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RICK SHAQ GOLDSTEIN SAYS "PETER JENNINGS WANTED HIM TO "ROUND OUT THE ROUGH EDGES", BILL SAID NO THANKS I WANT TO KEEP THE EDGES
, September 24, 2008
This review is from: A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity (Hardcover)
Readers who are expecting a "blistering" sermon on Bill's political beliefs will be disappointed. But readers who enjoy a wonderfully nostalgic coming of age memoir with insights to a worldwide broadcasting icon's upbringing that ranges from catholic school to high school to college and the great beyond... will be enormously rewarded with this literary treasure. If you are a "BABY-BOOMER" you will be constantly exhilarated and your thoughts will go back to your early years as you are taken back in a historical time machine to the TV programs and rock and roll songs of your youth, with Bill as your contemporary tour guide. Heavily sprinkled throughout his life story, at just the right moments, are TV programs such as "The Ed Sullivan Show", "Mr. Ed", "Leave It To Beaver, "The Donna Reed Show", "The Mickey Mouse Club", "Ozzie and Harriet", "Happy Days", and more. Interspersed to make a point are lyrics and song titles from such classic rock and roll performers as Elvis, Sam Cooke, Rod Stewart, The Beatles, The Isley Brothers, The Standells, and others. I feel it's important to mention this, as I feel a large core of potential readers, will be "touched" by the romantic humanity that Bill displays in sharing his life with you... which among other things included teaching high school for two years in Florida.
The author does not flinch from his central belief system which is: "IF THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT YOU TAKE FROM THIS BOOK, LET IT BE THIS: DESIGN YOUR OWN LIFE. NEVER GIVE UP TRYING TO MAKE IT ON YOUR OWN. GET BACK UP WHEN YOU GET SLAPPED DOWN, AND DON'T WASTE TIME BUYING INTO IDEOLOGICAL NONSENSE. EXPECT - AND ACCEPT - NOTHING FROM ANYONE ELSE DO IT YOURSELF."
Being that I am the same age as Bill... and from the exact same part of the country as Bill... it's amazing how the main mantra's he built his life around are the same as mine. The following quote is from Bill... but it is exactly the way I was raised by my Father... and the exact way I raised my son... so even though it was in Bill's book... I will take credit for it also (you can verify it with my son) "IF YOU EARN IT, IT'LL MEAN A LOT MORE THAN IF IT'S GIVEN TO YOU. TAKING STUFF MAKES YOU WEAKER. EARNING STUFF MAKES YOU STRONGER." *AMEN!*
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the book is Bill's time spent at St. Brigid's parochial school where he and his "EVIL-TWIN" Clement made the Nun's life a living hell... and Clement always believed in payback... even during the schools Rip Van Winkle play. (Even Bill refused to participate in his pal Clement's dastardly plan.) The author shares some of the punishments at his elementary school: TALKING OUT OF TURN - SLAP ON THE HAND WITH A RULER. TALKING BACK TO THE SISTER - SLAP IN THE FACE, OFTEN HARD. BEING A WISE GUY IN GENERAL - NOTE HOME TO PARENTS, WHICH HAD TO BE SIGNED AND BROUGHT BACK TO NUN. (THIS USUALLY LED TO DOMESTIC PUNISHMENT.) SLOPPY APPEARANCE OR WORK - AFTER SCHOOL DETAINMENT.
Bill is very proud of the fact that he never did any drugs and has never been intoxicated. He is very proud of his religion and his belief's, but will never push it on anyone... nor discuss it on his show unless he is led there. He is very proud of America and when he went to England for a time in college he was so tired of all the anti-American comments and being constantly mocked because of his "NEW YAWK ACCENT" that he finally said: "HEY BUD, YOU'D HAVE A GERMAN ACCENT IF IT WASN'T FOR MY FATHER AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER NEW YORKERS LIKE HIM. SO "BLANK" YOU, FISH AND CHIPS AND THE BEATLES. GET ME?"
The author has covered wars in El Salvador, the Falkland Islands war in Argentina, Northern Ireland at the height of the trouble, the Golan Heights, and the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan... yet the event that made him "KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT JOURNALISM WOULD BE MY PROFESSION"... was when he covered the forced integration of South Boston in 1974.
Having grown up in a working class neighborhood Bill has never forgotten his roots. To this day he fights for the underdog and perhaps a good summary of his life goal is the following quote:
"WHEN IT IS ALL OVER, WHEN YOU ARE DEAD IN THE GROUND OR IN AN URN, YOUR LEGACY WILL BE DEFINED BY TWO SIMPLE QUESTIONS: HOW MANY WRONGS DID YOU RIGHT, AND HOW MANY PEOPLE DID YOU HELP WHEN THEY NEEDED IT?"
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