Biographies involve more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events and provides intimate details in a narrative form. Learn from others’ experiences from these VCWC writers.

Richard Hulse

MyBrother Bo: Addicted in Paradise

Bo Hulse, suffered feelings of inferiority all of his life. As a little boy and young man he had troublesucceeding in school. He had a weight problem which fluctuated up and down over the years. As a teenager he discovered that recreational drugs and alcohol helped him escape the realities of life. In his late twenties he attempted suicide by consuming an entire bottle of sleeping pills.

After a year of rehabilitation at Impact House in Pasadena, California, Bo had thirty years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs. He had two successful jobs as an extra in movies and television and as a custodian with the Los Angeles Unified School District. When he retired, he moved from California to the island of Kauai.

Wishing to improve his physical well-being in his late fifties, Bo had a vertical band gastroplasty and gastric bypass surgery to help him lose weight. He had two subsequent operations on both of his knees to repair damage he suffered after many years of running marathons. These three operations caused Bo to become hooked on prescription drugs. Besides those drugs provided legally by Bo’s doctors, Bo supplemented his drug supply by mail ordering drugs from Canada.

Attempts by me and many other people to get Bo off drugs were not successful. Bo refused help. He ended up overdosing on drugs and was hospitalized on the island of Kauai where he was finally taken off life support and passed away in paradise.

The powerful part of this story is not even so much what happens specifically among this family, but how it relates to all of us. The reader will find that they insert themselves into the chapters; writing their own version of this story, and sharing the emotions right along with the author. —Cheri L. Goldsmith

In his intimate and candid memoir, Richard Hulse relates the heartbreak and frustration of dealing with his brother’s self-destructive choices and addictions. The compelling story of Richard and Bo speaks to the strong bond of brotherhood and the difficulty of overcoming addictive behaviors. —Janet McCormack Nowaj, Member, Friends of the William T. Cozby Public Library, Coppell, Texas.

About the Author

Richard Hulse is a retired educator and the former athletic director at Granada Hills Charter High School in Southern California. He is an avid sports fan and loves to travel. He lives with his wife, Debi, in Hollywood Beach, California, where they enjoy walks on the beach, watching dolphins surf the waves at sunset, and also regularly spoiling their four grandsons.

Richard’s recently published book, Forty Crazy Years of Friendship, was adapted as an original one act play, “Old Friends.” Bob Arnold wrote the script for “Old Friends,” which debuted in June of 2015 at Hollywood Fringe Festival and in July 2015 at the historic El Portal Theater in N. Hollywood, California.