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I Could Have Been A Prince

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I Could Have Been A Prince

Musings of an Average Guy on Famous People Who Have Crossed My Path
  • by Richard Royal Francis Sorell
    • Merriam Press Personal Chronicle Series
      • First Edition 2013
      • 192 6x9-inch pages
      • 9 photos and illustrations
      • Index
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou

From the book's Preface:

If you are expecting Shakespeare you’ve picked up the wrong book. I’m just an average guy; well OK I’m not an average, average guy. One might say my life has been extra ordinary. I have often said if someone told me my life story as theirs I would think they were full of “it” up to their eyebrows, but I know it happened, it happened to me. I’ve lived on the edge of fame my whole life, never achieving it myself, but rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in every step I took. I didn’t search out these people and when we met I wasn’t looking for an autograph or photograph, something transpired between us and that is what is written here. The majority of the people I met through my employment, positions which were never glamorous.

You will find the people I wrote about cut across all walks of life, from poets, to entertainers, scientists, artists, politicians and more. Some of these people you may not recognize because they were famous before your time, but not before mine, I’m an older man these days. I didn’t realize the age difference until I was telling a young woman in her mid- twenties some of the names of people I had encounters with and many of them she didn’t have a clue who they were. Granted some of them were elders even to me, or contemporaries, so college students may not know them, but maybe I will be able to spark a curiosity in the youth to learn more about these people who have done something noteworthy in their life and what it was that made them famous. For now just understand they were or are famous and they crossed my path and something happened between us.


I don’t know if I would ever want to be famous, even for the fifteen minutes Andy Warhol claimed we all have one time or another in our life. Being recognized every place you go, restaurants while you are eating, or when you are trying to catch an intimate moment, shopping, church, or just out for a walk, people bothering you, privacy pretty much goes out the window; you pay for that fame every minute of every day.


In most cases the famous people I met were sincere and nice; I only remember one person who was a jerk and that person will go un-named. I recently read an article in the Boston Herald by a contributing writer Cal Thomas. He alleges there are almost no “famous” people anymore, there are only “celebrities” and after reading his article I have to concur. He states to be famous your achievement has to have longevity and transcend generations. And so I stand corrected and in all but one case the people I have written about in this book that I have called famous are really celebrities, the one really famous person I believe is Dr. Von Braun of NASA. I am not going to rewrite this whole book just to change the title I have used “famous,” but realize they are not famous they are in most cases celebrities.


Some of the things I have written are fun, some are bits of information that one might never know unless you met these people, and some I wrote about, their stories are a bit on the sad side. I was and perhaps still am concerned what consequences telling some of these vignettes may have on what is left of my life, but then I thought, what the hell, I’m an old man, if I was to get indicted or if the “boys” don’t like how I have depicted what they do and how they do it and I get put on a “hit list,” so be it, I’ll just get to heaven sooner than I had anticipated. I’ve tried not to hurt anyone’s reputation, however as they say, it is what it is. These vignettes are only what transpired between me and the people named in a particular time and situation, perhaps in a different place or when they were in a different mood they may be entirely different people.


I have to tell you I did not write this book to brag or name drop, in fact I am revealing some low down times of my own life in the telling of this story. My friends have been on my case for years to write my memoirs, they felt I had lived an extraordinary life and they wanted me to tell it to as many people as might find it interesting. I really didn’t want to air my dirty laundry for everyone to see, and not only that but if I did a tell-all book I would have to leave out the best parts, if you know what I mean, and so this is not a memoir. I have put in a lot of background of my life so you can see what I was doing when I met these people; giving some idea of the rollercoaster ride I’ve lead. One day I am the CEO of a company I have started and the next day I’m broke as a church mouse and I’m washing dishes or waiting on tables in some restaurant, but given a little time and up I would go again to where I would be calling the shots, that’s just life I suppose.


To appease my friends I have included one episode that I experienced in Paris when I was twenty-three years old; the gal was sixty-six. I’ve always only told my friends of my experience that she taught me how to pour wine but in reality there was so much more. She’s not famous to the world but in my life she will always hold a special place. This brief piece will give you a glimpse of what I have left out.


When I finished writing the body of the book and I re-read it I had huge doubts whether I should let it be printed. I could see every English teacher I ever had rolling over in their grave, and their ghost denying they ever had me as a student. I write the way I speak and if anyone took the time to analyze any sentence coming from my mouth they would see almost everything I say is grammatically incorrect and so I wondered if I really wanted to advertise my ignorance, therefore the disclaimer page. But as the Maya Angelou’s quotation page expresses I had a story and I guess I really did want to tell it to anyone who would listen.


There is more to this book than just telling about people who became known for one reason or another and we crossed paths. If you are sensitive to what you are reading you will see bullying, questionable practices of our government, the struggle of an individual to understand who they are, racism, the paranormal, and the difficulty of an old man just trying to keep up with the rapid changes in society.


Although I have written mostly about my down times, there were many up times in my life too, parties, balls, good friends, but strangely I don’t recall ever meeting a famous person during those times. I seem to have met the famous only when I was in a service position. What caused the rollercoaster ride, I call myself an entrepreneur and sometimes with an idea and the investment of funds and your time you win, but just as often if not more you lose. The game is to be at the top of the rollercoaster when you retire. So while you read about all of these people and you see how I met them, take along a lesson in life and my efforts here will not have been in vain. And please try to ignore my bad grammar; you will make the spirits of many English teachers rest in peace.


I’m putting all this in writing because I am tired of telling the stories over and over again, now I can just say read my book. I have written in colloquial English, I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures. It has been a hell of a life; not that it’s over but I have less time left in front of me than I have left behind me. You will find this book can be read on the subway, in the bathroom, or the bedroom, I bet it would put any insomniac to sleep easily. It’s easy to pick up or put down and not miss a beat. You will find my adventures probably aren’t so different from yours. If you think about it I bet you have met famous people too and didn’t even give it a second thought, of course I don’t suppose you have met as many famous people as I have, but get out there; you never know who you’ll meet, and who knows they just might be famous … for something.

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