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Dick Holland is hardly going on a press junke tfor the release of his autobiography,“Truth and Other Tall Tales.” In fact, he wrote the book only at the repeated urging of his friends, JOHN CAVANAUGH AND MIKE YANNEY. “I neverthought [my life] was worthy of an autobiography,” admits Holland.

Reluctance aside, is he glad heunde took the literary adventure? “Ya,” he replies half-heartedly. “I’m still sort of wondering if I did the right thing.”

His mood changes sharply when asked if he expects a best seller. He responds with a quick, and emphatic, “No.”

“I’m amazed that 100 people ar ecoming to the book launch,” he laughs self-deprecatingly. “That’s 95 too many.”

But gather they did on November 9th at, appropriately enough, the Holland Center for Performing Arts.

It is no surprise that Holland presents a fun romp through some pivotal episodes of his life. In addition to being one of the city’s leading philanthropists, Holland was a well-known advertising executive for over 40 years, a writer as well as avisualizer, he maintains.

He wanted his autobiography to be different from books of a similar ilk. High on his list was to avoid at all costs a “recitation of accomplishments,” a trap that other autobiographies fall into. So he opted for a lighter, comedic tone. Holland thought it would be more fun to write and hopefully more engaging to read if he didn’t take himself too earnestly.

“If I was serious, it would be boring. It wouldn’t be any good without being funny,” he maintains. “The last thing I wanted to be was abig bore.”

The book is episodic with each chapter divided into what Holland calls “happenings, both pleasant and unpleasant.” It reads like a warm and witty conversation between friends. Much of the book’s content is a transcript of Holland free-associating about the various events and escapades of his life. His writers added historical context, for instance, about the city at the time of Holland’s birth and background family history. Though it is not meant to cover the entirety of Holland’s life, he does admit that he thought of at least ahalf dozen other stories he could have included in the collection after the book was completed.

“People who know me will enjoy at least part of it,” he asserts. There are tales of his growing up on Pine Street just south of Dundee during the Great Depression, of his service in World War II, and his post-war studies at Omaha U. Included is his career at his advertising agency Holland, Dreves and Reilly Advertising, and his lonesome stand as an out-spoken, liberal democrat in a very red state.He laughs when he (proudly) recalls how his fellow Omaha Country Club members dubbed him (lovingly, he issure) “a country club pinko.

”But while he takes his family, his causes, and his politics seriously, he does not take himself seriously. Which makes Truth and Tall Tales so much fun.

“I hope it’s enjoyable,” the self-effacing Holland confides. “I really hope it’s not a best seller. This wholething is nutty.”

-end- metroMAGAZINE




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