Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello world.. Haven’t been here in a LONG time.. Not much news.. The book signing tours were busts (big time) Have some good possibilities in the music end of my life.. Too much to put in right now, especially since there isn’t anyone out there that comes to this blog.. It was pretty useless when I started out and still is.. Sooo, if you do stumble onto this blog, let me know there is someone who might care about what happens in an old musician/author’s life.. Thanx.. Mikey

A bit of a Trip

Hi Kids.. This February 25th I am going to Atlanta, GA. to my friend David’s house. Then he and I are going to Memphis, TN. (David’s son lives in Memphis) for a jazz concert at the Georgetown Performing Arts Center by pianist, Gene Rush. I’ve known Gene (who now lives in the Minneapolis area) since the early 70’s. when he was head of the jazz department at University of Denver. He left there in 1978 to take the position of the head of the jazz department at U. of Memphis for 11 years (I think). Gene is now 78 years old and still going strong. He is one of the great unsung jazz pianists. I have set book signing/entertainment events in both Atlanta and Memphis for August; 3 months after the debut of my novel, Jack of Harts-A Spaghetti & Rice Mystery. Sooo, I’ll be stopping by the two retirement communities where I will have the signings, while I am in those cities. If you live near Memphis and like jazz, try to attend Gene’s concert. Mikey

Love From a Phone Call (this is a long one, folks)

I was talking with the receptionist, Dawn, at the home health care service my wife, Beth, works out of. I was picking up her paycheck. Somehow, the conversation turned to how Beth and I met. When I told her, she said, “You have to put that on your blog.” Sooo, here tis’.

I was working in Phoenix, AZ. (Oct. 1988) when a friend from Michigan called and said a friend of hers was going to write me a letter. She said, a few nights ago, they had a birthday party for Beth, and Jackie had played my Incurable Romantic album (for those of you who don’t remember, albums were big round records in big square album covers) for everyone, and Beth loved it. She said she was going to write me and tell me how much she enjoyed it. Sooo, I waited 2 weeks for a letter and nothing came. I called Jackie back and said this lady had not written me. Jackie said she would call her. The next day Jackie called and said Beth said she had been a little drunk at the party and in the light of day was not about to write a letter to some strange man in Phoenix. But, Jackie said, Beth was now going to write me. Another ten days, no letter. I called Jackie, and asked for Beth’s phone number. When she answered, I said, “This is the Incurable Romantic and where is my letter. (She later told me she held the phone away and said to herself, “Who the hell is this?” To make a short story long, we spent, between us, over $600 in phone bills over the next 5 weeks. (Back then, kids, you had to pay for long distance calls.) After exchanging photos and philosophies, we decided we needed to meet. She lived in Flint, MI. and I lived in Phoenix. We were both working 7 days a week, but she had new years weekend off. We split the plane fare and she arrived at 11 am. And a good time was had by both! (Yes, kids, old folks get it on, too) We had pretty much gotten to know each other really, really well over the phone and letters. Sooo, the new years in Phoenix was our 1st date, (new love is so much fun) with another 2nd one in Phoenix in late February. I was booked in Zurich Switzerland for August and September, and I had plans to go over in June, and spend June and July traveling with my Swedish friend, Claes, to many of the jazz festivals Europe has in the summer. Claes was a math teacher who played trumpet in a Dixieland band in Stockholm. I had met him when I played at the Stockholm Sheraton. Back then, I was working in Phoenix resorts in winter and Europe in the summer. Tough work playing music, but somebody had to do it. Anywho, Beth and my next date was when I went back to MI. and left my car at Beth’s place and flew into Frankfurt to pick up my old Ford Taunus I had bought when I started working regularly in Europe. I drove it to Stockholm, and Claes and I  headed out for JAZZ!! (There’s another story from that trip.) Beth and my next date was when she came over to Frankfurt to be with me for her 12 day’s vacation. When she arrived in Frankfurt, I still had 3 days before I had to start the gig in Zurich. We stayed in a castle on the Rhine. (Let me tell you, guys, if you want to impress your woman, just do what I did.) Then we drove to Zurich and the hotel I was working in was small and they had a very small apartment for the piano player. It just happened to be in the red light district. Each night, I would go into work and then Beth would come in an hour or so later. I always asked her if she made any money on her way over. I had my days off, and we drove to several cities in Switzerland; Montreux, (sp?) Geneva, Davos, etc. etc. for lunch, and on my days off we went to Beaune France (Beaune was Beth’s maiden name) the 1st. weekend, and Salzburg, Austria the 2nd one. Sooo, that was our 4th date. The 5th date was when I flew home to her place, and we drove to Denver. That was when I asked her to move in with me. And, low and behold, she did, and we’re in our 25th year (We got married after 13 years. We wanted to make sure it would work.) And that’s our love story. And we still love each other a bunch. The key to a long-lasting relationship is 3 words; Yes my love! Whew, I hope you read this far. Mikey

