Nearly 60 years ago this summer, I welcomed my first son at St. Joseph Hospital. Michael took a very long time arriving, but once he made his debut, he greeted the world with a lusty cry, a wild eye and great enthusiasm.
He was happy to be “Alive in Indiana.”
His appreciation for his Midwestern birth and upbringing has never waned. He is a storyteller who has centered his tales in mid-America. During the past 30 years in four universities — Iowa State, Harvard, Syracuse and Alabama — his published work has spanned a variety of subjects but has always sought local setting. Michael is considered an Indiana writer.
Friday evening at the Civic Theatre, Michael's words from his book “Alive and Dead in Indiana” have been adapted for the theater by playwright Don Long.
The collaboration of the short story volume and Long's stage interpretation opened in the Chicago area a few months ago. The presentation on Friday at 8 p.m. is the Indiana premiere. The short- story volume was published in 1984 by Alfred Knopf and introduces a parade of Indiana's famous and infamous.
If you wish to join the Martones and share Michael's “take” on legendary personalities, call the Civic Theatre. Order your ticket in “the Martone Block” where we will be seated.
On une 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. Michael will be signing books at Hyde Brothers Booksellers, 1428 Wells Street. Come to the play, stop by the bookstore and meet Michael.
When he asked for a printing press for his 8th birthday so he could write a Hamilton Park Newsletter for his Little League baseball team, I should have suspected his words were seeking a targeted audience.
He has written tirelessly and published widely. He was a wordsmith when he entered Francis Price kindergarten and has left a trail of descriptors on North Side High School's river bank.
Come hear his stories Friday night when Michael's “Alive and Dead in Indiana” takes the stage and the Martones take their seats.