Double Parked In The Twilight Zone

Carl Addison Swanson is many things. He’s a Staples graduate. A lawyer who spent decades in Texas, before returning to Westport several years ago. A frequent contributor to the “06880” comments section.

He’s also an author. His Hush McCormick series has done enormously well, thanks to social media marketing.

But in his latest book, Carl steps away from the “boat bum adventure” genre.

Double ParkedDouble Parked in the Twilight Zone: Summer of 1960 is set in Westport. The protagonist, Justin Carmichael — and yes, that’s the name of a 1988 Staples grad, though the similarity ends there — graduates from Bedford Elementary School during that 1960 year.

Suffice it to say, Justin has a very interesting summer.

Carl is a Bedford El grad. (It’s now Town Hall. Carl remembers it well — including the basement, where the Westport Community Theater has replaced civil defense drills of yore.)

“Reaching 65 years of age in February made me aware that I suddenly wanted to talk about my life some more,” Carl says. His return to Westport sparked many memories, some of which he mines in Twilight Zone. (Note the subtle homage to Rod Serling, who lived in Westport when Carl was at Bedford.)

So is this book autobiographical?

Carl Addison Swanson

Carl Addison Swanson

“In a sense, all writing is about your life and experiences,” he says. “The summer of 1960 was particularly intereseting to me, because a lot happened.”

For instance, Carl started playing golf at Longshore. His Little League team went to the town championship. He went steady with a girl for the first time.

“A lot of fun stuff,” he says.

Though Carl has a satirical streak, this is hardly satire. It is, he says, “a critique on the town back then, through my eyes.”

Westport was a great place to grow up, Carl says — “especially back in the ‘Wonder Years’ of the 1950s and ’60s. There was plenty to do, and a lot more freedom to do so.”

But there were not, he says, “as many adult eyes around as there are today.”

So why the title?

“I was pretty much of a goofball back then,” Carl says. “I got into a lot of trouble.

“I was also scared to death to walk by the Famous Artists School for fear of Rod Serling coming out. It was a terrifying television show.”

But a great title, half a century later.

(Double Parked in the Twilight Zone and Carl’s other books are available at Amazon (click here) and on Kindle. All proceeds from his latest book go the Wounded Warrior Project. His website is www.carladdisonswanson.com.) 

11 responses to “Double Parked In The Twilight Zone

  1. Eric William Buchroeder

    I’m buying a copy as FAST as I possibly can. This is going to be SOME READ!!!!!

  2. Thank you for the recommendation, dear Dan. I’m a fan of Carl Addison Swanson, and I would recommend all his books to everyone.

  3. Tom Allen '66

    All of the profits from CAS’s book will go to the Wounded Warrior Project
    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/. CAS, who crewed US Navy spy planes during his 6-year military stint, is a Vietnam vet.

    .

  4. Fred Cantor

    I read this and highly recommend it–a perfect book for beach reading– and you don’t have to be a Westporter from that era to enjoy it. There are many universal elements to this sharply observed coming-of-age story and it will not surprise me to soon read in the “Hollywood Reporter” that this has been optioned by a movie producer. (By the way, I have never met Carl, although I hope to do so at the upcoming 06880 party.)

  5. Jack Backiel

    I grew up in Westport in the 1950s and early 1960s and Carl is “spot on” when he says Westport was a great town to grow up in during that time frame. It was just our hometown, but looking back, it’s amazing how many famous people lived there. I have a list of about 100 famous people who lived in Westport. Rodney Dangerfield, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas,Harry Reasoner from 60 Minutes,George Gershwin, J.D. Salanger, and Rod Serling just to name a few, called Westport their home.

  6. The Dude offers always an honest and insightful view of Westport. He cuts through much of the pretense when he does so. He also plays a pretty good game of golf.

  7. Jo Ann Miller

    I live with the “goofball” so I am biased but editing this book made me really think of my young days and many of our sensitivities. Moving to the first person narrative was a good choice as well. Good read. Great charity.

  8. Ordered my copy yesterday. Looking forward to Carl’s take on Westport in 1960, particularly because I was in his Bedford El class. It’s great that Carl is donating the profits to the WWP.

  9. cathy smith barnett '66

    I’m looking forward to reading Carl’s book. I’m sure his reflections on Westport will bring back some memories. Maybe I’ll learn something new because when I was growing up in Westport I was probably in the twilight zone myself.

  10. Joanne Avery

    Just bought the book. Can’t wait to read it! Also bought the latest Hush McCormick.

  11. Wanted to say I read this and loved it. Really sent me back.