Almost every time I told friends about stuff that I did or experienced, they said, “you did what?” I also got a lot of “why the hell are you still alive?”  Actually, some of this stuff is funny…now. Some of it is scandalous. Then there’s the part about never giving up. Almost brings tears to your eyes, doesn’t it? For most of my life, I searched for two people. So, I embarked on a serious never-give-up quest to find my birth mother, and the ideal perfect, angelic, woman of my dreams. Kind of romantic, right? Hey, romance is good. Plus, there’s mystery and intrigue. I love that word intrigue. I’ve never used it before.

This is almost like a self-help book with stuff that your counselor won’t tell you, like, don’t screw around with the sheriff’s wife or date a woman who murdered her husband. Don’t get drunk on the radio. If a guy, who looks suspiciously like Adolph Hitler commands you to help put a guy in a coffin, salute and run. If your father invites a dying man to sleep in your bed, move. If a nun tells you that masturbation weakens your character, remind her about the eyes. If your wife forces you to choose between her and Shania Twain, don’t do as I did.

On the positive side, I didn’t kill anyone, as far as I know.  (I wasn’t sober all the time)

As a lone adoptee growing up in a do-it-yourself funeral home on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, my goals were simple…get drunk and sing Gaelic songs, romp naked with a pretty girl, be a radio star, and sit on a porcelain toilet. But, not necessarily in that order.

A week before I got my driver’s license, Aunt Patsy let it slip that Mom and Pop did not conceive me. Well, come on! The thought of my parents doing…never mind. Unlike in the movies, I did not fall into a wailing, whining abyss of depression and raging anger. It wasn’t important then. What’s more, my adoptive Mom erupted into full-throttle panic mode whenever I brought up the subject of my adoption. She knew something dark, but she wasn’t talking. Never mind. My top priorities of the day were drowning my bashfulness with putrid home brew and wine, laced with rubbing alcohol, and losing my virginity. Nothing worked. I threw up and fell down a lot.
I was obsessed with the vision in my head of that special girl. The other quest was for the woman who gave birth to me. Even through decades of searching from Cape Breton to the Arctic to Nashville, and on to Hollywood, through four marriages, adulterous flings, odd romantic, but potentially deadly relationships, I continued to daydream about both of them…the perfect girl and meeting my real mother.
In the search for my origin and the mystery of my two mysterious birthdates, I encountered brick walls, until my saintly adoptive mother, Tena died. After her funeral, a woman, whom I did not recognize, handed me a scrap of paper with a phone number scrawled on it. It was signed, Georgina. I stuffed it into my pocket and forgot about it. Four years later, I discovered it in a stack of papers destined for the trash. I called.
Georgina opened a door to astonishing answers and a shocking sibling surprise. I was convinced that Tena, the only mother I knew, pulled some strings in her heaven to solve two mysteries, destroy a devil, and identify the ugly one in the middle.
The search for my Mom and the love of my life revealed staggering surprises, one of which changed my life forever.

First, I wrote an actual 408-page book about all of this, and now…the audio book. The movie must be next.

23 thoughts on “

  1. Alex,
    Just finished reading the final edition of my signed copy of your wonderful autobiography. I had read your original outline on my lap top but this time I had the actual book in my hands. What a read! I really had trouble putting it down, each chapter made me want to keep going to see where this life was leading, and what a life it has been. Fiction could not have dreamt this life story up! Although not the end, your life and quest finds true meaning and fulfilment with Martica, your true love!

    My very best wishes for that forever and every success with your first book.

    John Pleasence. May 11, 2014.

  2. Stan, I think you should include a disclaimer on your site that should read…”if you want to save your own marriage, buy two copies of this book”! My husband enjoyed the book as much as me, if not more. We had to take turns reading it. There were nights that we both wanted the book, so to keep peace, I read aloud. We couldn’t get enough! We love your humorous account of so many life altering events, and your humility to admit your own faults…I will NEVER ask you to keep a secret! 😉 Most of all, we really enjoyed getting to know you better. We are so incredibly happy for your life journey in finding TRUE love, and your birth family. You never gave up, Stan. And, though I am not God, I do believe that I know why you are here…YOU ARE LOVED!

  3. Hi Stan,

    I’m so happy for you! Congratulations!

    Keep you the good work! Hugs and kisses to Marta too!


  4. Cant wait to get your book. From all the comments here. Everyone is quite impressed. You are a survivor. You didnt give up. .

