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[00:00:02]

Thirteen originals. I'm the analyst and this is Once Upon a Time in the Valley featuring Ashley West.

[00:00:16]

So here we are at the epilogue. The last stop, the end of the line is this pod cast a line, though, or a circle? See, I think it's structured like a Mobius strip, a loop, a twist itself inside out as it comes full circle, which is why it's only fitting that we end where we began with Tracy's memoir.

[00:00:38]

We don't mean underneath it all. We mean choices. Other memoir and listeners. This other memoir is a new one on us to Ashley.

[00:00:46]

We shouldn't call it traces other memoir. What we're talking about is a proposal for Tracy's other memoir.

[00:00:53]

You're right, I was being imprecise. A proposal for Tracy's other memoir. In any case, we didn't learn of its existence until last week.

[00:01:01]

Yeah, as it turns out, underneath it all published in 2003 is Tracy's second memoir. The first is called or was supposed to be called Out of the Blue the Tracy Lords story, the same title, as you might recall, at the TV movie of her life that NBC was going to make, but never did.

[00:01:20]

We knew that Tracy was thinking of writing a memoir right after she exited the business, because here she is discussing it on a talk show in 1988.

[00:01:28]

That's the reason I'm writing my book, because I think that I have a whole lot of things to say that might help other people from doing, making some of the same mistakes I made. It's not out because I've been having problems getting a publishing deal. The thing is that we have to go with the right publisher, not just any old publisher that will publish it. And I want certain things with the publishing deal. And I think the book is really important because it will give me a chance to say a lot of things that people don't understand or know about me.

[00:01:58]

And it'll give other people that maybe are young and naive and just curious. They might read this and decide, no, I don't want to do that. That was really horrible. I mean, at the same way, it's kind of my claim to fame. It's really strange. But if they only knew all the little pieces I had to pick back up, they wouldn't do what I did.

[00:02:18]

What we didn't know was that she'd actually tried to do something with the book. We just assumed that it never got past the conceptual stage or that she'd written a few pages and then shoved those pages in the back of a drawer. That isn't what happened, though. No, it isn't. And at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I have to say that this book is to me the missing piece of the puzzle. I was obviously extremely keen when we got that.

[00:02:40]

Never before heard the interview from 1985, the one we played for you in Episode 10 because it gave us a porn era. Tracey, it allowed us to hear what she sounded like, how she was thinking, what she was thinking, the plan she was making during her adult career. And of course, we already knew what established Hollywood our Tracey sounded like because of underneath it all. Underneath it all is the official Tracey Lord story. You can't see that I'm using air quotes when I say official Tracey Lord story listeners, but I am meaning it represents the narrative and attitude that she settled on after long and careful consideration.

[00:03:17]

It wasn't written in the heat of the moment or anywhere near the heat of the moment. But fifteen or so years after the moment had passed and the heat had called. It's a shaped and polished product, one that has been checked and double checked by an editor and very likely a manager and PR representative as well.

[00:03:33]

There is an air of premeditation about it. Out of the blue, by way of contrast, is rougher, more jagged, much more not surprising, considering the Tracy who wrote it was only a year or two out of the industry.

[00:03:45]

The experience was still fresh, her emotions still raw. Maybe you should explain how this proposal came into our possession.

[00:03:53]

OK, a listen to this podcast emailed me through my website. He told me the soon after Tracy left porn, she hooked up with a company called Onestop Posters, which specialised in what's known as trend merchandising. So, for example, a person gets hot for a moment, famous for a moment, and you promote this person by creating a bunch of novelty items that feature his or her image and then sell these novelty items. According to a podcast listener, Tracy signed a contract with this company to do Tracy Lords, posters, magnets, key chains, calendars, that kind of thing.

