The Balladeer is about a troubled man looking for redemption and forgiveness. Much of story was inspired by traumatic experiences in my own childhood. It’s taken me the better part of thirty years of reflection to finally find a way to write about it. The opening of this lyrical novel “The Balladeer” by Fred Calvert, sets the tone for this striking and poignant tale about the destruction of two families.
During World War II in Kentucky, farm boys Bobby and Eldon Wayner are budding balladeers. They become intrigued with a recluse farmer, “Ol’ Weber,” a German immigrant. Rumors allege that he’s a Nazi and that he‘d even murdered his own family. The boys spy on him and discover that at night he plays a mesmerizing piano tune. To write a ballad about Ol’ Weber, Eldon takes a fatal risk.
Many years later, after time served in California’s Folsom Prison for a barroom killing, Bobby travels back to Kentucky. On the way, his ballads and memories tell why he’d run away after Eldon died. When he reaches home, he discovers the past has been waiting like Judgment Day.
About the author, Fred Calvert:
Fred Calvert is a former Walt Disney staff artist, who has written and directed full-length motion pictures, documentaries, as well as hundreds of hours of both Public and Commercial television.
He served as a consultant in the creation of the Children’s Television Workshop, and has created and produced hundreds of “Sesame Street” and “Electric Company” segments.