Local Author Pens Second Coronado Inspired Children’s Book - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado Home And Business

Local Author Pens Second Coronado Inspired Children’s Book

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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019 11:23 am | Updated: 11:38 am, Mon Jul 29, 2019.

While he was on a walk on the Shores boardwalk, Dick Belkin saw a young boy, who he estimated to be about 8 years old, walking on the sand wearing fins trying to reach the water and struggling in the process. Belkin called that Flip-a-flap-a-phobia and when he went home, he sat down and wrote a poem about what he saw. Sherry, his wife of 55 years, encouraged him to transform the poem into a children’s book. The final product is a book entitled “The Coronado Kid” the story of a kid who has flip-a-flap-phobia who aspires to be a Navy SEAL and eventually meets one.

This is not Belkin’s first time writing and publishing a book. In fact, he has done it three times. His first book is a tongue twister called “Totally Twisted, Tongue Twister Soup” published under the name Captain Six, a TV character he played as a young man. Belkin’s second book is “Coronado Dog Surfing Olympics.” As Belkin has done in the past, he self published his books with the proceeds going to the Coronado Historical Association.

To illustrate this latest book, Belkin partnered with Samatha Wright whom he worked with on his first book. “Each [illustrator] brings something unique. Illustrating and writing a book is like making a movie. How you put it together…it’s a very creative experience. She is very talented and it was fun to work with her,” he said. “She has captured the sense of the story.”

Belkin and Wright have never met but have worked via phone and email.

Belkin, who has always been a very creative person, is originally from Connecticut. He envisioned himself becoming a lawyer but he changed his mind with the advent of television.

“In 1950, television was brand new,” he recalled. So after receiving his bachelor degree from the University of Hartford he studied at Syracuse University and received a Master’s degree in Radio and TV. But first there was another plan in store for him.

“Uncle Sam came along and I was drafted. I went into the U.S. Army and it was the best experience of my life,” he said. Belkin was stationed in Germany for almost three years. He first worked as a reporter for the Third Infantry newspaper and when he heard about a soldiers show he auditioned. That led to a new career. He became an entertainer for the troops from 1957-1959 with another soldier, who after the war became his business partner for the next 60 years.

Belkin eventually went into the television career he had planned. He played a children’s TV character by the name of Captain Six, on a local station in Schenectady, in upstate NY for four years. “It was a very exciting time in my life,” he said.

Belkin said he went “legit” after the show ended and got involved in the TV station and went into management.

He spent most of his career in television broadcasting as a vice president of Lee Enterprises which owned stations from West Virginia to Hawaii. “It was a great life; I enjoyed it. I spent 40 years in broadcasting and retired at an early age,” he said.

But being one not to sit still for long, he started other business ventures. He was co-partner of the New York Work Trade center Observation Deck from 1995 until 9/11/2001. He and his wife are co-producers of a Broadway musical “Come From Away,” a story based on the 38 planes that on 9/11 were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. The story was written by a couple from Canada who traveled to Gander to talk to those stranded passengers. The story was turned into a musical which has received a Tony Award, and a Best Musical Award in London. The musical is still touring and it just opened in Melbourne, Australia. “Come From Away” is scheduled to come to the San Diego Theater June 23-28, 2020 and tickets are already available.

This October Belkin will receive a special honor with his induction in the University of Hartford Business Hall of Fame.

Belkin has always enjoyed writing. “It’s been fun, it’s very enjoyable. It’s a way to make my ideas come true,” he said. “The ideas never stop coming. It usually happens when you’re in the shower or shaving.”

Belkin is already working on a new book and would not disclose any information about it, but all he could say is that it’s once again about Coronado. “There are so many stories, you just have to keep your eyes open,” he said.

Belkin describes the process of publishing a book as a journey. “You go to bed with it and wake up with it.”

Belkin discovered Coronado about 30 years ago when he first came to the peninsula for a convention and told his wife about it. The couple, who also reside in Tucson, Arizona, eventually bought a place in the Shores and live here part-time from May to October.

“The Coronado Kid” is published by Xulon Press. Copies are available for sale at the Coronado Historical Association store. All proceeds go to CHA.

The book is also available on amazon.com

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