NANCY PELOSI: ONCE & FUTURE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

Nancy Pelosi made history when she was sworn-in as the first female Speaker of the House back in 2007. Because the Democrats regained the House after the recent mid-term election, Pelosi is now poised to become the next Speaker when she’s sworn-in in January.
What does that have to do with this blog, you might ask? Well, while I was still struggling to find a publisher for Lee Marvin Point Blank, I lucked into a freelance position at Lucent Books, writing young adult biographies for their People in The News Series. Several were on assignment and several were pitched by yours truly. Nancy Pelosi was a successful pitch.

The cover of my bio for Lucent’s People in The News series on Nancy Pelosi.

She has of course been demonized by the Republican Party almost as much as Hillary Clinton but the reason I was able to successfully pitch her as a bio subject was not just because of her historical status, but her amazing life as well. She is the daughter of a career-long politician (Mayor Tommy D’Alesandro) out of Baltimore; she entered the political arena because of a deathbed promise to a friend; she kept the GOP from dismantling both Social Security and Medicare….Fascinating stuff!
It also taught me a great deal more about biographical writing that help immeasurably with my research and writing of Lee Marvin Point Blank. How? Each chapter in the People in the News Series requires a theme that readers can recognize and possibly expand upon on their own. It’s a guideline that kept me in good stead for Marvin but deceptively hard for a young adult audience when writing about the complexities of Congress. I had also learned to write the introduction last as you never know how the book will turn out until it’s done. So, with that in mind, below is the table of contents and intro to my 2009 young adult biography on Nancy Pelosi.
Oh, and Donald Trump & the Republicans? If you still think women are not tough enough for the job of public office, with more than 100 women now elected to congress, remember the words of Nancy Pelosi herself when she stated that women were actually tougher than men: “Think of a lioness. You come anywhere near our cubs, you’re dead.”

Table of Contents to NANCY PELOSI.

Page 1 of the introduction.

Conclusion of NANCY PELOSI introduction.

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LEE MARVIN POINT BLANK: THAT FUNNY FACE YOU MAKE WHEN….

Writing Lee Marvin Point Blank one discovers amazing things, such as ‘That Funny Face You Make When…”  Sorry. I should explain. The man was of course an actor who took his work seriously but he also was someone with a genuinely funny sense of humor. After all, he won his only Oscar for his comedy performance in Cat Ballou, which is a rare achievement in its own right.

Lee Marvin showing his ability to do Shakespeare…or Kid Shelleen in Cat Ballou. Not sure which.

However, despite the majority of his films being action-driven dramas, his sense of humor was a major component of the man and his appeal. Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank are fully of aware of this aspect of the man both onscreen and off. There are several examples, such as the Robin Hood Party, The Vibrator Salute, Black Helen to the Rescue, and more. Not familiar with those escapades? Read Lee Marvin Point Blank and you will be. But I digress…
I mention this merely to point out what I quickly discovered in my research. I’m currently in the arduous process of archiving all of my research material (more on that later) when I came across some examples of Marvin’s ability to mug for the camera, even late in life, that most of his contemporaries would never even attempt to do. Case in point is the seen image below from the now defunct magazine US Weekly. He was asked about the palimony suit and the results speak for itself. Personally, I like tho think of it as, “That face you make when you learn Donald Trump won the election,” or “Geez, Lee, that’s the worst Robert Morley impression I’ve ever seen.” Feel free to add any interpretation you like. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
– Dwayne Epstein

“What do you mean Donald Trump is president?”

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WHAT WOULD LEE MARVIN HAVE THOUGHT OF DONALD TRUMP?

The ongoing controversy surrounding the candidacy, election, and now presidency of Donald Trump has raised the question (in my mind at least), what would Lee Marvin had thought of him? Before I go any further with that thought, allow me to give an important disclaimer: I never met Lee Marvin personally, therefore I am no expert on his politics, nor am I any kind of political expert, pre se. In the words of Will Rogers, all I know is what I read in the papers.
However, while researching and writing Lee Marvin Point Blank, I think I can come to some logically conclusions. Granted, there were not any candidates like Donald Trump when Lee Marvin was alive, but there is a way of confirming Marvin’s political viewpoint which is stated in detail in the book.

Ned Wynn, son of Lee Marvin’s best friend, Keenan Wynn said this:

Keenan Wynn (left) and lifelong best friend Lee Marvin shown in their dirt bike days. They shared many things, including their political viewpoints.

“I think politically correct thinking would have driven him nuts. Guys like him and my dad were the furthest thing from that kind of thing… but like most people in Hollywood he was a Democrat. Most people in Hollywood are more reflexive Democrats. My dad and Lee weren’t like that. They weren’t what you call ‘Limousine Liberals.’ They weren’t knee-jerk reactionaries. They were big on taking responsibility for your actions, even if they themselves always didn’t… because Democrats react more from emotion and actors have to deal with things on an emotional level. Realistically, they tempered their point of view. If they were alive today, you wouldn’t see them at an abortion rally or showing up at an awards show with a red ribbon on their lapels. Lee didn’t go in for the belief that humans were perfect. He knew they were flawed.”

Marvin’s overall political leaning was best described by his friend and neighbor George Rapaport: “As I say, there were times when he was absolutely one of the greatest guys. When he was really lucid and off the stuff, and feeling good, you couldn’t find a better guy to talk with. I mean really, we had some really nice conversations, about everything. …He was very much a liberal guy. …No, you would figure the macho guys were always like the rednecks things, and all. But that’s not true. he was..that’s why I say on the inside he was as soft as a pillow. He really cared about people and he cared about issues. He always took a more liberal attitude. I don’t think he was left of Lenin, or anything like that. He wasn’t to the right, I know that. He was a little bit off to the left. He really cared about, I think, what was going on. He always did and he stood up for it.”

Ronald Reagan (with his back to the camera) is confronted by Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager in THE KILLERS.

Probably the most prominent conservative Republican Lee Marvin ever worked with was Ronald Reagan. Granted, Reagan was not nearly as extreme as Donald Trump, however, he was a former actor/personality who cashed in on that popularity for a political career that ended him up in the White House.

What was Marvin’s opinion of Reagan, whom he worked with several times? Career-long agent Meyer Mishkin: ” You know, funny thing with him and working actors, was that he got along with working actors, as far as I know. But once, in the early days, he was doing a show with Reagan, G.E. Theater, or something like that. I said to him, ‘What do you think of Ronald Reagan?’ He said, ‘He’s a jerk.’

All that said, the logical conclusion would be for any one to assume Lee Marvin would not be a supporter of Donald Trump. How do I know? Probably the single best shred of evidence is shown below. Knowing how Marvin felt about the military, as well as his strong dislike of any sign of phoniness, could there be any doubt what Marvin would have thought of Trump? I don’t think so.

The New York Daily News cover from the Summer of 2015 that best explains why Lee Marvin would NOT be a Trump supporter.

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