YOU REALLY GREW UP OVERTOP A RESTAURANT IN BETWEEN A CABSTAND AND A DIME STORE?
True. 30-feet from a movie theater, stones throw from the amusement park and pavilion.
Didnt seem weird at the time. Neither did living next to a permanent poker game, or falling asleep to carousel music, the smell of cotton candy, and the electric taste of bumper cars. Disney World had nuthin on me. This was paradise.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRITING?
My ole man and his crusty cronies were juicy storytellers. It hit me low and hard when they started dying off or losing their memories. I wanted to pay my respects to the salty characters who shaped my wide-open youth. Also wanted to pay homage to their flared-nostrils style of story-telling. So I chiseled their names in tiny little headstones of typeset.
That was my way of saying thanks for the memories. Many of these characters had no families, no legacy... so their name in a sentence or paragraph in my book is the only evidence they existed.
WERE PEOPLE MORE INTERESTING IN THE 40s, 50s, 60s OR DID IT JUST SEEM THAT WAY?
Wadnt no big deal to be outrageous back in those days. Most people didnt give a damn what people thought. They werent eaten up with bullshit affectations. They ate what they wanted, wore what they had, said what they thought.
People today try too hard to be cool. Back then you were or you werent.
THIS IS A HUGE BOOK, 590 PAGES, 85 PHOTOS. EVERYONE THINKS YOU'VE BEEN WRITING ALL YOUR LIFE.
Im cursed with one of those-cant-forget-anything- memories. I wrote on and off for about five years. Someone would walk into the restaurant and wed start reminiscing. Id hear an old name, old song, see an old building and conjure up a forgotten face. Id scribble a note to myself, go home after work and rip off a few pages. Sometimes I sit around listening to old boogie songs and faces and places pour out of the little dusty cubby holes of my memory.
DO YOU WRITE FULLTIME?
ANY OTHER PROJECTS IN THE MILL?
Nah, Im still bussing tables at Cagneys or The Flamingo Grill. I write to amuse myself, amuse others or focus on the details of a juicy memory. I am working on two other books at the moment.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK?
A big ole smile, maybe a tear or two.
MANY READERS HAVE SAID THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT MOVIE. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT ADAPTING IT INTO A SCREENPLAY.
In between bussing tables, Ive finished a script and am working on two others based on the book. Its a journey. Who knows?