Friday, October 11, 2013

Jack Savage Shares His Memories With Readers in Latest Book!

"I have memories that go way back about movies I saw at the theater when I was a kid. I also seem to remember that I went to these movies by myself, and was trying to figure out life, in particular the lives that adults were living, through the movies. Anyway, there was this one film in black and white, and it was kind of funny. It was also a love story and had to do with a beautiful young girl who hadn't been around for quite a while and then had returned all grown up...
but it didn't matter--I got it and I loved the ending..."

The High Sky of Winter's Shadows
By W. Jack Savage

This is the fourth book I've read by Jack Savage--Will it be his last? You know, when a writer decides to write his autobiography, that is sometimes when he is ready to put up his...pen, or computer... But I'm not placing any bets on it, even if I were a betting person, which I'm not... You see his autobiography is made up of short clips from his life--from which he's learned something, or enjoyed a moment, or maybe even was irritated by an organization! Now, tell me, does that sound like an autobiography?

But one thing is positive, I believe, you must be Jack's age, and mine, to have learned some of the things he shares... And he openly admits that he is quite different from the risk-taking man he once was... Young readers could certainly learn from this short book, but is it possible to use something in another's life to help with your own? I think so. In fact, I read many self-help books when I was young and, in many ways, this book is more self-help than autobiographic. But I did learn much about the author's opinions.

In fact, the man who wrote this latest book... He and I could be friends... He's a talker; I'm a great listener (and reader!). I tend to recognize that I choose to remember what I want and calmly forget about anything else. He wonders why he doesn't remember actually walking back and forth to grade school..."Come on Jack", I would say, having heard (or read) him say that. Then I would respond, "What difference does that make?" I figure the reason why he wrote that short skit was to get somebody to respond to him... Sooo, I'll be doing that for you Jack! LOL

Jack even wrote one for me about a subject that concerned me... As an aside, there are a number of articles about athletics, games, etc., but the one about an individual who was convicted of sexual abuse at a major higher education institution showed me that even if a fan of sports, this writer also felt there was no way to justify what happened! Thanks Jack for being willing to speak out about this sensitive topic in your book...

It is always harder to review a book with multiple topics, short stories, in essence. I normally choose my most favorite topics and spotlight them, even though I realize that others will find the articles, such as on sports, of greater interest. Thing was, though, I was tagging just too many stories to comment on! For instance, Jack explained his book title in his Foreword. I appreciated that! Too many titles that come to me may mean something to the writer, but if you don't share it, the reader is wondering throughout the book--what does it mean???

Then he started talking about the Kennedy's
"There's clearly a pattern here: crime can't be seen to pay."
assassination, as sooooo many people still are doing! Was that when we started not to trust???

"Not everything needs to be questioned. But I see sequential, three-act storylines happening all the time that I could write as fiction and accurately predict the outcome. For those in my generation, after John Kennedy was assassinated, came the quick arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald. Two days later Oswalk was murdered on national television by this night club owner, Jack Ruby... Once the shock of the whole thing went away, everybody smelled a rat..."

Readers, I think, will enjoy all of the stories about his life in radio, acting, etc. admitting that, for instance, "Fast Eddie Felson" in The Hustler was one of his role models...

"I remember one of my first role models or guys I wanted to grow up to be like, was Pete Dawkins, the last Heisman Trophy winner from West Point, and a Rhodes Scholar. Not long after that, I wanted to be like pool shart Fast Eddie Felson in the movie The Hustler. I saw no real conflict between the two, because as much as I admired the accomplishments of Pete Dawkins, I'd have probably traded them for Paul Newman's looks without hesitation..."

And then there are the one-liners, or zingers, that were thrown in to end a story, like, "If you're really going somewhere, you'll need to know who is full of shit and who is not." It's interesting how some people can throw out a lot of knowledge in such a finale...don't you think?

"I was in love with a girl once. I knew nothing would ever come of it but I liked the feeling anyway--to love from afar. Women like that do exist and I lived as if my life was a movie, so I knew how to act and how to feel...I felt like James Stewart following Kim Novak around in Hitchcock's Vertigo..."

Ok, I'm never going to write anything like an autobiography, so I might as well take this opportunity to share that my role model was none other than Kim Novak...wonder why... Oh well, I never met Jimmy Stewart though my first boyfriend was named Jimmy Stevenson, does that count...of course, that's when I was in 1st grade...LOL... Sorry Jack, but it's your memories that are creating my flashbacks!

And that's one of the reasons that people like to read about others, isn't it? We get a vicarious thrill when we find that other's thoughts are similar to ours and/or exactly opposite, so that we have a reaction--a need to connect with that person and discuss those topics with him or her...

Even frustration feels better if you're hearing it from another...Such as when Jack applied for Medicare online. Failed. Tried their automated telephone system... and then the punch line! "They want you to have a stroke and die during the process. I'm not kidding. If you die during the process but nowhere near completing it, they're off the hook..." Oh, my, did I enjoy this one!

And then there was our mutual love of the Globetrotters... And his willingness to share about Vietnam...

Of course you realize that I haven't even touched on so many of Jack's stories! But that's all right because if you have an interest in the era in which the mentioned events took place, then I think you will find that this writer has given readers a stimulating and inspiring look at his own life and the times in which he has lived. Some are funny, some are sad--some you'll agree with and some you won't. But you will have had the opportunity to read another's personal opinion about many of the "great times and events" during the past 50 years or so... Jack I loved this one! Tell your family to hold on to copies, because they are going to cherish this book some day in the future!


W.Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster, artist and educator. He is Vietnam Veteran and graduate of The University of Minnesota, Mankato and received his Master's Degree from California State University, Los Angeles. Jack has now authored six books: three novels, two short story collections and the autobiographical The High Sky of Winter's Shadows. To date, thirty-eight of Jack's short stories have been published in various online and print magazines. This includes all of them from his two short story collections, Bumping and Other Stories and The Petorik Thesis and Tales of the Global West. He has also designed the covers of his books using his original art work. These include his three novels: More With Cal and Uncle Bill, State Champions and The Children Shall Be Blameless. Jack's art has been featured in numerous publications as well. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, California.

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