While I Have Your Attention

While I Have Your Attention

by John Roach


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For the last 25 years, writer and storyteller John Roach has held court on the back page of Madison Magazine. With musings on everything from politics and religion to family and cabin life to sports and his many obsessions—music, technology, books, weather, and hometown Madison—Roach has entertained and occasionally enraged readers with often witty and always astute observations on life as he sees it. John published another collection, Way Out Here in the Middle, in 2003. In this second edition of his greatest hits, Roach shares a collection of some of his favorite and most popular columns, which reveal as much about his edgy irreverence as they do of his soulful sentiment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942586449
Publisher: Little Creek Press
Publication date: 10/05/2018
Edition description: None
Pages: 140
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

2018 marks John Roach’s 25th anniversary as the “back-page” columnist for Madison Magazine. In 2003, a selection of the first 10 years of his columns were compiled into a book, “Way Out Here in the Middle.” The latest book, “While I Have Your Attention,” highlights John’s favorites and most memorable from 2003-2018.
He is founder and president of John Roach Projects, a video and film production company based in Madison, Wisconsin. Before returning home to put down roots and raise his family, John was a producer at CBS and ABC in Chicago for six years. He developed and produced “The SportsWriters on TV,” which ran for 13 years and was hailed by Sports Illustrated as the template for all television sports talk shows. His credits also include six Chicago Emmys, a National Iris Award for Best Television Special and a national CableACE nomination.
John and Mary Sweeney co-wrote the screenplay for, “The Straight Story,” a movie directed by David Lynch and starring Richard Farnsworth, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The screenplay was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. “Like Hemingway’s dialogue,” wrote Roger Ebert, “the screenplay by John Roach and Mary Sweeney finds poetry and truth in the exact choice of the right everyday words.”
In 2018, Roach was awarded lifetime membership to the Writers Guild of America.
John lives in Madison with his bride, Diane, with whom he launched three amazing children into the world: Kate, Maggie and JT.

Table of Contents

Foreword 6

Prologue 7

Part 1 Take a Knee 8

06.08 Death by Laughter 9

05.10 Madison and the Pope 10

02.13 Have a Cigar 12

07.13 Fire in the Sky 15

01.16 A Many Splendored Thing 17

02.17 Take a Knee 19

02.18 No Particular Place to Go 21

04.18 Working Artist 23

Part 2 The Confused Middle 26

06.04 My Fellow Americans 27

04.07 Evil Bones on a Cold Mud Floor 29

01.12 The Confused Middle 31

05.12 Bang, Bang 34

06.12 Storm Warning 36

10.17 White on Rice 38

Part 3 When Nothing Becomes Something 41

07.04 When Nothing Becomes Something 42

12.04 Songs of a Father 44

09.6 A Rainy Day 46

12.7 Laughing Through Christmas 49

12.10 Canine Reconsidered 51

12.11 The Year of the Dog 53

05.15 Mary's Prayer 55

05.18 The Baseball Glove 58

08.18 Dog Gone 60

Part 4 The New Paris 62

09.03 I am a Pedestrian, Hear me Roar 63

12.03 Thank the Rich 64

03.06 When Art Goes Bad 67

04.06 The New Paris 69

10.10 Jacket and Tie 71

01.11 When the Wall Came Tumbling 73

07.11 Dirty Little Secret 76

10.11 Be a Team Plater 78

11.12 Field of Memories 80

05.13 The Green Shed 82

02.14 Cheese, Sausage, Double Black Olives 84

Part 5 Old Men and Fire 87

07.05 Old Men and Fire 88

10.08 The World and the Woods 90

03.10 Friends on Ice 92

07.15 Exodus 94

09.17 As Summer Ends 96

Part 6 Free at Last 99

10.05 Where There's Smoke 100

01.06 Generation Bridge 102

03.07 Free at Last 104

03.12 We are All Elvis 107

06.18 The Golf Ball 109

Part 7 Turn the Page 112

02.03 Like a Roiling Stone 113

08.09 Turn the Page 115

01.10 How to Party 117

03.11 The Coolest Place in Town 119

09.14 My Tornado Moment 122

12.17 Twenty Inches 124

Part 8 Editor's Choice 127

09.05 Slow Waltz 128

09.10 Surprise 130

04.11 World War Wisconsin 133

09.09 Beers and Freedom 135

07.16 One-Click Junkie 138

About the Author 140

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