INTERVIEW — TAPE #74, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell
N: retirement home receptionist
P: Paul Russell
( . . . )
Q: It was a wrong number so he no longer lives there. And I’m in there trying to rest and trying to figure out as usual what is the relationship between Mighael and God and if it’s one and the same but just schizophrenia; and who is my sweetie and if Mighael is an amassing of souls, which is the one that is the most friendly one I hear all the time saying “YEAH” and doing other pleasant things on the tapes. So who is — I have a sweetie here with me and I don’t know what to do or make of it. And all this ‘son’ stuff. If my God is living with me in my condo and I’m His son and his soulmate, symbolically or whatever, I just don’t know what it all means. And I was transcribing earlier, talking about Angels, saying something — oh, it was transcribing my interview with the Hun. (“AND”) I was talking about how interesting it would be to have sex with Angels and one of the voices says what sounds like “DEPENDS WHAT THEY ARE.” Well not if you love someone or something. It doesn’t really depend if you love something or if something loves you how can you help not help? I mean how can you help not loving one in return? So I just feel His love around me and I am always projecting love because I feel love being projected at me. So I guess I should go work on my valentine but it’s so confusing. (sighs) It’s very confusing. So I just — I’m not going to think about it and just make — and just hope that my dreams of love come true.
( . . . )
Q: Well I just had a very interesting call from my brother. He had lunch with Allison Jackson on Monday and apparently Allison intervened so that I wasn’t arrested for harassing Sherry Lansing and breaking and entering and the usual. Everyone there is very concerned. I don’t really — well I don’t know. I just was trying to get Sherry to read my book. Apparently, she does not live on Angelo Drive like that book says. Who knows? I don’t know what street she does live on. It just — it did say that in the book that she lived on Angelo Drive. So apparently they were going to call the police or do something because I was harassing Sherry and as far as I’m concerned I wasn’t doing anything different than any screenwriter who wants to get his book read. I mean I dropped my book off on her desk. (“I DIDN’T”) The door was wide open and I wrote a follow-up letter. I even said in it that this would be the last letter. So I don’t understand. Well Michael said people are paranoid in Hollywood because of after Jodie Foster and all these events that people are just very paranoid. Well they’re not paranoid enough to want to get more information. I mean I’d only be too glad to let anyone there read my book. Either — and that includes the head of security or Allison or anyone there. So Michael — but Michael doesn’t think — my brother doesn’t think that anyone is going to read my book because it’s so long and this is quick fix society. So — and he said that even Cheryl had told Allison not to get involved with it. Oh — and Sherry is being honored at the Publicists Guild Luncheon this year so I guess I won’t be invited (“AT”) to sit at the table like last year when I was overlooked for “Forrest Gump.” Well I wasn’t overlooked. I was just not mentioned for the award. Oh well, who cares? I don’t care. It’s always nice to see your friends though. Even when you’re not working on press kits. (“BUT”) I just think that’s so — so I was sort of — my first response was, “Well if they had arrested me I would’ve gotten some publicity.” But that isn’t the kind of publicity I need, I guess. I guess — oh, Allison (“HEARD”) heard about the Declaration of Independence. (“SO”) They think that this is complete lunacy. This is impossible. This is complete craziness for anyone to even think that it’s possible that they have the Declaration of Independence. Can you imagine what the response would’ve been if I had said all — if I had listed all the things I think I have? Oh so I don’t know. I think maybe Andy was right that my book is going to be published posthumously (“IF E[VAN]”) if even then. I don’t really care. I don’t care. I was just trying to do this to help other people. I told Michael — I said if one person comes to God as the result of my book I would be happy. (“I MEAN” “I”) I have no control over other people. I can only do the best job that I can do. Allison knows me. That’s why I’ve always liked her. I’ve always liked her. Even when she’s being a bitch. Even when she’s hysterical. I don’t know. So it’s something innate. Either you’re in tune with — it’s