[00:04:24]

Books, though, aren't novelty items. Not usually, no. But once thought posters did to a coffee table photo book with Tracy called Tracy Lords on paper, perhaps the higher ups of the company thought a book connected to the NBC TV movie was a smart marketing idea, or Tracy thought it was a smart marketing idea. Either way, she put together a proposal which our listener had a copy of and kept for some 30 odd years. He scanned it and sent it to me, and then you sent it to me.

[00:04:52]

It's twenty five single spaced pages and it includes a chapter by chapter breakdown and introduction and a complete sample chapter. We don't want this last episode to be a retread of the first, but we thought it would be instructive and revealing to point out the differences between this. First memoir, this proposal for a first memoir or this detailed outline plus fragment of a first memoir, whatever you want to call it, and the second published memoir. We're going to dive right in.

[00:05:19]

But first, I want to mention something I noticed on page one of the proposal.

[00:05:23]

At the very top of the page, there's a line that says Traci Lords and Marvin Wolf, it's almost off the page.

[00:05:30]

It's so high up and the print is teeny, tiny, very easy for the eye not to register. Anyway, I'm looking at it and I'm wondering who in the hell is Marvin, Wolf? You didn't have to wonder long because we tracked him down quickly. Marvin Wolf is an experienced writer and ghostwriter who lives in North Carolina now, but lived in Los Angeles for decades.

[00:05:51]

And he was Tracy's ghostwriter, co-writer on this proposal. In the late 80s, he was introduced to Tracy by his agent, Mike Hammelburg, now dead. Here's Marvin describing how he and Tracy would work. I lived about three houses from the Venice line, she used to come to my house, we used tape in those days, you remember tape typically we would sit on a couch in the living room. Living room was a good sized room. If you drew the drapes, it was the black hole of Calcutta.

[00:06:27]

So I put a skylight in my first year of the house so we would sit there under the skylight and talk and talk and talk. I would ask questions. She would answer them. She'd go off on long trips. Sometimes her voice would break and she would cry. Not really quiet, but just get tears in her eyes. I would take a few notes and come back and ask you to expand the stuff and is gradually getting darker and darker and darker.

[00:06:56]

And finally, when I had to turn a light on, that was what she usually left. And we became intimate in a manner of speaking, not physically intimate. You know, she opened herself up to me. Tracy, according to Marvin, didn't write the proposal, but it was a true collaboration. Everything I wrote, I gave her copies of and if she had any corrections or questions, she would cancel them and I would give it back to me.

[00:07:25]

I'd like to change, but she absolutely read and approved everything I put into the proposal. I asked Marvin what the arrangement between them was. She said, I want someone to help me write my book. I said, you want this to be a book by Tracy Law. You do the book by me about physiologies. No, I have to write the book. OK, fine. I can be with it's fine. We all agreed in front that we would split the advance 50/50.

[00:07:54]

And I'm with she had a lawyer or some sort of a boyfriend advising her. And here's Marvin explaining to Ashley why the proposal stayed, a proposal never turned into a book. Because Alexa, my agent, and I tried to sell it. We got one offer. Yeah. How much was that for 20000. And what was her reaction to that? I want 100.

[00:08:24]

When the book came to, she didn't get as much money as she was expecting. Did she have a chat to you about wanting to end your cooperation and move on and do something else?

[00:08:35]

No, she just stopped calling. It was like, this is why we were working together. And I know that's not going to happen. So there's no reason to talk to. I can understand how she felt 20000 split two ways is 10000 dollars. She used to make that in a day when she was working. And so out of the blue, the book went the way of Out of the Blue, the TV movie that is went nowhere. I think that's enough backgrounds on the book proposal.

[00:09:08]

Yeah, let's get to it.

[00:09:10]

So Tracy Steubenville childhood and out of the blue is depicted much as it is, and underneath it are better poverty. Father who drinks too much and beats on the mother early divorce. The one glaring difference. There's no Ricky or Ricky like figure no rape.

[00:09:27]

Yeah, that's the first thing that jumped out at me when I read the proposal. How do we account for his absence? Do we need to?

