WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will present “Jim Tully’s Road from Glynnwood to Hollywood” at 7 p.m. Monday, June 29, on the organization’s Facebook Live page, facebook.com/AuglaizeCountyHistory.
Tully’s biographers and friends Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak from Auglaize County will be the presenters.
Courtesy of Auglaize County Historical Society:
Son of an Irish ditch-digger, Jim Tully (1886-1947) was born near Glynnwood. The family moved around western Ohio, but considered St. Marys home. After the death of his mother, Tully lived six years in a Cincinnati orphanage, but eventually returned to St. Marys.
He left in 1901, spending most of his teenage years drifting across the country. After six years on the road, Tully jumped off a railroad car in Kent, Ohio, as an aspiring writer. While chasing his dream, he worked as a chain maker, boxer, reporter, and tree surgeon.
Tully wrote Jarnegan (1926), considered the “first Hollywood novel.” Beggars of Life (1924) was adapted for the stage and later became a movie. In 1932 Laughter in Hell was also adapted for film. In total, Tully had fourteen books published between 1922 and 1943.
Several of his acclaimed works, including Emmett Lawler, Beggars of Life and Shanty Irish, feature autobiographical passages drawn from youthful experiences in and around Glynnwood and St. Marys.
Both H.L. Mencken—Tully’s literary champion— and the New York Times compared Tully with the likes of Maxim Gorky.
To access the event, simply go to the Auglaize County Historical Society Facebook page (also accessible via https://www.facebook.com/AuglaizeCountyHistory) a little before 7 pm on June 29. When the program is about to begin, a red box with the word LIVE will pop up, and the program will appear as the most current post on the page. Make sure you adjust your volume (on the screen), if needed.
Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak are the authors of the biography Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, published in 2011. The book was the 2011 Gold Winner for Biography from ForeWord Reviews and the 2012 Silver Award for Biography from the Independent Book Publishers Association. It was also a finalist for the Ben Franklin Award in Biography from the Independent Book Publishers Association. States Historical Society administrator Rachel Barber, “We’re pleased to welcome back Paul and Mark, if only virtually, for what promises to be a fascinating program.”
About Our Presenters
Paul Bauer is the coauthor of two books. Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues (with Negro League catcher Frazier Robinson), which was selected by Booklist as a Top Ten Sports Book of 1999. Bauer and Mark Dawidziak have written introductions to reprints of four of Jim Tully’s books: Beggars of Life, The Bruiser (foreword by Gerald Early), Circus Parade (foreword by Harvey Pekar), and Shanty Irish (foreword by John Sayles). Bauer lives in Kent and has been a used and rare bookseller since 1986.
Mark Dawidziak is the author of many books, including five about Mark Twain and three about landmark television series: The Columbo Phile, The Night Stalker Companion, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned in The Twilight Zone. His most recent book, The Shawshank Redemption Revealed: How One Story Keeps Hope Alive (2019), details the making and legacy of the beloved film based on Stephen King’s story. The former television and film critic at such newspapers as the Akron Beacon Journal and Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, his other books include the horror novel Grave Secrets and The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Dracula. Dawidziak and his wife, Sara Showman, are the co-founders of the Largely Literary Theater Company, a touring troupe dedicated to promoting literacy, literature and live theater. He has been portraying Mark Twain on stage for more than 40 years. He currently is at work on a biography of Edgar Allan Poe.