Frank, Sammy, Marlon & Me: Adventures in Paradise with the Celebrity Set
By Eddie Sherman
Watermark Publishing, 2006
Reviewed by Terry South for Reader Views (02/07)
“Frank, Sammy, Marlon & Me: Adventures in Paradise with the Celebrity Set” is emotional, uplifting and a good read.
This book, in my opinion had no faults. I think the concept and the writing as a whole can have no blemish thrown its way. The book delivers Eddie Sherman’s tell all, behind the scene about smoozing with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in Hawaii, which he calls their playground. The book is intended for the general audience, there are some uses of language which may not be appropriate for young readers.
The story is written through the eyes of the author, beginning at age 6. The first couple of chapters pull at your heart strings and will bring a tear to your eye. It all begins when Eddie’s mother Bessie is struggling to raise her son alone. She had divorced Eddie’s father and became a single mother all before any of this was acceptable. Eddie was placed into an orphanage in 1929. This was a difficult decision, however, Eddie would be provided with a place to sleep and food to eat. The orphanage closed when he was 13 and he was then placed into foster care. This takes place during the depression and foster parents took children in for monetary reasons. Eddie is placed with a family “The Green’s” and their children take priority over Eddie, where he is forced to wait for bathroom privileges, then he is faced with the decision of eating breakfast or using the bathroom. After awhile he develops a weak bladder and begins to wet the bed the foster mom is furious and punishes Eddie by using a dog strap and/or an iron poker. He recalls his teacher at that time Marjorie Ellis and describes her as the most beautiful person in the world, as she came to Eddie’s aid and saved him. Eddie would then go on to be placed into a total of 4 foster homes. Eddie never forgot Marjorie and once he became a successful columnist in Hawaii he arranged for her to visit. He provided her airfare and a 2 week stay at the Kahala Hilton. Marjorie’s favorite actor was Richard Boone with whom Eddie was good friends, so he arranged an evening filled with a dinner and a show and her surprise date being none other than Richard Boone.
The story progresses through the years, Eddie describes his trouble with his shoulder from fighting, he had been fighting since being introduced to it in the early days of being in the orphanage. The shoulder was repaired surgically and Eddie joined the Coast Guard, while in boot camp he re-injured his shoulder and received a medical discharged. He returned to Boston and had no job so he applied to the Boston Navy Yard as a sheet metal helper and was accepted, but not to work in Boston but Pearl Harbor. While in Hawaii, he tells of his experiences and applying as a radio announcer where he was rejected due to his Boston accent. He then went onto study radio and speech and would eventually reapply and retain the position. Then years later he goes onto become a premier columnist and then the big adventure begins.
This is where the story takes off and progress throughout the years and is filled with interesting and eccentric entertainment figures that are so ideally suited to the unfolding of the memoirs. The author tells all in this behind the scenes look. There are approximately 45 celebrities that Eddie covers; along with rare never before seen photos of celebrities which include Red Skelton, Marlon Brando, and Sammy Davis, Jr. all from his private collection. The author’s memoirs are what he calls the greatest moments in his life and attributes this book not to the celebrities but to Hawaii.
Eddie Sherman is donating all of his royalties to the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific. So you are getting a fascinating memoir as well as supporting a good cause.
The book is a highly enjoyable and greatly recommended read.