In the late 1980s and '90s I created two national collecting crazes -- vintage lunch boxes and vintage cereal memorabilia -- by amassing collections at flea market prices, writing several reference books, launching zines (Hot Boxing and Flake), and flogging it all on radio and TV to enjoy an exploding market and my 45 minutes of fame. Terry Gross was irritating, Matt Lauer smarmy, while Charlie Rose was a riot in person. Madonna once called me in the middle of the night to chat. The downside of a profile in People is getting recognized in line at the post office or in the men's room at Logan.
Most of my writing then served those grandiose schemes, which paid off in many ways. ABCNEWS.com once wrote, "there's a fine line, sometimes, between madness and genius. And Bruce is undeniably a genius, at least when it comes to getting publicity for a pop-culture phenomenon."
Flattering words -- thank you Mr. George Mannes -- but let's face it; I was a better promoter than writer. To paraphrase Freud, my licks inevitably encouraged regression in service of sales. Short, funny pieces to get you laughing --and buying -- were my strength. My most reputable work, a 300 page history -- Cerealizing America: The Unsweetened Story of American Breakfast Cereal-- was co-authored with an another, more disciplined writer, who held my feet to the narrative fire. However, the sidebars from that book -- sampled here -- are all mine.
But that was another incarnation. After 9/11 cleared our skies I wasted a few years crafting a wildly ambitious historical novel about Cromwell, indentured servitude, and the founding of Maine in the 17th century-- I have ancestral connections to the people and places -- but it never panned out. Loved the research in England, Ireland, and the Isle of Shoals, but discovered that I didn't have the chops for fiction. Or screen writing, for that matter. Too loyal to facts.
Still, I can string a few words together when required. A blog might be just the ticket. Try me. I'm not a Jimmy Buffett fan, but if you understand that Margaritaville is a metaphor, not a town on the Mexican border somewhere, we'll probably get along.
Love that salt!
March 5th, 2013
Disney Magazine June 25th, 1997
Disney Magazine September 25th, 1996
Faber and Faber February 18th, 1996