My Name is Shirley--An autobiography by Shirley Temple Rodgers (Ghostwritten)

This is a writing sample from Scripted writer KENNETH RAY

Excerpt from "My Name is Shirley," an autobiography that chronicles the intriguing, eventful, but often painful life of Shirley Temple Rodgers. Entries from Ms. Rodgers' handwritten journal were skillfully organized, modified, and crafted into an inspirational life story spanning 70 years.


The product of an illicit interracial tryst, Shirley is abandoned as a toddler and muddles through childhood feeling unloved, unwanted, and unworthy.

She can pass for white, but is raised as a Negro in segregated 1950s West Virginia, where she endures physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her surrogate mother, Celina.

Forced into a loveless arranged marriage at age 16, Shirley escapes to the epicenter of Detroit's nightlife in the mid-1960s, where she consorts unabashedly with pimps, drug dealers, and racketeers.

She is plagued by bad relationships and personal tragedies, including rape, temporary homelessness, and the death of a child.

After decades of living an empty, marginalized, drug-tainted life, Shirley finds God, is born again, and learns to seek Him, which allows her to experience the love, peace, acceptance, and fulfillment she has always craved.

Chapter 11 - Adrift

In 1980 The Latin Quarters on East Grand Boulevard was a hot nightspot in Detroit. It had been a fixture in Detroit since the 1940s, even though it had lost some of its luster from the glory days when it hosted such acts as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald , and Lena Horne in the 1950s, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes in the 1960s, and Bob Seger, Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds, and the Temptations in the 1970s. There were larger and more famous venues in Detroit like the Fisher Theatre, Cobo Hall, or Olympia Stadium, but the Latin Quarters, because of its storied past, was still popular with a diverse clientele. I got a job working there as a bartender. It was part-time work, but I made nice tips, especially when hot acts booked concerts there and the place was "jumpin."

A young Prince Rogers Nelson, or Prince, as he was known, performed at the Latin Quarters in 1980 with The Time and Vanity 6. They certainly made the house jump. Prince was only about 22 years old at the time, and a budding star, having just released his first album. The Detroit crowds loved him. They sold that place out night after night. The band spent a lot of time rehearsing, doing sound checks, and hanging out at the bar, so I got to know Prince, Morris Day, and several of the band members. It was great fun watching the entertainers perform night after night, and I got a kick out of seeing them go on to become big stars.

Written by:

A former ad agency principal, Ken has completed hundreds of projects, including magazine ads, articles, blog posts, press releases, content, and two books (one as a ghostwriter). He is a stickler when it comes to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, because deep down he is a bit of a perfectionist. His work has been featured on,, and
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