New Family member

Hey Folks.. We have a new critter in the house.. She looks like she is part Jack Terrier and part Dachshund.. The young man (age 20) from across the street, Mike, who mows our lawn in summer, shovels our walks in winter and helps carry heavy things in from the car, was driving home from work at 3:00 a.m. and this little dog was out in 10 degree weather. He took her home, but he and his mother have six cats.. His mother  did NOT want a dog, so he brought her over here.. She was an immediate hit, except with one of our cats.. Our collie, Soda, took to her quick. Sooo, we have a new critter!!

My Favorite Bertrand Russell Quote

Each human being has a richly worked edifice of experience, exaltation, despair, fear, and courage in his or her soul. The exciting, tragic, revealing moments of a lifetime is woven into a structure that is what sustains us all with its strength, its promise, its dreams, it’s very interiorness. The most important experience of all is of loving and being loved.

The great tragedy is when we die, those chapels inside each of us dies also, unless we can somehow put them outside us as well. That is the meaning of art, of great sacrifice, of magnificent business accomplishments: to place some of these ethereal insides, (dreams, if you will) outside in concrete, newsprint,, or canvas, or celluloid, or tape, records, or in just one other person’s memory.

Bertrand Russell was one of the most eloquent men to have walked this earth.

I am, at age 71, still human and I have words to write, music and songs to compose, hearts and minds to touch

Please be a receiver of all I have to give,

Michael Eldridge

Reviews for Author/Musician Michael Eldridge’s Jack of Harts-A Spaghetti & Rice Mystery

Complete Review Quotes

“One of the most creative writers I’ve run across in years . . .” “In Mike Eldridge, I really feel that I’ve discovered a talent deserving of publisher consideration. He’s refreshingly receptive to editorial suggestions. More important, he has a fertile imagination. His ‘Spaghetti & Rice’ series concept is pure genius. I wish I’d thought of it.”

Donald Bain; author of the Jessica Fletcher Murder She Wrote novels, among the 100 he has published.

Michael Eldridge’s debut novel in his Spaghetti and Rice Mystery series, Jack of Harts, is a front-runner right out of the gate. Strong characterization, and suspenseful plot twists combine to deliver a most satisfying reader experience. Former Chinese prostitute turned private investigator Ming Li Chow teams up with retired homicide detective Frank Borelli to do battle with the local Colombian drug cartel. Add kidnapping, money laundering, and the friendship of two 11 year old boys to the narrative, and you have a real page-turner. I look forward to the second novel in this series with much anticipation.

Linda Ginter-Brown, PhD, Professor Emerita, University of Cincinnati

If illegal drug dealing, money laundering, two dead cops, and a missing woman grab your interest, then this is the crime novel for you. From the opening shots to the explosive ending, you will follow the exploits of Jean Hart, her son, Jack, and his friend, Tommy Chow, as well as Private Investigators, Ming Li Chow and Frank Borelli, and a slew of nefarious characters out to do no good to the preceding good guys. Eldridge is a master of description and you really believe that you are within each building and each room where the action unfolds. You feel for the positive characters that Eldridge has created and you hold your breath as each twist and turn develops, often with unexpected results and consequences. Oh, what is Spaghetti and Rice?—an exotic heretofore unknown dish? That’s a mystery revealed when you read this book! We hope that this novel is the first in a continuing series of “tasty” crime solving capers.