[00:09:34]

It's possible that Tracy hadn't come to terms with what Ricky had done to her by the time she was working on Out of the Blue in the late 80s. The first public mention she makes of the rape is in a Details magazine profile from 1995, the year she released her techno album 1000 Fires, which features the song Father's Field about the rape.

[00:09:54]

It's also possible that she didn't put Ricky in the summary of the Steubenville section, but was planning on putting him in the book entirely possible. Remember Tracy's sister, Rachel, the one who wrote the letter to the L.A. Times when underneath it all came out and called underneath it all, quote, misleading and said it, quote, turned on an event, the event being the rape by Ricky that she, quote, didn't think ever happened. Maybe she'd read this proposal and that's why she thought Tracy was making it up about Ricky.

[00:10:21]

Maybe there's no way for us to know. I think we just acknowledge the fact that Ricky didn't make it into the proposal of out of the blue and keep going. Rogers, though, he made it. So if you've listened to the show before, you know that I know your dirty little secret and that I'm telling everybody it's kind of my job, you poop. No, that's not the secret. We all poop, but your pooping and still wipe the toilet paper.

[00:10:57]

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[00:11:24]

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[00:12:03]

Listeners, we're going to stick with you. Rogers in an effort to maintain our sanity and yours. Tracy introduces him in chapter three entitled Mama's Boyfriend as an underneath it all, he begins dating Tracy's mom, Patricia, in Steubenville when he moved to Redondo. Patricia and her girls follow at first, says Tracy, he seems a warm and caring person, but he changes in California. He begins both using and dealing Coke. Patricia ends the relationship and forbids.

[00:12:32]

That's the word Tracy uses forbids her daughters from seeing him. Tracy, however, bucks her mother's authority and, quote, establishes a clandestine relationship, unquote, with Rogers, who she says gives her drugs.

[00:12:48]

Saroj Rogers in Out of the blue is an ambiguous and powerful presence in Tracy's life. Half benign, half malign, just as he is. And underneath it all busted out of the blue. The malignity doesn't manifest itself sexually. At least it doesn't increase his initial presentation of it. No, when Tracy introduces him as a character, she presents him as someone with whom she shares a dark and surreptitious bond. But the bond is based on drugs rather than sex.

[00:13:14]

Sex will enter into it. And Tracy in the proposal does touch on that aspect of their relationship, but only in an oblique way, meaning Tracy doesn't name Rogers as her molester and out of the blue as she does and underneath it all. Before we go any further on this topic, we should say the same asterisk we applied to Ricky and the rape must also be applied to Rodgers and the molestation twice. He might not have mentioned the molestation in the proposal because she hadn't yet come to terms with it because it was something she preferred to disclose in the book proper.

[00:13:45]

Absolutely. Here's what I was struck by. Rodgers is the primary villain and underneath it all he isn't in out of the blue. That honor goes to Tracy's father.

[00:13:55]

Lewis Kuzma is presented as physically violent and emotionally withholding. Moreover, Tracy blames him for the fact that as a teenager, she acts out sexually. She says that when she and her older sister Lorraine were back in Steubenville and entering puberty, he would try to scare them into chastity by getting threatening or getting religious to actually write a letter to him in the proposal.

[00:14:16]

Here's an excerpt from it. And in this episode, we're going to have someone who isn't Ashley Tracy's words. Daddy, if you read this, I hope you do know that although you have hurt me almost more than I could bear now and always, I felt the need for your love. Had you been the father I needed when I was little and when I was not so little, there never would have been anyone named Traci Lords. So Daddy. Well, I will bear my shame.

[00:14:45]

You must always share it. Tracy's outright saying that he's the one responsible for her porn career, Traci Lords wouldn't have existed had he been a better dad, right.

[00:14:57]

OK, so now we get to high school and Tracy's account all of a sudden gains in detail and momentum because this is where the proposal sample chapter is set.

