Updated: May 15, 2018
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” —Mark Twain.
I suppose every writer has a story about their first recollection of their desire to be a writer. I can't say I was four years or forty years of age. I do recall however, when I first discovered that my writing made people happy. This was not an easy task as the targeted audience worked in a profession that was genetically predisposed to make you depressed on a daily basis. They were cops!
My literary journey began as a result of another artistic attempt and failure. I always had the ability to make people laugh from the age of six. My uncle owned a club in Los Angeles. He told my mom if he took me back as an opening act, I would make him rich. Of course being her only boy, my mom declined. My comedic journey continued through school where I won the title hands down of "class clown" every year. This didn't make my mom happy as she had to take off from work occasionally because of my unscripted vaudeville act.
I later discovered in that humor and the military was not a good mix. Needless to say my military experience was less than fun. While waiting to go to our advanced training unit, a captain gave us soldiers busy work. It was clearing a field of rocks. A major passed by and asking me what were we doing. I looked at him and said, "What does it look like we're doing. We're have a f@#$king rock concert!"
My company was not happy with the resulting of 2 hours of push ups in 100 degree weather.
One day a friend of mine was throwing a birthday party at a club in The Bronx, New York. This was around 1985. He asked me to do a stand up act for his party after he had seen me do an impromptu act on a chartered bus trip to Atlantic City.
The admission for the party was $10. This was a hefty price because at that time, better clubs were charging only $5 for admission. When I entered the bouncer asked for the money. I informed him I was the guest act. He admitted me, and the bartender, who overheard the conversation, gave me a free drink on the house.
The party was going strong when they cut the music and introduced me. I went into my act and the first three jokes I got a roaring response. The next joke I heard a couple of boos. When I let the 5th joke go I heard, "You stink!". Then I did a no no in stand up comedy. I started fighting with the hecklers. The DJ turned on the music to drown me out.
The MC took pity on me and stopped the noise and put his arms around me and said the kindest words. He said, "I don't know about you people but I was laughing my ass off in the back. You're booing him today, but you'll be paying to see him tomorrow."
As I walked away a patron stopped me and gave me some advice. He told me he frequented a lot of comedy clubs. He told me I had good material but I had a poor delivery. He suggested that I take up political speaking courses.
The final insult came when I was about to leave and the bartender leaned over and said, "Hey, you know you're going to have to pay for that drink...just kidding". I drove home devastated.
Then a few years later, something comical had happened on the job, and I decided to write a little newsletter about it. Somehow the newsletter got out and every Chief and Inspector wanted a copy of it. So it became a weekly newsletter and everyone loved it.
That was when I had my epiphany. That's when I embraced the magic of the pen and the creativity of my mind.
Life happened, as it usually does, and that moment was placed on a shelf for over two decades. But when I returned to the pen, I discovered the passion had not left. It was only in a dormant state waiting to be awakened.
It has now been unleashed!
"Throwing Stones at a Glass House"