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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - July 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Kri., July 26. 1971 Massive Research on O'Neill Is Biographer's Future By William Glover NEW YOHK (A1-) _ If knew then what he knows now. Louis Sheaffer doubts he'd ever ever have pul the Kianl drama jigsaw together "Despair. frustration, panic" art- some of the words with which he describes crea- liini of the Iwo-voluiiir lift- of Ktwne O'Neill ilial recently lilt- Sheaffer, who calls himself "nut an especially good" ex- jounialisl, spent 17 quietly obsessed years and arduously raised dollars compiling the monumental narrative about America'-; most famous playwright. "When it was over I felt like an orphan." the modest, in- tense Hoswell describes the emotional letdown after his dark journey into his hero's complex psyche. i'iled up around him in a book-tumbled bachelor lair, Shealfer estimates, is "Oil times as much material as went into" the published HlW-word manuscript. "My collectir-n is my fu- he says of plans for possible spinoff works. A book of the pictorial material as- sembled during his hunt for everything about O'Neill is al- ready discussed with a publisher. A paperback edi- tion of the biography is planned by Little Brown in the autumn. "I'd like to branch out and do someone he says, "but lhat would be starting in kindergarten, and I'm a little too old for that class." Chance Events Two chance events led the 61-year-old writer into O'Neill scholarship. The Brooklyn Ka- gle, wheye he began as an off- ice boy and wound up as drama critic, went out of busi- ness in 1955. Turning to thea- trical press agentry, his first jobs happened to be on a re- vival of O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" and premiere of "Long Day's Journey Into The productions helped trigger a widespread surge of interest in the dramatist who had been almost forgotten for a decade. Other plays were dusted off, and a squad of researchers, eager to cash in on the fad, started unearthing the large mass of personal background that no one had bothered to put into a book be- fore the literary giant's death in 1953. Struck by Sheaffer's enthu- siasm, Boston critic Elliot Norton suggested that he get into the biographical race. "1 thought it would lake three, maybe four years." Sheaffer says. But tracing hundreds of people, straining eyes over faded newspaper files, studying letter and man- uscript collections in a half- dozen university libraries proved to be a steadily grow- task. There acre alsw ef- forts by some rivals to block access lo sources of informa- tion. "I wanted to ilrop the whole thing [he first the voice, husky from Ino many citsircls, drops lo a Race With Mortality For seven years, however. Sheaffer "it was basic detective work, with luck and persistence." Ail occasional anonymous tip nr a faint trial would suddenly open an unsuspected rich source of information. In Buenos Aires he located a man who was O'Neill's ship- mate on early travels. "1 was in a race with mortality." Sheaffer says. "My collection is my says biographer Louis Sheaffer shown with a cabinet full of material on playwright Eugene O'Neill. THE HOT SPOT EMERGENCY ROOM 4650 1st Ave. N.E. Bud-Mich-Oly on Tap PLACE 1 st Appearance "Direct From lai Vegas" MISS CHRISTINA MARIE 45-25-35 UNIQUE MOTEL Only 2 Minutes Downtown H 852 A Ave. NE gi GAS LAMP BAR OPEN SUNDAY HOOMT010P.M.J ROOSEVELT MOTOR HOTEL Convenient parking in our ramp DOWNTOWN Sot. July 27 "MADNESS" Top 40 tunes 5 musicians from Brass Unlimited PRAIRIE MOON BALLROOM Prairieburg, Iowa ________Dress