The Movie Story: Reason for Existing
Eric Green grows up with an alcoholic father, Marshall, who loves sports cars and
little else. He gives his son parts for his own car at Christmas all through Eric’s
childhood. Marshall takes him to F1 races starting in 1963. They read Road & Track
together as if it were a bible. He teaches Eric to drive, racing-car-driver style at 14.
Eric is yearning to race just as Marshall raced in the 1940s and 1950s, his dad
knowing many now legendary drivers. Eric meeting them as well. Marshall’s stories
about racing are wonderful, and whenever Marshall is really drunk he claims he is
Nuvolari. And Marshall truly is a very skilled driver and genius-level mechanic on
many machines. It as if they talk to him, voices Eric has never heard.
Eric’s mother tells him at 13: “You know, your father never wanted you. He insisted
I get an abortion but I refused.” His mother drinks a lot as well.
His mother is very promiscuous, even having her boyfriend at home for Easter
supper. She has sex with his high school art teacher right in front of him when he is
15. Eric flees the house. She insists this liberalism is an elevated way of living,
maybe based on her very spoiled and wealthy background. His mother constantly
taunts Marshall in public for his inability to fulfill her sexually.
In a drunken rage, Marshall tries to kill Eric with a kitchen knife when he is 15. Eric
outsmarts his father and runs from house, dressed only in underwear. It is 10
Eric has an amazing art talent, which for whatever crazy reason, just about everyone
attempts to destroy, possibly out of envy. As Eric decides later: mediocrity despises
excellence during its own time. Only later can it be appreciated by a more neutral
Eric is a sickly kid. In the hospital 22 times as a child, in intensive care for two
weeks. Once, when Eric is vomiting blood, his father, drunk, drives him to the
hospital at well over 100 mph and saves his life. Marshall truly is a talented driver.
Eric is told over and over by doctors that he will never make it. His mother takes
very sweet care of him when he is sick, which is much of his childhood. When he
turns 13 years old, his mother begins using him to confess all her problems. Eric
holds everything inside.
Eric leaves home at 16, dropping out of RISD and the college’s offer of a full 4-year
scholarship after attending the school for one week. Marshall receives a full refund.
Eric hits the road. Hitchhikes 22k miles. Begins riding freights at 17. In 1974 he
crosses America 11 times in many different ways. He loves setting travel records
only for himself. He is usually alone. He rarely shares his feelings or
accomplishments with others.
Then he hooks up with Kris Marsala as an odd travel companion. They hitchhike
together for days at a time, drive all over New England, first in Kris’s 1962 Rambler,
then Eric’s 1956 356 Porsche in 1975. They spend many months on the road
together, on and off for years. They never discuss their friendship or even
acknowledge it. Eric envies Kris’s beauty and powerful body. At 19 he begins to lift
weights and trains as a boxer. He ends up able to do a one-armed pull up and bench
presses 240. Women begin to notice him, and he is shocked.
Eric lives in the basement of Kris Marsala’s house, whose family is then wealthy.
Kris’s mother Edie is like a second mother as is the mother of another friend,
Barbara Verbrick in Wisconsin, both always allowing him to come off the road and
stay for a few days. This way Eric avoids the mess at home. He truly loves both
these women but, of course, never tells them.
Eric begins earning money from painting beginning at age 15, but increasing in a big
way by 16. Selling paintings between $200 and $800 in the early 1970s is serious
money. Even Kris Marsala’s father buys 3 paintings. Marshall takes the college
refund, borrows the rest from Eric, and buys a 1970 911 Porsche Targa, quits
drinking. Eric is delighted, and father and son drive the 911 across country
together. They bond through the Porsche, never discussing their relationship or its
past problems. Eric admires his father more and more, stunned that he never drank
again. He remembers their past when he was a kid. Forgives the rough teen years
of hatred and cruelty. He never lets his father down in any way. Not once.
A few days after he turns 18, Eric buys a 356 Porsche to be like his father whom he
desperately loves and admirers, drinking years pushed aside. He realizes his
mother’s attempts to distance him from his father were only for her to rationalize
her promiscuity and constant partying. He is too smart not to see truth.
Eric paints constantly, sometimes up to 14 hours a day. Working in Montreal one
week a month in a small company with his father assembling pulp testers to pay the
rent. Marshall smokes Camels and drinks coffee, telling stories as Eric works 11
hours a day, doing everything. Eric couldn’t be happier. More unspoken bonding.
They sleep at Marshall’s great friend Sam Stallard’s house every night. Eric on the
porch, which is really cold in winter! Sam also drinks heavily. Sam hates smoking.
At 19, in 1977, Eric marries a French woman, who turns out to be even more
promiscuous than his mother and only wanted him for U.S. citizenship. Eric is blind
to this for 5 years. As smart as he is, he always believes in the goodness of people.
They live in Maine with his 356 Porsche always parked where he can watch it.
