The Party’s Here read the sign outside their condo home in Atlantic City. Inside, the atmosphere was as celebratory as I imagine similar soirees at the Cannes or Sundance, without all the glamour, of course.
Writers, directors, producers, actors and friends mingled with Michael and Harriet Diamond in their cozy place where a spread of assorted salads, pastas, sandwiches and drinks awaited us after the screening of Pandora’s Box at Dante Hall last Saturday evening.
In his quiet and unassuming way, Michael Diamond was ecstatic to see his never-published historical novel produced on the big screen by Gila Zalon. That was before we even knew that it would win the Best N.J. Short Drama, the Best Director (Gila Zalon), the Best Actor (Frances Fischer) and the Best Writing awards at the Downbeach Film Festival.
Today, Michael was almost speechless with pride when I interviewed him about how it all can to be, and the fact that Zalon stayed so close to the language of his novel which filled him with creative satisfaction.
Michael, along with his wife Harriet, moved to A.C. about eight years ago after a successful 35-year career as an attorney mainly in the Westfield, New Jersey, area. Outside of work, he had written poetry all of his adult life.
In 1981, as an Enforcement Administrator with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, he had a revelation: the laws in place were not effective or sustainable enough to protect people the way they should. He felt it was a civil emergency to do whatever he could and began combining his love of writing with his knowledge of the law and environmental issues.
The result was his book, If You Can Keep It: A Constitutional Roadmap to Environmental Security, which has recently garnered more attention than it has previously. Also, during his legal career, Michael represented alternative healers and often found them to be under the threat of government, medical and pharmaceutical entities which did not want such healers to be successful. One, Richard Breitbarth, was actually murdered and Michael dedicates his novel, which touches on the Rife machine, to Breitbarth.
Pandora's Box is about scientist Royal Raymond Rife. The Rife machine was invented by Rife, a little known scientist and inventor until the 1980s due to the controversial nature of his discoveries. He was born in 1888, studied at Johns Hopkins University, won many awards and honors for his work and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Heidelberg. Many of his inventions and discovers have to do with bioelectric medicine and are still in use today as common objects in electronics, optics, biochemistry, radiochemistry, radiation and ballistics.
The Palm restaurant in the Quarter at Tropicana is hosting an event in conjunction with the Atlantic City Cinefest film festival that is designed to raise funds for both the festival and the Metropolitan Business and Civic Association Scholarship Fund.
Eventually, both young men fell in love with skateboarding and wanted to pass it on as a way of giving back to their community.
Jacob Lawrence Day in Atlantic City
Black History, Jazz and Poetry