From the Foreword by Joan “Joey” York

This book covers a difficult period. We had many tough times in our life — a lot of ups, a lot of downs. But Dick and I managed to be together and smile through all of them. If anything, tragedy sometimes brings people closer. Even in the most horrible circumstances, it was a charming, wonderful, exciting existence I shared with Dick.
    Do I miss him? Of course I do, with every fiber of my being.
    Is he still with me? Of course he is.


From the Introduction

I laugh a lot in this book. I hope you will, too. I weep; you may weep if it feels right to you. I’m angry, and you can become angry, too. There are sexual passages; you can join in them, too. (The voyeur in all of us, the interest in all of us.) I probably will embarrass some of you, only because I embarrass myself. I embarrass myself by the things that I’ve allowed myself to say. “Allowed myself to say ” — that isn’t quite right. My mouth opened, the words poured out, and they were caught on the tape recorder. And some of them are damned embarrassing.
    This book is primarily about love. It’s a love book. That’s the only area that I know of where we can all meet and all understand. So when I say, “Patience, please have patience,” I’m only asking you to share the love with me. I know that's real. I know that’s actual.


From Chapter One

The first time I saw her she must have been twelve, doing a radio show by the name of Judy and Jane. She was a twelve-year-old precocious, bright, smiling little girl. I was fifteen and, you know, she was just a little girl, after all, my God I was fifteen years old. A very pleasant, bright little girl.
    Montage. Go ahead fast. Young man on a fast-track career jumps from star of That Brewster Boy to playing Billy Fairfield on Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. Now he’s cool, he’s keen, he’s eighteen years old and in she walks, into the studio to do a commercial. And everything stops.
    Everything stopped. She wore a blouse that had different capitals of the world on it, and there happened to be a capital of the world in the right place on the right side, and the right place on the left side, and the announcer, Bob McKee, or maybe it was Jim Jewell, who directed the show, said to this young lady, “Joan, I would like to bury my nose between Paris and Rome.” And she said, “Don’t be prepared to land. It’s a very slippery runway.”
    Immediately I was in love.


From the Afterword by Claudia Kuehl

Dick York led a brave life and this is a brave book — a tour de force, really, considering that The Seesaw Girl and Me erupted in one big burst of creativity. What still amazes me is how Dick, completely off the cuff, structured and wove together his memories to create an affecting thematic whole, rich in character, emotion, and atmosphere. He was a storyteller extraordinaire.
    What’s your favorite part?
    Mine occurs near the end. When Dick says, “God, I feel good,” my heart swells with happiness for him in his moment of serenity and completeness. And I’m oddly touched by the description of a macanoonynoodle dinner. How homely and sweet is that?
    There’s also the rat story, and the miraculous quarter lost and found in the snow, and the wet boots, and the mystique of Chicago, and the dancing and not-dancing, and above all Joey, the seesaw girl. So many treasures.

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Poem by Joey York
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