18 August 2013 - B. J. NEBLETT - Author, DJ, Musician and Veteran


B. J. NEBLETT


AUTHOR, DJ, MUSICIAN and VETERAN

G'day guys,

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day in Australia. However, today I introduce an interesting character who is also a veteran, but an American - B. J. Neblett. BJ is the author of Elysian Dreams, “A book of romantic adventure which examines the costs of exploring your dreams while fulfilling your destiny.” His Ice Cream Camelot will be released in early 2013.

 A South Philadelphia native, BJ Neblett was always “Billy” growing up. In his 30’s he became DJ Billy James. It was only in 2011 that he became “BJ,” at the behest of his publisher, who thought “BJ” sounded more professional and mature. But “Billy” is who this man really is, the name he is known by everywhere except in the publishing world. At times it still might take him a few seconds to respond when someone calls him “BJ.”


After serving his country during the Vietnam War, Billy came back and fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a radio DJ. He built a career across the U.S. as popular radio DJ Billy James, honing his writing skills on radio scripts and commercial copy.


Billy first moved to the Northwest in 1990, settling in Redmond, where his sister lived. His mother, in poor health, soon joined them. At first he volunteered at Bellevue’s public radio station KBCS, then after a stint at KBSG was hired full-time by KJR. Then he was wooed away from the Northwest to become music director for a Houston oldies rock and roll station. Later, on to Charleston, and then on to…





After 35 years in radio, as DJ and as a music and program director rebuilding stations, Billy grew tired of moving around and “living the good life.” By that time, he owned ten cars, a ranch home on five acres with all the amenities and then one day he simply decided… “It’s time to retire.”  So he did.  At the ripe old age of 52.



But with little to occupy his time, he found himself “climbing the walls.” And doing some soul-searching as well, so unexpectedly 2002 became a marker year for him. He sold his mansion, all his cars, put a few things in storage, and with no destination in mind, he hit the road. Not in a car. Rather, he walked many a mile, he thumbed, tried his luck at truck stops, and rode buses and trains for days on end. “I had to let all my responsibilities go, in order to clear my mind, so I could hear more clearly what was there. And I just started writing, like I’d always done, all my life.”



This man was on the road for nearly six years! It was during this open-ended time that his book began emerging. While riding on trains and buses, and staying in hotels along the way, he wrote every word on a yellow tablet. He carried no computer with him. “Being on the road, and writing everything by hand, is what really got my juices going.”





Elysian Dreams “wrote itself from inside out.” It did not start out as a book, but as a short story, or actually as a writing exercise. One short story after another came pouring forth, in the form of myriad characters. He describes himself “listening” to each character as she or he appeared.  “Most of the time, and when I do my best, I feel I’m listening, almost transcribing.” Although he “hates it” when anyone labels his writing “time travel” or “science fiction,” it often does carry many of that genre’s familiar elements.



Billy has been writing since he was a boy, shaped as he was, by growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, immersed in Twilight Zone and sitcoms, “where slices of life are so compressed.” He became a fan of irony, and began seeing it all around him, as “God’s personal joke on us.” O. Henry’s irony and short stories influenced him greatly, as did the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Tim Matheson, Stephen King, and Rod Serling.





BJ prefers writing the short story to the novel, and believes that short story formats are making a comeback, partly because of our short attention spans these days, coupled with the scarcity of reading time. A hallmark of Billy’s short stories: they take real people in real places, and put them into extreme circumstances.  “If you want to learn about who I am, read my stories. I write about stuff that people don’t know about me. It’s cleansing, and good medicine.”



He’s written only one piece about his Viet Nam experiences. You can find “Purple Heart” on his May 27th blog posting for Memorial Day weekend. It’s quite a story, with an O. Henry twist. Check it out at bjneblett.blogspot.com.



BJ is currently working on two short story collections, as well as a sequel to Elysian Dreams.  He is most proud and excited about his next release, Ice Cream Camelot, a historical memoir about growing up in the Kennedy era, between the ages of eleven and fifteen.  In alternating chapters the life of President Kennedy parallels that of a young boy growing up in South Philadelphia and the suburbs. With the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination in the upcoming year, Ice Cream Camelot will be a most timely release.





