Hollywood, Sight Unseeing

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Trafford Publishing, Mar 22, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography

Hollywood, Sight Unseeing begins with the following paragraph...

I was in the batter's box. I was eight years old. The pitcher, ten, wound up, threw. Where was the baseball? I saw it leave his hand, then disappear until it was perhaps twenty feet from where it was headed... directly at my head. Being blessed with fast reflexes, I flattened out, dropped like a stone. I hit the ground with that ball missing my noggin by the wispiest whisker. At the time, it seemed nothing at all to me. I had escaped serious injury - just part of the game, I thought. But that "inconsequential" incident, with unrelenting insistence, uncompromising ferocity, would dictate the direction of the rest of my life     Missing that baseball was diagnosed as macular degeneration, a retinal fault very rare in children. No known treatment, vision would continue to decline. By age 17, my vision was 20/200... legal blindness status. I saw at 20 feet what normally sighted people saw easily at 200 feet.
    Beginning with my first love, the entertainment industry, for 25 years, I earned my living, despite its near total visual nature, in the theater, radio, motion picture and television industries. For ten years of that time, I worked as a Dialogue Coach at Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Studios, working with top Directors, Producers and such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Loretta Young, Jane Wyman, Janet Leigh, Charles Laughton, Claude Rains, Shirley MacLaine, Jayne Mansfield, and 16 pictures with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
    When decreasing vision made Dialogue Coaching impractical, I switched to writing for motion pictures and television. Later, I transitioned to the construction industry as a General Building contractor.
    Now, with my vison of 20/600, I have returned to writing. After all, I'm only 83.
          Rudy Makoul

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