Dear Friend of Purple Scooter Poetry,
One purpose of Purple Scooter Poetry is to publish posthumously selected poems and writings of Genevieve E. Wood. Previous publications include a first volume of poetry (On the Crest of a Wave), a novel for mature kids, teens, and adults (Once Upon a Purple Scooter), and a ballad about a Winston Churchill adventure at sea (Of Old Sea Dogs & Herringbone). All are available through the PSP website.
I am pleased to tell you about the latest in our series by Ms. Wood. The new work, Kid Hadaway, a play written in 1958-60, is an exposé on pretension. In this play, everything is fair game for Wood’s satirical wit—education and its excesses, love, parenthood, friendship, and marriage, birdhouses and bulldozers, precocious kids, the meaning of “home” and “household.” The texture of everyday life is revealed through chance encounters of a zany cast of characters who enter and depart an extraordinary house warming party literally through a hole in the wall. Robert Frost wrote that “Good fences make good neighbors” but in this case a hole in the wall works even better.
The black eye-patch vogue of the 1950s is one of Kid Hadaway’s most hilarious, striking images. And there are others, including the crisp classic Hathaway shirt worn by discerning men and boys and celebrated in tasteful ads of the 1950s and 1960s. Ms. Wood’s clever approach, incredibly fresh and imaginative for its time, is just as fresh and resonant today.
This is a highly poetic and literary work, filled with rhyme and reason, musicality, keen observation, and just plain fun. Humor is presented in all sorts of ingenious ways, including 14 poems that are sung-recited throughout the work. For example, at one point the Kid sings this about one of the other characters:
Sally Ball sat on the wall…
Sally Ball was very tall…
So when she tumbled off the wall..
She didn’t have far to fall at all…
And Sally herself laments that:
“I’m-m-m so-o-o hom-a-ly!
People tell me
A clever girl
Can always find
A way to make up
For her looks
—Or lack of them—
By reading books…
Cultivate the mental graces—
Brains outwit the pretty faces.
But I’m-m-m so-o-o dumb!
I can’t tell a sentence from
When examinations come
My little brain is frozen numb—
What they ask
Is so much bunk—
I think, I thank, I thunk
The plot of Kid Hadaway is an engaging series of unlikely situations, random interactions, and surprising intrusions of commercial tv, 1950s style, into the ongoing drama of everyday life. It all unfolds with the most unusual twists and turns. Everything is what it seems, and nothing is.
I hope the above “sampling” will make you want to order a copy. The cost is nominal from the Purple Scooter Poetry website or by direct order from PSP (link at the right of this page for information). Like most plays, Kid Hadaway is written to be spoken, but I think you’ll be well rewarded whether you speak or read it. Your purchase will help us spread the word about Genevieve Wood’s talents, and it will also help make her next publication possible. In time, we hope to present work by other gifted undiscovered writers too.
Kid Hadaway was written over half a century ago and has never been seen publicly until now. I can easily imagine it being staged for an appreciative audience in a small Off-Broadway theater.
But for now, get ready to excite your imagination! Join the housewarming party, or plan your own party with a reading of the full play by family and friends. Recite or sing the songs. Delight in the wordplay. Get to know the Kid, Phoebe and Ollie, Dr. Degree, Boss Firestone, and others in the cast!
If you do get a copy of Kid Hadaway and share our enthusiasm for it, please take a moment to let us know what you think. You can send a note to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
In the meantime, we extend special thanks and appreciation to Sandra Hardy for her wonderful cover concept and design for our Genevieve Wood series and to Gillian Bradshaw-Smith for the cover illustration of Kid Hadaway.
Gail Spangenberg, Editor
Purple Scooter Poetry