a matter — (“IT’S”) again, it all has to do with fear and ego, fear of the unknown. I don’t know. I mean if they really read my press kit for “Braveheart,” they would know that I’m not a psycho because psychos don’t write press kits for movies that go on to get ten Academy Award nominations. Well maybe they do but that’s besides the point. The point is that I’m very nice. I spend all my day trying to be nice and do nice and be loving and show love to other people. I mean (“I”) today I went to the supermarket and I again paid $5 in for people in need. I mean it just — they don’t want — I’m just shocked I guess. I’m just shocked that every time I think that it can’t get any more harder or difficult or that maybe tomorrow I’ll get the call that says Sherry (“WILL”) wants to read it but everyday it seems like I’m just getting further from my goal. Meanwhile, my horoscope says, “Fame and fortune is just a step away.” Plus I sold all my stocks so I’m not making money on the stock market. Well maybe that’s a karma issue. I don’t know what that’s all about but I mean I’m sure everything is fine. I feel fine. I don’t want to do any more press kits for Paramount anyway because Michael said, “Well now they probably won’t hire you again.” (“PSYCH”) They should be so lucky. (“HE”) You know, I mean it’s just I don’t see — I don’t know if my story is going to be a happy one. It’s happy for me because I don’t need success. God knows I don’t need fame and fortune. I would like to get my antiques put away some where so I don’t have to constantly be concerned about what should happen if there was an earthquake or I don’t know. Now I’m rambling on into my tape recorder, not knowing what to say or do; almost not caring, almost ceasing to care. It’s just all too much. So — oh (“WAS FUNNY”) one funny thing was Allison said that Susan Pyle had gone through something similar once. (“SO”) Boy, would I love to interview Susan Pyle sometime. So, (“HA”) Mighael, I’m trying. You should have chosen somebody smarter to do your book.
( . . . )
Q: Plus I realized that when I had the photos taken I had the wrong Picasso postcard in the photo because I found the correct one today on my desk. So that wasn’t the right postcard if you can even notice it in the picture. Oh well.
( . . . )
Q: The funny thing is the more I think about it — is that I really am a complete bastard because I really am not that disappointed by this latest news. I really just don’t care. None of these valuable antiques are probably ever going to go to help people in need and I just don’t care. None of my screenplays are ever going to be made into movies. And I just don’t care. Maybe I can even lighten up on my transcribing. I’m not quite ready to resume watching television again — not that Mighael would let me. (“IDLE” or “IDOL”) Why am I even — (coughs) not even saying anything that’s worth writing down now. So I think I’m just going to turn off my tape recorder, have dinner, paint the fucking valentine for my sweetie, and do a little bit of transcribing because I wouldn’t know what else to do with myself at this point anyway. I didn’t say one thing that I said — (“WW”) I’m not a psycho. I mean if I was a stalker — you know how smart I am. Sherry would be dead by now. You know? I mean what else is new? She’d be dead. She’d be dead meat by now. I’ve always loved Sherry. I never would’ve contacted her if I didn’t think it wasn’t — (“I — I”) well it said “GIVE THE BOOK TO SHERRY.” Mighael wants me to give my book to Sherry so I gave my book to Sherry. Well I guess I keep confusing — I keep think that I’m in some kind of dream and that my dream has a happy ending. (“BUT”) I can’t even imagine what — I am already happy. So my dream has already ended. I mean I’ve already left the dream. It’s just other people’s dreams are the ones that I’m (“HELP” “CONTRI”) trying to — I don’t know what I’m evan going to say. I can’t even — I don’t know how to articulate it. Oh God. I guess that’s why Mighael chose me. He knew I’d very well be able to articulate that which cannot be articulated.
( . . . )
Q: The valentine I made turned out better than I expected because Mighael channeled it. We both made it for each other.
( . . . )
N: Good evening. Thank you for calling The Meadows of La Habra. This is Mary. (“YES”)
Q: Paul Ray Russell.
N: Uh-huh. Hold on, please.
Q: Thank you. (pause)
Q: Oh hi.
P: I’m writing you — I’m sending you that letter. And I’m writing a couple more little short pages too.
Q: Oh okay. I went through the suitcases. (“LOVE”) First, I wanted to thank you for the weekend. That was very nice.
P: Yeah, well I’ll —
Q: The money and everything.
