THIS POST OF THIS GROUP OF COMMENTS CONTAINS
A LISTING OF THE PROPOSED CONTENTS OF
KEEP YOUR KNEES LOOSE
WITH A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF PARTS
(WHICH, SOME WILL RECOGNIZE, FOLLOWS THE FORMAT OF MY FIRST BOOK
AND INCLUDES SOME MATERIAL ALREADY USED IN POSTS)
AN ANNOTATED CHRONOLOGY
For all the descriptive material out there discussing the work of Jean Shepherd—for example, the Wikipedia article before I had a chance to correct it— other than a similar chronology found on www.flicklives.com, this is the first attempt that I know of to cobble together a reasonable overview of ol’ Shep that, in a few pages, gives a sense of what he did with his life and career. Ah, cohesive brevity! (THIS WAS PREVIOUSLY POSTED.)
ASPIRATIONS: Quest Toward a Book.
Which treats of the writer’s prototypical, yet singular, struggles to become that wondrous thing—a published author.
FEATS OF DARING-DO: Quest Toward Fame and Fortune.
Which treats of the author’s schemes and adventures in the world of publishing. We meet the dramatis personae of our glorious quest.
We discover further foibles in the life of Jean Parker Shepherd.
Part I: Formative Years
The famed storyteller reveals the true story of his attitude toward his kid stories. An Army story—we track down his secret World War II radar location and discover why it matters. A lesson in art. More tadpole days.
Part II: Heritage and Endowment
We encounter a mere dollop of trivia here.
Part III: The Great Burgeoning Great Happenings!
A. More “night people,” jazz, and hip connections. Shel Silverstein and Jean Shepherd—joined at the hip. And the Vampire Lady Story.
B. Lois Nettleton—Her Shep Story Lois Nettleton, actress, “The Listener,” and wife, tells (almost) all. (Much of this appeared recently in posts.)
C. The Leigh Brown Gossip Story A heart-tugging tale in her own words. The hippie chick from New Jersey arrives on the scene and prepares for a major assault on our not-so-innocent Libertine. (Much of this appeared recently in posts.)
D. Oh, Dusty, Holy Grail! I quest, therefore I am.
Part IV: Tools in Hand
Surrounded by sounds and furies: “Ahhhs;” “Head Thumps;” search for Beatles in a haystack; a crescendo; and an ersatz Latin—“Ip extra-curricular feep;” followed by the kind of puzzle Shepherd engaged in daily. (HERE’S THE CROSSWORD PUZZLE WITH ALL THE SHEP REFERENCES!):
Part V: Encounters and Contentions
Delving into philosophy, this episode concludes with a disastrous fish tale. (Fish-hook in ear!)
Part VI: Refinements and Conversions
In hot pursuit of the written word, Norman Mailer, and Garrison Keillor. An outrageous assertion, involvement with The Syndicate, and at long last revealed—the true meaning of Jean Shepherd’s not-so-silly concoction, “Cowboy X,” done for Sesame Street. (See “Cowboy X” post.)
Part VII: Summing Up to a Boodle-Am Shake
More sad endings and that confounded movie A Christmas Story again! Plus me and Shep forever.
Part VIII: Holy Grails
Oh!, quests, where are thy grails?
PART IX: A Doozy of a Story
Shep, is that really you? (The fake interview.)
APPENDIX : Excelsior!: A Play About Jean Shepherd
Free ticket to an exhilaratingly dramatic encounter with momentous events. (See previous posts for this entire play of mine.)
APPENDAGE: Story as the Tape Runs Out
Unexpected family fun. (This is the tale of my parents recording Shep and their little joke on me.)