My Brother Bo: Addicted in Paradise by Richard Hulse
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Cheers to My Brother Bo: Addicted in Paradise, a heartfelt biography about the author’s younger brother.
The year -1949- of Bo’s birth, Jersey Joe Walcot was the Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the World. By the time the baby son of an accomplished author and an award winning LA Times Travel Editor reached manhood his recreational drug use escalated from casual to lights out.
During the Vietnam War, Bo did a brief tour in the Navy. He also aborted college, and later became a custodian for the Los Angeles school district. He took pride in his work and was very likable. Yet, his drug and alcohol addiction was catastrophic.
After family intervention, Bo eventually kicked his disgraceful habits; equipped with art and acting classes, he landed steady work as an extra for the TV sitcoms: Melrose Place and Evening Shade. Actress Heather Locklear was among the people he called his friend. He rubbed shoulders with stars like Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis, Charles Durning, and Ann Wedgeworth.
When his tenure in Hollywood ended, he moved to Hawaii, where he lived a leisurely comfortable life. It was there, he replaced his substance abuse dependence with troubles prescribed to him by his private doctor. After Bo succumbed to a prescription drug overdose, his life in Paradise ended.
Today, his family and friends have their memories and can only imagine him surfing the waves of the Pacific Ocean.
Meredith Coleman McGee, Publisher/Acquisition Editor, Meredith Etc – Jackson, Mississippi
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Hulse is a retired educator and the former athletic director at Granada Hills Charter High School in Southern California. He is an avid sports fan and loves to travel. He lives with his wife, Debi, in Hollywood Beach, California, where they enjoy walks on the beach, watching dolphins surf the waves at sunset, and also regularly spoiling their four grandsons.
Richard’s recently published book, Forty Crazy Years of Friendship, was adapted as an original one act play, Old Friends. Bob Arnold wrote the script for Old Friends which debuted in June of 2015 at Hollywood Fringe Festival and in July 2015 at the historic El Portal Theater in N. Hollywood, California.
Every family, unique as a snowflake, has exclusive joys and sorrows. We all know families rocked by the tragedy of some form of addiction and the self-destructive behavior that inevitably results. This is a compelling story of the Hulse brothers, Valley boys, from Southern California, a great place to grow up and get a start in life.
They had a nice home and loving parents. Rich does fine. Bo does not. There is something wrong. This is the human story about the life journey Rich and Bo share. This is the true story of one brother trying to help the other.
What is Bo’s problem? Why does he make such destructive choices? Why does he behave this way? And why doesn’t he use the help that is repeatedly offered?
The answers to these questions are, of course, complex: a profound mixture of neurobiology and genetics; neurotransmitters connecting body and mind; psychic pain and messages of pleasure outstripping the ability to make sound decisions.
This sensitive and compelling book also raises the question of why does Rich try so hard to help Bo? That answer is simpler: Bo is his brother.
When you lose a brother, the bond is broken and you lose a part of yourself that can never be recovered.
Men have many types of brothers: biological, as Rich and Bo; legal, as step-brother or brother-in-law; social, as school or gang or fraternity; teams, as at work, sports, or in the military.
These relationships can forge undying loyalty and unbreakable bonds. Each bond is a story. Rich, a natural story-teller who inherited writing talent from his well-known father, Jerry Hulse, is driven to tell this story. This book is his effort, I’m sure, to help him sort out the trauma of Bo’s decline; to document for the world the moving struggle and downward spiral which results when love, as powerful as it is, is not enough.
Rich, fortunately, retains in exquisite detail memories of the journey he and Bo take across the span of years. Their journey is authentic and credible. During this journey Bo’s patterns of behavior mirror his seemingly uncontrollable dependencies.
Today we see many types of addictive behaviors: smoking, junk foods, video games, sexual misadventures, gambling, heroin, cocaine. There are others, but the list is long and familiar. Neuroscience shows us that these behaviors can be treated with medical attention to decrease withdrawal symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapies, and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexual Addicts Anonymous, and Gamblers Anonymous.
This book contributes to our understanding of a complex human condition. Bo’s outcome is tragic, but we know addicts can overcome immense odds when they finally accept the help they need. There is hope for change. Thanks to Rich Hulse for the courage to advance our understanding of this immense problem facing far too many families in America and in the global community today.
James G. Hall, MD
James G. Hall, MD is a psychiatrist who practiced in Southern California for many years. He is now retired, and lives in Silver Spring, MD. Using the pen name, Jay Hoyland, he has authored: The Palace of Versailles: a novel; and Through the Eyes of a Tiger: An Army Flight Surgeon’s Vietnam Journal.
Advance Praise for My Brother Bo: Addicted in Paradise
Richard Hulse hopes to turn the tragic loss of his younger brother Bo into something that can help others…recognize changing patterns in a loved one’s life and the baffling effects of addiction.
Mary Mallory, Editorial Book Review, The Tolucan Times
The powerful part of this story is not even so much what happens specifically among this family, but how it relates to all of us. The reader will find that they insert themselves into the chapters; writing their own version of this story, and sharing the emotions right along with the author.
Cheri L. Goldsmith
In his intimate and candid memoir, Richard Hulse relates the heartbreak and frustration of dealing with his brother’s self-destructive choices and addictions. The compelling story of Richard and Bo speaks to the strong bond of brotherhood and the difficulty of overcoming addictive behaviors.
Janet McCormack Nowaj, Member, Friends of the William T. Cozby Public Library, Coppell, Texas
“My Brother Bo,” written by Richard Hulse, is a compassionate story of how to deal with a loved one’s addiction. It tells the story of how two brothers, being so different, loved each other through thick and thin. It shows how heartbreaking it is to see a loved one go through their addiction and how frustrating it is to try and help them.
Lenore Greenwald, Former Executive Secretary, Hughes Aircraft
As a young adult, Bo appears to be a free thinking individual, hearing a different drummer than his parents and brother. My Brother Bo: Addicted in Paradise, stands on its own merits as a loving commentary.
Wyatt D. Haupt Sr., Retired Educator
Richard Hulse’s compassionate and insightful look at brotherhood, torn apart by alcohol, drugs, and the times. Unfortunately, all the love and concern for our family we can muster, can be destroyed by the power of drugs. It’s a courageous, yet heartbreaking journey we take into a life, at times well lived, yet tragically ended too soon.
Robert S. Weinberg, Retired Coach & Educator
There are so many rules passed that are supposed to protect people and their privacy, and we have forgotten that sometimes we need to infringe on that very right to help them. With alcoholism and drug addiction being classified an “illness,” it is almost impossible to help anyone who doesn’t ask for it themselves. The love Richard and Bo had for each other was special and sincere. Unfortunately, addiction is stronger and the thought of having to give it up is harder and scarier to face than losing someone’s love.
Kathy White, Retired-Banking Industry Professional