Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Well the following memory-telling was prompted from a reply to Linda ( "Girl About Town" ) . . . about writing. I started this 'blog' ( ...I'm still trying to get used to that... word? ) intending a prow by which we might sail the music seas! Especially the blues & oldies music waters... but begining to see now how the nature of ( shudder ) 'blogging' necessitates much more yielding to.... well, whatever! I'll tell myself that no matter what- I can write a blues tune about it!!

As to writing: It's my inescapable passion to tell a good story... and Naomi's life provides no seeming end of chapters! There may be no inkwell deep enough!!

I began "writing" in 1970. It was that year when "Rolling Stone Magazine" launched their "...Experiment in participitory journalism", wherein readers and subscribers were invited to submit short autobiographical stories. The "Stone" intended to publish what they deemed the best 10 of submissions they recieved. As I mulled it about I ventured that I might have a story or two to tell about my tour-of-duty in Vietnam... but moreso about my homecoming after I had been wounded there on July 21st 1967.

Like Naomi who is sometimes not certain of exact years, I may have forgotten the exact title of my piece!... tho' I think it was likely "...The Helmets Head" ( from a line by Jim Morrison of the "Doors" ). Some weeks after submission I was contacted by "Rolling Stone" that my piece had been selected with 9 others for publication. I was #4, and my story appeared in August ( I think? ) of 1970. As I recall there had been nearly 12,000 submissions! After that I thought- "...well heck! Maybe I'm a real honest-to-God 'writer' now!"... so I continued to write- and then after awhile it just became necessary.

The wild part of this story is that 7 yrs later "Rolling Stone" was about to celebrate it's 10th Anniversary- and CBS was producing a 2 hour "10th Anniversary" TV special for them. I recieved a call from R.S. & CBS telling me they wanted to do a segment based on my 1970 magazine piece- and that they wanted to fly me down to Los Angeles to help in the re-writing of my story into a one-person monolog... and would I mind very much if Martin Sheen portrayed me! Me!! Me...?

Though I thought to hold-out for Robert Redford I settled for Mr. Sheen. ( jus' funnin'! ) I told them I was married (then)- and we also had 2 friends visiting. No problema. They flew the lot of us down!

As Naomi felt by her opportunity to share creative space with such as Buster Newman and Sid Wyche- it was quite the scene spending 3 days with Sheen re-writing my piece into monolog! He had come fresh from "Apocolypse Now" and his heart-attack in the Philipines... so there was much talk of war, mortality, fear of death, fear of God, faith and hope to find love in our world.

A funny memory is how when lunch was ordered-in Martin would always only have bowls filled with fresh fruit along with bottles of mineral water in the wake of his recent heart-attack. I ate burritos, burgers, pizza & felafels... and Martin would discuss my own cardio-vascular risks while he still chain-smoked Kents!! ( Then again- many Dr's smoked, and smoking was still allowed in hospitals!)

It was a great ride! Despite my fears the monolog re-write played-out wonderfully... Martin, sitting on a hi-leg stool- all dark except for one light upon him as he "told-out" what goes on inside a "...helmets head". He even read a poem I had written ( long after my homecoming actually... but an idea he felt insistant about. ) If I may, that poem:

Where Each Fell -

All to here each step obtaining
of this moment drear, this blooded raining
ne'er could boys heart when once dreaming
see such life vital streaming-
hope with breath, now here should fly away

All to there and rise as lifting egret white
now tether lost this slipping kite
to go where hand nor finger guides
a final breath, then closed eye hides
in prayer for light of day.

( Charles William Olmstead- 1973 )

Prol'y the strangest part of the whole thing was the day Sissy Spacek came to shoot her "intro" to the segment- and with mentions to the "turbulent times" of the Vietnam era. Afterward we were all asked to gather-up ( Spacek, Sheen & I ) for the TV Guide photo. We had not even yet been introduced when they began "arranging" us for the pic... with Spacek & Sheen standing behind me- and each with a hand on my shoulders. Snap, snap, snap & wrap! I turned to say hello to Ms. Spacek... but she turned as well and was already walking away. Very awkward. She hung around in the studio a bit, got coffee, talked to several people but never came over to introduce herself... and by then I was feeling far too self-conscious to be forward myself!

Ahhh well... cant mingle with ALL those "stars"! The next morning a limo dopped us at the airport in L.A. and after hauling out our bags left us like bags ourselves, leaning there on a curb. Our friend John looked at me, shrugged and said- "...Welp! We're 'nobody' again!!"


