1) There are a lot more than five. Let’s see, in around 4th Grade my friend and I decided to turn his basement into a thrilling house of horrors. We made dummies and used lots of ketchup and Halloween masks. I turned the rubbery masks inside-out to make them weird and show off the ketchup. Only our parents came, however, and it was not their thing. Then we had to clean up.
2) I started a four-page “newspaper” with friends in 7th Grade and I became editor. Besides covering things like “Beatlemania!” I also drew my own one-panel comic, “Prehysterics.” It featured a caveman, Rufus, and his cavewoman wife (who looked more like Rufus than Raquel Welch). I went on, in high school, to caricature my teachers (rather than take notes in class). I became known for these unflattering drawings (some might say “cruel”) which circulated around our various classes until one day the math teacher, a very big guy, got his hands on his caricature. It had a dialogue bubble, too.
3) Speaking of macabre, in my junior year of high school I staged an elaborate but comical stunt where I made it seem, at an especially overcrowded detention session, that I’d jumped out the third-floor window to escape our history teacher’s endless afterschool detentions. I had filled a milk container with ketchup (my main special effect) and spewed it out onto the parking lot macadam far below the window in question. Then I arranged my (mostly virginal) schoolbooks chaotically around the tragic scene. Then I laid myself down next to the spray of ketchup with my mouth close to the leading edge of the versatile red stuff. I splayed out my jacket coattails and necktie pathetically (boys’ school meant jacket and tie), my arms and legs akimbo. On cue, a co-conspirator upstairs flung open the big window and screamed. Other windows opened and guys hung out screaming until the victim of our prank made his way to the window to see for himself. It was a gruesome sight. There, on the pavement far below, lay mute testimony to this man’s utter failure to keep us from doing anything in our power to escape him. In an unplanned bonus, fascinated underclassmen waiting for their bus had formed a woeful semicircle around my pathetic, broken figure. Knowing I could not top this stunt, I proudly informed the dean of discipline that I would forsake my life of pranks and disturbances “to focus on beer.”
4) Oddly enough, in senior year my date (a lovely young lady from a local girls’ high school) was chosen my high school’s homecoming queen at the big football game. There was an exciting coronation at the fifty-yard line and everything. We of course had a marching band. There was a dance that followed. Most of the day remains a blur except for two things: we didn’t have much in common and barely spoke to each other again. After something like that it’s all downhill.
5) I was one of those English majors in college who started writing songs and formed a band in senior year. The band (the Meade Bros. Band) found success without me, but the genetic brothers stayed with me to record my stuff over the decades and do occasional live shows as The Achievements. We continue to carry on in this way. Out of 110 songs or so, we’ve recorded more than half and about 45 of them can be heard and downloaded (free!) at: https://soundcloud.com/ken-mcgorry. The real key to any ability I have to keep singing (at my age) is my participation in our local church choir, lo these 15 years.
About the Author
Ken McGorry has been writing since third grade. (He learned in first grade, but waited two years.) He started a school newspaper with friends in seventh grade, but he’s better known for his 23 years as an editor of Post Magazine, a monthly covering television and film production. This century, he took up novel-writing and Ghost Hampton and Smashed are examples. More are in the works, like the promised Ghost Hampton sequel, but he’s kinda slow.
Ken lives on Long Island with his wife and they have two strapping sons. There are dogs. Ken is also a chef (grilled cheese, and only for his sons) and he enjoys boating (if it’s someone else’s boat). He has a band, The Achievements, that plays his songs (try https://soundcloud.com/ken-mcgorry). Back at Manhattan College (English major!), he was a founding member of the venerable Meade Bros. Band. Ken really was an employee of Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons one college summer, and really did mow Dan’s lawn.
About the Book:
Title: GHOST HAMPTON
Author: Ken McGorry
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Author: Ken McGorry
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Lyle Hall is a new man since his car accident and spinal injury. The notoriously insensitive Bridgehampton lawyer is now afflicted with an odd sensitivity to other people's pain. Especially that of a mysterious young girl he encounters outside a long-abandoned Victorian house late one October night. “Jewel” looks about 12. But Lyle knows she’s been dead a hundred years. Jewel wants his help, but it’s unclear how. As if in return, she shows him an appalling vision—his own daughter's tombstone. If it’s to be believed, Georgie’s last day is four days away. Despite Lyle’s strained relations with his police detective daughter, he’s shocked out of complacent convalescence and back into action in the real world.
But the world now seems surreal to the formerly Scrooge-like real estate lawyer. Lyle’s motion in court enjoining the Town of Southampton from demolishing the old house goes viral because he leaked that it might be haunted. This unleashes a horde of ghost-loving demonstrators and triggers a national media frenzy. Through it all strides Lyle’s new nemesis in high heels: a beautiful, scheming TV reporter known as Silk.
Georgie Hall’s own troubles mount as a campaign of stationhouse pranks takes a disturbing sexual turn. Her very first case is underway and her main suspect is a wannabe drug lord. Meanwhile, Lyle must choose: Repair his relationship with Georgie or succumb to the devious Silk and her exclusive media contract. He tells himself seeing Georgie’s epitaph was just a hallucination. But a few miles away the would-be drug lord is loading his assault rifle. Berto needs to prove himself.