Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Authors
It was my habit to say “Born and raised in the heart of New York State’s beauteous Finger Lakes,” but I was not always able to name even one of those eleven glorious bodies of water, and as it goes with any lie, you are inevitably caught and reduced to trying to remember to swear off prevarication forever. Accordingly, I was born and raised northwest of its left anklebone.
First memory: Age 23, sitting at one of the deathbeds of a dowager aunt. (She had wealth enough for six, liked to spread misery around and did so for another 23 1/2 years.) She raised up an arm, pointed and went: “You. Not one cent!”
First job: One week later, hired at the local (Corning, NY) hot lead, an afternoon newspaper published daily except Sundays and holidays. I had applied once before, credentialed with some college and grad school, and been found snickeringly unqualified – the applicant supplying the snickers upon hurrying out. There should have been no peril in reapplying, but I was hired almost on the spot as state editor, responsible for all things agrarian on either side of the New York – Pennsylvania march where we circulated.
First hour: Endeavoring to hunt and peck out a snappy headline on the sticky keys of the Royal for the Cowanesque Valley, PA livestock report while, in the panicky manner of any right-minded hog, trying to avoid a gutting by the elderly wire editor, Alice, who kept losing control of her 14-inch two-hander banking shears as she tottered after copy billowing up from the AP machine. Heads-up it was around another work neighbor, the sports editor, who took to screaming “Shut up!” at his telephone whenever it rang on a page deadline. He was not allowed banking shears.
First upbraiding: Too many to revisit.
First and final escape: Eight years later, when now supplied with enough adjectives, verbs and prepositional phrases to fill an auditorium, I took leave to leave them and write for the theater, so, my pardon as I resume hunting and pecking, with a memory still sharp as Alice’s banking shears, ever a trait of anyone born and raised in the heart of New York State’s beauteous Finger Lakes.For more information please contact: Steve Hogue c/o Pioneer Drama Service PO Box 4267 Englewood, CO 80155