PLEASE GO TO TO THE WEBSITE TO SEE REWARDS: www.lightyourtorches.com
LIGHT YOUR TORCHES is a father-daughter memoir. It will be a high-quality 9 x 6 hardback, approximately 475 pages, with approx. 150 photographs, and a full-color dust jacket. I know my father would be proud of it.
In printing and promoting this book, I will have the help and advice of friends who know all aspects of the book business. I have plans for a Book-Tour-By-Car, covering several states in the New York/New England area (and if I’m lucky enough to be overfunded, California, too!) I look forward to meeting readers, and hopefully some of you who will donate to this project. It would delight me to thank as many of you as I can, in person.
Tay Garnett's story begins with his birth, which, amazingly, was in 1894! I was his only child, born when he was 61. His memoir has been out of print for almost 40 years. But mine is new, and carries our family story to the end of his life in 1977, and my mother's in 2004. I had my own pitfalls and triumphs, growing up in that showbiz world. I made lots of mistakes, but also some good decisions. I've done my best to tell my story honestly.
As I state in the video, my father was one of the most successful directors during Hollywood's Golden Age. In 1973, he published a wonderful memoir recounting his days on the sets of such classic films as The Postman Always Rings Twice, China Seas, Bataan, and many more. His memoir was full of photos and hilarious anecdotes. It was also an incredible history of the Motion Picture business in its early years. This project will support the reprinting of my father's book, with my own memoir added.
My father was not just a director but a producer, screenwriter and even a novelist. (His book Man Laughs Back was published in 1935.) He was also somewhat of a visionary when it came to his work. In 1937, he sailed around the world with a film crew, shooting backdrop for his movie Trade Winds. That amazing footage is now considered valuable archives.
Tay Garnett was a true “Renaissance” man: an acrobat and swimmer; a pilot, a yachtsman and a traveler; a cartoonist, painter, sculptor, and musician; a writer of limericks and jingles; and even a first class cook of Mexican foods, as well as a baker of breads and cakes. He was also a bit of a dare-devil. As he was about to be released from the Navy, he agreed to help a student pilot get a last hour of needed instruction so he could graduate. Flying an N-9 pontoon plane (what Dad called a "crate") the student made all the wrong decisions and the plane crashed into the bay. Dad's right knee was so badly injured that he walked with a cane for the rest of of his life.
Another time, while filming The Delta Factor in the rain forest of Puerto Rico (1969) the car he and his cameraman were riding in catapulted off a cliff with a 450-foot drop. Onlookers were certain no one could survive. Amazingly, members of my dad's crew had taken courses in mountain rescue. They descended into the canopy below to bring my father's broken body back up the cliff, using a stretcher and ropes. I was only 13 years old. That night in our hotel room, I bargained with God for my father's life. If God would just let him stay with me a little while longer, I promised to accept it the next time he wanted to take him from me. That happened when I was 22 years old.
Tay Garnett was also a man who knew and dealt with adversity. Hollywood is famous for making judgments based on how you look, where you live, and how much money you have in the bank. By the time I was a teenager, my father's career had waned. Directing jobs went to younger directors. In a neighborhood where my closest friends lived in luxurious houses and drove fancy cars, my family and I lived in rented houses and drove aging vehicles that were once chic. It wasn't easy staying afloat in the almost mythic city of Beverly Hills. But we managed, and I'm stronger for it.
My father’s loving nature and infinite creativity have been the greatest inspirations of my life. There have been times when remembering his love for me has been the one thing that’s kept me going. This is why I’ve chosen the rewards I’m offering. Sharing these very personal rewards is my way of connecting you to the spirit of a truly exceptional artist and human being. It's my way of keeping Tay Garnett’s memory alive.
Thank you all so very much for helping me do that!