Jerry McGill- High Roller #3


jerryThe one and only Jerry McGill… he’s a writer…and an English teacher…
Educated in Education and Writer of a Book and Film…
He is The Most Interesting Man in Eugene! Really! He did write a book and it was recently published. 

Dear Marcus: Speaking to the Man Who Shot Me

“Walking home from a party with a friend, he’s shot in the back. Shortly after, he learns he’ll be paralyzed for life.

Jerome never meets his attacker, and the authorities never catch the person. News of a black adolescent getting shot in Manhattan doesn’t even rate a paragraph in the local paper. With only his close circle of friends, family and caregivers, Jerome is left looking for answers.”

Have a read… it’s good for your brain. You can find it at Amazon, Powell’s and Barnes and Noble.

Facts of Jerry:

Favorite band/kind of music/musician: Prince or Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin

Favorite films: An Officer And A Gentleman, Do The Right Thing, Annie Hall, Blue Velvet

Favorite books: Native Son by Richard Wright, A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving, Paula by Isabel Allende
Favorite restaurant/food: Italian

Favorite beverage: Red wine
Do you go out much? Only when I’m in Portland and with my best boys!

What’s your dream job? Acting

Do you work out or play any sports? I work out a few days a week at the Y

Hobbies? Painting. I’m a terribly amateur painter.

What do you consider awesome? Unselfishness

Where would you love to live? In a European city, something like Berlin or Madrid

What takes up the majority of your time? Schoolwork

What do you do in your free time? Writing

What do you wish you had more time for? Writing!

If I take a look inside your refrigerator what would I find? Eggs, half and half, cheese

Dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Malcolm X
What would you ask him? What did you think of Denzel Washington’s portrayal of you?

During your child hood what was your favorite cartoon? Speed Racer

How many pairs of shoes do you own? one

Your default karaoke song? Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

A short term goal: To get through life


  1. Rose
    June 25, 2011

    I went to High School with Jerry, he was one of my closest friends… I have been trying to reach him for many years to no avail… Is there a way anyone can inform him that I would love to speak or even email him…

    • Nando Ramos
      December 28, 2012


      I knew Jerome “Jerry” in JHS back before he was shot…. Funny he was one of if not my best friend that year… Everyone remembers things differently… I wonder if you ever got in touch with him… I visited with him in the hospital after the shooting and then school started the next year and I didnt go see him… I was I dont know I didnt know what to do or how to deal with what had happened to my dear friend… It used to kill me to visit with him and it breaks my heart when I look back to that time… I remember running into his younger sister and her telling me I needed to go visit with her brother… God I am so Sorry Jerome.. I am so so sorry… I am sure these words may never reACH YOU and if the do you may not even care. On he small chance that they do reach you please forgive… all though you may have forgotten about me. I have not forgotton about you.

  2. David Seaman
    April 5, 2012

    Mr. McGill;
    I spent from age 19 through age 48 working as a musician and producer of theatre. I was an actor, director, musical diretor as well as a conductor. Like you, I find solace in the world of films, books and television (look for a song by Rupert Homes called “Widescreen” written in the early 1970’s)

    Since I was sttruck with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 2005 and spent eight montths in the hospital paralyzed from the nose down, unable to speak and have recovered to a degree where I can type, play piano poorly but cannot work because of something that’s laughably called “Fatigue symdrome” the only work left for me to make me feel useful has been to become a literary critic. Various publishing houses send me their uncorrected galleys, i read them and then write pre-publication essays or reviews from which quotations can be pulled or entire reviews can be published.

    Your book, “Dear MArc us” was the most recent to arrive at my door. I am not aty all certain that I am the appropriate man to review this book. Every word you wrote is honewst, pure and the truth and I spent most of the 23 hours reading it crying, feeling sporry for myself, feeling sporry for you and imagining what it would be like to have a Marcus of my own instead of a microbiotic virus. You see I’m a novice. I’ve not yet accepted fully and still have3 the moments when I believe that this is temporary; that the novelty has indeed worn off; people are polite from guilt or rude from discomfrot; I am able to breath on my own, I fight with my wheelkchair and occasionally am able to transfer using a walker or two canes. I sleep about 90% of the time.
    Your book, beautifully written- though on pager 158 correct thre adverb in the sentencer, “Ity doesn;t matter that I dress up nice…” – is five stars to me. ANd it’s a book that every single person alive should read. But I sgtruggle as to how to write a professional essay about saomething thatg touches me in ways that many readers can simply never understand.

    I do not ask for an answser from you; this is my problem and I will solve it. I hope that every Marcus out there reads this book- those who are still living. And more than this, I hope that the “would be Marcus’ ” read it. It should be taught to sixth graders in the subiurb s and to fifth graders in the city.
    i too am in theatre. I too an a writer. I too am an agnostic. My wife served me with divorcve papers when I came out of the coma. My two daughters are barel,y adults and I have guilt for what my illness did to them. My career and success came prior to this medical nightmare and I see my life as a large open terrain that is doivided by a vast, machine made chasm- the grand canyon or a massive gorge. Before and After. I believe in the CHaos theory and though this did not happen to me for a reason, that does not mean that reason cannot come out of it. I agree with you about anger and blame. My business cards include the words: “Bl;ame is for God and Little Children” and I am working on anger.

    It is depression that I fight now. all the work I’ve done in my life has been collaborative. I worked with many others to create art- often the stidents whom I taught. Now my only forms of offering anything are dreaddfullhy lonely. You know yourself that writing is very lonely work and your hands, like mine, are not as deft as the typpical able bodied hands. I will go back and correct as many as the typose in this as possible, but not all of them.

    So I’ve laid out much of what I’ve had tgo say except for thank you. Thank you for for touching my soul and for describing what it means tgo enter the hospital in one year and come out a year later, completely different; what it means to be starred at and have people ask incredibly personal questions or people who slam doors into your face or use their agile legs to beat you in line. I thank you.

    I would love to hear from you.
    i collect first edition sigbned books- a hobby I began after my illness- and it would mean a lot to me to have you sign the galley copy of “dear Marcus” that i have- penned up as it is.
    With respect,
    Dave Seaman

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