Interview with Chase Von

Chase Von: Author and Journalist
Student Operated Press

Chase Von

Chase Von is a retired United States Marine, and the author of the acclaimed books, Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak and Pink, Blue and Green. He is also, along with the late Betty Dravis, the co-author of Dream Reachers and Dream Reachers II, two books of interviews and inspiring stories about well-known celebrities and those just beginning to make a name for themselves.

This interview was originally published back in January 2011.

TSM: Chase, thank you so much for taking time out to do this interview. I know you consider Betty Dravis a mentor…well, I consider you and Betty mentors since I’ve learned a great deal about interviewing from both of you and really admire all the work you do as journalists. It was an honor to have Betty in the launch issue and now I’m honored to have you in this issue. 🙂

CV: Thanks so much for having me Jessica! And I’m truly touched to be called a mentor by someone who is such an accomplished soul…I’m both thankful and amazed by the Dream Reachers Fan Club page you threw together it seemed like…in no time…and I can’t begin to share my gratitude for that to you. And a “Very Yes”on Betty certainly being one of my mentors. But…Between us, (She’s a perfectionist and she beats me up a lot)…I know it is just to make me better. (I had to add the last line because I do truly love her but she is so sweet…Unless you are working WITH her…(Now I know why her and her dear friend Linda Bulger were dressed up like “Gangsters” in some of her photo’s)…So I think you get where I’m going with this… 🙂

TSM: Don’t know if that will stay between us Chase, she might read this you know…So that is on you! 🙂 But back to now…I know that poetry is your first love, and the first poem you wrote is called Listen My Friend . What was the inspiration for this poem? And what inspired you to become a writer?

CV: Before I try and answer that Jess, I guess I’ve gotten away for “Years” with what it is called, “Poetic License.” Meaning I could misspell words or write sentences that are not remotely, grammatically correct because few people talk that way in real life to begin with and it adds to the realism in my opinion. Betty, I know…If she does look at this interview is going to pick what I wrote apart and say…Well, will just leave it at that. 🙂 I sort of stumbled into doing interviews etc. but Betty is highly schooled, ran her own newspapers for years and also hosted her own cable TV talk show…She is also a master editor. I learned sooo much doing Dream Reachers One “Under Fire” from her but now she is looking forward to getting started on DR II and I’m like…God,
please give me the strength to endure! 🙂 So I do hope she reads this and it makes her want to be, kinder and gentler when we do DR II but if not, you are still in Spain now yes? You all have any spare rooms there? (Heh, heh)

Now to your question and I think I mentioned, “Stumbling” somewhere above.

I had a friend when I was like twelve or thirteen that had a girlfriend. Which at that time was a big deal alone in my naive way of thinking. Plus she was really in my view also perfect for him. Later this friend told me he was also seeing someone else and I was if this makes any sense, sorry for him. Because I thought eventually if the one found out about the other he would lose her, or perhaps them both. (Keep in mind, though young, I’ve always been sort of a romantic). I tried to explain it to him in conversation mind you but it just didn’t seem like I was getting through.

Then I did something I hadn’t really done before and put to paper what I thought regarding it and at first, I myself didn’t even know it was a poem. But I had “Stumbled” onto something that felt natural and at the same time, like a release. And when I started writing it, it wasn’t hard, the words seemed to form themselves. I don’t do many interviews, or at least not as the interviewee…But I’ve mentioned this a few times before. It wasn’t like I was writing something, it was like I was “Remembering” something…And that’s how that came about and how I started in my writing career you could say.

Even now, I don’t sit around or have an appointed time I…“Write”….Unless it is an interview or project etc. When it comes to poems, quotes, short stories or song lyrics, I get just get thoughts that I feel I have to “Catch” before they get away.

Betty Dravis, Chase Von's incredibly talented co author for Dream Reachers
Betty Dravis, Chase Von’s incredibly talented co author for Dream Reachers

TSM: How did it feel to have one of your short stories included in the 2007 American Review Literary Journal Vol. One by Bryant McGill? And how did this come about? That is truly a wonderful accomplishment, Chase!

CV: Ironically Jess, Betty is putting the finishing touches on the interview Bryant and her are doing as I type this but I count that as the highest achievement of my literary life! Bryant is quite simply put, a genius! I don’t mean to sound overly confident etc. but if someone were to ask me, based on how I feel, I would have to say my strong suit is poetry. But it was a short story that got me in ARLJ Vol. One, and he is one of the most respected writers worldwide in our times! As well as a humanitarian and consultant to the stars and just a phenomenal human being!

MJ is no longer with us but on his (Bryant’s) MySpace page, is a picture of him with Michael Jackson and from the story, that is where he is giving his McGill English Dictionary of Rhyme, the World’s Most Extensive Reference to the sadly, now late Michael Jackson.

TSM: I really enjoyed reading Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak as your writing truly inspires me. I LOVE your poetry, which is something I don’t say a lot because it’s hard for me to connect with much of what’s out there. So, I’m wondering Besides DR2, will you be coming out with another book of poetry, short stories, lyrics, etc.?

CV: To be honest with you, I’ve sort of put putting another book by yours truly on the back burner for now, although I am still “Catching” quite a bit to create another one. 🙂 And I’m very pleased by your kind words about my poetry because as you know, I consider myself eclectic, so not everything that I write is well, nice but I think it depicts real life for the most part.