[00:15:07]

In this chapter were given a day in the life of Tracy in her sophomore year at Redondo Union High, the very day, in fact, that her classmates discover she's a stroke magazine cover girl.

[00:15:17]

So being a poor girl in a rich town is, as we suspected, an intense source of shame for Tracy. Her family, she says, is on welfare. She describes the house in which she and her mom and sisters lived, not a house at all. A cramped two bedroom apartment it contains, she says, a television, a ripped and rented couch bought at a garage sale that her mom sleeps on at night. Two bar stools and the girls beds.

[00:15:41]

The refrigerator rarely has food in it. Tracy is reduced to using a wooden crate as a chair. Her shame morphs into anger and resentment. At 15, she's a knockout, and she's already figured out how to weaponize and monetize her sexuality. Here's Tracy in out of the blue.

[00:16:01]

I learned to flaunt myself in teeny bikinis that I allowed to slip dangerously low when I wanted to get drunk and walk up to some guy on the beach. I'd give him a phony name and flirt with him. But Guy would always pay for a six pack happily.

[00:16:15]

Then we'd go sit in some alley dodging the police that patrolled the area. When the beer was gone, I'd tell the guy I had to go to the bathroom and of course he'd sit there like a dummy thinking I'd be back and that he was going to get laid for sure. Of course, I never came back. I wanted the beer, but half the fun was making him want me.

[00:16:35]

I was a tease. I'd go find somebody else or I'd go for a swim. Just let the waves hit me and not be around until I came up gasping for air, almost sober. Then I'd go get drunk again. Just a kid. And she sounds so hard. I know. And established routine for hustling older dudes for beer. All this happened back in the early eighties and I keep wanting to warn her, be careful. Don't do that.

[00:17:01]

You're going to play that trick on the wrong guy and he'll hurt you. It's such a dangerous game she's playing. Yeah.

[00:17:07]

And she says that she and her sister Lorraine would sometimes rip off their bikini tops and run around the beach bare, rested and cause a scene. And the lifeguards would yell at them through megaphones and the cops would come and they run into the water where they'd slip back into their bikini tops and played dumb when the cops caught up with them. Harmless stuff. They're just fooling around. But you worry some skuzzy older guy will get the wrong idea, take them seriously, follow them home or something.

[00:17:32]

And they had no one to protect them. Adolescent Tracy and out of the blue doesn't sound like adolescent Tracy.

[00:17:37]

And underneath it all, no, she sounds like adolescent Tracy, as described by the Redondo Boys, by Mike Pacino Ricksha.

[00:17:45]

But it's not as if out of the blue Tracy is just wild. She says her crowd at school is the surfer kids, the stoners. And then she catalog's what they like to get stoned on uppers, downers, the speed, LSD, grass, hash, angel dust and quote, cocaine when we could afford it, unquote, and cocaine when we could afford it.

[00:18:08]

She likes drugs, she says, because they offer a welcome reprieve from reality, but also because rebels take drugs and a rebel is what she considers herself to be. But she doesn't get loaded during school hours and her teachers don't realize she's a stoner because she's quiet and gets good grades and dresses. Preppy, like, quote, A girl who had money, though, wasn't accepted by that crowd and didn't have anything to do with them, unquote. That class rage flaring up again.

[00:18:36]

The sample chapter starts with Tracy in French class. She's hungry because she skipped breakfast, couldn't bear to eat the morning sickness. She's also avoiding her boyfriend, Troy Motherly. Yes, she names Troy. And out of the blue, none of this Dean Weatherley nonsense, even though her pink backpack bears the words I love Troy in black magic marker, her feelings for him have gone dark and sour. It seems as if she's not told him that she's pregnant, but is mad at him for making her that way.

