Dear readers, relationships have always been complicated. Tonight on the guest couch with me is a young woman, trying to navigate the complexities of relationships in the age of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
Tell us about where you grew up. Did you have a favourite toy or memory?
I grew up in a middle class suburb of Boston, Weymouth, Massachusetts. Since I was born in 1951, it was pretty much like you saw on Ozzie & Harriet, in other words, dull, boring; the kind of place where all the neighbors would stop to make their purchase whenever one of the kids on the street set up a Lemonade Stand. My parents also had a hunting and fishing lodge in northern New England that was pretty cool. You can read more about it in The BackStory. It’s FREE at www.jolenecazzola.com.
I didn’t really have a favorite toy – I played with my animals, mostly cats, a German Shepard named Satchamo, a couple rabbits and some baby chickens I hatched for a school project. Eventually my parents talked me into letting a local farmer take the rabbits and chickens so they would have more room to roam around. He promised he wouldn’t eat them! And I grew worms to sell to the fishermen – do they count as pets?
What drew you to become an art student? What is your preferred medium?
Ha, that’s an easy question! I was good at it! I could draw things and they’d actually look real. I loved combining different stuff and coming up with something new. I’ve actually always liked three dimensional mediums the best. Fabric, fibers, metal, glass, anything along those lines.
How well did you know Stephen before you married him? How did he change afterwards?
I met Stephen when I was 15 years old in the art room my first year of high school. From the time we met, we were inseparable. We got married just after I turned 19, so I knew him for four full years. I’d tell you how he changed, but that would be a major spoiler for the book, so let’s just say “I found things out.”
What was the first time you tried drugs? What drove you to it? How did you feel afterwards?
Another great question! Remember, it was the age of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, so smoking pot in high school was something everyone did, especially the artsy fartsy group I discovered in the art room. So I smoked my first joint shortly after meeting Stephen. Nothing drove me to it, I wanted to do it, it was just what art students did and it felt great! Don’t tell anyone, but it still does!
Tell us about Michael, how the two of you met.
I met Michael while I was working at The Canteen in Chicago. He was friends with one of the bartenders. He was just so damn sexy!
How did the two of you get tangled with the criminal element?
Michael was a small time drug dealer when I met him. So confident, so self-assured. And have I mentioned yet that he was super sexy? Lots of people pushed ‘on the side’ back then and Michael didn’t handle any of the really hard drugs, no heroine, he knew that stuff would fuck you up… even kill you like it did Janis Joplin! He never let me get close to the business end of things – protected me from it, but also kept me well supplied.
If you could go anywhere in the world to forget your troubles, where would it be? What would your life there be like?
Well getting serious for a minute here, one of the things I’ve learned is that the place isn’t important – it’s what’s going on in your head that makes or breaks a place. But if I could move to someplace exotic, it would be Italy. I’d learn to speak Italian (such a beautiful sounding language) and wander around ancient ruins looking at all the art work. Or maybe I’d go to Antarctica. Something about the starkness appeals to me. If only it wasn’t so freakin’cold!
What does the future hold for you?
Well first, I’m going to make Jolene write the rest of the story I want to tell. I just got her to finish Book 2 so that should be published sometime in April or May. Then there’s some more you guys all need to know, so I’ll get her to start Book 3 this spring. Jolene may be good at the visual arts, but I’m the one with the writing talent, so I’m thinking about some short stories. A lot depends on Michael – he’s still around, you know.
Jolene Cazzola is an accidental author. She’s been in love with the creative arts since I was a child, however only turned from the visual arts to the written words recently. You can find Jackie on the pages of Love’s Illusions.
Next week with us will be a combat medic, serving in the Roman Empire’s most dangerous province – Britain. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.