Hollywood on the Potomac
“I grew up in upstate New York – what I would just call a typical family, like from the Ken Burns series,” author Ann Atkins told Hollywood on the Potomac. “We were the ones that went west with the little travel trailer to go see a national park at Yellowstone, that kind of thing. My parents were just the traditional type. They were supportive of me, but still with the constraints of that day. You know, you can’t go out to play with all these other boys unless there’s other girls there too…..that kind of thing. I thought it was weird.”
“Then when I was in high school, which was in the ’70s, that’s when girls were really breaking out and by heavens we weren’t going to be just teachers or nurses anymore. We were going to be accountants and go after any of those traditional male fields. For me, I was going to be an accountant which, if anybody had really talked to me or if I’d had any self-awareness, would have been a totally ridiculous idea because I don’t care about numbers,” she added.
Ron Kessler is concerned about the recent Secret Service debacle and he should know whether or not to be concerned. He is the author of 20 non-fiction books about the US Secret Service, FBI and CIA. Seven of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. “Kessler’s such a skilled storyteller, you almost forget this is dead-serious nonfiction.” Newsweek
Kessler is worried that President Obama keeps expressing confidence in the Secret Service and thinks he should appoint someone from the outside of the agency. “That’s what I said in my book The First Family Detail,” Kessler told Hollywood on the Potomac. A look back at our interview with Kessler when the book first came out: Here is the article.
“He appointed Clancy (Joe Clancy is the 24th and current Director of the United States Secret Service) who is part of this culture,” Kessler emphasized. “Obama is in denial. He minimizes the risk to his own life. A lot is at stake.”
As for President Obama, he issued a statement for reporters via White House spokesman Eric Schultz: “President Barack Obama has full confidence in Secret Service Director Joe Clancy to pursue reforms needed at the agency in the wake of several scandals. Nobody has higher standards for the Secret Service than Director Clancy.”
“I always wanted to be a writer,” James Grady told Hollywood on the Potomac. “My parents were terrified by that and so they I would say they convinced me that I wanted to be a lawyer; so I thought that was what I should do – but I never really wanted to do that. I just wanted to write stories and movies and it seemed inescapable somehow. Oddly enough before I was five … I’m only going with what my mom told me …. I would tell her stories and make her write them down. She would take enough notes to be able to tell me where I’d left off and throw the rest away.”
Fortunately “Grady” – as he is known to his friends – went on to quite a prolific writing career that was topped off by Three Days of the Condor starring Robert Redford. He was 24 when he sold it.
“I was born April 30, 1949, in Shelby, Montana, a tough oil field, railroad and farming town clinging to the prairie 60 miles east of the Rocky Mountains, a half hour drive south of Canada, and a million miles from everywhere else. For most of my youth, my father managed movie theaters and my mother was a county librarian. I was a bookish, movie-going kid who survived playing high school football. I went to public schools and worked: I was a grave digger, farm tractor jockey, rock picker, hay bucker, janitor, motion picture projectionist, and city road crew laborer – all before I graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in journalism.” Jim Grady