Love and the B-2 Stealth Bomber
B-2 STEALTH BOMBER
The truth was soon clear, we were in love. At twenty-five, she lived only blocks from work in the Latin neighborhood of Pico Rivera, California—just east of East L.A. Commuting an hour or more each way from the Inland Empire, I had just started working at this job a few months earlier. Four years out of college in Kentucky, and two years into an aerospace career in California, I was twenty-six—with my roots in a rural rust belt county of southern Ohio. Without delay, we separated from abusive spouses. The enigmatic city girl—who had lived on her own in New York City for two years as a teen—and the country boy from Appalachia, we saw each other, scars and all. In every intimate moment we planned to spend our lives together; even our children found joy in our emerging family. Despite our precarious lives, we had secured good jobs: as she rose from being a lead clerk to a systems analyst position, I was quickly climbing the ranks in engineering. It was 1987, the height of the Reagan Era, and we were working together on the initial production of the most advanced military aircraft in history.
Some experiences reveal truths that must be told.
We can lock ourselves into prisons of silence and shame,
or, if we dare,
We can honor our convictions...and be free.
Running down the middle of my chest is a footlong scar . . . a memento of mine. It is the record, left in my skin, of open-heart surgery when I was eighteen to correct the congenital hole inside my heart. Over the following eight-plus years after my surgery my scar felt like a sign of deficiency for me, until I was informed otherwise, by someone with her own scars. Though scarred, I was a bold young man when I fell deeply in love with a beautiful young woman. In keeping with a pledge, herein is my chronicle, my testimony, a narrative tapestry of memories, insights and feelings about my life and the love affair that indelibly altered me. This, too, is a memento, even a scar of sorts given the deep self-examination and suffering that went into its creation. Now I relish scars. They tell their own stories. The oft lingering pain can either harden you into detachment, or, instead, lead you to surrender . . .
and open your heart to love. And love . . .
can make you fly.
The Naked Truth
Fascinating, highly candid and often uproarious, costume designer Jean-Pierre Dorléac’s detailed Hollywood accounts strip back the façade from the years between 1973 and 1985, when classic glamour became a thing of the past. Through his award-winning works spanning theater, television, film, couture, burlesque and ballet, Jean-Pierre draws on firsthand, factual knowledge to paint an insider’s picture of the entertainment industry.
Get a behind-the-scenes account of what it took to create the magic ofBattlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Somewhere in Time, The Blue Lagoon and other diverse projects that brought recognition, respect and acclaim to Dorléac through Oscar, Emmys and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards while he secured his idiosyncratic place in history as the creator of the figure-hugging, wildly popular, spandex pants.
Scintillating conversations and never-before-told stories revealed in The Naked Truth bring to life a multitude of improbable, yet authentic and entertaining adventures that few know of and even fewer talk about. It’s a straightforward, honest look at such legends as Fred Astaire, Buddy Ebsen, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, David Hemmings, Louis Jourdan, Jimmy Kirkwood, Patricia Neal, Sarah Miles, Ann Miller, Eleanor Parker, Barbara Rush, Brooke Shields, Susan Strasberg, Lana Turner, Nancy Walker and Mae West.
Dorléac’s stories range from the touching to the hysterically ribald, revealing the antics and shenanigans that abounded during many of the fittings with a bevy of bombshell actresses such as Ursula Andress, Ahna Capri, Britt Eklund, Pamela Hensley, Lesley Ann Warren and Kim Cattrall. Details of fun-filled informal chats with brilliant and charming close friends, including June Lockhart, Roddy McDowall and Jean Simmons, provide telling glimpses of the people behind the names.
Woven throughout are insightful, knowledgeable anecdotes detailing how designs originate, starting with creative concepts, production meetings and the development of initial sketches that precede the finding, cutting and blending of fabrics and colors to meet the complex demands of the script. And, finally, the finishing touches of costume construction that are the result of true artistry. Guided by the treasured advice of his mentor, Edith Head, Dorléac was able to successfully retain his composure in exasperating situations and skillfully maintain his balance between obstreperous actors, demanding directors and powerful producers.
This is an engaging chronicle of a crucial 12-year period when the dogged pursuit of higher profits radically changed the entertainment industry and replaced singular, custom-made designs with cut-rate, ready-to-wear on rolling racks.
