Truth be told, and maybe you can picture this, but once there was a time when I made my city nervous.
I'm not certain what contributed to this the most.......
Some might speculate that 276 pounds of monkey, dog and nun tattoo's might have something to do with it.
Others might add that it may be my hair goals which have ranged between skinhead to an Ezra Pound pompadour.
But to be honest, I really don't care anymore.
Sure, the Polish Christ redeemed me when I asked for his blessings as a young man, but my city never considered me 100% legit until I was a published author.
And to that I have to give props to the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
At that particular time in my life, getting the hook up from M.H.S. lent more credibility to my career and social standing than if I had been signed on by one of the publishing moguls.
If you've never written a book, let me tell you this much, unless you are a former President, or maybe former Presidents mistress, you just don't get a lot of money for your efforts.
So unless a guy gets signed by Random House or Harper Collins, you are better off going with the publisher that will give you street cred.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled to get signed on by M.H.S.
When these folks release a book, the topic and author automatically can't be scrutinized.
Let's face it, when your book gets placed on a schools book shelf with other M.H.S. titles that feature the plight of the Ojibwa, African Americans contribution to the state of Minnesota, or even anything that says Kevin Kling.........
Nobody can mess with you after that because........
If the Minnesota Historical Society signs off on you, then so must the people of Minnesota.
From the second my book was launched, people from both east and west of the Mississippi started to broaden their opinion of who Klecko was.
So that in turn helped my professional career, I got to do cameo's in N.Y.C. on Martha Stewart radio, and numorous other venues that were really only viable options to....how shall I phrase it? The acedemically minded?
Being literary is cool.
Today was the 3rd annual "Author's Picnic" and the best thing about this event is that it takes place less than a mile from my house.
So me and Sue McGleno decided to drop in and see what bright minds would be present.
Last year I attended, but I made the mistake of locking in on only one author, it was some guy who did a book about the golden years of All Star Wrestling.
When dude started telling me stories about the Crusher and Mad Dog throwing kegs, or how the scene changed when Macho Man and Jesse the Body came onto the scene, I didn't feel there was really any reason to talk with anybody else.
But often times if you don't mingle, it is considered rude.
So Sue McGleno and I are walking up this long Hansel and Gretel path and my publicist A-10 spotted my better 1/2 and the 2 of them went off to giggle about whatever.
So now Klecko sees a woman, she looks familiar, but who doesn't at this point in my life.
Her name was Susan Marks and she was the chick who wrote the "Looking for Betty Crocker" book, or something like that. I actually read it several years back so I was kinda stoked to meet her.
When I asked her what she was working on thes.........
I couldn't even get the sentence out of my mouth before she stuck a postcard in front of my face LOL.
I liked this chick.
The post card said...............
"Of Dolls & Murder" and had a picture of a plastic doll laying in dark shadows, with it's eyes closed.
Susan started to tell me (and this is in my words, not hers) that she was America's leading expert in CREEPY POP CULTURE.
What a cool thing to specialize in huh?
Her film will crush, and not just because it's promoted with bad a** post cards, but this girlio has savvy, she talked John Waters into being the films narrator.
The premise of the deal goes back to when cops actually used doll houses to reenact murders or acts of violence.
Barring tragedy, Its going to the debut on the 28th of this month at the Heights Theater.
So as if that wasn't enough, next comes along this guy wearing a wiffle ball T-shirt, and to be honest, the guy didn't really look like a writer.
Dude looked more like a rock star.
Very seldom will you meet a writer that follows fashion or is coincidentally blessed with high levels of swag.
God doesn't work that way, you can't have your cake and it it too.
That was until now at least, Dude turned out to be Brad Zellar.
If you live in the Twin Cities, I don't need to say anything else, but if you are from Helsinki or Lithuania, let me give you a clue.
Brad used to be in a band called the Gear Daddies.
The sounds they dropped on America were iconic, but music in itself wasn't Zellar's soul muse, he also enjoyed writing.
For years he wrote for City Pages which used to be the only viable news source for everyone in the TC's ranging from hipsters to business people.
I think he mentioned his book to me today, but to be honest.....
I was kinda freaked out that he knew as much about wiffle ball as he did.
For over a 1/2 hour, Brad told me stories ranging from having one of the official wooden wiffle ball bats from the 50's, to how his father put it in his will that it was mandatory that wiffle ball and chili dogs were present at his funeral.
He also has made several spiritual Hajj's to the east coast to fellowship with the wiffle ball factory workers. When describing this to me I had to laugh...Picture John Bon Jovi hanging out with factory workers in Mayberry R.F.D. and that might just scratch the reality surface of his experience.
I can't tell you how much I respect any man or family that forms their own personal religion around a slotted plastic sphere.
But the best part of the day, the part that made me smile the most was watching the M.H.S. Director Pam McClanahan.
Most people know her as the director or quarterback of the M.H.S. Press, but to me....I'll always remember her as the woman who went out on a branch for me.
Think about it............
This woman puts out books about the history and people of the state of Minnesota, and to let Klecko sit in the ranks or archives with some of Minnesota's brightest minds ever......
It simply blows me away.
Klecko will always have mad love for her, and forever be in her debt.