Proceeds to benefit the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation.
By M. SCOTT MORRIS
AMORY – On May 1, Sam Haskell III began a 56-city odyssey that will keep him on the move until Aug. 1.
“I will literally have six days off during that time,” Haskell said. “I’m going to be living in airports and cars and whatever hotels there are.”
The travel is in support of Haskell’s memoir, “Promises I Made My Mother,” which chronicles his childhood in Amory, his college years at the University of Mississippi and his rise from the mailroom at William Morris Agency in Hollywood.
He’ll make several trips to Mississippi during his wide-ranging book tour, including Saturday’s stop at his hometown for a “Celebration Gala” at Amory High School. He won’t be alone.
“It’s going to be a lot of my friends who have come in the past for the ‘Stars Over Mississippi’ concerts,” he said. “We’re doing this as a fundraiser for the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation.”
Saturday’s lineup features Michael Feinstein, Debbie Allen, Doris Roberts, Lucie Arnaz, Sela Ward, Jill Conner Browne, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam, Blake Ewing, former Miss Mississippi Mary Donnelly Haskell, Miss Mississippi 2008 Christine Kozlowski, Mary Lane Haskell and Amory High School’s cast of “The Wiz.”
Some of the stars will read excerpts from “Promises I Made My Mother,” and everyone who attends the gala will get a copy. All of Haskell’s proceeds from the book will be donated to charity.
The book is Haskell’s story, but each chapter revolves around his mother, Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell.
“The book is put into chapters based on lessons that she taught me,” Haskell said, “and the promises I made to her that I would never forget those lessons.”
He said he’s always thought of himself as a positive person, and usually tries to look for the good in others. He had to counteract that tendency.
“I realized in writing this that the only way people are going to relate to me is to know the obstacles I had to overcome in this journey,” he said. “I’m very open about my relationship to my father, which was not good. I’m open and honest about relationships with lots of people.”
The book jacket includes praise from Lily Tomlin, Kathie Lee Gifford and Dolly Parton. Inside the book, you’ll find stories about those stars and many more.
But the book is far from the complete story of Haskell’s life.
“I have another book because I had to cut half of this one out,” he said. “I guess we could do ‘More Promises I Made My Mother.’ Random House has an option for four more books. If this works, I’m sure they’re going to want another one.”