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Saturday, December 6, 2008

A note about the photo and "Abe the Newsboy"

The photo, which appeared out of nowhere yesterday, is not really me, but a caricature of a typical Western redneck, maybe, that somebody cut out of a piece of metal and looks a little like one or more of my relatives as they advance in age. Or maybe it could be Mortimer Snerd. I hope they don't take offense. The hat seems to be oversized, more like 15- or 20-gallon size or larger than the usual 10-gal.

If I posted my actual photo in a similar pose, it may appear too much like that, at least to some, but others have said that I am a handsome dude. Of course, I believe the latter.

Here's another book that's on my bookshelf, "Abe the Newsboy, Hero of a Thousand Fights With U. S. Navy," by Abe Hollandersky, originally published in 1930, but this edition is 1943. Abe was quite a character. I think he made his money by selling these books to the Navy recruits. They let him on base to do this, and he would talk to all the incoming recruits after a couple of weeks of indoctrination and organizing into companies, and he would corner two or three and wouldn't stop talking until you forked over some money for a book, usually $3, $4, or $5 bucks, whatever he could worm out of you.

Like he said, he was a hero of a thousand fights and he fought anybody he could. He knew all the Presidents from Teddy "Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick" Roosevelt to Franklin D., and collected their autographs and pictures. His best friends were Navy, and he sold his newspapers on the ships from the "19 oughts through the 1950's." He worshipped anyone and everyone in the Navy, and he would fight volunteers, usually the toughest and biggest of the crew, for entertainment of the crew. No matter that he was only a welterweight, limit 149 lbs., he would take on the biggest heavyweights and do it for entertainment for the sailors, although he was the Welterweight Champion of Panama and South America. He was noted by Ripley's "Believe it or Not", was in the movies, and fought bouts all over the world.

A character not to be forgotten, and he wasn't afraid to tell everybody about it, talking a mile a minute. A more patriotic person there never was. Oh yes, he never served in the Navy, being rejected for bad eyesight.

The book is his autobiography, and I ran across this autographed copy a few years ago in a bookshop in a small town in Arizona, and had to read it. Very entertaining.

I finished the Western I've been working on, just have to pepare a query letter and synopsis and then I can ship it off. In fact I have two books waiting for the same thing, they've both been rejected once, but I'll give them another chance. One rejection is not enough to throw in the towel, especialy after reworking them.

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