hear of CD's?" I asked.
"It's too late," she said, "I'm invested. I've been listening to albums since I was about ten, starting with my father’s."

Caitlin got out a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau and we sat around the living room listening to the boys’ tape, and it kind of reminded me of the party at the apartment except on a much more prosperous level. I watched the interactions around me, the waitresses and bouncers from the club loitered around the room outside the hub of, me, the band, and Caitlin. Caitlin was sitting next to her boyfriend Jake, Jack, Jess. I don't really remember which it was, and sure enough the manager of the club took a seat across from Caitlin and displayed a certain amount of familiarity as he fidgeted from whatever stimulant he had taken, while she looked amused by him. I smiled at her and looked at her intently, trying to communicate.
"Michael, would you like a tour of the house?" She asked me.
"Sure," I said, glad for the chance to be alone with her. We walked through a couple of the rooms. She pointed out some delicate facet about a piece of furniture, or of the room before asking, "do you sing the band's original songs?"
"No, The Unknown Soldiers and Ghost Dance are two different things.”
“You don’t write the songs or anything?”
“I don’t do anything creative, I’m the idea man.” I said, as we strolled to another room, moving farther away from prying eyes of the group. “What do you do?”
"I'm a publicist for a small record company, low wage, menial, I don’t know anything else except music, and love being around it."
"This house doesn't look like you're too low wage."
"Oh," she said, waving a hand, "my father has a lot of guilt and a lot of royalties.”
“What about the guy?”
“Judd? He’s my boyfriend."
“The nightclub owner doesn’t seem to think so.”
"He's a loser." I said, cornering her against a wall. I could feel the heat pouring off her body.
"How do you know?" She said, softly.
"Because he's not me."
"Sure of yourself, aren't you?"
"I am the Lizard King." I said, grandiosely.
“You take that seriously?”
“It’s my job.”
“So, are you making a pass at me because you’re attracted to me? Or because you think Morrison would act this way? Or because you think I’m vulnerable?”
“Does it matter?”
"I met him once you know." She said, pushing me away from her as she moved on to the next room.
"Yeah, my dad's band opened for The Doors once."
"Yeah, it was during one of the times when my mother felt like my father should be spending more time with me, so..."
"How were they?" I asked.
"OK, I guess. I really don't have a good reference point. When Dad opened for The Doors, I was backstage for a few shows. Usually just long enough to see him play and then back to the motel. I really didn't get to see that much."
"What was he like?" I asked.
"Morrison? I don't know. Cool, I guess. I was only about nine or ten, we were backstage and I scratched his head and did a little curtsy, it was filmed, I’m sure you’ve seen the film. It was all pretty innocuous." We walked a few steps more, "so, let's talk about you. It must be pretty interesting to be in a band, what else have you done?"
"A lot of things. I'm just tryin' this music thing out to see if it leads anywhere." I said, staring at her intensely.
"Be careful, you just may get what you want. Just ask my father," she smiled, "just ask me."
"What's it like growing up with a father who's a legend?" I asked.
“I don’t look back much.”
“I guess that’s easy when you’re successful, and have what you want.”
"OK. Do you want the full length version, or the cheery, everything is roses version I use for magazine writers and fans of my father's?"
"Whichever is true."
"Basically, I paid for my father's Rock 'n' Roll dreams. I was conceived on tour, I was born on tour, and I think my parents even managed to stay together through that tour. Whenever my mother thought I needed a father figure she'd ship me off to be with him. I guess I did need a father figure, I ran away with a boyfriend who was nineteen."
"When you're sixteen, nineteen seems a lot older. They seem, uh, cool, together, like an adult. He had this vague idea to go to L.A., we'd get jobs in a restaurant, and be discovered. I was this romantic sixteen year old, so we ran away. I thought we'd be together and be a famous couple. I thought someone would recognize me or find out I was Jerry Osprey's daughter and wouldn't allow me to live on the streets, but my father's career was well past its height, and no one cared if Jerry Osprey's daughter lived on the street." She smiled, it looked more nostalgic than wistful. "I got a lot of living done, waitressing, moving from city to city. We were living on Hollywood Boulevard, and..."
"You lived on Hollywood Boulevard?"
"I mean ON IT. Sleeping in the doorways of closed shops when we couldn't scrape together enough money for a crappy motel room. I finally realized he was more confused and screwed up than I was, so I called my mother and went home. My friends tell me I should write a book or an album, but..." She stopped and looked into my eyes. "I don't know why I'm telling you all this."
"People tell me all kinds of things. You'd be surprised." I said. "But what about now?”
“You get along well with him now, right?" She looked at me quizzically, "your father, I mean."
"Yeah, OK. He usually calls whenever he's in town." She looked at me out of the corner of her eye and smiled a little, "I don't understand why people would think my life is more interesting to them than theirs. Is that all you're interested in, my father?"
"No, uhhh…" I stammered.
"Don’t worry about it, I’m used to it. One of the reasons I fell in love with that nineteen year old, he was the first guy I met that was interested in me and not my Dad. He told me I was beautiful, and for as big a screw up as he was, he only wanted me. Some of the guys I've meet, I've felt like I'm a collectible to them."
"A collectible?"
"Yeah, just another thing to add to their Jerry Osprey collection, like the authorized guitar, the special edition album, The daughter, wrapped in plastic and put on the shelf, the ultimate collectible.” She looked uncomfortable and paused, “why don't you tell me about your dark history with your parents."
"What makes you think I have a dark history with them?"
"I don't know," she said, "you just look it."
"I don't know." I said, trying to decide if I could trust her.
"OK then, why're you so into Morrison?"
"I just always identified with him I guess."
"Well, my father was military too, like Morrison's. We traveled around a lot until I was in high school."
"Well, that's you and several million other people." Then she paused. "Could it be you don’t want to tell me because you just think Jimmy was a really cool guy? Conqueror of women, befriender of men and animal, the mystical shaman?"
"I guess Morrison fit my mood when I read about him. He showed me a way to get what I wanted."
"What do you want?"
“I just want, well,” I struggled to put it into words, “I want to know what he knew. He seemed like he understood a lot of things, a lot of the mysteries of life. I'm just trying to find out what that was."
"The meaning of life?"
"I never looked at it that way, but, yeah, I guess you could say that."
"All you may ever figure out is the meaning of his life," she paused, "what if it means nothing to you?"
"Then I've discovered something."
"Is that why you started the band?"
"Let's just say I heard the voices of the gods calling me." Which I thought was one of my better lines. She was unfazed.
"So, what it comes down to is, you find me interesting not because I'm Jerry Osprey's daughter, but because I once met Jim Morrison. God! That's a new one!" She laughed. "Hmmm, what can I tell you about Morrison?" She said, "nothing really. I met the man for perhaps ten or fifteen minutes which is forever imprisoned in time, captured on film. I never knew the man, but it seems to me he had a lot of problems, and delving into him might invoke those demons, or awaken your own."
"How do you know it hasn't, I'm dangerous." I said, leaning in for a kiss.
"Why do all men like to think they're dark and dangerous?" She asked, "what can I do for you, Michael?"
"What can you do for one's ever asked me that before."
"You made such a production out of letting me know you wanted to be alone with me." I looked like I didn't know what she was talking about. "Maybe we should go listen to your band's demo tape?"
"It's not my tape." I said.
"You realize I'm not going to sleep with you, don't you?"
"That's all I have time for, sex, nothing else." She didn't look amused.
"Yeah, right." She said, laughing as she pushed me away, again. "If you tried to see Morrison as a whole person instead of a hero, well, it doesn’t matter, what you reflect of him probably reveals some aspect of you, more than of him." She looked into my eyes one last time, "are you sure there's still a you in there?"

