Barnaby and Me

Linn Sheldon

$12.95

Hilarious and heartbreaking memoirs from one of the most beloved figures in Cleveland history. Linn Sheldon was a pioneering children’s TV host, but offscreen he led a wild life. From a Dickensian childhood in rural Ohio to Hollywood and back, his odyssey includes celebrity, personal tragedy and self-destruction, recovery, and humor throughout.

Softcover / 186 pages / 5 x 7.8 in. / 21 photos / ISBN 9781886228429

Description

“A revealing and hilarious look at [Sheldon’s] career, which blossomed along with TV itself. The anecdotes are endless.”Sun Newspapers

Amazing but true stories from one of the most beloved figures in Cleveland entertainment history.

For 32 years, he was a six-foot-tall elf named Barnaby. That was the character Linn Sheldon played on television, to the delight of three generations of children—and many grownups, too. The role made him a celebrity and defined not only his career but an entire era of local television.

Barnaby was a masterful storyteller who spun imaginative tales out of thin air to enthrall his audience. But no story Linn Sheldon ever invented for Barnaby even compares with the real-life script he lived himself.

He was caught in a Texas tornado, trapped in quicksand, and survived an airplane fire. He was accused of bank robbery and performed stand-up comedy at the point of a gangster’s gun. He was fathered by a drifter, orphaned at birth by his mother’s death, and later abandoned as a small, lonely child to fend mostly for himself. He quit high school to hitchhike across the country with little more than a banjo, and landed among the glitter of Hollywood with a job on the lot of MGM studios.

He fell in love—again and again. He broke into stage acting, helped invent television programming in the earliest days of Cleveland’s first TV station, and became a celebrity. He made a lot of money—and lost most of it, as he drank away his health and the love of the people he cared about the most.

He sobered up, fought ill health, and fell in love again.

And, now, he looks back. In these 29 stories Linn Sheldon, master storyteller, shares his most intriguing tale yet: that of his own extraordinary life. It is a remarkable mix of melancholy, hilarity, irony, and warmth.

Additional information

Weight 0.42 lbs

Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction

CHILDHOOD

Puckerbrush is what they called the other side of the tracks …

When I was eight and full of wonder …

My grandfather drank a lot of home brew …

The house at 17 State Street in Norwalk …

Harvey Cooper was a teacher in our school …

Looking into a mirror at any age …

Live Bait

FLORIDA, HOLLYWOOD, AND WORLD WAR II

I hitchhiked to California by way of Florida …

When I was 15 I was a gofer, and it was glorious …

Let me tell you about Hedy Lamarr and me …

SHOW BUSINESS IN CLEVELAND

When I got out of the Army in the mid-’40s …

My three former wives …

Let’s take a long look at Cleveland …

Have you ever looked at the cover girl …

When no one can tell you what to be, all you can be is yourself …

Back in the ’50s I had a television show …

PHOTOGRAPHS

THE BARNABY YEARS

I hope I haven’t given the impression that my life was more fun and games than trial and tribulation …

Barnaby says hello …

The mark of a truly elegant lady …

In time word got out that Barnaby lived in a certain Cleveland suburb …

One of the biggest laughs I ever got really hurt

I’ll tell you a secret . . . Barnaby wears a toupee …

Looking back, some personal appearances should have qualified me for combat pay …

Barnaby and I really got around …

In my day I have leaned on psychiatrists …

AFFLICTION, RECOVERY, AND RETIREMENT:

I had my last drink of alcohol …

It was a dark and stormy night, as the cliche goes …

There is a time and place for everything, but Florida was neither one for me …

I met my present wife, Laura …

 

Afterword

Postscript

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