Since I have read and laughed my way through over half of the late Lewis Grizzard (LG) 21-25 published books after obtaining enough material to write a weekly article each Friday until the age of 125, I made the decision to let my stretched stomach muscles rest before I had some health problems from chuckling.
However, I discovered in the literary stash that my former high school classmate and his gracious co-owner of a bookstore on the east side of Missionary Ridge had included a copy of a publication by ex-wife number three, Kathy Grizzard Schmook.
She was married to LG in 1979 and they divorced in 1982. In 1986 she wrote “How to Tame a Wild Bore & Other Facts of Life with Lewis” with a subtitle of “The Semi-True Confessions of the Third Ms.
In 160 pages of humor and vivid accounts of her three years of Heaven (or Hell) on the adventures and ordeals that she shared with the up-and-coming author of numerous Best Sellers and acknowledged funny man of the South.
In all candor my first thoughts after reading the book were that such a stockpile of events that produced my stomach muscles bursting with repeated spasms of laughter, I prematurely concluded that Ms. Grizzard Schmook was just the front man (lady) and that she and LG had conspired to produce another source of unbridled humor at the expense of the American readers to enjoy.
However, when I went to my trusty computer and inserted her name, I quickly discovered that she was an accomplished writer with the ability to entertain and to reveal many personal episodes and experiences with the eccentric favorite son of Moreland, Georgia.
Whether she is totally responsible for writing the expose of her ex-spouse or whether there is some collaboration is beside the point and not necessary to decide.
When Peachtree Publishers of Atlanta, Georgia released the book in 1986 she had been liberated and freed from the antics of LG for three - four years.
In the front inside cover she is quoted:
“I have been questioned in private, interviewed by major newspapers and magazines, and besieged at cocktail parties by men and women all asking the same question: ‘What was it like being married to Lewis Grizzard?’ Well, I’m tired of polite, evasive answers. Good breeding can take you only so far, and it has finally occurred to me that I could be doing Lewis’ readers a great disservice by not sharing ‘the rest of the story’ with them.” As a card-carrying member of the AMA (Accrue More Alimony) Foundation, she’s just the one to do it.
With a statement by the publishing company that “Kathy Grizzard Schmook isn’t getting mad…she’s getting even,” the author takes the readers on a journey that covers his (LG) multiple likes and dislikes, his weaknesses and a few of his strengths, that take place in her relationship with LG before she finally divorced the successful rascal and escaped to the “beautiful state of Montana – a haven, a heaven, and home to all that I treasure!”
She uses the words of the late Paul Harvey to establish the potential boundaries of her purpose in expressing their life together by assuring the readers that she could be doing Lewis’ readers a great disservice by not sharing ‘the rest of the story.’”
Golf, dogs, tennis, addictions, trips around Europe, his interaction with Kathy’s two small children from a previous marriage, Dawg football, his need for attention, hypochondria traits, which she names “Grizzobia”, concerns about his heart problems, and many others will entertain from start to finish.
Limited additional research reveals that ex-wife number 3 has produced only 1 additional book written by her in 1987, “From Debutante to Doublewide;” which indicates that after escaping from the hectic life with Lewis Grizzard she has found quieter solitude and happiness in the mountains of Montana.
A final chapter, Appendectomy includes ten (10) pages of an alleged interview with a reporter from Rural Detective magazine that includes additional attempted and successful comments where she expressed her conclusion that LGs pet peeve was “television evangelists.”
A second good question contained in the chapter was “What was Lewis greatest fear?” “He had two really, one was being trapped in a hot tub with Jerry Falwell and Prince, and the other was that one of his ex-wives might write a book about him one day.”
(One of two was accomplished in 1986!)
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You can reach Jerry Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org)