Posted tagged ‘autobiography’

Glory days in the second division

November 5, 2011

It’s not just celebrities that write autobiographies, there will be a day when a non-entity, like a blogger for example, publishes his/her life story on paper, and with astute marketing and a bit of luck it will sell like cement. The book won’t even need to have the boring background material in it. The story could centre on just one event. A ski-lift journey, the first time you encountered hot water or tuning in the radio and having the bottle to listen to the police messages. You see every one has a book in them.

And I laboured long in thought, cranium Chronos-like, before the brain epidural concluded that nothing of great interest had ever happened to me. The autobiography would have to wait until a page-turning significant experience manifested itself into the drudgery of my existence. As a would-be writer this was a rebarbative circumstance that shelled me like Hypatia, the last librarian of Alexandria. Ikea! This little-known cataloguer of expiry dates gave me an idea for a book.

Sadly, my other commitment, the musical I’m working on, had to be put on ice, so to speak. However I was excited about the prospect of writing a full-length magnum opus. If my autobiography would be a DeLorean in print there was nothing stopping me writing a Dino de Laurentis biography of someone else instead. Not for me the usual suspects. I wanted to write about a minor figure in history. If you look past the chieftains there are some really interesting underlings.

Step forward with your wooden racquet: Victor Pecci

Victor Pecci was a Paraguayan tennis player that strode through the circuit like a second rate Colossus in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Although he wasn’t even in the second string of hitters like Vitas Gerulaitis and GuillermoVilas he left a mark on me. I watched him on the TV at Wimbledon, and as a fledgling tennis star myself I was mightily impressed with his ground strokes.

Contemporaries at the time cynically pointed out Victor’s uncanny resemblance to the young Freddie Mercury as a source of my idolisation for such an unsung racketeer. The likeness is purely coincidental. Pecci could put a tennis ball on a tanner. Freddie, incidentally, was an accomplished table tennis player in his youth. Strange but true.

My mind was now straight sets up. A Pecci biography was what the English-speaking world was waiting for. Massive research would have to go into this venture. Working on the assumption that Victor still had family in Asuncion I bought a plane ticket to South America and packed my bats.