Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2004
The author—most well known for playing the first Darrin in the 1960s television series Bewitched—muses about his life in this collection of late-night reminiscences, tape-recorded and transcribed. While readers looking for the behind-the-scenes scoop about the stars of this popular series will be disappointed, others will enjoy this poignant, funny, and insightful recounting of the life of this star of radio, Broadway, and television.
The loosely woven tale, which bounces back and forth among decades and even between reality and fantasy, will be engaging to readers who have never even heard of York as well as to those who faithfully watched Bewitched. York’s love for his wife and family is the overwhelming theme of this narrative. His optimism—despite financial setbacks, mental breakdowns, and physical maladies—is inspirational.
A veteran performer, York recalls interesting anecdotes about some famous fellow actors, including stories about the time he met Paul Newman on the subway, and the time he introduced his wife to Gene Kelly. The author creates colorful and compelling vignettes, in which he portrays the wonderful essence of these celebrated people.
Joey, York’s wife, the “seesaw girl” of the title, wrote the foreword for the book. York fondly recalls meeting her at a radio studio, when she was twelve and he was fifteen. Through decades of marriage, including raising five children, the Yorks remained a loving and caring couple. “Love, Joey. I’ve learned about love, Joey,” says York. “Not in a book. Not over the radio or in a movie. I’ve watched it in you since I’ve known you.”
While the book’s story is uplifting and remarkable, readers who require a well-composed literary piece may be dissatisfied with the “transcribed-from-tape” feeling in some of the passages. The book is the printed version of York’s spoken thoughts and remembrances, with very little polish to the written presentation.
Readers never find out if Tabitha smoked pot on the set or if Endora was really a diva. The true gift in this book is the message of loving the people in one’s life. York masterfully reconstructs “some of the best days in my life,” and they focus on family—tender moments with his wife throughout their courtship and marriage, and times with Grandma York as a child growing up in the Depression.
York died in 1992, but this book will stay with readers and may enhance perceptions of life and relationships—and that’s much more magic than Darrin ever witnessed on Bewitched!