A Light Touch of Self-Promotion
Having, thankfully, been “unpublished” by Amazon KDP the Memoirs have been returned to their own category and to the Main Site.
I offer below an outline of the work. Following that, by way of further information for the curious, is a brief personal literary C.V. and partial credit list.
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Notes of a Footnote
In essence this is a story of growing up in Greenwich Village during the two decades following World War II. The salient theme of the memoir is one individual’s experience of the contrast between the bohemian Greenwich Village – Maxwell Bodenheim’s “Coney Island of the soul” – that permeates America’s literary legends and artistic mythologies, and the specific, ethnically-defined, predominantly Irish and Italian working class “neighbourhood” culture that in those days coexisted uneasily on the same streets.
As the child of immigrant-stock Irish-Americans who in one and two generations respectively moved from their pre- and post-Great Hunger peasant antecedents into a strata of the American urban middle-class marked by high cultural interests and radical progressive politics, and who yet gravitated to the street life of a neighbourhood kid, I had a particular perspective on these differing and often conflicting aspects of the locale in which I was – in the old Irish phrase – bred and buttered.
The work is organized as follows:
Part One – Little Red in Spaldeen City
Chapter 1. Down Around B’toon – Examines with both a child’s and a local historian’s eye the West Village waterfront area surrounding Bethune Street where I lived during my early years: how it was then and how it has changed since.
Chapter 2. Anne & Joe – An account of my parents’ differing Chicago-Irish-Catholic backgrounds; The voracious reader and avid theatre-goer Anne’s working life, beginning in the Chicago public library through 20 years as indexing librarian at Newsweek magazine; Joe’s career as journalist, union organizer, radio scriptwriter, short story writer, critic, dramatist and his sixteen years as an Associate Editor at Sports Illustrated magazine; their marriage, eleven year separation – due mainly to Joe’s alcoholism – his recovery and their ultimate renewal of mutual housekeeping.
Chapter 3. Dropout – Sketches a hatred of school from nursery through ten years attending the “progressive” Little Red Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin High School on to a final stretch in the semi-Blackboard Jungle setting of New York’s public High School of Commerce and culminating in the realization that school was seriously interfering with my education.
Chapter 4. Spaldeen City – A detailed study and social examination of New York City street games; their functions as a connecting cartilage of juvenile life; as windows into the higher levels of college and professional sport; and their lasting influence on the later work of a sports historian.
Chapter 5. The Nabes – Recollections of the dozen-plus movie theatres – ranging from seedy third-run “grind” houses to plush RKO and Loew’s chain palaces – that were frequented while growing up; the films seen in them and their effects, both on a brief career as a child actor and developing ideals of femininity, all dovetailing with later professional experiences as a scriptwriter for film, television and radio.
Part Two – South with the Italians & Other Stops
Chapter 6. Dirty Waters – The nickname of a Bleeker Street soda fountain hangout that became neutral ground following the last great Irish/Italian war across Seventh Avenue in 1953 and was the first staging post on a social journey from my original, largely Irish neighbourhood bordering the Hudson River to the mainly Italian South Village, where there were more and prettier girls; more and better basketball; new and colourful friends and the ubiquitous shadow of fear, fascination and loathing cast by the mafia types.
Chapter 7. Shopping For Clothes – A 1950s lower Manhattan Sartor Resartus detailing the transition under Italian influence of a notably scruffy kid into an acknowledged dandy’s dandy, examining the dramatically differing style cultures of the period and the stores and tailors that catered for them.
Chapter 8. The Nights (& Days) on Broadway – Stories of Midtown working life in film production companies and photographic laboratories primarily servicing a morally dubious advertising industry, together with an immersion in the louche social milieu of Broadway clubs and saloons during the later Walter Winchell period, when and where Frank Sinatra was the apotheosis of hip.
Chapter 9. Back in Bohemia – A drifting back downtown and continuing to straddle the two disparate Greenwich Village cultures but with a sharper, increasingly uneasy, awareness of the dichotomies. A time also seeing my parents’ renewed marriage, and the only period of an amatory life that could possibly be described as promiscuous.
Chapter 10. Good Old Music – Sees a renewal of friendship with a black erstwhile fellow ”student” at Commerce, then making a name as a singer/songwriter/actor and in whose company I began pulling together all my previous musical tastes and influences in and around the Greenwich Village basket house folk music scene of the early ‘60s when our heroes were Fred Neil and Bob Dylan among others, some of whom became justly renowned and others who, justly or unjustly, didn’t, and my own initial experiments as a songwriter. The chapter and the memoir ends with my last night in New York City: a memorable one spent in the old Kettle of Fish bar on McDougal Street among a crowd of notable folkies: the night before the following day, February 17th 1965, when I boarded a plane for Dublin.