[00:19:05]

She's trying to figure out how and when she can get an abortion. She wants a baby one day, she says, but not now. She says she has big plans for her life. She says she wants to become a model like the kind you see in vogue and then maybe an actress. Actually, she's already a model. Just not the Vogue kind. Nope, she's a nude model. And we should note a nude model before she had the abortion, which means Troy was right on the timing.

[00:19:31]

It wasn't the abortion that pushed her into nude modeling.

[00:19:34]

No, it wasn't in her account in out of the blue of how she began nude modeling is a persuasive very I read it and I felt like I finally understood how it happened for her.

[00:19:44]

So Rodgers is behind it, same as in underneath it. She says that Rogers, quote, harbored secret sexual designs on her, unquote, a delicate bit of phrasing, delicate indeed, also curious. It requires interpretation. To me, it suggests that physically, at least, the line between them wasn't crossed, even if he wanted to cross it, even if she knew he wanted to cross it, even if he crossed a million other lines with her.

[00:20:11]

I mean, his behavior toward her was very, extremely bad, was criminal. But that particular line and out of the blue, he seems to stay on the other side of C to me, harbored secret sexual designs suggest the opposite.

[00:20:25]

I thought it was her between the lines way of saying he did molester.

[00:20:29]

I see what you mean. Like it's code for him masturbating over her while she slept either way. And out of the blue, as in underneath it all, Rogers is Tracey's sexual predator. And nowhere is that predation more obvious than in the nude modeling section of the proposal. It's Rogers who emerges Tracy to nude model A convincing her it's a good way to make money. And it's Rogers who helps Tracey get the fake I.D. so she can nude model by acting as a conduit to Christy Nuzman.

[00:20:56]

Here's Tracey and Out of the Blue and Rogers driving her to an early photo shoot.

[00:21:02]

He reassured me that nobody would ever know I had posed nude.

[00:21:05]

I remember the photographer Ron Vogel, telling me the pictures the magazine really wanted were the ones where I was mostly dressed, where all you could see were glimpses of my breast peeking out of a beautiful negligee. In my mind, that could Vogels assurances that the trash is spread. The poses he coaxed me into would probably never be used, but that magazine editors liked to see them. Rogers and Vogel then joined forces against Tracy, assuring her that the photos won't be shown in the US, will be shown in Europe and Japan only, it's so easy to see how she gets snowed in that scene.

[00:21:39]

I think she does trust Rogers. She says in out of the blue that he introduced her to people is his stepdaughter and she lets him. And when she doesn't want to go home to her mother, she stays with him.

[00:21:49]

He is like a father who has her contempt for men in general, comes back to bite her here. It causes her to underestimate Rogers. He's someone she thinks she's working on. It turns out he's working her. She thinks she's getting a ride off him, only she's being taken for one. And there you go. Voila. She's a nude model. For a while, Tracey successfully juggles a dual identities, a 10th grader named Noah Kuzma during school hours and a sultry, sleazy model named Christine Nuzman after school and on weekends, Lorraine is suspicious of all the money suddenly in Tracy's pockets is dubious of Tracy's claims that she's earning it doing fashion work.

[00:22:30]

So far, the rain has let it go and Tracy hasn't yet been called out or court as in. Underneath it all, it's in the Redondo Union High cafeteria that the two identities collide. Tracy notices a bunch of football players noticing her. Here she is in out of the blue. I felt their eyes on me and behind them I felt something like lust. I liked it. For the first time in weeks, I forgot about the fetus growing in me.

[00:22:59]

My breasts, ordinarily large, were swollen from pregnancy and straining to escape from a to type bra and let my behinds sway maybe just a little more than normal. These were good looking guys, big strapping athletes. And by the way, they stared at me. I knew I was turning them on. Screw Troy. I thought I love being the center of attention. And then one of the football players breaks free of the pack, saunters up to her, he's got a copy of Velvet magazine in his hand, he opens it up and shoves in her face a gynecological expensive photo.

