Sunday, July 10, 2016

I Don't Have Much Ambition

The back of my leg--not the part where I fractured it--keeps giving me hell off and on during the day. It is like the back muscle on my calf that keeps cramping off and on and making my life miserable. I am so sick of it, I have tried to slog through Patricia Shannon's 2002 memoir about her life with Charles Kuralt, Charles and Me, just to take my mind off my agony.

Despite the bad reviews the book got on for the most part, I went ahead and purchased the book anyway. It was only 1 penny, plus $3.99 shipping. As people know, Kuralt was discovered upon his death to have had a double life, with his second wife and eventual widow Petie Baird Kuralt in New York, while he was getting some on the side with Pat Shannon Baker, whom he met in good old Reno, Nevada, back in 1968 after covering her story about building a park over a period of a weekend to show solidarity following the assassinations of MLK and RFK. Baker, or Shannon as she is now known, had a 29-year affair that came to light following a dispute over the remaining land at Kuralt's ranch property in Montana. Eventually she won her case with the Montana Supreme Court, and it appears recently she sold the property. It isn't surprising considering she is around 82 or 83 years old now.

You'd think that with a story like that, she would write a decent memoir. Oh, shit, if you think that, you'd be mistaken. This book is more dull than watching paint dry. The book is actually about her and her extremely boring adventures in Montana and Ireland, both of which Charles provided. Shannon writes a ton of descriptive writing more appropriate for a novel, but that is because she had to have some padding in there to augment what is in fact a story no more worthy than an article in the New Yorker. Charles is in and out of the story, but in the meantime, we are treated to her boring tales about her cooking skills, her failed business attempts, her background, and her boring stories about building places in Ireland and Montana.

I don't think Charles Kuralt was ever a boring individual, but you'd have to wonder what in the hell he ever saw in Pat Shannon. I don't think sex would be enough to continue a relationship lasting longer than most marriages. There must have been something more. Maybe he did know she was boring as hell, but he was only with her off and on while he was on the road doing his shows and saw her even less when work commitments made him stay in New York practically full time those last couple of decades.

I will try and finish the slim volume, but it may take me the rest of the summer to get through it.

NOT recommended.

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