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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:280
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667827759

Please Stand Up

by Keith Mason

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As millions of people set out to "discover their roots," Keith Mason's family-discovery story is the oddest of all. Yet it's all true.

- He stumbles across his unknown father on a video of the classic TV quiz show "To Tell the Truth" from 1961.

- Then comes his dad's arguably sociopathic life, with seven marriages that provided the author with eight "new" brothers and sisters.

- An unknown grandfather is a crusading reporter 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 the new relations. 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, the book uncovers 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.


What could it be like to find the parent you never had - on an old TV game show with Johnny Carson? "Please Stand Up" is a one-of-a-kind (and completely true) excursion through offbeat chapters of the American parade. It's the first book by a lifelong writer who's now seen as a "major player in the ranks of America's greatest storytellers," according to one reviewer.

It wasn't until age sixty-four that Mason stumbled into this extraordinary journey filled with scandal, crime, abandoned children and violent tragedy that surrounded a sociopathic man whose own parents were ripped away. Rich with historic detail, sardonic humor and remarkable research, "Please Stand Up" is a page-turning narrative connecting his grandfather's murder to an infamous voting scandal that threatened the career of the future president Lyndon Johnson.

It's a walk through four generations of an American family that will be appreciated by anyone who's found, or suspected, there was someone out there... that belonged to them. It's a rollicking history, a funny review of the 1950s and '60s, a time-traveling adventure and a grand statement about family connections.

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. In 1978 the writer began a nearly forty-year career in public relations, nonprofit development and the performing arts, including stints at Drexel University and the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra) and for elderly and disability services. 

Some of his most satisfying work came as communications director for a major addiction recovery center as the opioid crisis unfolded in the early 2000s, with stories that educated the public, provided hope and saved lives. He also created and taught a senior writing course at Temple University. ​

Keith was a producer 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, with "Please Stand Up" he has a tale of his own, one he never expected to experience, much less write. The author resides in southern New Jersey, where he pursues gardening, travel photography and music.

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