In The Wings and Beyond
Much has been written about my father, Kirk Douglas, over the course of his fifty-year career, including his own best-selling autobiography, but I knew little about my mother's past. Hearing about her early life and the history of the Dill family, I discovered that Mom had a great story to tell. Her recollections were not the usual scandalous celebrity "kiss-and-tell" adventures one has become accustomed to from Hollywood. The stories of her family, Bermudian childhood, and years in the theatre and the movie business were fascinating; peopled with great characters. They were packed with love, humor, and tragedy. Here is her story.
About the author
Writer/actress Diana Douglas was born Diana Dill on Jan. 22, 1923, in Bermuda. Her very proper British father, who was the island's attorney general, woke the family at 5:30 a.m. with a bugle. From an early age, Diana was rebellious. "I broke all the rules," she said in a 1999 New York Post interview. "If a sign said, 'Walk, don't run,' I definitely ran."
She was sent to boarding school in England and graduated from the Upper Chine School for Girls on the Isle of Wight. Though her father wanted her to become a lawyer, she enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. It was there she met Kirk Douglas at 16. Before graduating, she signed a contract with Warner Brothers and moved to Los Angeles. In her six-decade-long stage, TV and film career, she was best known for her work in television, stretching back to the late 1940s, when she appeared in live dramas. She went on to roles in episodes of hit series such as "Naked City," "The Waltons," "Ben Casey," "The Streets of San Francisco" (with son Michael) and "The Paper Chase," on which she had a recurring part as a law professor.
In her memoir, In The Wings and Beyond, she tells of life experiences that were, as her son Michael wrote in the preface, “…not the usual scandalous celebrity “kiss-and-tell” adventures one has become accustomed to from Hollywood. The stories of her family, Bermuda childhood, and years in the theatre and the movie business were fascinating; peopled with great characters. They were packed with love, humor, and tragedy.”
ABRACADABRA ALAKAZAM is a delightfully wicked, two-part comic mystery caper revolving around an alluring but unpredictable heroine named Glenna Flanning, and the two young men who enter her life, twenty-one years apart.
The first of the two offbeat adventures starts on a stormy New York night in May of 1955, when a series of best intentions gone haywire indirectly change the lives of numerous people. Moving speedily to the muggy Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas, a young neophyte dancer with an overpowering dream, Peter Stanton, is soon to be the first affected, when he’s introduced to zany Glenna during her brief stopover in Gulfport, Mississippi. It’s only a matter of time before the provocative redhead persuades him to accompany her, on her wacky trip to Hollywood . . . where she’s at long last bound with a studio player’s contact in one hand, and an energetic, giant white poodle in the other.
The second mysterious escapade, constituting a series of misfortunes, revisits the same locale at the same time of the year, but earlier during the Depression in 1934. Jonathon Conway, a man with a secret, returning to Houston on a family emergency, soon must orchestrate the greatest act of prestidigitation he will ever be called upon to perform. And he knows nothing about magic ... until an enticing hoyden, named Glenna, accidentally tumbles into his life.
Put Roxy Hart, Sally Bowles, Mame Dennis and Holly Golightly aside. After meeting the unique and irresistible Glenna Flanning, magic has a new meaning.
Venice To Avalon
Everyone who comes to Hollywood has a dream. Katharine Parish, a young costume designer from New York, is desperate to land the job of assistant to a legendary costume designer, who is coming out of retirement for one last film. But things go disastrously wrong from the moment she steps inside his crumbling mansion below the Hollywood sign.
She soon finds herself trapped in terrifying nightmares revolving around a murdered 1930's starlet. Could these dreams be of a real person? Are they memories of a former life? Are they leading her to the truth about the murder or just figments of an overstressed imagination?
Tormented by these vivid dreams, Katharine sets out to find the truth. When the bizarre pieces of the complicated puzzle finally begin to make sense, she discovers she is trapped in a deadly web of murder and revenge. Spellbinding suspense builds to a shattering unexpected climax.
An insider's knowledge infuses the writing and reveals the deadly secrets behind the glitter of Hollywood. When the stakes are this high, dreams and truth are a lethal mix.
About the author
James Cass Rogers attended Stanford University on a football scholarship and Yale School of Drama on a playwriting fellowship. Recruited by CBS TV, he joined the network programming department in NYC, where he was an executive on several, award winning entertainment specials.
Dissatisfied with corporate life, he left for Europe to write an expose of network programming, published under a pseudonym to protect the guilty. Six more books followed, the last being STARCROSSED, put out by Warner Books.
Rogers worked on all the film scripts of his Stanford friend, Colin Higgins, and joined him at Universal Studios on his last film projects. Rogers, a native of Washington state, lives in L.A. He script consults, teaches now and then and is finishing up two more Hollywood mysteries.