We recently spoke with author Dale Austin, who grew up in Oakhurst and attended East Meck H.S., to learn more about his new book He Did What? Across 402 pages, Dale’s narrative weaves through familiar places of past and present in the Monroe Road Area—Woonsocket Mill, Raney Way, Craig Ave, East Meck, and Lake Hill Apartments to name a few. Here’s how the book came to be and what Hollywood hopes are on the horizon…
In Dale’s words
I grew up in Oakhurst and I love telling that to people who ask. My response to their question gives me the opportunity to share great stories of my childhood such as, I got to go inside Woonsocket Mill at 11:00 PM. My dad was weekend security on the third shift, I would accompany him on his weekend rounds. A dark, quiet textile mill is the scariest place on the planet to an 8 year old. I also make sure that I mention the BB lodged in a friend’s private area. I love those memories and you can tell by the great stories from my latest book.
In January of 2021 I published a book, He Did What? Growing Up With a Sociopathic Narcissistic Father. The entire book takes place in Oakhurst. It starts at 4237 Hiddenbrook Drive where I spent my early years. The second part of the book unfolds at 3425 Craig Avenue where I lived during my time at Randolph Jr. High and East Mecklenburg High School. East Meck is where I met my bride, Susie Adams, on the first day of the 10th grade home room. After Craig Avenue my brother and I moved to Lake Hill apartments where I lived for the first two years of my marriage as well.
While living in Oakhurst most of my time was spent in the woods around the neighborhood. In my book I recount our adventures in those all natural, organic, non-GMO playgrounds. Everything from playing Army to the Naked Tarzan incident took place there. For those of you living on Raney Way, Naked Tarzan swung on the vines in those woods.
I started my book with the intent of creating a memoir for my family…5 years ago! In 2020 I found the time to begin the book once again. That start came at the urging of my wife initially, she knows that I love to write and encouraged me to pick up where I had left off. The tipping point came when my dear mother-in-law asked me to start writing again. They were both very kind and gentle in their pleas and I knew that they were right.
Sociopathic Narcisstic Father
In He Did What? I strayed from my memoir and, instead, opened up my soul to reveal a side of my life with my father that few knew about. It turned out to be a 13-month self therapy session as I exposed the damage that a narcissist can do to a family. The book’s title came from a comment my wife made when I told her stories of life with my father.
Paper hidden in an enclosed location, easy to access from the backdoor of our house for an alibi filled out his plan. My father’s get out of debt plan was to set our house on fire! He was not original in his thought process. This sort of arson happens frequently to people in the same situation and I am certain that he would have just dug the debt hole deeper. To honestly consider setting your own house on fire, in the middle of the night while your family was asleep, is …
Now the book is slated to be produced as a limited episode television series. I have been in discussions with a video entertainment company that has agreed, this story will open people’s eyes to the hurt and damage that someone like my father can bring to a family. Each book signing and advertising campaign that I have done brings out people who experienced having a narcissist sociopathic father or husband.
To get this series started I need to hire a screenwriter to craft a strong pilot episode. My only financial burden in making this series will be this hire. I am currently trying to crowdfund the $20,000 cost of this hire.
He Did What? is available for purchase on amazon.
I enjoy reading. It was while reading that I decided that I should write a book. Business and other commitments kept that statement from becoming reality for 10+ years. In 2020 I simply sat down and just let the thoughts in my head come to life on a computer screen. I also discovered that I had more thoughts stored away that needed to be released from captivity in my brain, a second book is forthcoming.
Another passion is working with wood. I refurbish old furniture and turn bowls and vases.
My business career was focused on capturing theft and fraud electronically at financial institutions and retail outlets. In my vacation weeks and spare time I was heavily involved in missions work. My travels for that took me to Jamaica, Romania, impoverished areas of the US and then to Haiti. For 2 years working in Haiti was my full time occupation. The work there involved teaching, establishing medical clinics, supporting and upgrading orphanages. I like to open introductory conversation telling folks that my life with my wife has been one great long adventure. Throughout the years I have been bitten by a snake, shot, gone headfirst through a car windshield, been threatened with death twice and arrested. By the way, the snake bit me because I made him mad.
I met my bride in high school on the first day of 10th grade home room. After several years apart we reunited and were married. We have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.