Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Labor Pains of a Writer

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with blogs this week.  It’s usually not a problem and I can dash something off pretty quickly, but I’m in the process of formatting a book for publication.

            I’m ghost writing an autobiography for a former professional baseball player and 4-sport college star at San Jose State College back in the ‘40s.  He was my football coach in high school and has been a friend since.  In fact, I went to work for him after college managing one of his clubs and moving into real estate.   His name is Pietro “Pete” Denevi and he has as much energy now in his eighties as he had back when he owned and operated more tennis clubs and golf courses than anyone in the nation.

            It’s an interesting project following his family from Italy to the U. S. and Pete’s career as an athlete, but one of the things that make it interesting for me is the people he knew and the athletes he played with professionally and in college.

            The great Billy Wilson was his best friend and roommate in college.  Billy, who died recently, was also his primary receiver when Pete was All-League quarterback at State.  Later Pete would celebrate 49er games with Y. A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Billy Wilson, John Brodie and other buddies, along with their wives.

            When Pete was a kid his cousin Frankie Crosetti would take him around San Francisco with Joe DiMaggio, while Joe would leap on trolley cars for free rides around town.  Both played for the Yankees. Later Joe introduced Pete to Marilyn Monroe, who gave Pete a kiss he still hasn’t completely recovered from.  Lucille Ball kissed him with those big lips once too and it took Pete a week to get the lipstick off his face. 

            Pete also had business dealings with Howard Hughes, Bob Hope, and Bill Cosby.  Stories of making spaghetti sauce at Frank Sinatra’s home and accidently knocking over the Pope in Rome add spice to his life story.

            Since I’ve spent the last several days putting the manuscript together, this explanation seemed like an easy way to write a blog this week.  I guess at this point in the production process, I get tunnel vision.  I’ll let you know when the book will be available, in case you have an interest.

            I think the process of writing a book can be compared to a woman giving birth.  The gestation process seems to never end and then the labor begins.  I guess I’ve gotten behind on blogging because of these lousy contractions, but once the book rolls off the press, the birth is complete.  There it is!  The cutest little book you ever saw.  Isn't that what all parents say?

I just hope to hell I don’t start lactating. 


  1. I've been waiting to see if there was going to be any comments but not to be. So I thought I'd start with this, What's the time line for Pete's book to hit the stores and Kindle?

  2. Malcolm - The book is with the printer and I would guess it will be complete in roughly a month. Once we have the final cover design, it will be available as an Ebook.