A young Texas woman tells of falling into addiction in South Florida.
When Rose left Tombstone, Texas, on a bus in the mid-1980s, she says, she was fleeing a childhood marked by parental violence and her own early flirtations with substance abuse. Her destination was Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a place that sounded like paradise to her: “I drifted off to sleep thinking about the beautiful, blue ocean I would soon swim in.” After working for a while as a waitress, she trained as a technician on an assembly line at a Boca Raton personal-computer company.At 20, she was proud to be the only woman on the line, and she soon rose through the company’s ranks. Around the same time, she began a relationship with a man named Jared who introduced her to cocaine; her resulting addiction destroyed her promising career and led her to sex work and a crack cocaine habit. Did she have in it her to leave her new demons behind? Rose writes in a conversational prose style that gives readers a darkly authentic view of her hard everyday life in the 1980s and ’90s: “This was my first real exchange of sex for money, and just for a second, I almost felt bad enough to never do it again, but at that moment, the cravings overcame the morals, and I had the money to get high. I went straight to the nearest street dealer I could spot.” Rose also shows how she found strength in her Christian faith, which she references throughout her remembrance, although the book’s purpose isn’t explicitly religious. Readers will be struck by the author’s accounts of deep suffering and horrible luck, which contrast starkly with brief moments of optimism and self-sufficiency. Her ultimate successful recovery makes this memoir an affecting portrait of humble resilience.
A bleak, plainly told, but admirable recovery memoir.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)