As a writer, a musician, and a dreamer, Don believes that having an open heart, an open mind, and being able to seek out the best in others is invaluable. His books provide examples of unadulterated humanity, from despair to joy, from heartache to triumph.
His first book is titled “Be Strong, Be Tough, Be Smart.” It tells the triumphant story of raising his son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4 and went on to become a PhD in Engineering Physics, working with NASA and other space science institutions. It is a part memoir, part informative guide on raising a child with developmental disorders. It received a five star rating from Kirkus Review and a four star review from Foreward-Clarion.
His new book, “Real Men Wear Beige” is in stark contrast with my first book in terms of style and content, as it comes from a different time and place in my life. Its language and tone match the realism of the setting it represents. Real Men Wear Beige is about his journey through the criminal justice system and his incarceration after receiving a 5 year prison sentence on an official misconduct charge. The book reveals some hard, cold facts about prison life through a very expressive and provocative story and does so in a poignant and somewhat “tongue in cheek” manner. The book “Orange is the New Black” by Piper Kerman could be considered comparable in terms of its depiction of prison relationships, comradery and setting, but the incredible journey depicted in Real Men Wear Beige is a bit “rougher and tougher,” reflecting the differences between the women’s and men’s prison environment. The journey is intense, informative and enlightening.
As a musician and songwriter whose musical career was at its height in the 1980’s, he has now come full- circle and has also recorded a Real Men Wear Beige Soundtrack featuring the songs he wrote while incarcerated to express the emotions and events swirling around him.
The Soundtrack is available at www.rmwbeige.com