 Former Chair and Retired Professor, Ned Shearer, M.S., Ph.D. Retired Faculty Associate Sandy Shearer, M.A. Department of Communication, both at Western Illinois University

 “Michael has transitioned well from being a talented life-long musician to a future of writing. He is a gifted storyteller, who could present his own spirited writings on audio. His creative talent also appears in his short stories, poetry and his first self-published novel, Mustang Blue, as a prelude. I have personally witnessed his progress in building his repertoire to a lively, meaningful pitch, and look forward to impending creative works. He could be an important author. . .”                                                                       

Jan Beedle; Writer/Columnist/Instructor/Historian/Proof Reader/Friend

Blurb 

Retired Italian homicide Lieutenant, Frank Borelli has started a private investigation firm with his friend, Chinese call girl madam, Ming Li Chow. Frank has a wacky Italian family and Ming Li has an 11-year-old son, Tommy, who is the off-spring of the head of the Chinese mafia in Boston MA.

Story line; In this case, Tommy’s best friend, Jack Hart and Jack’s mother have become entangled in a battle with a local Colombian drug lord. Frank and Ming Li are called in to help. A particularly ingenious assault on the drug cartel’s compound and more explosive mayhem ensue.

Rewritten Bio Update Regurgitate Etc. Etc Adnauseum

I am an up-and-coming new writer. At 71 years-old, I have made a successful living as a musician/entertainer for the last 52 years. 

I was born in Dayton OH., but grew up in Denver CO. I graduated from South High School in 1960, with another year at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. I immediately started playing music in night clubs. My dog, Freckles, was my constant companion from age 7 to 19, when I left home to become a big name recording star.  Obviously, I never became a star, but my music has taken me to 66 countries, including Canada, Iceland, Russia, Estonia, Scandinavia, Europe, South and Central America, Mexico, all of the Caribbean Islands, and 49 states. I have met literally thousands of people in my travels, working in hotels, night clubs, resorts, and on major cruise lines in the U.S. And now, I want to be a novelist when I grow up.

I currently have 4 novels and a short story collection available on amazon/kindle, (as well as my website, http://www.aleme.com) including my self-published first novel, ‘Mustang Blue’ (A murder mystery with a supernatural twist.) You can still get a signed hard copy of Mustang Blue by going to my website and ordering it.. I published it in 2003 and sold 220 copies across the piano. (Enough to pay for the printing, 250 copies, and to go out to dinner at Red Lobster a couple of times.)

I’ve been writing short stories, off-and-on since my high school creative writing class in Denver, CO. I would have them running around in my head for months, until I finally had to spew them onto paper. Because I had told several people my idea for the Mustang Blue story, they all said “You have to write that.” I was working on a horrible cruise ship job (Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing) and to fight the depression of the job, my terrible cabin, and the  (how do I put this? complete a—–e officers. There, I guess that will do) I finally started writing what became my 1st self-published novel. Since then, I have written a total of eight more novels, including four in the Spaghetti & Rice Investigations series; the first of which is ‘Jack of Harts-A Spaghetti & Rice Mystery.’ I just finished working on my 9th novel, a Western set in 1869-70 in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

My short story collection, ‘Romance and Other Strangeness’ is also on amazon/kindle.

At this point I must thank my friend and mentor, author Donald Bain, for his constant belief in my talent and encouraging me to keep writing and trying to get published.

I also have six CD’s for sale and/or download on www.cdbaby.com Give them a listen.

I now reside in Miamisburg, OH, with my wife, Bethany, a nurse, (and prospective writer) two cats, Sox and Samm-e and a collie dog, Soda. My daughter, Amy, works in movie and TV production in New Mexico. I still play various piano, and trio jobs in the Dayton/Cincinnati area, and currently just finished work on a western novel set in 1870 in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. 

Brrrrr!! Like a lot of you it’s COLD!!

Hi Kids.. It’s -1 degrees this morning.. and supposed to be like this for at least 3 days.. WHEE!! I’m (once more) editing Jack of Harts, then my friends and super editors will go over it again before I turn in a final, final, final  manuscript.. If you come here to my blog, please make a comment so I know someone is actually out there.. Mikey

Hey Everyone (Both of you!) Looking to 2014

I just nailed down the book signing/jazz jam for Denver, CO. at The Fireside Used Book and Coffee House at 410 w. Hampden Ave.. Englewood, CO. It will be from 2 pm.-5 pm. Come listen to great jazz and get a signed copy of my first published novel (At age 71) Looking forward to this whole tour that starts in Phoenix, AZ. and includes 4 places in California.. Mikey