Hey kids- a Life Lesson! -

"...And it was this slaves appointment: to lean forward in the Emporers chariot at varied points in the victors parade and whisper in his majesty's ear- 'Glory is fleeting my king... Glory is fleeting!'"


Rain said...

wow, another amazing story and that is really what blogging is all about. I have never been real fond of the word either but it evidently comes from web log and when you think of it that way, it makes sense. It will be interesting to see where this ride takes you

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hey Butchie...GREAT Story! I must tell you that right after you said you wrote this piece and submitted it to Rolling Stone....I thought to myself..."I bet this would make a great Theatre Oiece..."..And THEN, you told the rest of the story....! It STILL might be aq very interesting Theatre piece---different that when on TV....But, just an idea....! I would love to read it!
That surprises me about Cissy Spacek....All I can think is that she is basically a very shy person...BUT, that certainly seemed rather rude!

Here is a bit of a tease for you: I got a long hand-written letter from Don, late yesterday....! Very very nice!

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...

Thank you- and yes... Lord only knows what destinations await! As with the synconicity that tipped like dominos and bumped me into Donn ( who restored & customized my '49 Merc 24 yrs before I would buy it in Pheonix! )- then his seemingly ambient question about an obscure record and singer! Oye!!

Pardon me... but there is a French actress who looks so much like you, you could be twin-sisters!... but Lord help I CANNOT think of her name at the moment! ( ..I'll remember when I stop trying to remember! ) You've prol'y been told this by dozens of folks ( with sharper recall ) and know who I'm talking about!

Thanks so much for popping in again 'Rain'. ( no need to answer- but is 'Rain' your real name? ) As I'd said previously- I found your blog-site captivating! Literally!! Got almost zero done that morning reading thru many of your posts.

You asked rethorically (sp?) if you were still the "girl" of 16... and I think we ALL are still essence-ially the persons/kids/souls we began to be from our start!... and as early the world began to tell us to "grow up" and "act our age". Who we are... or who we think we are is possibly only the amalgum of all the things we've piled onto the real and essecial us!

I like seeing friends pics when they were kids. To look in the eyes of who they were then is something surely akin to seeing a true soul- before the world buried them.

Like Christ said- "...Unless (we) recieve the kingdom of God as a little child, (we) will not be able to see or enter it!"

It's difficult for me to understand His words if in truth there is no actual 'child' within us ( however deeply buried ) to respond to the mysteries that are God and God's kingdom... and I dunno... I just cant help but feel that what He calls forth in us is is only a "state of mind" or mere attitude- but a true being.

He took some actual children to Himself once- then said pointedly to the assembled "grown-ups" who tried to shoo them off- "...Dont deny them. Such as these shall walk into Gods heaven!"

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

PS- My home email is:

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...

ULPH!!! TEASE indeed Naomi!!! Will you be possibly transcribing Donn's letter into the on-going saga? Jeepers... how long since you've recieved a hand-written letter? Then again- it could be differant for you; as I'm certain your numbers of friends, loved-ones, fans & aquaintances are surely more vast than mine... hence hand-written fan-mail more abundant!! Christmas cards are probably my last-outpost for real honest-to-God mail!! It's all pretty much email now. Cool... but also sad in a strange way. I remember my Mom & Mom-mom taking care to buy nice paper... with names like "Irish Linen", and fountain pens. Jeepers!

Well... sure do hope that "Lowe Letter" might emerge along the way!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

No...I will not be transcribing and posting...LOL! It was a very sweet letter and he explained in somewhat more detail how he saw me on that TV Show....And how he searched for the record for such a long time as a grown man.....
And I will write him...Not in long hand because my writing is fairly unreadable....! (lol)
But don't look for his letter beinf posted on my blog.(lol)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh I forgot. Is it me or Rain that looks like a French actress???

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...

Hi Naomi! Awww. Well... as much as it'll seem like the missing part of the whole "Naomi Caryl Confluence" story It's surely your call sis!

It was Rain I was posting to and mentioned about that actress! Do you know which actress I'm thinking of? They could be twins- but her name is still eluding me! ( Old Timers Disease )

I dont know if there are any actresses that look like you Naomi! You never take any current pics of yourself!!... but I'll bet there are!!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL< LOL....There are some more current pictures of me on my blog...My Birthday Lunch...Posted maybe June 28th or June 29th, 2007...My 75th Birthday...Posted around June 29, 2006....
And a few in other places....
I have been told I look like Elizabeth Taylor....! I sure wish I did! And someone just said that recently....Like, today! I think I did in some pictures from years ago....!

