"Nine Lives of Morris: Great Tales from One Cool Cat!" tells stories from Morris' varied life in the form of flash memoir. The thirty narratives recount episodes from his childhood in the Great Depression of the 1930's to his eighty-fifth birthday. Morris writes in the first person, present tense, to give the reader a feeling of immediacy. A dozen poems are free-standing or sprinkled into the prose. Forty of his original watercolors illustrate the 124-page book in full color. Four photographic montages picture various aspects of Morris career as a concert pianist, a professor of music, a watercolorist and gay leather man. From the first memoir, which tells about finding his biological father's family in Appalachia, to the last memoir, which tells about marrying a man, the author hugs his reader. As a child Morris discovers many aspects of his personhood. Through experiences in the U. S. Army and World War II, Morris tells his tales. Morris reveals the sorrow of soul upon the fatal accident of his wife and the suicide of his gay son, Leonard. He shares the spiritual journey as a Seventh-day Adventist in raising up a church only to find out how difficult it is to find his own place as a gay man. Morris shares the adventures of his retirement years when he joins the leather community with vigor and starts a new career as a watercolor artist. Even when diagnosed with cancer of the bone marrow, the author maintains his equilibrium and honesty. The nine disparate elements do not tear apart the protagonist. Rather than disintegrate, Morris thrives as he integrates his roles as a Child, Pianist, Artist, Soldier, Father, Missionary, Professor, Gay Man, Master and Leatherman.
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