Great Books Can Help You Connect Deeply These Holidays

2016-12-23 18:51

I am reading an intriguing book called Detour, written by Cheryl Crane. Cheryl is a fascinating Hollywood story teller. At the young age of 14 she killed the boyfriend of her movie star mother with a sharp kitchen knife.  She was protecting her mother from an abusive boyfriend. It was Good Friday when she did this. Hers is a true family story that speaks about the pain that sometimes characterizes families. These holidays are referred to as family holidays, what is the state of your family? Can you make these holidays a time when the family detours from pain to happiness and true connection?

True life stories make you integrated and truthful in your relations. The very thought that you are reading a true story not fiction makes the story have impact and color your subconscious, leading to lasting personal transformation. Unlike novels where you know that all you are reading is not true, that way you are not affected deeply. In reading a novel you know that what you are reading is pure imaginations. People who writes fiction such as novels are seen as what they are, people with fertile imaginations who can come up with all kinds of imaginary scenarios and write them in such a way that people find them entertaining reading. But ultimately people know that real life is not fiction. The world we live in does not fit the artistic creation of fiction writers. In the real world things are not exactly black and white; they are complex and complicated.

Cheryl Crane wrote Detour: A Hollywood Story in an effort to capture truthfully the dramatic real life stories in Hollywood in the late 40s and 50s. She provides an eye witness account; she is the daughter of the once powerful movie star Lana Turner who is the forerunner of Marilyn Monroe.

Detour, though published in 1988, remains one on the timeless classic that gives a richer account about life in the entertainment colony of the world: Hollywood. It is real and it is truthful as it relates the background scenes - the common life of movie stars like Jean Hallow, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and so on. This period was what is called the Golden Era of Entertainment.

Lila Leeds

In chapter twelve of the book, Cheryl Crane relates an account of a young woman, Lila Leeds. Lila Leeds was a charming beautiful girl who came to Hollywood at the age of 15. Unlike under young attractive girls who come to Hollywood to break into big time only to be disappointed into failure and find themselves doing odd jobs across Sunset Strip, Lila Leeds succeeded. She was signed by MGM, the largest, most glamorous, and most revered film studio in Hollywood that time.

She was spotted in an amateur play production and signed on the spot by MGM. According to legend, she didn't even sit for a screen test. Lila Leeds found herself on the way to super stardom.The sky was not the limit, because there was no sky for her.

Lila didn’t enjoy her way to super stardom long. There was a detour in her life.

She was living in a bungalow on Laurel Canyon Hill just outside Hollywood. The bungalow was known by many to be a “marijuana shack”.

And so, from a tip off, the police pounced on the bungalow some day and found Lila Leeds with her friends on high having had a marijuana party all day, there were joints all over.

She was arrested and she spent 3 months in jail. She was 20 years old when arrested. When she came out of jail her movie career was gone.  The world has moved on. One observer remarked:  She was as done as a cigarette butt squashed under the shoe.

Struggling financially, because there were no more movie roles coming, Lila Leeds eventually left Hollywood, sad, sorrowful and thoroughly broke.

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