— Acknowledgments —
Comedy of Errors may also be purchased from Main Point Books in Wayne.
Acknowledgments are difficult to construct when attempting to thank all of the people who have assisted in the writing of a semi-fictional autobiography. In constructing this tale, I’ve been quite critical of some of the real people who helped both me and my character along our journeys, while I’ve given great praise to others who, in actuality, contributed very little to my career, but who in the book were quite influential to that of my character, Stewart Little.
Since Stewart’s journey was similar to my mine, I modeled his parents after my own. In doing so, I owe an apology to my late mother and father for being so merciless although quite accurate in my depiction of them.
In all likelihood, my father, George, and my maternal grandmother, Mary, contributed more to me and to my story than anyone else, except, perhaps, my wife Barbara, who saved me from a self-destructive path many years ago and enabled me to survive to this grand old age of 75 without ruining whatever good was in me. With regard to my narrative Comedy of Errors, I must give a great deal of credit to my editors and readers: Manfred Roesler, for his critical eye and the wisdom he used in refining the narrative, as he had done for my previous books; Bruce MacKenzie, who thinks himself a nit-picker, but besides correcting commas and misspellings, has also offered wise consul throughout his readings; and Charlot Barker, a wonderful lady whom I barely knew before she chose to read my book, and who provided thought-provoking comments and insights on each chapter as she received them from me. Other readers include Jeanie Serock, an administrator at the office of my family physician, and Ronnie Hearon, the wife of my editor and the real girl with whom I clumsily tried to dance, not at my church, but in the gym at Beverly Hills Junior High.
Many of the people I merged into the story have been given fictitious names, but I must reveal that Sharon’s real name was, in fact, Lynn MacArthur Hayes. She had a significant impact on my life; unfortunately, she passed away in 2011. She is also one of the real girls and women who were the inspiration for Stewart’s life-long girlfriend, Carol.
Several other friends and relatives were masqueraded as characters in Comedy of Errors, since I thought it prudent not to provide their actual names, as they should be remembered for their own deeds and not for acts I conjured up for them in my fiction.
Others, however, I mention by name, including my friend and former boss, the talented Jon Newton, who taught me the realities of the advertising trade; Jim Vancoski, a celebrated Delaware County coach who was the founder of the Delco Sports History Museum; and my late Uncle Russell, who, although he never gave me any financial assistance, did help me acquire my grandfather’s 1952 Plymouth.
My maternal grandfather’s real name was Edward and he actually drove a taxicab for a living. The given name of my first wife was indeed Zella, but few alive would know her by that name. I was married to her for seven years, and she was, in fact, a wonderful dancer but did possess some of the negative traits I attributed to Stewart’s girlfriend Debra.
Doug Seiler was never the head of marketing at the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation, but is, and has been for many years, a principal in an architectural firm located in Norristown.
Richard Fenimore was, in fact, the son of Edward Fenimore, the founder of the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation and for many years was part of the firm’s management team. Everything else about Fenimore was invented for the story, as were the details of John Hay Whitney’s life as they pertain to my character, Stewart Little.
I’m forever grateful to the dean of the Temple Technical Institute, who chastised me when I met with him to quit my studies. I no longer remember his name, but I took his advice and stayed in the engineering program, and the skills I learned have served me well over the years.
I also must give credit to the management of the Stein Seal Company for taking me on as a paid intern in my first co-op job assignment arranged by the support team at Temple in 1966. I remain appreciative to all of the bosses, engineers and administrative and clerical people who put up with my quirks and inadequacies at each of the jobs I was given in various firms, including: United Engineers, Yarway Corporation, my first real job as a draftsman at Clifton Precision in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, A. J. Wood Marketing Services, and Newton Associates.
I also give thanks to Brian Hayes, my nemesis in my friendship with his future wife, Lynn. He became a brilliant editor, columnist and scientist, and, along with Lynn, served as a catalyst for me to examine my life and expand my horizons during my adolescent years.
Carol, Barbara, Dee, Lorraine, and Debbie are real names of the other individuals who appear in this book as fictional classmates and acquaintances.
I also remain indebted to the late Reverend Harry Ingram Fell and his wife, Hilda Wilson Fell, who helped me through many of the difficulties I experienced as I was growing up, while I, as a teenager at the time, proved less than exemplary in my display of appreciation for their generosity and kindnesses.
On a final note: I am grateful for the assistance I received from Wikipedia, a primary resource in learning the intricacies of the cartoon industry as well as details about the life of John Hay Whitney, the history of the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation, and numerous other facts and details of the artists, actors, musicians and writers I incorporated into my novel, many of whom I might never have known about without its existence.
— George H. Rothacker
Cover art by George H. Rothacker with image of roach licensed from Adobe Stock.
Rear cover photo by Austin Warner.
Chapter head images are owned by the author, licensed from Adobe Stock with modifications by the author,
or in the public domain.