Of course, it was an English teacher. We’ll call her Ms. G. Oh, what a crush I had on her in sixth grade. All it took was for her to talk about a book in class and I would go read it. One day she happened to mention a book by Stephen King. I knew who he was, but I had never read any of his books. I would read them all, if for no other reason than to impress Ms. G. I don’t think I ever impressed her, but I did get hooked on King’s books. I already had a mind full of Godzilla and drive-in movies, but now I would look for more thrills in words rather than rubber suits and sound effects.
That same year was also the first time I got censored as a writer. I wrote, among other articles, movie reviews for the October edition of our school paper. I even drew out pumpkins for my rating system. I remember reviewing Halloween and The Shining. These two and every other film I reviewed were rated “R” and so the paper couldn’t print them.
As my interest in King grew, I looked for interviews with him and his interests. He mentioned music a lot, with the Ramones and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins as favorites and they have been the same for me ever since. They aren’t too bad for a Halloween soundtrack. So Happy Halloween! And even if it is a little early for giving “thanks” (although it never is too early)–Thank you Ms. G for being a cool teacher and introducing me to Stephen King! Thank you Mr. King for some great stories and introducing me to some cool music! Thanks to the Ramones and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins for being the originals they were!