This is a work in progress I keep online to facilitate feedback from readers, and to allow literary agents or film producers to discover it via internet search engines; a primary character is my grandfather, Edward Grady Partin Senior, who was famous in the 1960’s and 70’s as the Baton Rouge Teamster leader freed from jail by Bobby Kennedy to infiltrate Jimmy Hoffa’s inner circle, and whose testimony sent Hoffa to prison and became the cornerstone of U.S. supreme court decisions for surveillance and bugging from the 1966 case of Hoffa vs. The United States to President Bush Jr.’s Patriot Act that allowed cell-phone monitoring of millions of Americans. I frequently iterate the blogs that comprise this story, and sometimes start over with a new storyline.
The story doesn’t change, but how I tell it does. From a literary perspective, this is not about my grandfather, it’s a coming of age story set in the 70’s and 80’s, when I alternated in and out of the Louisiana foster system, cumulating with my grandfather’s funeral on 11 March 1990, two weeks after I wrestled my final high school match against a three-time returning state champion, a 145 pound brute from Capital High School humorously named Hillary Clinton. A few months later, I left for the army and became a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and the youngest of 560,000 soldiers in the first Gulf war. Literary themes circle around family, and how we define family, and my youthful desire to be a better person by following the 10 commandments: how do we ‘honor our mother and father’ if we’re in the foster system and are unsure how to define who’s our mother or father, and how do we adhere to ‘thou shall not kill’ in combat?
From a historical perspective, elements of however I end up telling the story tell the reader more about what happened to Hoffa, and my grandfather’s role in President Kennedy’s assassination. That’s the challenge. Everything is already public knowledge, and more than 2,000 books on Amazon offer just as many theories, opinions, and contrived conclusions based on biases of authors who rarely knew the people involved. Few of the people who knew my grandfather are left alive, and only two of us recall his final words: “No one will ever know my part in history.”
Constructive feedback is appreciated.
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