Up (jutes________ Trophy Lounge presen fi "DAYS Friday UM Night END" 519HStreetS.W. Dacotah Rock 'n Roll Group! Sat. July 27 Coming: Free Wedding Dance DANCE MOR SWISHER Every 5at. p.m. BEEFEATERS BUFFET par parson Children umfcr 10, Roost Round of Beef, Beef Strogonorf, Solodi, Relishes, Desserts Grant Wood Kitchen Our Now Czech Heritage Display ROOSEVELT MOTOR HOTEL ADJACENT GUEST PARKING f SERVING NIGHTLY CHOICE PRIME RIB OF BEEF ROD (JUST A UTTLE BIT BETTER) Appearing At The Keyboard MARY PIKE Nightly except Fri. 310 THIRD AVENUE SE, DOWNTOWN TELEPHONE 362-8679 BEER BUST and Dance Saturday, July 27, 1974 Music By The "Country Caravan" C.S.P.S. Hall, 1103 3rd. St. SE Dancing Donation Sponsored By Linn Co. Democratic Club John Buscher, Pres. :V "because most who could talk about him wore in Iheir 70s or KOs. "You never knew who would In- helpful For a IOIIL' time I felt I was i< i- skating over his life A pivotal conclusion he reached concerned O'Neill's ambivalent attitude about his parents, long accepted as a profound hi-, work. "When I started I took it for granted, as everyone else had. lhat his hostility was directed toward his father James O'Neill was a noted lilth Century bravura actor Then I talked with those who really knew him and central hostilily was against his mother "That explained a great deal abiml his relations to- ward his own wives. And there was his repudiated Catholi- cism, which directly related to how he felt about his mother. Legacy Of Guilt "lie was a man staggering under a load of guilt all his life. He felt his birth had been responsible for his mother becoming a druu addict, and that led to his hostility toward her because she bequeathed him that legacy i-piilt Sheaffer feels that import- ance (if tin- antiinother dis- covery luis been neglected by many reviewers of his work. lie alsn wishes "more atten- tion were to the bunk's lie takes a newspaper- man's pride in iiiL' a lively style. Accumulation of all the background data sent Sheaffer into a lani'eiHiat to learn how to Hides: an'l assemble bits in proper relevancy. For seven years lie searched, traveled and sorted before putting paper ill typewriter Creative anguish set in. "The danger of bi- ography is that you may project yourself onto your subject. "Sometimes I'd rewrite a paragraph 13 or 20 tunes. It's like drilling for oil. You think you've (jot the bit as deep as you can net. Then suddenly, at times, there's a moment of ex- hilaration as the drill noes Broadway Stars Laud Policemen NEW YORK (AP) The stars of a half dozen Broad- way shows including Her- mione Gingold, Lynn Red- grave and Joan Hac-kett per- sonally have told New York policemen their work is ap- preciated. The theater personalities stopped by the Midtown North precinct station this week to thank the officers for cleaning up the area and making it safer for theatergoers and workers. DRAPORT INN On Old Hwy. 218 2 MM South of KirkwoodColligl OPEN Every Sunday Serving Food Drink Live Entertainment Fri. Sat. Sunday Bud The Country Music Masters Bnr-B-Q Ribs Fri. Sot. PHONE 848-4145 SAT. NIGHT f ff LOUNGE MARION presents: "ALICE RITTER" SINGER GUITARIST BLUE GRASS FOLK ROCK BLUES 9 pm-? "The Good, Bad Ugly" FRI. and SAT. Meet your friends for Fun, Drinks and Dancing Open 2 p.m. 'til 2 a.m. 172416th Ave. SW 1 ALL NIGHT SKATE 1 I Sat. July 27 8 P.M. to 6 A.M. Doors locked at Midnight Parents must I pick up children Wed. Pass Plus Night 6 to 8 and 8 to 10 Pass Plus 504 1 st Session Stay 2nd Session Pass Plus I with or without Skates I1 CEDAR RAPIDS ROLLER DROME I Highway 30 West Ph. 365-0176 MOTOR, HOTEL CONVENIENT PMWIMG IN OUR FRI. SAT. NIGHT MUSIC BY THE STAN-DELL'S OPEN 9-2 Don Geater, Bob Tischer FIREPLACE LOUNGE HIAWATHA WCWMD-IIO COYER DON'TS FRI. JULY 26 'V St. Pat's Fairfax Church Benefit DANCE MOR SWISHER HAUCH SUPPER CLUB Join Us This Weekend i Serving Delightful Foods Mon.