Reflecting on his Disc Jockey past and writing present, BJ says, “My voice has been heard all over the world…a lot of people know me that I don’t know.” Through his words spoken and written he believes, “My voice is still traveling through space.” 

Welcome, BJ ...



TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR AUDIO/VIDEO JOURNEY.



            I’VE BEEN INTO ALL AREAS OF MUSIC, AND AUDIO ALL OF MY LIFE, STARTING WITH MY DAD WHO TAUGHT ME ABOUT RADIO IN THE EARLY DAYS, CRYSTAL SETS AND SUCH. FROM THERE IT JUST SEEMED TO BLOSSOM AND PROGRESS FROM MUSIC TO RADIO TO NIGHT CLUBS TO VIDEO AND NOW WRITING ABOUT WHAT I’VE DONE AND SEEN AND LEARNED.


WERE YOU INTERESTED IN MUSIC AS A KID?

            YES. MY AUNT MARY GAVE ME A LOVE OF MUSIC STARTING AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. SHE WAS A VERY COOL LADY WHO WENT AGAINST THE GRAIN OF A TYPICAL YOUNG WOMAN OF THE 50’S. SHE NEVER MARRIED, WORKED IN NIGHT CLUBS, AND LOVED BLUES, R&B, ROCK N ROLL, AND JAZZ. MY LIFE HAS BEEN GREATLY INFLUENCED BY HER.

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A RADIO DJ?

            I RECEIVED A SMALL TRANSISTOR RADIO FOR CHRISTMAS WHEN I WAS ABOUT TEN AND THAT STARTED IT ALL. I USED TO SKIP SCHOOL AND HANG OUT AT THE LOCAL RADIO STATION. THIS WAS WHEN RADIO WAS STILL FUN AND THE DJ’S HAD PERSONALITY AND EVERYTHING WAS LOCAL. THE DJ’S AT WIBG IN PHILADELPHIA MUST HAVE GOTTEN TIRED OF SEEING ME ON THEIR DOOR STEP AND INVITED ME INSIDE. SOON I WAS THE YOUNGEST INTERN AT THE STATION. AFTER THE ARMY I WENT TO BROADCASTING SCHOOL AND RECEIVED A DEGREE IN RADIO AND COMMUNICATIONS.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT THAT JOB?

            I’D HAVE TO SAY THE MUSIC AND GETTING TO MEET AND TALK WITH PEOPLE. THIS WAS BACK WHEN DJ’S ANSWERED THE PHONES AND TOOK REQUESTS AND MADE APPERANCES AT RECOD HOPS AND SUCH. IT WAS THE GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK N ROLL RADIO. I’VE ALWAYS FOUND SOMETHING MAGICAL ABOUT A RADIO STATION LATE AT NIGHT WHEN IT’S JUST YOU, THE MUSIC AND YOUR LISTENERS. IT’S TOO BAD THOSE DAYS ARE GONE.

BJ appearing live, reading excerpts from his books at Egans Jazz House in Seattle.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A RADIO DJ?

            PROBABLY THE MOVING, ALTHOUGHT I’VE ENJOYED MOVING FOR THE MOST PART. IT’S LIKE THE SONG SAYS, ‘TOWN TO TOWN, UP AND DOWN THE DIAL’. TO STAY IN RADIO YOU HAVE TO GO WHERE THE JOBS ARE AND WHEREVER YOUR CAREER TAKES YOU. THIS MAKES IT VERY HARD FOR RELATIONSHIPS AND FAMILY.

BUT YOU NEVER MARRIED, RIGHT?

            NO. I GUESS AT THE TIME I JUST WASN’T MARRIAGE MATERIAL. I REALIZED THIS AT A VERY YOUNG AGE AND SO THE CHOICE OF CAREER OVER FAMILY WAS AN EASY ONE FOR ME.

WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME INVOLVED IN RADIO?

            GOSH THAT’S HARD TO SAY, I’VE BEEN INTO MUSIC AND RADIO FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. IN A LIFE BEFORE RADIO I’D HAVE TO SAY I WAS PROBABLY SOME WAY INVOLVED WITH WRITING.

AS FAR AS RADIO, WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

            JUST TO BE ON THE AIR I CONSIDER BEING AN ACHIEVEMENT. PLUS I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO KNOW AND WORK WITH SOME OF THE GREAT VOICES OF RADIO, PEOPLE LIKE HY LIT, JOE NIAGARA, PAUL BERLIN, AND DANNY HOLIDAY. THESE ARE GUYS WHO ARE IN THE ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME AND WHO I WAS PRIVILEDGED TO COUNT AS MY FRIENDS.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?

            MY MOM WHO PURSUED A CAREER AS AN ACTRESS WHILE TAKING CARE OF A FAMILY SHOWED ME NOT TO GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS. AND OF COURSE MY AUNT MARY WHO INTRODUCED ME TO MUSIC; AND EVEN MY DAD IN HIS OWN VERY CONSERVATIVE MANNER. ALSO, HY LIT AND JOE NIAGARA WERE MY INSPIRATIONS, AS WELL AS MY MENTORS, TO BECOME A DJ.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT?

            THAT’S AN EASY ONE, HISTORY. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN HISTORY AND HOW IT COMES ABOUT AND THE AFFECT ON THE WORLD WE LIVE IN.



 Guitar collection, including autographs from Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and many more.



WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


            AGAIN, HISTORY IS A GREAT INFLUENCE, ALONG WITH IRONY. GROWING UP IN THE 60’S I SAW IRONY ALL AROUND ME, AND IRONY THAT IT SEEMED FEW OF MY FRIENDS AND NO ADULTS COULD SEE. I LOVE IRONY. I FEEL IT IS GOD’S PERSONAL JOKE ON US.

WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO RADIO/MUSIC?

            THAT’S A TOUGH ONE, TOO. THERE ARE VERY FEW THINGS I’D RATHER BE DOING THEN PLAYING THE MUSIC I LOVE FOR AN APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE OF LISTENERS. SOME THINGS THAT DEFINATELY RANK UP THERE ARE SOFTBALL, WRITING, WORKING ON AND COLLECTING OLD CARS, AND COLLECTING RECORDS AND VINTAGE GUITARS.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING DJ’S?

            UNFORTUNATELY IT’S NOT LIKE THE OLD DAYS. BUT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, GET YOURSELF INTO A STATION ANYWAY YOU CAN, AS AN INTERN OR HELPER OR WHATEVER. RADIO IS TRUELY AN INSIDERS INDUSTRY AND THE MORE PEOPLE YOU KNOW THE BETTER. ALSO, KNOW YOUR MUSIC INSIDE OUT AND LEARN THE OTHER SKILLS NECESSARY INCLUDING WORKING AN AUDIO BOARD, DOING PRODUCTION AND DIGITAL AND ANALOG EDITING. AND ENGLISH AND SPEACH CLASSES IN HIGH SCHOOL CAN HELP A LOT.

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/FUN PLACE IN WHICH YOU HAVE WORKED?

            OH, GOSH, I’VE LIVED AND WORKED IN SO MANY WONDERFUL PLACES, EACH SPECIAL AND INTERESTING FOR DIFFERENT REASONS. PHILADELPHIA IN THE 60’S AND 70’S WAS A GREAT MUSIC TOWN WITH THE OLD DOO WOP SOUND, THE PHILLY SOUND AND REALLY TERRIFFIC SOUL MUSIC. I WAS IN PHILLY AND THEN HOUSTON ALL THOUGH THE DISCO ERA WHICH GOT ME INTO CLUB WORK. I WAS ONE OF THE CLUB DJ’S WHO CREATED BEAT MIXING, A DISTINCTION THAT CAN BE A GOOD OR BAD THING DEPENDING ON YOUR PERSONAL FEELINGS ABOUT DISCO. THE HOUSTON CLUB SCENE IN THE 80’S RIVALED THAT OF NEW YORK CITY. SEATTLE IS A GREAT MUSIC TOWN. AND MY LAST RADIO DAYS WERE SPENT IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA, A BEAUTIFUL CITY WITH FRIENDLY PEOPLE AND A TERRIFFIC VARIETY OF LIVE MUSIC.