Junker or not, he loves the car as he loves his father—two perfect flawed damaged
beautiful true entities. Eric often visits Marshall, who only comes to his mother’s
house in Vermont on occasional weekends, living in Montreal and working for
Consolidated Bathurst. ONE amazing moment on Route 2. ASK!
Eric’s French wife finally confesses her promiscuity, deciding she finally loves him.
It turns out she is worth a billion dollars. Eric divorces her, 1982, and she takes
everything he has. He contests nothing just wanting to be clear from her.
Eric suddenly gets a show at one of the best New York City galleries. Two weeks
before the opening, the show is cancelled because of art politics. Marshall dies of a
heart attack in JFK airport. Something breaks in Eric never to return except in his
work and with Amanda. He hits the road again for 3 years—his default.
Eric contracts Lyme disease painting condos on Martha’s Vineyard, 1983. Continues
to work at his art every day, occasionally painting houses to earn money. He gets
into 7 major New York City galleries during the next 40 years. Is screwed over by
each one. Only two galleries ever hang a painting on a wall. The first show of his life
(finally) sells out in 1997. Eric is able to buy his dream house in Belfast, Maine and
flee Mill Towns forever.
Four years later, the same gallery TOTALLY screws him in 2001, so Eric quits art.
He spends 10 years learning to write novels. He writes 6 with help from Amanda
who taught his poetry at a college level and believes in his talent and will power.
(Eric had self-published 5 books of poems.) Over three years of working on novels
together through e-mail, Eric and Amada fall in love. Even though Amanda is
married, they must find out if their love is real. They meet at the Bangor airport in
2005. Instant overwhelming love! Eric feels as if he has been hit with an actual
arrow but attempts to be cool.
Eric takes care of his mother after Marshall dies in 1982. Marshall leaves nothing
behind but two cars and the perfect 911 Porsche. Since Eric basically paid for the
car, his mother gives it to him, but he finds he cannot drive it. He simply keeps it as
a symbol of his love for his father. Finally he is forced to sell it 20 years later.
By 1988, his mother has no money, the company insurance payout for a death on a
business trip is gone. Eric supports his mother, emotionally and financially for 33
His novel LIVECELL finally gets published, 2011, and fails miserably. Great novel,
scoundrel publishers. Eric has a nervous breakdown for two months. Amanda heals
him, but they are running out of money since his aging mother continues to require
support. Eric moves her to Belfast for better care, his care. Amanda convinces Eric
to draw one bird just for her. He loves her enough to do this. After 5 years making
art again by drawing, Eric earns ½ million dollars. Amanda is the one lucky charm
he needed. The charm is simple. Amanda is the only person who ever actually loved
him, loved him more than herself, which is the basis of real love, this selflessness. So
rare. Jesus had it as well, which is why people will love the idea of Jesus forever.
His mother finally dies in 2009. Eric is beyond elated having long stopped liking
her, but retains love and loyalty regardless, never forgetting how she took care of
him as a sick child. Eric prizes honor and loyalty above all else. He believes in
following God’s laws, not man’s laws.
Eric decides to honor his father by building a special 356 Porsche in his name. Eric’s
first 356 was always a junker just as his father thought. It bugged him never to
drive a perfect 356 as his father had. He wants to be and experience his father in the
closest possible way. The car is the symbol of how men can bond with complete
closeness and love, alive or as a memory, without words. Without the vehicle and
beauty of the sports car/race car, this would not be possible.
Eric agrees to a documentary movie because he wants a record of who his father
was, how brilliant and amazing he was, how handsome and poetic he was, what a
great story teller he was. It is a love poem from a son to his father. Eric begins to
understand his father more completely in the process of building and designing the
356. He finds many amazing Marshall S. Green patents online as well as Porsche
milestones and model airplane contest awards. He also finds old newspaper articles
and rare photos in his mother’s boxes.
Marshall Green started sports car racing in Canada with Jack Luck in 1951. He was
three times Canadian Nation model airplane champion from age 15 to 17, beating
over 600 adults and older teenagers each time. Marshall revolutionized the way
paper was made, and is still made, across the globe. Sam Stallard echoed many of
these achievements. Marshall Green and Sam Stallard died a month apart. Marshall
introduced Sam to Allan’s mother. Sam was a great friend to Eric Green: “Golly gee
whilikers it’s great to see you, Eric.” Every time time since I was two years old!
Allan Stallard will make the documentary. Another circle closes.
This drive across the country is a son’s final love ode to his dad. “I SO miss you! But
you are in me and with me always.”
Sometimes when I am driving alone,
Driving up a good straight run of road,
And the low western sun is gilding
The inside of my old car and
Almost blinding my eyes,
I lift the cold beer between my thighs,
And I raise it up in front of me,
And I say, this is for you,
This is for you dad,
And then I drink for him,
I drink for my father,
As long as I possibly can.
- Eric Green