Chase Von Book Your Chance to Hear the Last Panther Speak

TSM: Can you share one of your poems here with our readers?

CV: I could…But if it is OK with you, I’d rather share some song lyrics. 🙂 One of my many dreams is to drive down the highway one day and hear a song I wrote the lyrics to come over the radio. And songs, if you get right down to it, are usually a poem, with a chorus and perhaps a bridge. And also, I know you have many “Singers” here on TSM so I’m hoping one of them see it and like. 🙂

I think I sing very well but others don’t ever seem to catch me on those days I do. (I can’t seem to catch me too often on those days either come to think of it)… (Heh, Heh). Anyway, I’ve decided to leave the singing to someone else and feel confident I think I sing ‘Well Enough” should that ever happen, to let them know what is going on in this head of mine. Plus, this was written after my book went out, it isn’t in there so it might even be something you haven’t seen and from memory since I can’t find it on my computer… Seriously…so perhaps not verbatim here but I did write it…

~ From You ~
Sitting here in the early morning
Wondering what to say…
I know I have to be real careful
Sometimes we get in our own way…
If I was to reveal what’s real
That I’m thinking that I’m wise
To keep deep inside…
Would you flee and run for the hills?
And leave me back here…
To die?
I can’t…
Say what I want to say
Because being true
Might mean losing you
I’m going to…
Have to pretend
That being friends
Is all I want
From you…
(Second verse)
Every time I see your pictures
It takes my breath away!
I can’t imagine what lucky fool
Get’s to see you every day!
My fingers hover over the keys
But I can’t type out
What’s inside of me…
I finally type out
I’m OK…
And wish you
A beautiful day…
(Repeat Chorus)
I can’t…
Say what I want to say
Because being true
Might mean losing you…
I’m going to..
Have to pretend
That being friends
Is all I want
From you…
Every time I see your pictures
Thoughts run through my mind!
Every time I get a message
Those thoughts do over time!
Every time I think about it
There’s a battle in my head!
But I’m afraid…
To share what I’m feeling!
So I share this instead…
How are you?
How is your child?
How is…
Life treating you?
I’m glad that…
You’re hanging tough!
I’m trying to do…
The same thing too….
I can’t
Say what I want to say…
Because being true
Might meaning losing you…
I’m going to
Have to pretend
That being friends
Is all I want….
From you…
By Chase Von
The Last Panther
All rights reserved

TSM: Who are some authors you admire?

CV: Way too many to list Jess, but a few and this is certainly not all are… George Orwell, Kahlil Gibran, Betty Dravis, Javan, Angela (Vennie) Kocsis, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, Robert James Waller, T.J. MacGregor, Anne Rice, Ed Roberts, James Patterson, Greg Isle, Chrissy K. McVay, C.S Lewis, Taalam Acey, Langston Hughes and this could just go on and on…:)

Chase Von with Linda Shrader and MT Robison
Chase Von with Linda Shrader and MT Robison

TSM: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?

CV: That is a heavy question but in trying to answer it in a way that encompasses everything, I would say treat each other better and not worry about the things that don’t usually matter in the long run.

I can’t remember who wrote this or if this is even verbatim Jess but I think it sums it up pretty nicely. “At the end of the game, both the King and Pawn are put back into the same box.” So although there are a long of list of things that heavy question brings to mind, I think if we all knew, this day was perhaps our last, we might focus on positive things instead of negative ones. A friend of mine years ago wrote this as well and I think in regards to a myriad of things we concern ourselves with, it applies…

Whatever you may find
Among the thoughts
That crowd your mind
There won’t be many
That ever really matter
By Touc Dang
(Recalling from memory, so perhaps not verbatim)

TSM: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?

CV: Should have saved some of the one’s above for now I see? Heh, Heh You got me! This is one which is also one of my mantras so to speak…“This Too Shall Pass…” Lord knows, I’ve had to lean on that one too many times for me to count.

And this is one of mine but I have many favorite quotes mind you…Hard to pick a favorite although the first one mentioned might be the one that has helped me the most.

No one
To anyone
The only things we can claim
And truly call our own
From another individual
Are feelings inspired
And the eventual accumulation
Of shared memories
By Chase Von
The Last Panther
All rights reserved

TSM: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can readers find out more about you and your work?

CV: Sure, another quote….:) Which was also written after I published my last book.

The loudest
Of all languages
Is also
The most silent
Of all languages
And that is the language
By tears
By Chase Von
The Last Panther
All rights reserved

And how about the link to the DR Fan Club site so people can also see what a truly wonderful job you did with that? 🙂 DREAM REACHERS FAN CLUB:

TSM: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you the best of luck with everything in the future.

CV: Thank you Sweet Jessica and I also want to thank you again for creating the Dream Reachers Fan Club site which is remarkably lovely…Like yourself! You do so very much for others that I’m very happy to see the TSM site, which is great by the way so more folks can find out about what a dynamic spirit you, yourself are! And I know we’ll KIT…So till next time…Many blessings to you and yours as well my friend. Sincerely, Chase

Chase with Brittany Murphy
Chase with Brittany Murphy
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