P: I wanted to get the letter to you Thursday or Friday but I couldn’t. I got a roommate here and know I’ll —
Q: That’s okay.
P: What I wanted — just a second before you start. The meat — it was — that pot roast was beautiful.
Q: Yeah? Oh that’s good.
P: I’ve been — I got most of it gone now. I had your — most of yours and most of mine and some of yours. And the potatoes and stuff they gave me.
Q: I guess —
P: And the bun. Ohh, I been — I was eating. I got most of it gone.
Q: I guess my Entity thought that you’d like it and that’s why my car stalled.
P: Yeah, well — oh yeah, how did the car do?
Q: No, it’s fine. But it was just — that’s the only time it’s ever stalled.
P: Well you’re getting around towards a tune-up. You know.
Q: No, I had a tune-up.
P: And then we got home here — got back here and let it sit and heat up some more and that’s not good when it’s showing a little signs of —
Q: Okay. But, anyway, I wondered —
P: — oil and — that’s oil and that means a little tune-up maybe.
Q: Right. (“OKAY”) I went through the suitcases so let me ask you a few quick questions.
Q: What — first of all, I didn’t see any traveler’s checks. Were there any travelers’s checks in there?
P: No, I was just kidding about that.
Q: Oh, okay.
P: So you’d look for everything. All of that stuff is —
Q: Well I did. I did look through it.
P: All that stuff is new and — oh, I should’ve wrapped the eye wash. That’s a new bottle. I used it once but it’s got boric acid. You might — you probably won’t need it. Mike —
Q: But what about —
P: Yeah, I should’ve wrapped that in tissue paper.
Q: What about the (“LIKE”) three J.C. Penny’s things? Could I exchange those maybe at the catalog department?
P: Yeah, if you want.
Q: I mean do you — you don’t need the — I don’t need the receipt, do I?
P: At what department?
Q: You know, the ca(talog) — they’re all catalog items.
P: They all are?
Q: No, there were three of them that were catalog items.
P: How do you know they are? They’re —
Q: Because they’re still in the plastic.
P: They’re marked?
Q: Yeah, they’re still in the plastic and they have the catalog things on them.
Q: I don’t need a receipt, do I?
P: Well no but you’ve got to get your size, Mark.
Q: Right, exactly. Large.
P: Just get a credit and go over and pick out what you want.
Q: Exactly. I can go to any J.C. Penny’s, can’t I?
Q: Okay. Now also now what were those — that Apollo 11 patch? What was that from?
P: Oh, that’s a guy here. He says he went to the moon.
P: His name is Russell Plante. His first name is Russell.
Q: And he’s there where you’re living?
P: P — L — A — N — T — E. I don’t know. He was an astronaut he says.
Q: Oh I’m sure he was.
P: And he’s from La Habra and he’s got a home and everything. He’s got diabetes and he just moved in about seven/eight months ago.
Q: Right. And he was on Apollo 11?
P: He was? Yeah, that’s what he says. I don’t listen to that stuff because I got — I was in bad shape. I didn’t know I was in such bad shape. Oh boy.
Q: But what about —
P: I was lucky.
Q: But this patch. I mean (“THIS MUS”) — this patch must be valuable if it came from him.
P: Well he’s got — yeah. Well he —
Q: Does he have a lot of them?
P: He gives them away to every (small laugh) —
Q: Oh I see. (“LEE”) I see. And what’s this — this other patch was . . .
P: Sew it on the fur-lined fireman’s jacket. (small laugh)
Q: Yeah, that’s great.
P: That’s Clyde’s. That was Clyde’s.
Q: They’re beautiful. But what about those photos now? I mean I — who? This says 1973.
P: I don’t know. I was going to tell you about the photographs too. There are some in there that I found. I don’t know what I got them — up in Sacramento? I got them here? I don’t know who they were so I just stuck them in there in the box. If you can look at them —
Q: Who’s the man with the glasses?
P: And if — that’s it. I don’t know any of those people.
Q: Well you were in some of them.
P: I found them somewhere.
Q: But you’re in some of them.
P: Look at the dog especially and describe — if you give me a couple descriptions, then I’ll find out who they — if there’s anybody around here they belong to.
