As millions of people have set out to "discover their roots," Keith Mason's family-discovery story is the oddest of all. He unexpectedly finds his unknown father on a video of the classic TV quiz show "To Tell the Truth" from 1961.
In a one-of-a-kind (and completely true) excursion through offbeat chapters of the American parade, Mason's journey brings him through his father's arguably sociopathic life. There were seven marriages that provided the author with eight "new" brothers and sisters. An unknown grandfather - a crusading reporter - was killed by a corrupt sheriff in a dusty Texas town in 1949, in a press-freedom case (that continues to resonate) over a voting scandal that threatened the career of a young Lyndon Johnson.
Emotions collide with each revelation, as the author's lifelong defensive wall collapses and he finally has to take a chance on how he'll be received by every relative he contacts. With his father's eventual appearance, Mason's deeply-held feelings about anger and forgiveness are tested.
Mason grew up an only child raised by a single mother and nurse in the 1950s-60s. It wasn't until age sixty-four that he stumbled into an extraordinary journey filled with scandal, crime, abandoned children and violent tragedy that surrounded a missing dad whose own parents were ripped away.
Rich with historic detail, sardonic humor and remarkable research, "Please Stand Up" delves into the unusual lives of a deep-sea salvage diver, an old-school reporter and an Ohio homicide detective. It's a walk through four generations of an American family who often didn't know each other, either by choice or tragic chance.