SINCE RETIRING FROM RADIO YOU HAVE PUBLISHED TWO BOOKS, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

            IT SEEMS I’VE BEEN WRITING ALL OF MY LIFE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. I HAD MY FIRST POETRY PUBLISHED IN A NATIONAL ANTHOLOGY WHILE I WAS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. I WROTE SHORT STORIES ABOUT THE IRONY AND OTHER THINGS I SAW HAPPENING AROUND ME.  I WROTE RADIO COMMERCIALS AND SCRIPTS. SO I GUESS IT WAS JUST NATURAL THAT I WRITE A BOOK EVENTUALLY.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TOPIC TO WRITE ABOUT?

            AGAIN IRONY PLAYS VERY HEAVILY IN MY SHORT STORIES. MOST OF MY STORIES ARE CONSIDERED FANTASTIC LITERATURE, VERY TWILIGHT ZONEISH. THEY ARE STORIES THAT STRETCH YOUR IMAGINATION AND MAKE YOU WONDER. AS FOR TOPICS I USUALLY FIND INSPIRATION AROUND ME AND WRITE ABOUT WHAT I SEE, SO MY TOPICS COVER A BROAD RANGE.

BJ's softball team after winning the league championship.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR TWO BOOKS.

            MY FIRST NOVEL ELYSIAN DREAMS IS LITERARY FICTION, A CONTEMPORARY FANTASY ROMANTIC ADVENTURE. THERE ARE THREE INTERCONNECTED STORIES AND IT CENTERS ON THREE VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO’S LIVES CONTINUE TO INEXPLICABLY CROSS. COMBINING TOUCHES OF FANTASY AND SCI-FI, IT IS AN ALEGORY OF THE COST OF SEARCHING YOUR DREAMS WHILE SEEKING YOUR DESTINY.

            MY NEWEST BOOK, ICE CREAM CAMELOT IS NON-FICTION, WHAT I CALL AN HISTORICAL MEMOIR. IT CONCERNS MY GROWING UP DURING THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION. ALTHOUGH A YOUNG TEEN, I WAS GREATLY INFLUENCED BY OUR 35TH PRESIDENT AND COUNTED HIM AS ONE OF MY HEROS. BUT BEYOND A SIMPLE TALE OF A YOUNG BOY’S COMING OF AGE AND LOSS OF INNOCENCE, IT TELLS THE STORY OF OUR COUNTRY DURING THOSE IMPORTANT YEARS AND OF THE COUNTRY’S LOSS OF ITS OWN NATIONAL INNOCENCE. I AM ESPECIALLY PROUD OF ICE CREAM CAMELOT FOR ITS HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION.

DO YOU WRITE IN A SPECIFIC GENRE?

            HAVING WRITTEN FICTION AS WELL AS NON-FICTION I GUESS I’D HAVE TO SAY NO I DON’T. I JUST WRITE ABOUT WHAT COMES TO ME AND FEELS NATURAL. ALTHOUGH I DO ENJOY WRITING THE FANTASTIC LITERATURE I MENTIONED BEFORE, STORIES THAT MAKES A PERSON STOP AND THINK AND SAY, ‘HUMM’.

HOW ARE YOU BOOKS SELLING?