Q: Well why did you give them to me?
P: And I got a — did you fi(nd) — I think I had another picture of me but it — but I think maybe I put it in there.
Q: There are a couple pictures of you in here.
P: There are a couple but I had one more. I’ll (“WELL”) find it if you don’t — (“RIGHT” “NO”) I got my V.A. report in the mail.
Q: Oh great.
P: On — let’s see, I thought Monday was the 13th but it was the 12th. I mailed it on Monday — let’s see: 2 — 12 — I mailed it on Monday at noon. I missed the mailman here and walked across the street.
P: So boy I had trouble getting all them —
Q: Did you know you have your army paper photocopies in here?
P: Yeah, I put them in there too. Just that’s all one packet.
Q: But now you were discharged because you broke your jaw?
P: No, that was two years — that was my first year. That wasn’t me.
P: In Florida. Don’t worry about — just kind of glance at them and you know.
Q: Well I glanced through them but why were you discharged?
P: Because my — I had — because I smoke too much. No. We came back from Puerto Rico because the green — we brought all the planes back from Europe. We came on out here for reassignment but nobody was expected to go to Japan. Nobody was expected to go to Pacific. And so we came out here and my orders came through to make me corporal. I never knew it. (small laugh)
Q: Well I don’t understand though.
P: So out here at the Santa Ana Army Base —
Q: But why were you discharged?
P: Of service points.
Q: But were you injured?
P: As they all had two/three/two and a/three years service and they didn’t need them in the Pacific.
Q: They didn’t need you anymore?
Q: So you got discharged?
P: and — but if you wanted to stay in, you could sign. You know. But they didn’t tell you that. My brother stayed in and he ended up running the city of Madison, Wisconsin according to my — your grandmother.
Q: Oh I see.
P: But he didn’t. You know all about that. Listen. Oh well I forgot what I was going to say.
Q: Well thank you for the money. Michael thanks you for the money too.
P: Did he ta(ke) — I was thinking I should’ve got a certified check — you know, what do you call it check at the bank.
Q: Cashier’s check?
P: Cashier’s check. There’s another kind of check they have too they write. That way it costs the same — about the same amount. They — in fact, you can get a lot more money that way. You can get up to $10,000 for about $3 or $4. And that’s — if you go that high in traveler’s check, why, you know, otherwise if a small amount like that is the same rate about. (“HH”)
Q: Does (“THEY IS”) your friend, that astronaut, is he very happy staying there?
P: He’s in a wheelchair and he’s got diabetes.
Q: Is he happy?
P: Oh yeah, he’s a smart guy. He’s the only one here that can outtalk the women like me.
Q: So the two of you are quite characters over there?
P: No, we don’t. No, I don’t fool around with them, Mark.
Q: What do you mean? You don’t fool around with who?
P: No, I don’t. I can’t do it. I can’t see a lot of them and I’ve been — I didn’t know I was in such ba(d) — I got to go over and check one more doctor but I think it’s okay.
Q: Okay, well I’ll pray for you.
P: Let’s see now. What else was it?
Q: Guess what I found out today?
Q: Guess what I found out today? Because I dropped my book off on Sherry Lansing’s desk and I’ve written her a few letters?
P: A book, yeah? Who — Joy who?
Q: No, Sherry Lansing, the head of Paramount.
P: Oh, up there.
Q: Because I dropped my book off on her desk and wrote her a few letters, (“SHE WAS”) she was — she almost had me arrested for harassment.
P: Yeah . . . ?
Q: As a stalker.
P: Almost — did they come by and talk to you?
Q: No. My friend Allison (“TALK”) talked them out of it.
Q: One of my friends talked them out of it but (“BUT”) —
P: And this is what he told you?
Q: This is what — no, she had lunch with my bro(ther) —
P: Who told you? Who gave you this information?
Q: My brother Michael.
P: Well anything you don’t see take with a grain of salt.
Q: No, I’m sure it’s true.
P: I’m sure it’s true too. I don’t think he would mislead you but —
Q: I did have a call — I did have a meeting with the head of security at Paramount.
P: You did?
P: Before. You knew about that.
Q: Before I sent the letter. I guess the letter upset them.
