Friday, September 13, 2013

Debbie and The Master Watch Manos Together

This next series of stories will delve into areas thats I've talked at great length with my Creator about.  I've palavered and prayed, to decide the value (if any) of sharing them with the Manos fans and the public at large.  What purpose does it serve?  I'm a private person but I somehow believe that in doing so, at least one person may relate and benefit from my words.  I also know this to be cathartic in my relationship with myself, family and the world at large.  In the most surreal of ways, Manos has revealed more to me about myself   than any counselor could provide. I risk overstepping boundaries others may wish to impose on me and yet it feels important to do.  Time will tell. Here goes.

Jackey Raye Neyman Jones (Debbie) and her dad
Tom Neyman (The Master)

You would think that having time with my dad after believing I would never have any more, would be healing.  It has been and I'm more grateful than words can express and yet it never seems to be enough time.  I thought I was good with what I got until he didn't recover from recent surgery as well as he had hoped and then, when I saw him in a weakened state, I felt frightened at the prospect of losing him. But it didn't really hit until I heard he had returned to the hospital with breathing problems. I panicked, I dissolved, I couldn't breathe. The family situation is such that he and I only see each other by chance on the street or in neutral territory by appointment set up by a neutral party, a friend. I have said to this friend. "Do you realize you are the only person who is granted direct access to "The Master?"  He basically gets me access and I then pass on some of that to you all.  It's not easy, but it works in a weird sort of way.  It's been this way for years.  I don't feel able to contact him directly and can't imagine being invited to his home. So the realization that at some time I won't be able to ever see him because he won't be able to be out and about is devastating, to say the least.  I get what I can and cherish every moment.  Thankfully, my dad is looking and feeling better now.  He's one of the most resilient people I've known.  My fears are tamped down again for the meantime.

Manos: The Hands of Fate has been the catalyst to spending more time with my dad.  It seems to be the accepted activity we can do together.  I don't know why this is, but am very appreciative of it.  We recently had a wonderful visit while doing audio commentary for Ben Solovey and the Manos Restoration.  We sat down and watched it together for the first time since the 1966 premiere.  My favorite moment during the screening was when he turned to look at me and said "Oh Lord!  This is really bad."  Cracked me up.
I love my dad.



  1. Hi Jackey,

    I first came to your site only yesterday after seeing the MST3K Manos episode again and wanting to learn some background information about the film. Your blog has provided that information in spades, but I've also become very intrigued by the personal recollections you've shared. Not just the memories, but the way Manos has brought some things full circle in your life, helping you reconnect with your father and other cast members, meet so many great people who were entertained by the previously long-lost film, and find opportunities to share your artwork. I'm also inspired by the way you keep focused on your art instead of pursuing other careers that, while they might be more financially stable, could be soul-eroding. You're right in that you don't so much choose to be an artist as art chooses you. It's a drive that needs to be fulfilled, and to ignore it will leave you feeling emptiness. I do hope that you're able to put your Manos experiences together into a book. The full arc of being a part of this obscure movie that became infamous and led to so many positive things in your life is such a great story. And if it can help pay the bills a little bit, even better. :) Thanks again, Jackey, for sharing this part of your life on your blog. I do have one question, although I hope it isn't too personal. You've briefly mentioned your sons before. Have you shared much about Manos and the related family legacy with them, and what is their perspective on it?

    Take care,

  2. Wow Kevin! Thank you for your fabulous words. You just proved to me without a doubt that there are others in the world who want the same things for their creative souls. It can and often is a great struggle to maintain a sense of personal worth in a world that places so much value on money and tangible goods. I have no choice but to be who I am and now I celebrate it every day. Still don't pay all the bills but now focus on what I love the most and have total trust the rest will work out just fine.
    My boys are awesome young men, 19 and 23. I raised them as a single mom on my Faux Finish business since they were young and the challenges we faced have tempered them into such beautiful souls. They are very supportive me and Manos is just one more crazy thing their mom is doing. They listen and smile indulgently.

  3. Good Creative blog.