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Literary C.V. & Credit List
SONGWRITING: A number of song lyrics performed and recorded by various (mainly Irish) artists including Sweeney’s Men, The Johnstons, The Peelers, Noel Murphy, The Tinkers, Andy M. Stewart & Manus Lunny, also Barry Dransfield, Alexis Korner’s C.C.S. and David Carroll & The Migrating Fellows.
POETRY & FICTION: Verse and short stories published in periodicals including The Kilkenny Magazine, Hibernia, Irish Press, and Folk Review.
JOURNALISM & MISCELLANEOUS: Articles, profiles and reviews on a variety of topics, notably traditional music and musicians, local history and sport, published in Melody Maker, Dublin Evening Herald, Folk Review, Sing Out, Society, The Guardian, Somerset Magazine, Bristol Evening Post, The National Pastime &c. Has written extensively about baseball, is past-chairman of the U.K./Europe History (now Origins) Committee of SABR U.K., the British chapter of the international baseball research society. Features in the recent film documentary Baseball Discovered, produced under the auspices of Major League Baseball. Also contributed the chapters on sport and leisure for the Hamlyn/Octopus books, New York – Traditions (published July 1998) and Dublin – Traditions (published March 2000).
TELEVISION: Wolcott (with Barry Wasserman) – 4x50min original police drama serial. Produced by Black Lion films for ATV. Broadcast on ITV Network, January 1981. (Britain’s first home-produced mini-series.) Currently (Autumn 2015) released as DVD/Blu-Ray.
Howard’s Way – Episode 4 of the original series. Commissioned by BBC Television. First broadcast September 1985.
RADIO: Where Are You, Wally? (with Barry Wasserman) – Original 90min comedy drama. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Ned Chaillet & first broadcast on Saturday Night Theatre, May 1986.
The Slip (with Barry Wasserman) – Original 90min comedy drama. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Janet Whitaker & first broadcast on Saturday Night Theatre, April 1988.
Peeler – Original 6x30min drama serial built around the founding of the Metropolitan Police. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Janet Whitaker & first broadcast July/August 1991.
Scattering Day – Original 90min play. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Pam Brighton & first broadcast July 1991.
Last Kango in Hackney – Original 90min comedy drama (sequel to The Slip). Commissioned and accepted by BBC Radio Drama Department.
The Last Days of William Shakespeare – 10 x 15min abridgement of the novel by Vlady Kociancich. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Janet Whitaker & broadcast as Book at Bedtime, February/March 1992.
McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon – 8 x 15min selection and abridgement of the stories by Joseph Mitchell. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Ned Chaillet & first broadcast as Book at Bedtime, November/December 1992.
Uncle Fred in the Springtime – 10 x 15min abridgement of the novel by P.G. Wodehouse. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Patrick Rayner & first broadcast as Book at Bedtime, April 1994.
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne – 90min dramatization of the novel by Brian Moore. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Michael Quinn & first broadcast November 1995.
The Mason’s Coin – 15min short story. Produced by Andy Jordan & first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, May 1995.
The Swiss Family Perelman – 5 x 15min abridgement of the book by S.J. Perelman. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Ned Chaillet & first broadcast as Book of the Week ,September 1996.
Joe Gould’s Secret – 5 x 15min abridgement of the book by Joseph Mitchell. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Ned Chaillet & first broadcast as Book of the Week, March 2000.
Evaristo’s Epitaph – Original 45min play. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Department. Produced by Ned Chaillet & first broadcast as BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play, November 2002.
Bricks & Mortals – No.1 Cross Street, Helston – 30min drama/documentary feature. Commissioned by BBC Radio Drama Dept. Produced by Paul Dodgeson & first broadcast March 2007.
OTHER SCRIPTS: Raggedy Anne & Andy (with Barry Wasserman) – Original 30min pilot for projected comedy series. Commissioned by BBC Television.
Gryphon (with Peter Robbins) – Feature-length pilot for an original television drama series. Commissioned by D &J Films Ltd. Project ultimately abandoned by Yorkshire Television due to financial considerations.
Guthrie (with Barry Wasserman) – 30min pilot for projected television series from an original idea by Robert Goldin. Commissioned by Goldin-Seddon Ltd.
The Boy Who Invented the Bubble Gun – Feature-length screenplay adapted from the novel by Paul Gallico. Commissioned by Derek Granger for StageScreen Productions Ltd.
Holiday – Original feature-length screenplay. Commissioned by Jaqtar Productions Ltd.
THEATRE: The Long Meander – Full-length stage play. Recently completed.
BOOK: The Inn at the Crossroad – An Account of the George Hotel, Crewkerne…Being presently posted on this website in its own category.
PATRICK CARROLL was born in Chicago, grew up in New York City, and has lived for extended periods in Dublin, London, South Somerset and Bristol. He presently lives in Cornwall. In addition to his writing he has been employed at various times as a copywriter, editor, adaptor, historical and forensic researcher and as tutor in creative writing to students ranging from primary school pupils to M.A. candidates. He is a member of the Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society and is a writer/publisher member of the Performing Right Society.