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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:290
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098383862
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098383855

Please Stand Up

by Keith Mason View author's profile page

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Overview
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. 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. It's a race against the clock to connect with an older sibling whose mental health might separate them for good. With his father's eventual appearance, Mason's deeply-held feelings about anger and forgiveness are tested. Rich with historic detail and sardonic humor as it delves into the unusual lives of a deep-sea salvage diver, an old-school reporter and an Ohio homicide detective, "Please Stand Up" is a walk through four generations of an American family who often didn't know each other, either by choice or tragic chance.
Description
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.
About the author
Keith Mason's years of storytelling began with music and cultural observation in Philadelphia newspapers, interviewing dozens of top artists from Jerry Garcia and Phil Collins to George Carlin and Monty Python. A subsequent career of nearly forty years in public relations, nonprofit development and the performing arts included stints at Drexel University and the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra) and for services to the elderly and disabled. Some of his most satisfying work came at a major addiction recovery center as the opioid crisis unfolded in the early 2000s. He shared stories that educated the public, provided hope, and saved lives. Keith also created and taught a senior writing course at Temple University. Keith was a producer and programmer for one of Philadelphia's most cutting-edge theaters, and worked in radio for years, covering all forms of music and information. He also does commercial, corporate, and education voiceovers. After years of telling the stories of others, he has a tale of his own with "Please Stand Up." The author has two grown children and resides with his partner, a businesswoman and former dancer and actress, in southern New Jersey, where he pursues gardening, travel photography, cooking, and music.
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