Ian Wolfe: Forty-four Scribbles & A Prayer

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R Michael Pyle

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Ian Wolfe: Forty-four Scribbles & A Prayer

PostThu Sep 07, 2017 2:00 pm

I've always admired character actor Ian Wolfe. He could play anything, and, frankly - did. He could be menacing or sublime, comic or tragic, played Brits with complete Brit casts or Americans. Interestingly enough, he was born in Illinois, grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, but admitted to having an "Eastern Seaboard" accent, which was indeed distinctive. Ian Wolfe also dabbled in poetry, and he published a couple of books of it. I just bought "Forty-four Scribbles & A Prayer" from a dealer in Britain - the book is very difficult to find. It's blue softcover wrapped with black comb binding, and it appears he hand-typed it! Mine's signed and inscribed by Wolfe to Sandy and Jerry Ball. The inscription reads "For Sandy and Jerry Ball, with affection, Ian Wolfe." But there's also a lovely hand-written note included inside which reads as follows:

"Dear Ger:
These are greatly improved, many dropped, & several (marked) new ones added, so I wanted you and Sandy to have a copy. I did the best I could w/ the typing; lots of mistakes, etc., but --- (over) Ian
[on the other side]
P.S.
Beth improving, but slowly. But at any rate she gets about, & keeps up the helpful therapy. # The film "Checking Out" is still being cut, & etc. My mortician turned out well. I usually detest what I see, but this time I thought I was damned good. :) "

The beginning of the book, on the title page, has this beginning line:
"These rhyming ballads and lyrics were mostly written rather recently by me as examples of long experience in fooling with words and verses in various forms for many years. I am soon to be 92."

He has actually hand-changed with a pen some words in this presentation copy and written a few other notes, too. He's probably best remembered by most Americans as Mr. Atoz in "All Our Yesterdays" on "Star Trek". I always love seeing him in things like "The Pearl of Death" or "The Scarlet Claw", both Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

His poetry isn't Shakespeare, but it's not Bowdlerized junk, either.

Worth seeking out, but it'll not be easy to find.

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