Just as I was leaving to Trick or Treat on Halloween when I was 3 years old, we got the call. I had a baby brother and his name would be Steven. My grandmother, whom we called ‘Mom’ (which would prove to be confusing to say the least to have both a mother and a grandmother called Mom, but that is a story for later on…) had gotten me outfitted in my black cat/ballerina costume. The tradition to dress as a mash up of two things was born the same day as Steve. Daddy’d had called earlier to say that the baby was coming, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant. All I knew was that ‘the baby’ was taking its sweet time about it. If it didn’t time its arrival properly, my whole Halloween might be ruined. The skies had turned grey in the east and were an explosion of purples and red as the phone that hung on the wood paneled wall next to the bar between our kitchen and den, rang. The ring was the music of the settings we have now on our smartphones known as Old Phone. But it should just be known as Phone, since that’s what all phones sounded like. Old phones, actually sounded different. But whatever. My grandmother was wearing capri pants and a red sweater. I remember everything about the moment. My friend Tammy’s father, who was to be my candy gathering escort that evening had just arrived to get me. He stood on the back patio just outside our sliding glass door waiting, while I physically straddled the doorway caught between the two moments. I had one foot on the bricks ready to go, and one foot on the grey speckled formica watching my grandmother as she cooed and laughed into the phone receiver. She was reclining, one butt cheek on the barstool as she looked into my eyes but spoke into the phone, “Well that is just mighty good news.” After she’d said goodbye to my Daddy we jumped up and down to celebrate. I went out into the world filled with the feeling of possibility. Somewhere inside I knew I was forever altered and welcomed the change. In fact, I was so excited that I told people at each house I went to that night. “I just got a baby brother for Halloween!” And at door after door I was given extra treats for sharing the good news. I didn’t yet know it, but that was to be the last Halloween where I was center of attention. From there forward, it was Steve’s day.
The picture above is from his 2nd birthday. It was taken just before he tried to eat the wax candles.
Happy Birthday Pretender Steve. Love you so much!!
Ok. So. The first time I fell in love with a boy, I was three and a half years old, in the front seat of my daddy’s white Chevrolet, and my 2-day-old baby brother was placed into my lap. It was love at first sight! I was allowed to hold him in my lap for the entire ride from the hospital to our house. Were my parents crazy?? There weren’t even seatbelts in the car! But I held him tight and talked to him and cooed at him all the way home, and decided he was a keeper. I was going to boss him around (some things haven’t changed), he was going to worship me and do everything I told him (not exactly how it went) and we would get along forever (ish). Steven Long Mitchell, or “Shot,” as he was called when we were little, is a writer/producer/director, yes. He is also a champion barbequer, woodworking fool, bourbon connoisseur, baker of fruit cobblers, and a pretty damn good brother (now that we are adults, anyway). As a kid…well, that’s another story… and one that I will tell here on this blog as I go along. Believe me, I am going to tell some stories about Steve from childhood, and I feel pretty confident that I don’t have to worry about retaliation, because, as I understand it, he is technologically challenged and just this side of hopeless when it comes to figuring out how to work his own blog site here. He has to have others spoonfeed him every step of the way, and he has blocked most of the memories from those years. Also, fun fact– I went to high school in Lexington, Kentucky with Pretender guest author, Mark Dodson, back when he had a gigantic blond afro. And I started my acting career with Craig Van Sickle in an improv group in Los Angeles many years ago, so these guys are family to me. I love family. Part of what I love so much about being an actor is the family aspect. With every TV show, film, commercial or theater piece, a family is created. Family is a big reason that I am so excited to be writing the young Miss Parker series. I’m thrilled to have been invited into the greater Pretender family and hope you guys will welcome me. The first book, entitled, Shattered Doll, is set in France where an eighteen-year-old Miss Parker is attending the Centre university known as CIT. You’ll get to watch her develop from the young girl in Blue Cove, Delaware who lost her mom, into the brilliant, sexy, wünderkind operative that she became. Sydney has a line in Rebirth (and in the Pretender Pilot) that he says to Miss Parker, “You were such a happy little girl. What happened to you?” That question (and many more!) will be answered in these books. Questions like…who was her first lover? Did she ever let anyone into her heart? What did she see the day her mother, Catherine, died? Who taught her about eyeliner and stilettos? And what about Jarod? What new things will we learn about the relationship between Miss Parker and Jarod? And most importantly, I welcome your input!!! If there are any questions you would like to see addressed, let me know. And if you catch me misquoting or misrepresenting something, call me out. I will post things here as I go along. And I look so forward to getting to know y’all.
May 6, 2014