87-year old Ed Gruber says he’s a teller of stories; building novels around his extraordinary life experiences collected during an “exceptional journey.” From growing up on the streets of New York City to working, when in his teens, as a bellhop and waiter at upstate summer resorts. Graduating New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, and then the U.S. Navy School of Journalism. Serving as a Navy Combat Correspondent on a variety of ships at sea, including aircraft carriers and a submarine, and engaging in night combat patrols in Korea alongside his Marine brothers. Entertaining fellow troops at a Hawaii Military Service Club, and working with Bob Hope and John Wayne, and other celebrities. Being part of the “Madmen” era on Madison Avenue, also Detroit and Toronto with international advertising agencies, and climbing from copywriter to Vice President and Creative Director to owner of his own company. “It’s been a helluva journey,” says this vigorous widower, now residing in Woodstock, GA, “and it ain’t over yet.”
When Ed isn’t writing, he’s playing golf, or fishing, cooking up gourmet meals, or doing laundry.
Alan and his wife can no longer have intimate relations. She unexpectedly suggests he find a sex partner. He resists. But the idea is exciting. With some reluctance, and a sense of adventure, he places an ad on the Internet.
Dozen of e-mails follow; from the curious, the sympathetic, and those interested in further exploring his proposal. They reveal intimate histories, tales of love lost, uncertain and broken relationships, anxieties, heartaches, secret and not-so-secret sexual desires. In often graphic detail, unfulfilled women from a diverse range of genres and ages – even a lonely gay florist, offer up a riveting array of intriguing propositions while divulging penetrating and edifying insights to assorted lifestyles, atypical cultures, mind-blowing fantasies, and personal desires. Some even scold on religious and moral grounds. The language is vivid. The tears are genuine. Frustrations are poignant. The needs are vibrant.
But, Alan too, has a secret. And who is the surprise last respondent with an exciting and promising double offer?
tony the kneebreaker
Tony the Kneebreaker, an ex-pug, is one of “The Boys.” His unique and brutal talent? Changing the minds of business owners who miss or resist shakedown payments. Just a few taps with his scarred Louisville Slugger bat usually do the job. Tony is very good at what he does.
When not knocking on doors and on people, he represents “The Boys” on the volatile Hudson River docks where they do much of their cold-blooded business. There, Tony is taken in by the Lowenstein brothers, owners of JIF Banana Trucking—for many years under The Boys’ “protection.”
“We pay them to protect us against them,” gripes one of the victimized brothers.
After twenty years of beating up on disgruntled customers and welchers, Tony finds God and conscience, and wants out. He swears to “never say nuthin.’” But “The Boys” are reluctant – Tony has seen, done and knows too much.
For old times sake—and their own greedy good, they offer Tony a perverse plan which would assure his silence, but also put the Lowensteins at risk to be blackmailed into shady trucking activities.
Tony goes to the brothers. “You know The Boys good as anybody. You gotta help.” Along with Rosie, their smart, secretive and sensual secretary, they come up with their own plan.
But nothing goes right.