This is an old standard, the resurrection and redemption of man though redefined right from the sign of these modern times, times that if one were born and raised in say The Motor City, a place otherwise known as Detroit, would know all too well. To say there was a certain way or manner in which many people from The City Of Detroit hold themselves to or lived in not only a lifestyle, but in a general overall knowing of a gruff exterior would be an understatement. In The Motor City and surrounding areas, there is a certain street savvy mentality embedded in the residents in which seemed to convey the notion that the meek shall inherit nothing and only the strong and bold seem to survive. This of course, is very true of Mid-westerners in general, but in Detroit, a city with the highest murder rate per capita and the highest unemployment rate to go right along with it, well it is this tough environment in which births a special breed of human. In particular this story focuses on one man who yearned to rise above it, a man of eighteen years of age, who at a time of great option, delved head first into the party scene, a scene that many in Detroit flocked to like the last ship in The Armada.

In areas such as Detroit, alcohol often went a long way in smoothing the speed bumps and accelerating fast on an otherwise long, bumpy, windy road and Johnny James found this niche early on and by the time he graduated high school, he was to many in the area, usually with little or zero responsibility, a legend. Johnny like many of his friends came from a long line of Detroiters, military servicemen, auto plant workers and general blue collar labor that had passed down through the generations a gravity in the here and now and it was of Johnny’s predilection, much like his Father and his Father before him that a drink made it doable. There was a part of Johnny, who had seen firsthand the ramifications of over indulgence, not only within his own family, but also within the family of many friends that whispered every now and then that perhaps drinking like a fiend wasn’t necessarily the best approach to life. Then again at eighteen Johnny didn’t much care about ramifications and while he was accepted into a small college in California, it was when he came home after a year away in which this story truly began.







The upper echelon of the publishing house told me to write a catchy and snappy introduction to this story, but I really didn’t know what that meant, so I’m writing this. This is the introduction, one that I have signed a contract to write for legal reasons, because with everyone talking about my notebooks and the sensation they all created, let me just set the record straight. First of all, let me just say that I was not born from some stuffy, uppity, high class social stock and I did not attend some worldly renowned, prestigious school where they breed poets and novelists like cattle. No, far from it. In fact I was born in Detroit on the Southside and with all the comparisons to other writers, let me just knock this out of the way right here and now, see I am not some new age Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, William Styron or even some second coming of William Wordsworth for that matter, and yes that is his actual pen name. Despite what the newspapers have written and let me just add that by now we all know that newspapers are the greatest fiction known to man, but I simply write better than I talk. That is the secret formula here and in all honesty this is more of a malady than it is a literary talent. Dar I mention that I am what a friend once called “an outgoing introvert,” whatever the hell that means. I mean is that like maybe a ball that doesn’t bounce or a song with no music? Your guess is as good as mine, but to be fair here in the general standards and practices of the aforementioned label, my friend is far from college prep material. He actually ate Elmer’s glue well into the second grade, in fact I think he developed a habit.

Now to set it straight, some have said I am like the Nirvana of notebook writers, through I never knew notebook writers was a category. That is just what one bloated newspaper writer said in one bloated newspaper article, so take it for what that’s worth. Let’s just say I write and write a lot, because I am a hired geek by many little magazines and aside from this book, it’s what you’d call a job, something someone does for money to survive in this dog eat dog world. It should also be noted for personal reasons yet again that I published this for that very reason and it isn’t to try and be some high and pseudo intellectual writer that is full of them self, because this is all for the money to be honest. I was broke. Plain and simple, as most young men are and with publishing and releasing this, it is actually more money than I’d ever seen before, but then again before this check, I worked the fryer at The Chicken Shack in downtown Detroit.

I’ve never been greedy, but surviving has nothing to do with selling out and if only the people who buy products and then ridicule entertainers for “selling out” whatever the hell that means, I mean isn’t that why everyone creates something, to sell it? So to freaks and dorks of the world, God bless you and forgive me if I took the money and ran. I did just that and it was good money, let me tell you and an even better decision. And you’d have done the same, trust me.

Ok now to the legal part of it, the part I had to sign my life away to disclose. Here are the facts…According to the esteemed “marketing research team,” of the publisher on the cover, 83% of people who buy books usually only read the first few lines and if those first lines don’t grab their attention, then they put the book down and move on to the next one. I don’t know if this is true or not nor do I really care. What I do know is that just after publication, this book was rated by one thousand randomly hand-picked readers, who were hired by the publisher for purposes of researching the best demographics for global sales. The bottom line of anything usually involving the term “research” can always be boiled down to one or two concepts…greed and money, or at least that was what I had come to know as I gallivant through this endless time capsule and the various cities in which I’ve seen. If you look around there’s a good chance you could spot a crime, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyways something very strange occurred on the way back from the printing press. This is not something I am proud of, but quickly upon completion of this book nearly a third of the readers got promoted at work, probably because this could be a cautionary tale. I’m not sure, many of the others could careless, because they have their own lives to deal with so this would explain those who like this book getting all hero worship on me. Some of this is unexplainable and likely has little to do with this book mind you, but the weirder thing was…a slightly lesser percent of these readers simply quit their jobs and disappeared altogether, never to be heard from again. You may have read about these stories in the newspapers or online, which is another reason for the mystique of what follows. Some have said this story has weird magical affect or powers, but that’s all neither here nor there, because sometimes people create their own rumors and stories. Again, the publishing house takes no responsibility for said actions. So, in careful aplomb to quell some of these so called “possible side effects” for legal reasons anyone associated with this book shall not be liable for anything going awry. This is a legal warning, according to the lawyers that told me to write this into the introduction.

How things happened for me, no one could conjure up and it’s irrational because I was headed for a life of mediocrity like most everyone else as far as a career, but I was rich in friends and family, so I don’t see the point of that, then again when we are young, a career is all that matters. This analogy is reminiscent of the old saying, “the more you do something the better you get at it…” Well, for many years all I did was write in notebooks, because most people seemed to be on different levels, like frequencies tuned into being more well liked or more popular. They cared about how they were perceived whereas I was more worried about keeping to myself and not getting bothered by them. I didn’t want to get caught up in the issues of others, which for a few I had done and was guilty by association at one time or another. Again, this is not the norm I get that and in many ways I know I am not either, but like a baseball player, who fields ground balls all day or a teacher who endless grade hacky essays, I got better at these notebook entries or pages or diaries or whatever one might be privy to coin them. I guess in summary, what all those people read, they liked. I really didn’t think my ramblings would amount to anything, but they did.


Charlie Chance.