by, 07-19-2012 at 02:32 PM (99 Views)
Two months spent investigating, timelining, character building, and perusing the original storyline gifted to me in May, and I am ready to write.
I don't know what it is, but I always wanted one.
You know that feeling?
My aunt's biographer, Gaby, met with me in San Francisco this past May and presented the thing I'd longed for all my life. Reams of The Story. Two different drafts of it, in fact. One huge, one not so huge. Peppered with notes and corrections and edits in my aunt's hand. Plus a dozen & a half of the books she'd used in her research.
"I want you to finish my book."
All the hard work is done for me. An entire library of my aunt's life now calls my name from my dining room table. In the 1990's, Gaby conducted a dozen interviews. The founder of Delancey Street, Waldon House, some bigwigs at Synanon, fellow conspirators, co-workers, my grandmother, one ex-husband, my parents, and I'm not sure how many more. I was not given the tape recordings, although included in the Huge draft is a partially-transcribed interview with the ex-husband.
Plus, I have my own personal memories.
My auntie Bo was a fascinating creature in my world. As a child, as an adult. I was magnetically drawn to her when she was around. The last time I saw her it was 1997 when I visited her in Walnut Creek. She'd recently had heart surgery (quite a feat on a woman with few accessible, non-collapsed, veins - the top of her head, and under her tongue were in good shape, I believe). We chatted for more than an hour at her table over coffee and bagels. She gave me two lovely hippie-type necklaces. When I'd returned home (to tennessee), I called to thank her. She had no memory of our visit. lol...
My mother drew me in as her confidant as I entered my teens. This gives me a factual foothold in discussing my aunt's life. Plus, my mom is still alive and her memory is intact. Clarifications are only a phone call away.
From this point, my own life's timeline shall be dated as BB and AB - Before the Book (came into my world), and After the Book.