Past Due

Lately, I have had very little interest in anything. There is a reason. Many reasons, actually, but none that I care to discuss here. All I can say is, this has affected my life profoundly. My personal life as well as my work life. Luckily, I don't really have a boss that I have to answer to. I work as an independent contractor; my clients are my own, but with that, I still have to show up and do well. It's not easy at the moment, and even though I do feel a little better these days, I am still finding it hard to concentrate or feel enthusiastic. It sucks. I haven't been this low in ages and I am just so very tired.

Tonight was the first night in a while that I didn't just check email or my schedule for the next day or see if any real news has been reported on the front page here at solo. I'm actually sitting at my desk and working on my computer and not lying in bed with my iPad. Progress! So, I decided to look in the forums. I opened a thread about James Dean. Something about pictures that reveal a "softer" side. This made me chuckle because, first, it's not like these pictures have never been released to the public or anything. They're all Dennis Stock photos that have been published in books and magazines a million times now. And, second, I just don't get the whole "James Dean: hard-as-nails" concept. He made three films. In two of them he played a confused lonely teenager - hardly a rebel. In only one film did he portray an egotistical hollow bastard, but even at the core of this particular characters being was a tragic, obsessed, lonely man. Giant is my least favorite James Dean film. He struggled with character development. Mainly because George Stevens (whom he hated working under) provided little to no room for artistic growth and he despised acting along side Rock Hudson. It affected his performance and it is noticeable. But, anyway, the thread sparked life inside of me, and I have to thank the author of the thread for providing the link. I don't remember who you are at the moment, but it's appreciated.

After reading the article and looking at the Stock photos, I thought that I'd find quotes from people who knew him and add them to the thread. Quotes that also revealed the soft side of James Dean, but I couldn't find anything interesting, so I typed "William Bast" into the search engine because...who else would a Dean fan naturally turn to during a moment of need?

Well, I was shocked and very sad to learn that Bill had passed away back in May. I have met many people connected to James Dean. Family members and high school friends, but I never got to meet Mr. Bast, and now that dream is gone. Oh, but dreams have a knack of just not coming true...

In honor of William Bast and James Dean....AND because I, for the first time in 15 years, did not post an in-memoriam of sorts in my blog/journal on the anniversary of his death, would like to post a few of the things Bast wrote about Jimmy in his last biography, Surviving James Dean.

"When among new people, particularly those he seemed to like or admire, he behaved like a little kid trying to fit in where he felt out of place. He laughed a little too hard, listened a little too intently, and agreed a little too eagerly. At times, he was so attentive that he made me feel uncomfortable. And when he felt out of this depth or at a loss, he'd often smile guilelessly and utter the same meaningless phrase, "well, then, there, now." Evasive, but I found it at once endearing and oddly sad. I was actually growing fond of this guy."

"Here was this good looking kid of medium stature, a great build - except for a chronic slouch - with a boyishly killer smile, roaming the campus for months without a friend? Granted, he hardly ever projected himself beyond his horn-rimmed glasses, but when you got to know him, he could be a charmer. Maybe they saw him as just a simple, withdrawn Hoosier shit-kicker not too long off the farm, which in fact he was. But forget the "simple" part. He was far from simple once you got to know him. Light-years. Only, I was yet to learn that."

"At twenty-three, he was more gifted, more dedicated, more insightful than anyone I knew of our age. In obedience to Stanislavsky principles, he had opened his heart and mind, had consumed every course of life's sometimes bitter banquet that had been offered him without regard to personal or popular taste, storing its nourishment for future use. He had given and taken more than most, and, although I'd been slow to see it, he was, in his mindset, already far ahead of his century. Deep in his own thoughts for a time, he finally glanced over to catch me studying him and embraced me with his smile."


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