[00:23:36]

It's of her. She runs out of the cafeteria and out of the school. And underneath it all, after fleeing campus, Tracy hops a bus to Hollywood, finds Marilyn Monroe's handprint in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater and spends a night wandering the streets with child sex workers, one of whom is an 11 year old boy with the nickname of Tricky. She and Trickey curl up together under the overpass of the 101. Two orphans in the storm. In out of the blue tricycles, the afternoon and evening, more prosaically, she hits the beach bribes amount of Mexican extraction to buy her beer, gets wasted by a lifeguard tower, smokes weed with a bunch of kids also of Mexican extraction, puts off going home and then runs into an older guy.

[00:24:21]

She picked up at a bar a few weeks before named Tom.

[00:24:25]

Tom sometimes called Tommy, of course, the out of work Marine. So she was seeing Tom while she was still with try.

[00:24:34]

It sounds like there was some overlap. The sample chapter ends, appropriately enough with the entrance of Tom. He represents the next phase of Tracy's life. She'll drop out of school, move out of her mom's and in with him, and he'll become the villain of the second half of the book. Basically, he picks up where her father left off. In fact, she specifically invokes Luis Kuzma describing Tom as, quote, a kinky religious fanatic who in many ways reminds me of my own father, unquote.

[00:25:04]

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[00:26:49]

The rest of the chapters in Out of the Blue are in summary for Tracy in the porn industry, Tracy out of the porn industry, Tracy getting her life together, Tracy reconciling with her mom, Tracy, resolving to become a legitimate actress in the final chapter. She's just one the lead in her first mainstream movie, not of this Earth. There are, however, a few interesting tidbits along the way. For example, I thought it was interesting when Tracy said once her classmates found out she was a nude model, reacted the way they did.

[00:27:19]

She went all the way into the adult world, which up to that point she'd only been half in because she felt she'd, quote, burn the last bridge to her real identity, unquote, which is exactly what we guessed had happened. Also interesting, her memory of her time in the porn business in the late 80s is considerably sharper than it would be in 2003. In the proposal, she says she starred in 70 plus movies are loops and promises to give the lowdown on, quote, the porno industry from the inside, revealing its secrets and terrors, including epidemics of venereal disease, group sex, lesbian activities, use of drugs on film sets, unquote, 70 plus movies and lips.

[00:28:02]

Not as she said when she was promoting underneath it all, maybe 20 films over three years. But maybe the most interesting of all is her discussion of how she formed her company, TLC, something listeners to keep in mind. It isn't until Tracy was filming Cry-Baby in 1989 where she met and fell in love with the movie's prop master and John Waters godsend Brooke Eden that she finally left Stuart Dahl. So Tracy and Stuart are still together when she's writing this proposal.

[00:28:31]

Co-writer Marvin Wolf actually alluded to Stuart, didn't he?

[00:28:34]

Yeah, he mentioned that Tracy maybe had a behind the scenes boyfriend guiding her. And Tracy's careful to protect Stuart. For one thing, she disguises his identity in the proposal. She calls him Jules. Jules is a TV executive, straitlaced and respectable. And it is he who finally makes Tracy understand the difference between having sex and making love. And, of course, he has an inkling of her true age and identity is totally innocent and totally uninvolved in TLC.

[00:29:04]

Here's who is involved, though.

[00:29:06]

Sy Adler is the only partner Tracy actually names and out of the blue she describes as a producer and money man. And she portrays him as a crook, also as a rat, her rat. Just so I get this straight, it underneath it all in 2003, Tracy says she doesn't know who ratted her out. She was on Larry King that year, promoting underneath it all. You can hear their exchange on the subject. Why the FBI raid?

[00:29:35]

Because after three years, they had you know, I don't know if it started from the initial reports that my mother made of me as a runaway or if they how exactly they received the information that they did, I don't know that I'll ever know the answer to that. And in 2012, on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, she says it was Rogers who ratted her out. Here she is on Rosie.