            THAT’S AN INTERESTING QUESTION. THE SHORT ANSWER IS THEY ARE DOING WELL, OF COURSE WHAT AUTHOR OR PUBLISHER ARE EVER SATISFIED WITH THEIR BOOK SALES? FOR SOME REASON THOUGH, I SEEM TO HAVE A VERY BIG FOLLOWING IN EASTERN EUROPE AND RUSSIA. ELYSIAN DREAMS IS SELLING VERY WELL THERE AND MY BLOG WHERE I POST MANY OF MY SHORT STORIES IS ALSO VERY POPULAR THERE. ICE CREAM CAMELOT SEEMS TO BE DOING BETTER HERE IN THE STATES, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF ITS SUBJECT MATTER.

HOW ABOUT SEQUELS?

            I HAVE MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE INCLUDING SEQUELS. MY PUBLISHER HAS BEEN AFTER ME FOR A SEQUEL TO ELYSIAN DREAMS EVER SINCE THE BOOK WAS RELEASED. THE ENDING SEEMS TO LEND ITSELF TO A SEQUEL. IT IS TENTIVELY TITLED THE AMBER PEOPLE. I AM ALSO WORKING ON A SORT OF FOLLOW UP TO ICE CREAM CAMELOT. TITLED A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, IT WILL PICK UP BRIEFLY WHERE ICE CREAM CAMELOT LEFT OFF, BUT FOCUSES MORE ON MY LIFE AND MY RADIO CAREER THROUGH THE ‘70’S, ‘80’S AND INTO THE ‘90’S. BEYOND SEQUELS, IAM PUTTING TOGETHER TWO COLLECTIONS OF MY SHORT STORIES; THINKING ABOUT A POSSIBLE CHAP BOOK OF POETRY AND OF COURSE, ALWAYS WRITING MORE SHORT STORIES.

WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

            WELL, GOING BACK TO MY RADIO DAYS, I HAVE BEEN REFERED TO AS ONE OF THE LAST TRUE ‘PERSONALITY’ DJ’S, SOMETHING THAT IS BITTERSWEET WHEN I LISTEN TO RADIO THESE DAYS. I’VE ALSO BEEN CREDITED WITH HELPING TO INVENT CLUB BEAT MIXING, AS I MENTIONED, A DUBIOUS DISTINCTION WHICH I WEAR PROUDLY. AS FAR AS MY WRITING, JUST HAVING MY WORK PUBLISHED AND READ IS AN HONOR. WHEN ELYSIAN DREAMS WAS RELEASED MY WRITING WAS COMPARED TO ISAAC ASIMOV AND HARUKI MURAKAMI. THAT’S SOME PRETTY HEAVY COMPANY. AS FOR ICE CREAM CAMELOT, I THINK MY FAVORITE REVIEW SAYS, ‘IF HISTORY BOOKS READ LIKE THIS, STUDENTS WOULD BE INTERESTED.’ I TAKE THAT AS A GREAT COMPLIMENT NOT ONLY BECAUSE I AM SUCH A HISTORY BUFF, BUT I FEEL HISTORY IS IMPORTANT AND SOMETHING TO WHICH YOUNG PEOPLE NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION. THERE IS SO MUCH WE CAN LEARN FROM HISTORY AND SO MUCH HISTORY THAT SEEMS TO REPETE ITSELF, AGAIN, THE IRONY THAT IS ALL AROUND US.

DESCRIBE THE FUNNIEST MOMENT YOU EXPERIENCED IN YOUR WORK AS A DJ OR A WRITER?

            AGAIN, SO MANY IT’S HARD TO CHOSE. ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE STORIES GOES BACK TO MY EARLY RADIO DAYS. I WAS WORKING AT A SMALL STATION THAT SERVED A MEDIUM SIZED CITY, AND WAS VERY MUCH A LARGE PART OF THAT COMMUNITY, WHERE MOST PEOPLE LISTENED AND RECEIVED THEIR MUSIC, NEWS AND INFORMATION. IT WAS A LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND I WAS ON THE AIR, AND WE WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF STRONG THUNDER AND RAIN STORM. ALL OF A SUDDEN THE POWER WENT OFF, KNOCKING US OFF THE AIR. AFTER CHECKING I REALIZED THAT THE POWER WAS OUT IN THE GENERAL AREA OF THE STATION, SO THERE WAS NOTHING FOR ME TO DO BUT WAIT UNTIL THE POWER WAS RESTORED. SITTING IN THE DARKENED STUDIO MY PHONE RANG. IT WAS A LISTENER ASKING WHY SHE COULDN’T PICK US UP ON HER RADIO. I EXPLAINED THAT THE STORM HAD KNOCKED THE POWER OUT. IN A SOMEWHAT IRATE AND FRUSTRATED TONE SHE REPLIED, ‘WELL, THE LEAST YOU COULD HAVE DONE IS ANNOUNCED THAT YOU WERE OFF THE AIR!’


WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?

            HEHEHEHEHE NOW THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY HARD TO CHOOSE FROM... IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE ON THE RADIO OR EVEN A WRITER YOU NEED VERY THICK SKIN. PROGRAM DIRECTORS WHO DO THE HIRING OF THE ON AIR DJ’S AND BOOK PUBLISHERS BOTH OFTEN SEEM TO SUFFER FROM THE SAME LACK OF TACT. I’VE BEEN CALLED TALENTLESS AND TOLD TO FIND ANOTHER LINE OF WORK MORE TIMES THAN I CARE TO REMEMBER. I’VE OFTEN THOUGH OF PAPERING MY BATHROOM WITH REJECTION NOTICES. ONLY PROBLEM IS IT WOULD HAVE TO BE A VERY BIG BATHROOM.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. DO YOU USE REAL LIFE SITUATIONS IN YOUR WRITING?

            THE OLD SAYING THAT FACT IS STRANGER THAN FICTION IS TRUE. LOOK AROUND YOU... YOU CAN’T MAKE UP STUFF LIKE THAT. MOST OF THE TIME SOMETHING I SEE OR HEAR TRIGGERS AN IDEA FOR A STORY. AND I AM ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR INTERESTING PEOPLE TO USE AS CHARACTERS IN MY STORIES. YOU TAKE AN INCIDENT, EXPOUND AND STRETCH IT; ADD IN SOME PEOPLE YOU’VE MET AND GIVE THEM THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SEVERAL OTHERS YOU’VE BEEN OBSERVING; CHANGE THE LOCATION, TIME AND MAYBE THE OUTCOME AND YOU HAVE YOURSELF A STORY.

WHO IS YOUR PUBLISHER?

            I’VE BEEN BLESSED TO HAVE FOUND A GREAT PUBLISHER. BRIGHTON PUBLISHING PICKED UP MY FIRST BOOK ELYSIAN DREAMS AND HAVE BEEN WITH ME SINCE. THEY ARE GREAT PEOPLE TO WORK WITH AND HAVE BEEN HELPFUL, UNDERSTANDING AND ENCOURAGING.

HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?

            A POEM OF MINE, AMOS FULLER DOESN’T SPEAK WAS GIVEN THE PENN NATIONAL WRITING AWARD FOR POETRY A FEW YEARS BACK. ANOTHER POEM I WROTE WAS CHOSEN FOR THE MARTIN LUTHER KING WEB SITE. TITLED BLACK WALL, IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL AND THE MAJOR EVENTS OF THE LATE 60’S. I WAS ALSO CHOSEN A FEW YEARS AGO TO KEEP A DIARY FOR THE ANNE FRANK PROJECT. BUT PROBABLY MY BIGGEST HONOR IS FOR THE PAPERBACK EDITION OF ICE CREAM CAMELOT BEING CHOSEN FOR BOTH THE KENNEDY LIBRARY AND THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM IN DALLAS.

WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?

