R.I.P. John Weston, 90, in April ("The Boy who Sang the Birds," 1976)
From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jun 9 13:07:24 2023
About "The Boy Who Sang the Birds":
"During a fierce winter marked by the strange behavior of the birds, an older boy, living alone, takes in a child who seems to be able to talk to animals."
About "Hail, Hero!":
"Novel about the twenty-four hours in the life of a young man just before he goes into military service, even though he's passionately against war and does intend to do any killing: 'he wants only to look in the face of the man who will try to kill him,
and love that man if he can.' Basis for the 1970 film of the same name, directed by David Miller and starring a young Michael Douglas in his first starring role, with Arthur Kennedy and Teresa Wright as his uncomprehending and unsympathetic parents."
May 17, 1932 to April 9, 2023 John was born on May 17, 1932 to Eloine and Omer Weston in Prescott, Arizona and raised in the small community of Skull Valley, Arizona. There was only one schoolhouse for all grades and it really was over a mile walking to
school. He had three brothers and a sister who all shared a small dwelling which was a converted "lineman's shack" where railroad employees would rest for the night. Little money, but with much emphasis on education, made John a standout student from the
beginning. After receiving his Masters Degree from Arizona State University, John taught English and Creative Writing at Rincon High School in Tucson, the University of Arizona, then Cal State LA. He also received a fellowship to Yale University where he
studied for a year. He later taught classes and lectured in both France and Russia. He was also the director of the University of Arizona Poetry Center which hosted some of the country's best poets, including Allen Ginsburg. John published seven books
including "Jolly" which was hailed by critics and stayed on the New York Times recommended reading list for several months and "Hail Hero" which was adapted for the screen and was Michael Douglas's first movie. He also published several books of poetry.
Always dabbling in the arts, he was a singer, a musician, an actor and an artist. He performed many times in local theaters in Los Angeles and Laguna Beach and also wrote, directed and produced several plays. Anyone who ever visited his home was treated
to his vast culinary skills. He truly was a renaissance man. An avid traveler, John visited over 35 countries in his lifetime, always seeking the out of the way places, not wanting the typical tourist fanfare. Europe, Africa and Asia were always in the
mix. For relaxation, Hawaii was his favorite place and he kept a residence there for over 40 years. John was active in local organizations. In Lake Oswego Oregon, he was given the "Citizen of the Year" award for his philanthropic work in the arts
community. John was also a proud gay man and led the efforts in Oregon to make same sex marriage legal. He was married in Hawaii to his husband Michael by Judge Thomas Foley, the man who started the national same sex marriage movement. At his current
residence in Palm Desert, California, John served on the City Arts Commission and was a board member of the International Classical Concerts of the Desert. More importantly, John was a thoughtful, gentle, sensitive, generous and humble man. He would be
so embarrassed if he knew we were writing all these kind things about him. Always more concerned about his fellow man, John never indulged in talking about himself. He will be greatly missed by friends and family alike. John was predeceased by his
parents, brothers Bill, Omer and Jim, sister Martha, his former wife Jane and former partner Jim McBroom. He is survived by his husband Michael Adams of Reno, Nevada, daughters Tracy of Los Angeles and Jennifer (David) of Oscoda, Michigan, Granddaughter
Taylor (Shon) of Albany, Georgia and Great Grandchildren Brooklyn and Weston. ________________________________________________
From "Contemporary Authors," in 2002 (C.A. also says that Weston was married, in 1954, to Catherine Jane Storms):
WORKS IN PROGRESS
A novel, Tubalcain; a book of prose-poetry; a collection of tales for children from California Indian myths and legends.
BY THE AUTHOR:
Jolly (novel), McKay, 1965.
("Sure Jolly wanted to, he'd been saying how much he wanted to for months. All the other fellas had, lots of times, but those were different girls...not like Dogie. Jolly couldn't...not with the girl he loved!" Interestingly, one book cover shows two
teen boys, one with an arm around the other's shoulders.)
The Telling (novel), McKay, 1966.
("A small, hot southwestern town--a powerful novel of loneliness and love. Restless, bored--they were men and women drawn together by longings too old to ignore, hungers too great to resist, in a town hot enough for any kind of explosion." "A Peyton
Place on the Colorado!")
Hail Hero! (novel), McKay, 1968.
Goat Songs: A Fictional Suite in Praise of Life's Harmony-And Life's Dissonance (novellas), Atheneum, 1971.
("The Late Ray Bradbury once said of John Weston's GOAT SONGS, "I hope anyone who cares about excellent writing will read this book." That comment well defines this magical book and its essence: quality fiction. GOAT SONGS explores far beneath and beyond
the surface of its characters to realms of human relationships rarely explored. It seeks to define the motivations of its people in the remote world of pagan sensuality from which the idea of the title is derived. Originally published in 1971 and much
beloved by many, the original book was a triptych of three novellas. But it was the long middle novella, GOAT SONGS, that was so intriguing." )
The Walled Parrot (novel), McGraw, 1975.
(a murder thriller - not a mystery, from what I can tell)
(Drawings by Donna Diamond)The Boy who Sang the Birds, Scribner, (New York, NY), 1976.
"Also author of short stories and travel features."