That Reminds Me is A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer and award-winning author Norman Zierold. Rather than a chronology of his life, the author engages the reader in a conversational manner, relating various episodes from his life that come to mind, one triggering another. There's never a dull moment!
Norman Zierold's charmed life started humbly in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. All that changed after Norman joined the Navy. The war came to an end and Norman used the GI Bill of Rights to attend Harvard, where he graduated cum laude. He then earned a graduate degree in English Literature at the University of Iowa.
While looking for work he was given the opportunity to teach English in France. One of his jobs was enjoying English conversations with the son of the President of France. They even invited him to watch the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on television at their personal residence. Other meetings with cultural luminaries ensued.
Upon Norman's return to the states he headed for New York, where he worked his way up to becoming the editorial director of Theater Arts Magazine. Eventually he went to Hollywood to fulfill his lifelong calling to become a writer and published several noted Hollywood biographies: The Child Stars, The Moguls: Hollywood's Merchants of Myth, Garbo, Sex Goddesses of the Silent Screen; and two true-crime accounts, Little Charley Ross: The story of America's first kidnapping for ransom, and Three Sisters in Black, which garnered a Special Edgar Allen Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He also wrote a science-fiction novel titled The Skyscraper Doom.
In the late 1960s, when Barbara Walters was an anchor on NBC's Today Show, she interviewed Norman on his recently published book, Little Charley Ross. He describes a humorous account of what happened as they were preparing to go on air. Before the segment was about to begin Barbara was pressing her leg against Norman's under the table in what seemed to him a suggestive fashion. He wondered if she might be coming on to him and didn't know what to do. She asked him if he felt that, and he sheepishly said he did. She then explained that this was the signal for him to quickly finish his sentence during the interview so they could break for a commercial. Norman felt relieved. After the interview they had a private chat off camera about Judy Garland since Norman had written about her in The Child Stars, and Barbara's then husband, Lee Guber, had produced one of Judy's world tours. They had met and Judy's issues about her mother came up. Barbara had her own opinion about Judy's relationship with her mother, but you'll have to read the book to find out what she said and Norman's take on it.
In addition to Barbara Walters, Norman met many cultural icons of the day, like Andy Warhol, Shelley Winters, Anthony Quinn, Mae West, Groucho Marx, Roddy McDowall, Jackie Coogan, Rex Harrison, Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, E.E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, a president of France, the gifted composer Francis Poulenc, and TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to mention a few. Norman spent many months with Anthony Quinn helping him edit down his thousand-page biography into something publishable. It did very well.
In the early 70's Norman took up the practice of Transcendental Meditation. He found it so satisfying he became a teacher and taught the TM technique to several hundred people. Since 2002 he has been living in Fairfield, Iowa, and works in his retirement years as a part-time publicist in the communications office at Maharishi University of Management.
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That Reminds Me is A Conversational Memoir by Hollywood biographer and award-winning author Norman Zierold. Rather than a chronology of his life, the author engages the reader in a conversational manner, relating various episodes from his life that come to mind, one triggering another. There's never a dull moment! Once you start reading this book you won't be able to put it down. You're never bored as the author switches topics describing situations with family, friends, and famous people with an erudite, understated and whimsical style that leaves you chuckling throughout. It's also a privilege to sit down with someone who has lived a full life, who's wisdom and life's lessons learned, will make you consciously, or unconsciously reflect on your own life, and maybe come to terms with it, reevaluate it, perhaps want to live it more fully. You will also become privy to some inside information about famous peoples' lives that you would not otherwise have known as you discover how the author surreptitiously found himself interacting with some of the cultural icons of his day. Norman Zierold reminds me of Forest Gump who met historically famous people; only in this case, these were real people, not digitally doctored scenes for a film. This memoir is richly written and so easy to read. If you're traveling on a long journey it will help the time go by quickly. It's a conversation piece; you'll find yourself sharing some of the fascinating stories. Give it to a friend as a gift. Norman's style is so intimate and direct you'll feel as if you've made a friend. He'll leave a smile on your face. The book is a delight; I highly recommend it.