From the Foreword by Joan “Joey” York
This book covers a
difficult period. We had many tough times in our life — a lot of ups, a
lot of downs. But Dick and I managed to be together and smile through
all of them. If anything, tragedy sometimes brings people closer. Even
in the most horrible circumstances, it was a charming, wonderful,
exciting existence I shared with Dick.
Do I miss him? Of course I do, with every fiber
of my being.
Is he still with me? Of course he is.
From the Introduction
I laugh a lot in this book. I hope
you will, too. I weep; you may weep if it feels right to you. I’m
angry, and you can become angry, too. There are sexual passages; you
can join in them, too. (The voyeur in all of us, the interest in all of
us.) I probably will embarrass some of you, only because I embarrass
myself. I embarrass myself by the things that I’ve allowed myself to
say. “Allowed myself to say ” — that isn’t quite right. My mouth
opened, the words poured out, and they were caught on the tape
recorder. And some of them are damned embarrassing.
This book is primarily about love. It’s a love
book. That’s the only area that I know of where we can all meet and all
understand. So when I say, “Patience, please have patience,” I’m only
asking you to share the love with me. I know that's real. I know that’s
From Chapter One
The first time I saw her she must
have been twelve, doing a radio show by the name of Judy and Jane.
She was a twelve-year-old precocious, bright, smiling little girl. I
was fifteen and, you know, she was just a little girl, after all, my
God I was fifteen years old. A very pleasant, bright little girl.
Montage. Go ahead fast. Young man on a
fast-track career jumps from star of That Brewster Boy to
playing Billy Fairfield on Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy.
Now he’s cool, he’s keen, he’s eighteen years old and in she walks,
into the studio to do a commercial. And everything stops.
Everything stopped. She wore a blouse that had
different capitals of the world on it, and there happened to be a
capital of the world in the right place on the right side, and the
right place on the left side, and the announcer, Bob McKee, or maybe it
was Jim Jewell, who directed the show, said to this young lady, “Joan,
I would like to bury my nose between Paris and Rome.” And she said,
“Don’t be prepared to land. It’s a very slippery runway.”
Immediately I was in love.
From the Afterword by Claudia Kuehl
Dick York led a brave
life and this is a brave book — a tour de force, really, considering
that The Seesaw Girl and Me erupted in one big burst of
creativity. What still amazes me is how Dick, completely off the cuff,
structured and wove together his memories to create an affecting
thematic whole, rich in character, emotion, and atmosphere. He was a
What’s your favorite part?
Mine occurs near the end. When Dick says, “God,
I feel good,” my heart swells with happiness for him in his moment of
serenity and completeness. And I’m oddly touched by the description of
a macanoonynoodle dinner. How homely and sweet is that?
There’s also the rat story, and the miraculous
quarter lost and found in the snow, and the wet boots, and the mystique
of Chicago, and the dancing and not-dancing, and above all Joey, the
seesaw girl. So many treasures.
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