[00:29:59]

I think that he was given some sort of a deal or something. I think it was ultimately him that pulled the plug on it. And I think that it had a lot to do with drugs. He was selling drugs and doing this. Now, mind you, my mother and he split up. They've been split up for years. But I had this relationship and this obsessiveness that a lot of people that are victims have with their victimizer. It's just, yeah, that's what that was.

[00:30:23]

And in the late 80s, in out of the blue, she says it was, say, Adler, who ratted her out. Right. And her reasoning for why it was Cy is truly cockeyed. Here's how she says it went down. She got drunk and told a friend and named the truth about her age. This information made its way to Cy, but somehow this information got distorted while making its way to say distorted how one year got subtracted from her real birth date.

[00:30:50]

No explanation as to why or who or how. And so PSI ends up thinking. She was born on May seven, 1967, not May 7th, 1968. He therefore believes that the two Traci Lords movies he has a stake in Tracy Take Tokyo and Beverly Hills Copulatory presumably are the only legal Traci Lords movies. So that makes no sense because if she turned 18 a whole year earlier, a whole bunch of movies she made, not just sized movies, would have been legal.

[00:31:20]

What about the actual only legal Traci Lords movie? What about Tracey? I love you. Not a word about Tracey. I love you in the proposal, not a whisper anyway. Sigh according to Tracey then blows the whistle, thinking, Here's to Traci Lords. Movies are going to become enormously valuable because all the other Traci Lords movies will have to be cleared from shelves, which, as I just said, makes zero sense. I'm calling the proposal here quote, Since Tracey was only 17 when she made the two films and other controls, they too are legal to distribute review.

[00:31:51]

Adler, who leaked Tracy's age to authorities, is hoisted by his own petard, unquote.

[00:31:57]

Soci thought he was going to make himself rich with Tracey takes Tokyo and Beverly Hills Copulatory, but instead he made Tracy rich with Tracy. I love you. Just as Tracy doesn't mention Tracy, I love you. She doesn't mention getting rich. But yes, OK. Yes, that is definitely Cock-Eyed Cock-Eyed to the point of unbelievable. I'd say you're not going to get an argument from me. It actually makes me change my mind. I said in episode ten that I thought nobody ratted out Tracy because the FBI already knew about Tracy.

[00:32:27]

Now I'm convinced she read it out herself. And I know why you're convinced. Because by pointing the finger at sigh, she seems to be admitting that the coincidences are simply too big and too numerous to swallow. She turns 18, makes one last adult movie, which she owns the rights. Two weeks later, her true age is revealed. Every other Tracy Lords movie is now considered child porn and is thus illegal. Exactly in the blue. She's putting all the reason she had to have done it on site only in case it doesn't add up unless you buy.

[00:32:59]

He was smart enough to hatch the scheme but dumb enough to flood the birth here and I don't. That to me is proof she did it. OK, but here's why it's not proof of anything, Tracy opens the proposal by stating her purpose in writing the book. Purposes, for the most part, that the one she listed in that talk show interview from 1988, a desire to set the record straight and to save other young girls from making the same mistake she made.

[00:33:26]

The final reason, though, is different, and it's the most telling. She says her hope is that by acknowledging the series of mistakes that led her to appear in pornos while also detailing the circumstances surrounding those pornos, i.e. dishing the dirt, she'll quote, clear the slate for what promises to be an exciting new career in mainstream cinema, unquote.

[00:33:48]

So basically, this first memoir is an audition, not only not just I think a primal need to tell her story is in there to a need to figure out how what happened to her happened. At some level, she's trying to solve the mystery of Traci Lords, same as we are. The seeking quality is something her co-writer Marvin Woolf picked up on.

[00:34:10]

She found herself wondering at all who was she was. One day she would have sex with three men, the next day with a woman, and then there'd be a masturbation scene. And a lot of women enjoy like men. What am I doing here?