P: You knew about that before then?
Q: Well no — I had had a meeting with the head of security.
Q: A few weeks ago.
P: Well then was that about the same thing — incident?
Q: Yeah. Well I dropped my book off on her desk.
P: Yeah. I say what was that meeting about?
Q: Just to make sure I wasn’t a stalker.
P: Yeah. If they — in other words, if that was on the same incident and you knew about it.
Q: Well no. But, see, I wrote a follow-up letter when I didn’t hear anything from Sherry.
P: After the —
Q: After that.
P: After the security or before?
Q: Yes. No after that.
P: Well that’s — you — they had said that you understood that you wouldn’t do it anymore.
Q: No, they didn’t say anything.
P: And then you went ahead — huh?
Q: No, they didn’t say anything. No I said —
P: I thought you had a meeting on the incident?
Q: Well I did but they didn’t make me promise to do anything.
P: Well —
Q: I did say that I don’t think I would do it anymore because I only had one book.
P: Okay, well don’t worry about it, Mark.
Q: I’m not.
P: If —
Q: Have you ever had any problems like that, where people become paranoid about you?
P: Oh — well I got — I guess I did a lot.
Q: You did?
P: Because I was — well, you see, I was very careful. If I saw a little puppy dog coming down the street, I’d cross the street to the other side. And I was all over L.A. and Hollywood a lot but I never went at night and I went at the right time. I never got mugged. I never got robbed. Guys would ask me for cigarettes and I’d kind of walk — I’d walk away from them sometimes. But now it’s a different thing. See? Now it’s different.
Q: Yeah, it is. They won’t ask you —
P: And I can prove it.
Q: — they’ll just kill you first, you know?
P: Well that’s part of it but it’s not that. It’s the numbers of them, (“YEAH”) you know.
Q: Right. There are gangs,
P: And there’s always about one out of 100 that will go too far. You know, he’s doing it on purpose.
Q: What do you think they’re trying to prove?
Q: What do you think those gang members are trying to prove?
P: I don’t know but that one documentary I’ve been thinking about is Gangy and I’ll write it down later.
Q: Okay, good.
P: I’m going to get the letter off the you because you have to get that first page to the other letter.
Q: But who is this? This picture of this guy who looked really weird with this like — this shirt that was sort of (a) see-through shirt with all these young kids hanging around him? Who was that guy?
P: Well there’s a bundle there that all goes together.
Q: That’s not Uncle Bob, is it?
P: No. I don’t have any of Uncle Bob.
Q: Oh okay. Well —
P: And if I did —
Q: Who are these guys playing pool?
P: — it wouldn’t come over. That bundle is all together.
Q: But who is that guy? Those guys playing pool?
P: Well that’s it. That’s Guillomekes or somebody over here. Those are people over here. All the others.
Q: Do you want these photos back?
P: And then I had a couple, I think, up in Sacramento.
Q: These pictures aren’t very —
P: At a party in Sacramento.
Q: But it’s almost like — (“I DD”) there’s no — like there’s only one Oriental woman in these pictures.
P: Well that’s it, see? I — that part’s okay. I mean I can’t —
Q: I get very sinister vibes from them.
P: I can look at them later and see them, you know?
Q: But why did you give them to me?
P: I was in Sacramento and then I came here. I mean I stopped in El Monte.
Q: It’s almost like a — I don’t know — like some child pervert.
P: I didn’t have any pictures in El Monte.
Q: It’s like a child pervert and his boys. That’s what these photos say to me.
Q: These photos say to me a child pervert with his boys.
P: With his boys?
Q: There all boys. They’re all like young teenagers with long hair.
P: I didn’t take a lot of pictures and if I did I don’t have them and every time they’d want to take my picture, my eyes hurt or something . . .
Q: But what are these photos in here for?
P: Those others? That’s all one packet. I don’t know where they came from.
Q: Well why’d you — why didn’t you just throw them out?
P: I should’ve taken them out of there.
Q: Yeah, they scared me.
P: Just read that little Bible there and then don’t ask so many — (small laugh)
Q: Oh I threw that out. I’m just kidding.
