On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter
by Tom Blake – columnist
June 17, 2022
In March 2017, I wrote a column titled, “Delivering a Letter to Johnny Cash,” which described a trip my partner Greta and I took to Tennessee to visit the Johnny Cash Museum and Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and Graceland, and Sun Records in Memphis.
As many of you know, I worked with (and became friends with) Johnny Cash in 1975 and 1976 and wanted to show Greta the places where I had been with him.
A fellow Dana Point resident and Champ, Michael McLeavy, responded to that article. He wrote: “I enjoyed your ‘Delivering a Letter to Johnny Cash’ column and thought you might get a kick out of how I met Elvis Presley, since Elvis was a friend of your friend Johnny Cash.”
Michael and I met for lunch and compared stories about how he met Elvis and I met Johnny, two of Tennessee’s greatest singing legends. Michael presented me with a replica of a poster that pictured Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley together, promoting a March 10, 1956, concert in Armory, Mississippi (photo above)
On April 13, 2017, I wrote a follow-up column detailing how Michael met Elvis.
This February, Michael told me he had just completed an autobiography, which features his meeting Elvis as one of the highlights.
He said, “I purchased your Tutor & Spunky’s Deli. A Dana Point Landmark book and was impressed that you self-published it by using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Would you consider editing, formatting, and helping me publish my book on Amazon?”
I said, “I admit, as a senior, I have extra time on my hands due to staying at home during the pandemic. Seniors need projects to work on. Projects can keep their minds active and give them a purpose. I’m not a professional editor, but I did learn a lot publishing my book.”
I thought getting Michael’s book edited and published might take me three weeks. So, I said to Michael, “I will do it.”
Three weeks turned into two months. Besides editing the manuscript, building a table of contents, and creating the book’s cover, there were multiple pictures to reformat and other details to address. One blessing: the book turned out to be only 132 pages.
As I worked on the book, I became fascinated with Michael’s life. He moved to Los Angeles from Scotland in 1965. His primary goal was to meet Elvis. He did that and so much more. He built a successful career in the insurance business.
Michael is an accomplished singer. He has recorded four CDs, which are available on Amazon.
Currently, Michael’s book, “What Now? What Next? Where To?” is available in paperback only. The cost on Amazon is $14.99 plus shipping and taxes.
However, if Champs would like a signed and personalized copy, email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. The charge for Champs is $14.25, plus delivery. He will invoice you via his PayPal account, which can be paid via credit cards.
Michael has lived in Dana Point with his wife Linda since 1989.
Will I begin a second senior career helping people as an editor and publisher of books? Perhaps, but not full time as I must leave enough time to keep writing my eNewsletters and newspaper columns. Let me know if you have a book in your future. I’m receptive to questions.