[00:34:25]

Who am I trying to figure out to how she got out of the industry alive?

[00:34:31]

She was really riding a tiger. How do you get off?

[00:34:36]

And much of out of the blue feels to me like an honest attempt to come to terms with her past, to understand her past. But out of the blue is also and Tracy cops to this right in the opening, an audition to be sent out to casting agents along with her eight by ten glossy. She wants to ingratiate herself with Hollywood and she's betting that this book will do the trick. So you believe she's telling Hollywood people what they want to hear?

[00:35:02]

I believe she's sifting, calculating, deciding, trying to work out which version will go down best. And maybe she thinks that saying she did it will turn Hollywood off because Hollywood will regard her as a villain. And maybe she thinks the thing Rodgers, her abuser, that it will turn Hollywood off because Rogers is a downer, sordid and sad and unsexy. And maybe she thinks saying that she doesn't know who did it will turn Hollywood off because such an ending is dramatically unsatisfying.

[00:35:30]

And so she goes with Sy Adler, a pornographer, gangster and colorful character, a bad guy out of a B picture and someone who almost certainly did not do it. Just when you think you've got to the end of this story, you're right back at the beginning. I know the Mobius strip thing. So in your opinion, is it possible in Tracy's case to get the truth? It depends on what you mean by the truth. If the truth to you is a definitive answer to the question whodunit, that is, who ratted out Traci Lords then?

[00:36:03]

No, rigorously investigated and scrupulously reasoned inference is all we can offer on that score. But if you believe that the truth is both multiple and contradictory, which I do, and which I think you do too, then we've already got it.

[00:36:20]

So I guess it's just like we said at the end of last episode, ambiguously ever after the only true ending to a fairy tale for grownups. I'm Lilianna and I'm Ashley West, and thank you for listening to Once Upon a Time in the Valley, the spoiled bitchy brat.

[00:36:38]

She was adorable. She was so much fun, conniving, manipulative, incredibly beautiful.

[00:36:47]

I always love her to believe she's a unique, special person. And I just wish the best for her.

[00:36:51]

I hope that she's been able to get through all this evil, nasty person she always has been. There's very few people that I give enough space in my head that they bother me. And she's one that still is allowed a little bit of room up there and I want to kick her out soon.

[00:37:05]

I think that it was just too late for her to stop that train of circumstances heading into the direction that it just needed to go. It breaks my heart thinking about this, but it's painful because it happened in the neighborhood and we knew that to all different kinds of people, but not to her. Now that I think about it, fuck her.

[00:37:26]

What she did was horrible. She says she's a victim. Just what everyone else was a victim.

[00:37:33]

I was in love with her, too. She broke my heart, too, and I never even got older and wanted to be a star no matter what.

[00:37:41]

I mean, she came in wanting to be a star and anybody that kind of got her way or threatened that there was friction.

[00:37:47]

I do not believe she had any role in the FBI. And so.

[00:37:53]

I personally think that she reneged on herself. She let it out.

[00:37:59]

Of course, I think it's a great, great career. Yeah, because she would have gotten nowhere without all this anyway. And this just set her up and gave her a name, made her famous, didn't last that long.

[00:38:11]

But what we're still talking about, her life wasn't the most most all of the things I enjoy doing.

[00:38:21]

Oh, wonderful. This has been a presentation of C 13 originals, a division of Caden's 13 executive produced by Chris Corcoran and me, Alec, directed by Zach Levitt, created and written by me, produced by Ashley West, edited and mastered by Chris Bazil, Bill Schulz, Harry Kraul and Ian Martje. Theme Music and Original Score by Joel Goodman. Production Engineering Incoordination by Sean Cherry and Terrence Mallon. Bowen Field Recording by Rich Burner Artwork Marketing and PR by Kurt Courtney, Josephine and Frances and Hilary Duff.

[00:39:00]

Once upon a Time in the Valley is hosted by me and Ashley West. Thanks for listening.