  5. I’m a friend of Alex, an occasional guest on Trucker Radio and an author as well. I struggled to complete Alex’s book; I never imagined him to be the scoundrel and rogue that he was before marrying his fifth and hopefully final wife. Halfway through his book I wanted to drive down to the studio, throttle and punch him in the nose for being such a cad; then I reflected upon my own life and thought the better of it. Besides, he might not invite me back on the show if I beat the crap out of the SOB…but I digress. Thank God for the epilogue and his saving angel Marta! I can truthfully say this book is more interesting, more realistic and will incite your emotions more than any other book that’s black and white or many shades of grey for that matter.

  6. Stan, what a wonderful read. A page turner.

    I’ve never known anyone to go into such detail about their past as you have in The Ugly One in the Middle. Certainly, I’m sure you found the entire process therapeutic … and … exhausting. I laughed, shed a tear or two … and read some passages in disbelief wondering … was Stan wise or otherwise (lol).

    As one Cape Bretoner to another … I’m proud to call you my friend. You’ve done it all.

    You’re exactly where you want to be.




  7. Just finished your book a few days ago. I enjoyed reading it. I passed it along to my uncle who grew up in Ottawa Brook. He said you lent him your car one time. He was happy to start reading it as everyone he spoke to had nothing but good things to say. Congratulations on a great book!

    • Thank you Theresa. You have peaked my curiosity. Your uncle?? I loaned my cars to so many people. Thankfully he wasn’t one of the ones who destroyed it. LOL Otherwise, I would have remembered. 🙂

  8. Loved it Stan!
    I ordered it as soon as it was available online and read it cover to cover in one day, I could not put it down.
    I am so grateful our live paths crossed! I am so glad to have been a witness to a part of your life.
    You were my best “platonic roomie” ever, never a dull moment, just like your book!
    Your friend always,

  9. Congratulations Stan! The book held my attention from cover to cover. It made me laugh & cry and at times I admit I wondered what the hell was he thinking? I suppose we can all look back and see our mistakes from a sober, logical & perhaps more mature perspective but you decided to tell all…the good, the bad, the ‘ugly’ ! I enjoyed the humour, the honesty and the humility.
    I am so happy you found Marta who I LOVE dearly…nice ending and a great new beginning!


  10. Hey Stan, Great book and enjoyed it very much. Lend it to all my relatives and you know most of them. Enjoyed being your friend then and now. Your 2 boys are my nephews so you are still part of my family. Give Marta a hug for us. Cheers Fred

  11. What an adventure!

    You’re quite the example of a survivor.

    CONGRATULATIONS for turning out to be a very decent human being despite everything you went through.

    You’re an inspiration, and a great example of both what not to do… and later what to do.

    You provide fantastic material for doing case studies with adventure, intrigue and humor!

    Thanks for writing the book.

    And Thanks for being you!

    Rick Blatter

  12. This is not going to be a short review and as a matter of fact it is the first book review I have ever done.
    So, where do I begin? I guess by telling you this, I read this book in about 5 hours. I read 324 pages in 3 hours and I finished it the next day in 2 hours. I am a fast reader but this is a record pace for me in reading a book. Why? Simple. I loved it. I just couldn’t put it down.
    I have known Alex “Stan ” Campbell for many years, or at least I thought I did, but this new man, “Alex ” Stan Campbell is someone I just met and I got to know him in this book.
    There are things in the book that I found shocking and yet somehow I didn’t find them repulsive. How could I? After all Alex seemed to be a fragile young man living in a dream world searching for a better life, one filled with love and the happiness that he appeared to lack. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with dreaming about those things. It appears he may have confused lust with love a time or two, but only he knows the answer to that!!
    I laughed and I cried, and yes even felt awestruck at times. That is something that does not happen to me very often.
    There is also something about the book I found very inspirational. Let’s try and forget about the sexual “mis”adventures and all that other “stuff’ and think about how far up a ladder this man climbed, how far he fell down, not once, not twice, but several times. Somehow he always managed to pick himself up, and climb that ladder over and over again. Yes, that to me is awe inspiring!
    The title of the book many be called the “ugly” one in the middle, but there is no doubt in my mind that Alex Stan Campbell is the” survivor” in the middle.
    Well done “Stan’. Thank you for such a great book, I can’t wait to read it again!
    Stay at the top of the ladder this time, or climb all the way to the top of the world, I somehow think you and Marta can do it together.
    Carroll Baker C.M.

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