Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finding Flipper Frank by Patrick M. Garry Shares Memorable Drama of Three Strangers... Just Out!

"I'm sorry, are you a friend of my uncle's?"
"Are you joking? Of course I am. We met at the Oakdale Easter dinner. Oh, but maybe I was introduced to you under the name by which my more familiar acquaintances address me: Izzy, Izzy Dunleavey. Does that refresh your memory?
Walt had never know his last name, but there was only Izzy. He was the aristocrat of Oakdale. Though Izzy had not been a companion or card-playing partner of his uncle, Walt recognized him every time he saw him. Not a day went by that Izzy Dunleavy did not wear a tie. He might wear only a vest  without the suit jacket. But he was never without a tie...


Walter, this is Isadore Dunleavy," the authoritative sounding voice announced. 
Walt had fallen asleep on the couch, and his mind was still foggy when he answered the telephone. He thought it would be the funeral home people' He had spent all evening making funeral and burial plans with them. But he had no idea who Isadore Dunleavey was. 
After waiting a few seconds for Walt to speak, the voice continued, though a bit more impatient in its tone. 
"You are Henry Honerman's nephew, aren't you? Have I been given the correct number?
 Yes, yes I am."
"I have proposition to discuss with you. I understand you're leaving soon for Baltimore?
..."I do hope I'm not being premature in my call, but I heard that you're leaving for Baltimore, and I'd like to visit my old home in Crawfish Bay, Marland. It's not far from Baltimore, and I'd like to arrange passage with you."
"Well, actually, Mr. Dunleavey..."
"Please, call me Izzy. as long as we'll be traveling companions, we might as well dispense with formalities...

Walt could see, in Moira's eyes, that she was trying to treat the trip as some momentous event, just as his uncle had treated it. But her effort only made Walt blush. Going to a baseball game seemed like such a trivial adolescent endeavor--and he was embarrassed that she might be thinking him superficial enough to take such an endeavor seriously."Well, it's kind of up in the air right now."
"Oh?" Moira said, her head tilting in a quizzical  posture. "Is it because of the long drive? Are you looking for somebody to travel with? she asked..."Because if you're looking looking for someone to ride with you, I'd sure like to go. I live in Baltimore and I'm ready to go home. So I could keep you company. And, of course, I'd share the expenses..."

Finding Flipper Frank
By Patrick M. Garry

I have come to really look forward to novels that includes groups of strangers going on trips. Maybe because I'd like to try it!  Having read quite a few by now, I've realized, no matter the content, my emotions are always immediately involved and holding throughout the entire book. 

In this latest book just out by Patrick Garry, author of Saving Faith which I also very much enjoyed and other novels, I began smiling and crying early as Walt Honerman, who had just lost his last relative, his favorite uncle and friend, opens the book. He had been in a rest home for the last period of his life and Walt had faithfully come to visit and had become close with all the other residents.

At his funeral and afterward, Walt began to receive comments about how much his being involved there had meant to all of the residents. But he was really shocked that his uncle had talked so much about him and their early life and even that he'd been trying to get Walt to go to a ball game where they thought Cal Ripken would be making a new record... Walt really had never planned to go on the trip--he had just shared the dream with his uncle as he had grown worse. But now that he had two requests for rides--actually, he was a little concerned about spending a lot of time with Izzy--but he acknowledged to himself that he wouldn't mind getting to know Moira better. And so, Walt decided to just go ahead since he already had vacation scheduled...

Izzy was known to have some problems with memory, but Walt didn't know exactly what the issue was. What he did know and what he found out even more when Izzy climbed into his two-door car was that there were probably going to be problems. For instance, the residents of the rest home had made baked goods for them to eat while they traveled. but they had to go into the small back seat with Izzy who quickly complained. Moira quickly became the peacemaker and took all of the packages and placed them all around her feet. 

But when Moira then  wanted to open the window, she got the complaint that Izzy couldn't breathe with so much wind... Of course, she wasn't too happy when they finally negotiated for her to have the window down about an inch... And so the trip began... Waltz and Moira began to share more and more, especially Walt who had a secret past that had prevented him from approaching her in the way he really wanted to...But Moira got him passed those thoughts...LOL

One of the interesting stories Izzy had told anybody who would listen was that he had once owned a famous resort there in Crawfish Bay, Maryland and even had Danny Caron there when he was just starting out and started humming "Guiness and Gumbo...." Later they met a woman with whom he'd told the same story, and had come to the Bay because she'd been offered a job!

The trip to Maryland was fun to read and we learn more about the characters. But when they reach The Bay and started looking for his old partner, they not only quickly learned quite a different story, but that Izzy was wanted for stealing money from his partner! He was immediately put in jail! One more thing I'll share is that his partner finally went to see him in jail and they made up, even though the charges couldn't automatically be dropped. Now's the time to ensure you have kleenex handy... cause you're going to need them big-time. I'll not go further but the way I've added to the story does give hints if you have background knowledge...
Patrick Garry has such a wonderful story telling voice. He takes subjects that are important issues in many of our own lives, then he imagines the things that might have happened to those lives which would affect what type of individual they will become... And somehow, when you hear the story you can even picture, as I did, what those people would be like to see, hear and embrace as another human with whom we might possibly be friends. Of course, Walter and Moira would have been the main characters, but Izzy?

You wouldn't have had a story if Izzy had not been the third individual in this human triangle. I would have liked to meet Izzy and be that woman with whom he spent a few hours with that one night... As I find myself having memory lapses and can remember the very first one, when I was still working and in a meeting, my mind went blank. I was scared that time, but since then, you just become sad...sad that human bodies begin to deteriorate and sometimes we don't even realize it. Izzy didn't, but once in a while he would stop in the middle of a sentence and just stare, maybe deciding to go to sleep or just to cover that he had no idea what he had been talking about... It is important for younger people to realize what may happen and to be prepared to be ready to help such individuals. Izzy forgot that one night... Don't let a friend of yours not have help if and when that might happen.

Thank you Patrick, for this funny, heartwarming yet heartbreaking story. Not only is it a memorable drama of the human condition, but one that will strike different ways to the many readers you will undoubtedly have for this wonderful book! Highly recommended!


Patrick Garry is a law professor with a Ph.D. in Constitutional History. He has written twelve books in the areas of law, history, politics and religion. Those books have received numerous awards and have been featured in hundreds of media interviews, academic conferences, and book reviews. His general audience books have alone been the subject of dozens of radio and television news programs.

In addition to his works of nonfiction, he has also published eight highly acclaimed books of fiction. Garry’s novels have not only been reviewed by scores of professional book reviewers, but they have also been given twenty-one different literary awards.

As his writings have grown in prominence and popularity, Garry has become a frequently invited speaker nationwide. He has been invited to speak at 120 law schools and universities across the country, and many of those on more than one occasion. He has been interviewed by numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has appeared on more than 80 television and radio programs. These media interviews focus not only on his books, but also on his social commentary, which has appeared in numerous newspapers and internet news sites.

Professor Garry was recently asked to discuss and analyze the arguments presented in the case of Wood v. Moss. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in this case on March 26, 2014. The podcast, in which Professor Garry provides commentary on those arguments, can be accessed at Wood v. Moss – Post-Argument SCOTUScast.

I took a little license and added music that is not in the book, but the star started in the same location... Also, stars of Love Story and Odd Couple were who came to mind as I read the characters...Hope you remember those stories as I do!

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