Former Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, whose “backdoor memoirs” come out Tuesday, reserves plenty of space in his funny tome for South Florida.
In Dave Barry fashion, the 58-year-old Sekoff stuffed "Lacks Self-Control: True Stories I Waited Until My Parents Died to Tell" with irreverent and outrageous vignettes and, at times, hilarious anecdotes of life in Miami in the 1970s.
And, even if he’s been living in Los Angeles for years, Sekoff should know what life here was like: he grew up and lived and learned inside a radius barely a few miles wide and centered on Coral Gables.
Sekoff was raised with two brothers by his parents, former University of Miami law school students who opened the independent textbook store Book Horizons across from the campus’ main entrance.
The author attended Henry S. West Laboratory School, George Washington Carver Middle School, Coral Gables Senior High School and finally, the U.
“All of my education was done within a few city blocks,” Sekoff said. “Coral Gables and Miami were electric and exciting and crazy, a perfect setting for a book that, I hope, is funny.
“Just about everything about the area was, and still is, absurd. Gables High was a melting pot in the classic sense. It drew first generation Cubans, old money WASPs, nouveau riche Jews and blacks from the Grove. When cultures intersect, it’s always funny.”
In time, Sekoff ended up founding Huffington Post alongside Arianna Huffington. He left the website in 2016, and his ruminations during months of down time led to the book.
There is a good reason why the cover hawks stories he couldn’t tell until after the deaths of his folks. Dad Arthur’s passing came in 2012, and mom Leah’s in 2015.
Sekoff tells of his discovery, as a teen, of dad’s extensive porn collection as well as some of the adventures of his mother’s ashes, and how they ended up on rocks off Key Biscayne.
There’s his fifth-grade visit to the old Serpentarium — think the Seaquarium with huge, dangerous reptiles — an only-in-Miami park that eventually closed after a 6-year-old boy was killed by a crocodile.
And there is the chapter on Sekoff’s visit to the old peep shows at Times Square in New York City during his Gables High graduation trip, and the one about how wrong things went when Sekoff was drafted to be a part of the school’s marching band when it performed at Super Bowl X at the Orange Bowl.
And there’s quite a bit of ogling and fantasizing about curvy middle-school teachers, some of whom should be able to recognize themselves.
“My goals were to be as funny as I could be, and as honest as I can be,” Sekoff said.