Having the Time of My Life is a rich account of Peter Chapel’slife, depicting the people, places, and events that he wishes to remember andacknowledge. This memoir shows how everything and everyone around him genuinelyenriched his life and brings back poignantly remembered fragments of hishistory.
Chapel comes from a big family—thirteen children, only eleven of whom grew toadulthood. Here he shares the quality of the family bonding he and his siblingsexperienced growing up. He includes the memories of his sickly childhood, hischallenging coming-of-age years, and his fulfilling adulthood. In the firstchapters, he features his mother’s letter to him that recounts her personalexperiences and remembrances. He tells of the loving family he had, the specialoccasions they celebrated, their trips between the United States and Canada,the deaths of his brother and sister, and the wonderful times they shared. Withvivid detail Chapel reveals his first love, describing their acquaintance,secret dates, and the sad goodbye. He recalls his pursuit of the girl known bythe name Patricia Smith and shares his discovery of her true identity: LucilleAnn Collier, whose stage name was Ann Miller—the actress, dancer, and singer. Hisfirst love was a celebrity who had her own secrets, and he shows theloving but covert poetry, music, and messages they shared through the years. At fifty-four, Chapel finally met Patricia Mergens, his future wife. Heportrays the unique bond they shared and how their honestrelationship came about.
Chapel hadsome difficult years, uncomfortable moments, and heartrending times, but thanksto the strangers who became friends, the friends who made adifference, and the family who loves him, his life hasbeen a happy one.