Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eliot Glazer's anthology: "My Parents Were Awesome"

Editor: Eliot Glazer

Title: "My Parents Were Awesome: Before Fanny Packs & Minivans, They Were People Too"

Publication: Villard, ISBN 978-0-345-52392-1, 220 pages, original paperback, Introduction and about forty short essays (typically 4 pages each), published April 2011.  Amazon link

The book, in fact, invites you to write a cursive essay about your own parents in the back.

The range of parents includes traditional married (often from somewhat radical backgrounds), and single and divorced people.

I came into the world in a stable home, as an only child, of parents who had married in May 1940. It would be years before I could grasp that they had come from early 20th Century backgrounds varied from each other and from what I knew. My father was born in Iowa in 1903 and grew up on a farm. He went away as far as possible, after Drexel, to school – at Berkeley decades before its radicalism, overcame his stuttering, became a salesman, bouncing back from not making quotas, and provided a stable world for Mother and me as a manufacturer’s representative for Imperial Glass, a career that would not exist today.  He was living in a YMCA in Washington DC in the 1930s, in a day when single people didn’t have their own apartments, when he met my mother, who had been born in Ohio just before WWI.  She lived in a YWCA and took a streetcar to work  at the YMCA where she met him. If you made a movie about my parents, it would provide a fascinating look at rural Midwestern life up until the Depression, and life in Washington DC (and nearby Arlington) during the Depression and then the War.  My parents moved to a one bedroom apartment in the Buckingham Community in Arlington, and then to a larger two-bedroom after I was born in 1943. In those days, apartments in Virginia were segregated.

My mother recently passed away. I’ve just taken on getting old 8-mm home movies of their lives in the 1930s and 40s digitized and preserved on DVD.  It could just make an indie hit. 

More parental pictures:

Buckingham, Arlington VA apartment, around 1943.
Father prospecting in CA:
Father portrait on bridge in Iowa:
Mother in front of first family car near family farm near Route 20 and Oberlin/Kipton Ohio:
Maternal grandparents, Kipton, Ohio
These BW images are restored from family photos. I own these images and reserve the right to use them commercially in media in the future. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A couple of "handbooks" in the 1990s on sexual orientation had used a "do ask do tell" button on their covers

On June 5, 2010, I “reviewed” my own “Do Ask Do Tell” books, particularly the first one (1997; 2000).
I wanted to account for two books written in the 1990s by Robert J. Powers and Alan Ellis, originally published by Routledge (and later Baker & Taylor).

The first was “A Manager’s Guide to Sexual Orientation in the Workplace”, 1995,  ISBN 0-415-91277-6, 209 pages, hardcover (my copy). There is a tagline “Tackles one of the toughest diversity issues.”

The second was “A Family and Friend’s Guide to Sexual Orientation”, 1996, ISBN 0-415-91275-X, 273 pages, paper (my copy, found at a Barnes and Noble in Minneapolis in 2000).  The cover has the tagline “Bridges the divide between gay and straight”.

Both books tend to come across as “handbooks”, and follow a writing style that seemed to be more common in the 1990s than today, especially when dealing with social issues.  The second of these has space for readers to write their own comments. Neither is concerned with existential questions.

Both books sport a circular red button with the phrase “Do Ask Do Tell” in white letters, on their respective covers. But a USPTO search shows that a trademark application for the phrase (for use in sale of various paraphernalia or book promotions [movies, maybe?] was (after submission by Powell) abandoned in 1996. Neither book used the phrase as part of the title.  In general, movie or book series titles can become trademarks when used in several (at least more than one) books (as with IDG’s “for Dummies”) or movies (“Star Wars”, etc), so that the consuming public thinks of them as “brands”.  There is some relevant discussion on my “Trademark” blog Feb. 4, 2010 (see Blogger profile).

The Amazon link for the books is here.

Originals of both books are very expensive (they seem to be regarded as collector’s items).