“I’ve always had a big head—not in the egotistical sense, but in the physical sense,” Felyk wrote in his book. “My hat size is seven and seven-eighths.”
For the author, it was the beginning of an ordinary life that was often blended with the improbable. The result is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes wistful memoir that discusses survival despite asbestos, radioactive particles, talcum powder bombs, a butt-crack abscess, quadruple coronary bypass surgery, and women . . . not necessarily in that order of importance.
“I’ve tried to write some form of this book ever since I was 17,” Felyk said. “It took 44 years to put it to paper, but in my defense, I had a lot of distractions in junior high typing class.”
The book starts in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he dropped his childhood savings into the foundation of a house (literally) and learned the near-violent effects of a Howdy Doody catchphrase—“
Jobs such as a groundskeeper, ditch digger, road crew member, waiter, surveyor, houseboy, and taxi driver provided a perfect background for his career in journalism. As a writer/editor, he left legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite on hold, covered a vice presidential speech while stoned, and helped fire bestselling author Clive Cussler. And, as a result of his stint at Lockheed Martin, his name could still be aboard an ill-fated spacecraft that may have sailed past Mars.
In the midst of his humorous narrations, he discusses bittersweet romances that tug at heartstrings. His advice to memoir writers is “start with the things that you're not proud of. Then write about the things that hurt the most. If you get past those two things, you'll finish the book—if it isn’t already finished.”
“I wrote this as a rapid stop-and-go ride,” Felyk added. “Don’t leave hot coffee on the dashboard.”
Damaged Right Out Of The Box is available in both Kindle and paperback formats through Amazon.com or the author’s web site at http://alanfelyk.com. Visit him on Twitter: @AlanFelyk.