I cannot think of who the French Actress might be that RAIN Looks like....Sorry, my dear.

And as far as Posting Donn's letter, I don't feel comfortable doing that....I mean, I certainly wouldn't do that without asking him, you know? is about 5 or 6 pages long....!
He said he used to be on The Internet....I wish he still was because E-mailing is so much easier....! But, he isn't. So, I will write him. I haven't had time yet.Too many other things going on right now.
Did you go see my Valentine Post? It fills in another piece in the Naomi Caryl Career Puzzle (lol)---The Painter part of my career....!
Anyway Butchie, I hope you had wonderful Valentines Day...!

kenju said...

It is very odd that Sissy Spacek would pose for a photo of you and not even speak to you. That is really rude, Butchie. I hope somehow she reads this and apologizes...LOL

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...


It was all a very, very strange scene to be sure! I want to think she had things on her mind... or perhaps intended to come back after she got some coffee and also needed to tag someone before they left, and got side-tracked? It all happened soooo long ago- and was obviously a very 'small' gig for her, so I would not be surprised if she does not even remember that gig! No never mind to me now really... and only tell about it because of the picture that makes it appear she is a deeply empathetic friend! Now Martin was another story! A VERY, very great soul... and we continued to remain in touch and get together here and there over many years- like at the premiers of "Born on the Fourth of July" ( based on the life and Vietnam experience of Ron Kovic )and "Platoon", another Vietnam film in which his son Charlie portrayed "Chris". We more or less gradually fell out of touch over the many years since then... and really, our political postures proved to be so vastly opposite I am only glad we last parted as friends! Sissy Spacek? No apology needed! If I can forgive Jane Fonda I can surely forgive Ms. Spacek!!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

Butchie Boy Olmstead said...


Hello dear... and yes, I (we) DID have a wonderful Valentines Day!! Thank you!!

Joani gave me a really nice art-set... with 82 pieces in varied mediums ( pencils,paints etc.)- as she knows I like to draw and the 'muse' in her is hoping to encourage me to re-ignite that part of me! ( having overtaken all else! ). Also a "bucket" ( literally! ) "o' Chocolate" that I did'nt need but ate like an a abandoned waif!!

Gave Joanie a vintage 33rpm of Bobby Vinton's "I love How You Love Me" ( one of her all-time favorite songs ) that I purchased on Ebay! The album is in pristine condition for its age... looking almost new!!

With that also a package of 9 Norwegian "Tautra" soaps ( rice, spelt, wild berries, etc. ) that are hand-made by an order of sisters who go back hundreds of years and have traditionally made these particular soaps for the Queen of Norway! ( Joanie is Norwegian!... and a Queen in these parts!! )

Your friends are right- you DO look like Liz' Taylor!... and several other actresses whose names ( like my problem with Rain! ) I cannot recall!! All of them will likely come to me out of nowhere and 15 days from now when I'm no longer trying to remember them!!!

Loved the new posts covering your "Hearts" exhibit Naomi! You have so many talents in you- one day you may pop like a party-favor sis!!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

Anne said...

Hi Butchie: Regarding Sissy Spacek in the photo, you can see she certainly didn't have her "heart" in it when she posed for the photo.

I think anyone who is in the public eye and is posing for a photo should remember that the photo will probably survive much longer than they, and that they should look (and act) their best.

As for first impressions, I guess it was all in a day's work for her.

You certainly have nice memories. I'm looking forward to more wonderful posts as you share your remarkable life with us.


Butchie Boy Olmstead said...

Hi Anne-

Well, again- she might have been on 'overload' that day... with other spots to hit thru the day. Or maybe they dont call her 'Spacek' for nuthin! Only a 'k' from "space"... and 'k' for "kadet"? Who knows!! Again I only mention it as the awkward moments would never be surmised from the "concerned" looking photo. She probably has'nt the vaguest recollection of that small day!

Lord hug you tight... - Butchie

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I appreciate you changing what you did...What is STILL a problem for me is all the INFO---Gender, etc.....THAT is the My Space kind of thing....I do not care for these types of "identrification" thingys. It is obvious I am a female...And I amn NOT looking to meet anyone on line, if you get my drift...! LOL! Is there any way to get rid of all that stuff? If not, well, I understand.
Also, FYI:....With a BLOG, no one visits again until you write a NEW post. You haven't updated since February 13th....You might want to write some NEW post, now that it is March....Just a suggestion, my dear.