-Thurs. 5-10 Fri. 5-11, Sat. 5-12 Live Entertainment Every Fri. Sat. Night and Tony Every Tuesday Thursday Your Dinner On Highway 218 Midway Between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City 857-2641 down furtiier, and you come up with the thought that clari- fies." Six grants from private foundations and the National Endowment for the Humani- ties sustained him. plus help from his family in hometown Louisville. Ky.. when funds on hand got perilously low His Best Took Time 'As the years piled up. 1 be- came panicky more than once a! thought of the great chunk of my life that O'Neill's life was costing me. Hut I had to take all the time necessary to do my best." Sheaffer amiably disputes praise of "O'Neill, Son and Playwright" and "O'Neill. Son and Artisl" as definitive works. lie is keenly aware that the dramatist and his last wife. Carlotta Monterey, locked up in the Yale university library under 25-year embargo a trove of personal documentation. Among the material are dia- ries O'Neill kept from his Bo- hemian days in Greenwich Village through two decades of endeavor. The interdict ends in IHTv Will he be there? The pale blue eyes glint with uii- i-th'jsbMii for fa- ther investigation. "1 can't help it." says Sheaffer. ZODIAC "NO SAUCE" INN 51854th AVE. MARION TURN RT. AT 50TH ST. NEW HOURS, DAILY 6 p.m.-2 a.m. DANCING NITELY OPEN SUNDAY "THE NIGHTCLUB FOR NON-DRINKERS Alt DRINKS MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS" FRIDAY "POCATEE PICKLING CO." THE FINEST IN BLUE GRASS I. COUNTRY MUSIC. SATURDAY "DAVE WILLIAMS" THE MELIOW-VOICED ,_ GUITAR smisr Burn Calories Not Gas! Roller Skating Is Fun and Good Exercise! Bring your friends this weekend and see a New Concept in Skating 3233 6th St. SW 363-6500 RAM ADA INN FRIDAY SATURDAY NIGHT 99 __iowca6e In our Granada Lounge For Reservations Phone 366-7721 Now Taking Reservations For Your Meetings, Banquets Holiday Parties The PURPLE Cow's EVENING SPECIALS Monday Fried Chicken Tuesday-Swiss Steak Wednesday Fish Fry Thursday-Roast Pork i Dressing Dinners include Potato, Salad, Beverage Ivening Specials With Our Salad Bar Included '2.75 OR YOU MAY ORDER FROM OUR REGULAR MENU SUNDAY NOON BUFFET In the "Granary a.m.-2 p.m. Select from Several Meats Delicious Homemade Salads V You'll find Cool Refreshments at our DAIRY BAR Cones -Malts Sundaes Sandwiches Carry Out Service Highway 218 at North Liberty Phone 626-2253 Only 12 minutes South of Cedar Rapids Man.-Thurl. 6i30 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. a.m.-lO p.m. Sat. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.. Sun. 8 o.m.-9 p.m. After Dinner VUr our WOOD 'H WHEEL GIFT SHOP Enjoy the Sunday Buffet at the Served p.m YOUR CHOICE OF: Roast Beef ou jus 0 pried Chicken Baked Horn Fish Mosfied Potatoes and Gravy o Buttered Corn or Peas Carrots Select Your Favorite Salad from our Salad Bar Cream or Sherbet One of ttie delightful dining places in Eastern Vour food is tasty and satisfying. Rolls, Bolter, Coffee or Hal fed Included Wild Ml Meals Children under 10, .75 SATURDAY NIGHT French Fried LOBSTER A e 3 Children under 3, Free. (Table Service also available) FREE BAUOONS FOR WE KIDS Sunday Service BUFFET SERVING 11 Regular Menu DOUBLE-BUBBLE HOUR Monday thru Friday COCKTAILS AVAILABLE AT YOUR TABLE or In Hie LOUNGE 4407 1 ft Avenue S.E. (next to Target) Phone 393-9727
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