(The Last Stage is available on Kindle, Nook Books, or if you would like a signed copy of The Last Stage they're available from my website (only $20!) at Jymsbooks via Paypal (, please don't forget your mailing address!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Saga of Jimmy Stark Pt 1

Merri Caldwell, the Hollywood Today! reporter, was sitting across from Sandra Wright the actress who had played Jimmy Stark's mother on Family Muse. They were in a living room of what looked like a mansion. In the background was a huge window with sunlight diffusing through the curtains, both sitting in highly polished expensive looking wood chairs, perhaps cherry or mahogany. Merri and Sandra were across from each other in the classic interviewer/interviewee pose. Sandra still looked attractive in her mid to late fifties.
"Good to see you again." Merri said.
"Good to see you, Merri."
"What was it like working with Jimmy Stark?"
"Well, I only worked with Jimmy for the run of the series, he was eight when it started and thirteen when it ended. He was very bright and had a great instinct for acting for such a young person." Sandra Wright spoke in the clipped tones, and formal enunciation regarded as a sign of erudition and breeding by the elocution coaches of the old studio system.
"What kind of instinct?" Merri asked.
"Even when he was young he just knew how to act, how to make a scene work."
"He did?"
"He was a very observant young man. I sometimes watched him watching everybody else. If he saw an emotion he could replicate it again and again, and I don't mean he was merely imitating people. I don't know how he did it, but there was more depth to it than that."
"How did the success of the show affect you?"
"Me? Well," she paused dramatically for the effect, "I got more money...eventually." She forced a laugh, "it really changed more for Jimmy, than me. The producers really didn't foresee how Jimmy would click with the public, but when they did, they worked that poor boy to a frazzle."
"There have been rumors you dated Jimmy while the show was on the air."
"That's really a popular myth. First, he was very young when the show aired. Secondly, his mother was always there during filming. I did date Jimmy about five years after the show ended, when he was eighteen and I was in my late thirties."
"How did it go?"
"We discovered our relationship was more of a mother-child relationship than either of us was willing to admit."
"Do you know what Jimmy's doing these days?" Merri asked.
"I heard he was living on the streets, but there's a lot of rumors that surround Jimmy. I've read he's a cop, he was killed in the Navy, that he became a Buddhist monk. I guess anything is possible with Jimmy."

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Chapter 31: Caitlin