            IT’S ALWAYS A GREAT FEELING TO BE RECOGNIZED BY YOUR PEERS FOR WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. BUT BEYOND THAT, MY THRILL COMES FROM KNOWING THAT BECAUSE OF THESE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS MY WORDS WILL LIVE ON AND REACH MORE PEOPLE. I THINK THAT IS THE REASON WHY ANYONE WRITES, BECAUSE THEY FEEL THAT HAVE SOMETHING WORTHWHILE AND MAYBE EVEN IMPORTANT TO SAY. IN THE SAME WAY AS MY WORDS, MY VOICE, HAVEING BEEN TRANSMITTED ON THE RADIO THOUGH THE AM FREQUENCIES, CONTINUES TO TRAVEL THROUGH SPACE. WHO KNOWS WHO, A HUNDRED OR A THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW WILL HEAR OR READ MY WORDS AND MAYBE BE MOVED OR INSPIRED.

OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

            I ENJOY MEETING AND WATCHING PEOPLE, I AM A GREAT PEOPLE WATCHER AND OBSERVER OF HUMANITY. I CAN SIT AT A BALL GAME OR MOVIE OR CONCERT OR COFFEE SHOP OR ANYWHERE AND ENJOY THE REACTIONS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND ME AS MUCH AS THE EVENT. I ALSO LOVE TRAVELING THE BACK ROADS OF THE COUNTRY. AND OF COURSE THERE IS SOFTBALL. IF I COULD FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PLAY EVERYDAY I PROBABLY WOULD.

Emily, BJ's one true love, his vintage 1956 Gretsch Country Club guitar.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

            WARM AND SUNNY, TIME SPENT WITH FRIENDS AND GOOD FOOD, MAYBE BY THE WATER, AND OF COURSE PLAYING SOFTBALL, FOLLOWED BY AN EVENING REMINISING WITH A CLOSE BUDDY ABOUT TIMES PAST, ALL THE WHILE GOOD MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACK GROUND.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

            KEEP WRITING, KEEP OBSERVING, KEEP PLAYING SOFTBALL, KEEP LEARNING AND KEEP PASSING ALONG WHAT I’VE LEARNED TO ANYONE WILLING TO LISTEN.

IF YOU WROTE A BOOK FOR THE LEADERS OF THEWORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

            IN A WAY I THINK I ALREADY HAVE. ICE CREAM CAMELOT IS A HISTORY BOOK LIKE NO OTHER. IT SHOWS THE WORLD AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUNG, IMPRESSIONABLE TEENS, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT SHOWS THE AFFECTS THE DECISIONS OF OUR LEADERS HAVE ON THOSE SAME YOUNGSTERS. I FEEL THAT MOST OF THE TIME IMPORTANT DECISIONS ARE MADE WITHOUT A GOOD HARD LOOK AS TO THE LONG RANGE CONSEQUENCES.

BESIDES YOUR BOOKS, WHERE ELSE CAN YOUR WRITINGS BE FOUND?

            I PRESENTLY WRITE A COLUMN FOR THE EXAMINER DOT COM AN ON LINE NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE, REPORTING ON THE ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAR SCENE HERE IN SEATTLE. I ALSO HAVE TWO BLOGS, ONE CALLED HERE FOR A SEASON IS FOR MY POETRY. THE OTHER, BJ NEBLETT AUTHOR IS WHERE I POST A LOT OF MY SHORT STORIES. MY WEB SITE, BJNEBLETT DOT WEBS DOT COM HAS LINKS TO MY BLOGS AND MY BOOK SITES.

ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

            I’D LIKE TO URGE THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THIS PLANET TO READ AS MUCH AS THEY CAN, WHATEVER THEY CAN, AND TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS. THE WORLD NEEDS MORE REBELS WHO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

AND I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU, CLANCY, FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TALK OPENLY AND FRANKLY THIS WAY ABOUT MY LIFE. AND FINALLY, JUST TO THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR WHAT HAS BEEN ONE LONG CRAZY AND TERRIFIC LIFE. TO QUOTE THE GREATFUL DEAD, ‘WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN’.  I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT THE NEXT HALF BRINGS.

 





BJ Neblett web site: http://bjneblett.webs.com/
 








Clancy's comment: Folks, I told you he was an interesting character. BJ, thanks for sharing your experiences. Love that car ... and those guitars! Seriously, I think you should write a book about your life.

I'm ...


Think about this!