Before my memoir was written and prior to my 90th birthday, acquaintances and friends would come in and out of my life, and I treated it with indifference. We were like ships passing one another in the darkness of the night. In most cases, I never met or talked to them ever again. There were Tom Lasorda and Sparky Anderson, to name a few baseball legends. There were many others, and not just baseball. I also crossed paths with tennis celebrities and many other wonderful people. I just dismissed the experience of having close and warm friendships. It was an unconscious decision.
How I wish I could change that. It would have been gratifying to stay friends with some of those athletes that I spent so much time with in those days. I got along great with my teammates and coaches, so I had plenty of friends in whatever setting I was in. And then I moved on without exchanging phone numbers or addresses.
None of this was clear to me then but writing the book and living until the ripe age of 90 has made me morph into someone who is more mellow, more considerate, more passionate, more genuine, more sincere, more caring, and more emotionally connected to my fellow men and women. I don’t take relationships lightly any more. I relish and dwell on the many friendships I have. How, exactly, did this change, you might ask.
Some people may think, mistakenly, that I didn’t write Ol’ Buddy Marty myself, but I did, and the format remains the same. Ann LoPrinzi typed it, gave it a structure and offered valuable feedback. Then, at Ann’s recommendation, I brought in Cathy Kreyche, a professional editor, to see what the book needed to bring it home. She began a series of interviews with me to bring out stories to support what was already there, and grilled me on what I was feeling at the time. These exercises of examining myself and reflection just made me more aware and understanding of the hows and whys of my life. I realize now that I could have been categorized as ‘cold.’
Those of you who responded to my book are the catalyst to my feelings. Your beautiful responses could make a bald eagle cry. I’m the bald eagle. (Bald eagles don’t cry) Also, your feedback made me realize the numerous goals I met from writing about my life. They were:
– Making people (and myself) aware of the values I incorporated into my life.
– Using my typical raw language so you can feel who I am.
– Hearing your comments that the book has motivational and educational qualities, that baring my soul took courage and vulnerability, that it was compelling, that it was genuine and unusual, that it flows, that they can relate to it, and so many more interesting comments.
You can’t imagine how gratifying your feedback and comments have been to me. It’s like drinking Molson Golden ale and shandies – one reward after another, all day long. My head is spinning with joy and dizziness.
Thank you all again and thanks to Mary Ellen, without whom this all would not be possible.
***** Note that our official book launch will be held Wednesday, May 17, 5:00-7:00 pm, at Mercer County Tennis Center in Mercer County Park, in the Hall of Fame building. It will be a fun celebratory get together with light refreshments. I’ll sign any books bought that night. Also, if anyone bought a book that they would like signed, bring it along and I’ll do that too. Also, if anyone read the book and would like to recommend it, please share your thoughts by leaving a review on Amazon
***** I will also be in attendance at the NJTL’s Raise a Racquet for the Capital Cup on Sunday, May 21, starting at 3 pm at Trenton Country Club. For every book sold at that event, I will donate $5 to the NJTL (National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton), a wonderful organization that works with Trenton-area youth on tennis and education and mentoring and more. Note that attending this event requires a paid ticket – info can be found on https://www.njtloftrenton.org/2023-raise-a-racquet