Q: No. (“OKAY”) I’m going to give it to the Good Will. I’m going to give everything —
P: There are a couple of other things now. I won’t have to write too much now.
P: I’ll get that letter off tomorrow morning. It won’t get there until Wednesday. (“THUR”) It’ll get there Friday or Saturday.
Q: Will you just do me one favor?
P: And huh?
Q: Two favors. Two little favors. Tell me who your third child was and if —
P: I told you there is no third child.
Q: Yes, there is. I know there is. Please.
P: No. There is no — I know what — but let’s not go into that again. Let’s see — what else was there? You talk — you gave Mike the five?
P: And did you see any — did he see any of the clothes or coats or anything yet?
Q: He wasn’t interested in the clothing. He did — he loved the pie.
P: I know he’s not interested but try to — when he comes over or something, show him some.
Q: I saw a few things that I liked.
P: Now take all that — get that stuff there — all of those new medicine cabinet stuff — get that packed away somewhere where you might need it.
Q: Oh I did.
P: Look at everything over.
Q: I safely put them away.
P: That’s a new hot plate. You may not need it but you just keep it because it’ll get it out of my way here.
Q: Okay. Thank you.
P: And go through them and see what you — where you can put them. In the closet or somewhere.
Q: I will. And whatever I won’t use I’ll give to the Good Will.
P: No, don’t do that yet. Let’s see.
Q: Well I don’t have room for these big suitcases.
P: Out the suitcases — if you leave any clothes in the suitcases, put some mothballs in them.
Q: I’m sending them to the Good Will. I don’t have room for suitcases.
P: No. I know that but you got a place for the suitcase?
P: Well I — we’ll — I’ll get them back. But I don’t need them. I don’t have much room here. Q: Of course not.
P: But the suitcases are good and you may need them or I may need —
Q: I have suitcases.
P: You — I know you have probably new ones. (“YEAH”)
P: Okay well leave some stuff in them that you —
Q: People —
P: Take that stuff back.
P: And —
Q: Okay, good.
P: And leave some stuff in one of them (“so”) that Mike wants to look at and leave some other stuff in them for me.
Q: By the way — okay, I’m also — you know my new — my next book is going to be about Hollywood? Have you ever had any interaction with Hollywood stars?
P: Yeah, I’m the presearcher Woodward. Anytime you’re going to go —documentary. I’ll help you with the old stuff.
Q: Did you know Bobby Riggs?
P: Because I saw everything and I know everything.
Q: Did you know Bobby Riggs?
P: Yes. And on Gangy — Gangy Boyer —
Q: Oh she’s not a star.
P: Well this is better than that.
P: Gangy Boyer.
Q: Can’t wait.
P: That goes way back into the Florida into — that goes back into New York.
P: And I’m not even part Indian like they are up around . . .
Q: So what’s the story?
Q: So what’s the anecdote that’s so good?
P: Well I give you notes — I mean you ask me questions on the history about certain points or certain people or certain characters and then I tell you and then you can write your next chapter.
Q: Put it all in the letter.
P: The title is Gangy Woodward — well I get — there are a lot of titles. But it’s a documentary-type thing.
Q: What you’re sending me?
P: Like you’re doing on Hollywood.
Q: What you’re sending me, you mean?
P: Well I’ve been thinking about it. I haven’t written it down yet.
Q: Well please do and send it to me and — (“DON’T”)
P: But you have to do a little research.
Q: And don’t write in the margins because it’s hard to read.
P: and then — but you don’t have to do as much research on the old days because if I don’t remember it, I can tell you quickly who would and where to find out exactly what you want. I mean exactly what we might want. But, anyway, forget it. It’s just — I got a couple of good ideas that fit in with — not the family so much as with possibili(ties) — well it fits in with that Hollywood thing too.
Q: Okay send it to me.
P: Yeah. No — I won’t do too much of that. I’ve got to get this off.
Q: Okay well send —
P: Next time.
Q: Put it in the letter.
Q: Thank you.
P: Give one suitcase with Mike’s stuff that he wants to look at and one stuff — suitcase with my stuff and we’ll get them out of your way.
Q: The Salvation Army will like it. Okay, bye.