Monday, September 22, 2014

Alan Johnson 50 years of Hospitality

Alan Johnson
Celebrating 50 years of Hospitality
                        A Toast

We had a wonderful lunch at the Palm on Santa Monica Boulevard to get together with favorite friends, and not a few celebrities, to congratulate Alan Johnson on his many years of excellent hospitality, a fifty year  milestone. Citations were given out from the City of West Hollywood in which Alan owns and runs the Ramada Hotel.  The affair at the Palm may be their last, for they are closing and moving to Beverly Hills.

Fifty years have gone in a flash,
A blazing name that’s well earned,
We can see where the flames have licked and scorched
And remember how brightly they burned.

The glow of his spirit still warms us
Like the breath of a wild bushfire,
And we bask in the glow standing here in a row
Of an Aussie whom we all admire.
So don’t be shy, “lift up your glasses”,
They’re full on some other bloke’s shout,
Give a cheer like thunder, to a mate from Down Under
’Cause that is what this is about.        

                Neil Stewart McLeod - September 22, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Upon Reflection - A poem

At a dance rehearsal when my daughter was very young I caught her during a short break, and the picture is priceless. She was a student at Miss Lisa Sutton's Burbank School of the Ballet.

Upon Reflection

It was the luck of the moment
She sat by the wall ’neath the bar,
Her legs to the side on the varnished floor
And her tired gaze looking afar.

A lacy dress fluffed up around her,
Hands resting down on her shins,
Those light ballet shoes her dancers pride
Supple and tight and thin.

With one click the camera caught her,
That’s how the image was gained,
It hangs on the wall as a memory
Simple but beautifully framed.

I reflect on the reflection,
How rapidly times flies away,
My daughter is grown, with a life of her own
But the photograph brings back the day.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Silver Tracks and Running Roses

It is a great day!  Today "Silver Tracks and Running Roses" went to press and became available on Amazon.

About three months ago in June, a lady confided to me that she had long wanted to publish her own manuscript, but had been unable to find any takers.  After my own experience using Create Space, the publishing arm of Amazon, I immediately said "Well why don't you just publish it yourself. Send me the manuscript and let me show you how I would do it."

Not long after the file for the galley was on my computer, I printed it out and started to read.  I could not put the manuscript down, and neither will you.  The lady is Thelma Edwards, and together we her daughter, Anne Talltree, we conspired to put this book on the shelves for all.  It is an absolutely stunning biography about Thelma's childhood in Goose Creek, Texas, in the 1920's.

The is clearly an American treasure, and I had the privilege of designing and editing it.  This book tells a special tale in a unique voice.  The imagery is bright and riveting as the author captures her priceless memories of another time and place for her family and the whole country.  Generations will long return to this fine example of classic American literature for inspiration and understanding.

So now I share it with you.

On the day the proofs arrived I was invited over to be with Thelma when the box from Amazon was opened.  We watched the dream come true.  Please buy a copy, tell your friends, and when you have write a review on Amazon.
Neil with Thelma Edwards on the Day her book arrived.
"From her unique perspective, Thelma Felton Edwards, tells the story of James Felton and his children as their lives unfold across Louisiana and Texas, ultimately settling in the Oak Addition of Goose Creek, Texas during the late 1920s and 1930s. By turns tragic, harsh, hilarious and beautiful, we get an unsparing view of a rich and distinctively American experience."