Jim Haynes newsletters
|Newsletter No. 310|
|A September Trip to the USA
29th August - 3rd October 1994
Monday, 29th August: Up early, as usual, and have a cup of coffee. Carlos gets up and begins to clean the Sunday night mess. Go out and pay the wine bill. Call Michel Puechavy and he says he hopes that there will be developments in September. Holly Puechavy calls to say that I will like Santa Barbara and that Yoko Ono will be in Santa Barbara also in September. John Flattau calls from Manhattan to ask me to get a copy of "Beaux Arts"; there is an item about his exhibition censorship problems. Patricia Goodrich calls to give me the Esmeralda Hotel telephone number.
I metro to St.Germain and purchase the magazine for John, post books to Chrissy Iley and Paul G, pass UBP for a bank statement, then go to Village Voice and give Michael lots of small change. We chat about the new Maurice Girodias biography. Metro home.
Call Dusan Makavejev and tell him I enjoyed his film, "Hole in the Soul", which I saw at the Edinburgh Film Festival. He says he will be in Boston while I am in USA. Hana calls to say she has found a place to stay. Good. Humbert Camerlo calls for Jack. Carlos mops the kitchen and the hallway. The atelier begins to shine again. Jesper calls from Miami to say that I can use his room in his Lower East Side apartment and that he will see me in mid-September. Daniel Topolski's Oxford crew race on the Seine today. Try to call Dick and Lil; no answer. Magda calls from Poland to ask if she can stay in A2 from next Saturday. Yes, of course, but I will be away. Tell her she can have my bed. Jack says that he and Carlos might go south to visit Humbert.
A girl arrives at the door from Budapest. Neither she nor I know how she came to have my name. She asks if she can stay for ten days. She doesn't anyone else in Paris, so I say OK. Later the two of us watch "Irma La Douce", a very silly movie. She wants to know where she can sleep. I give her three choices. Alas she doesn't select my bed. Very late, Dee Dee Davidson calls from Austin to say I am welcome to stay with her in Austin.
Tuesday, 30th Aug: An alarm rings at 6am. Quickly get into action. Call Patricia at the Hotel Esmeralda and tell her I will call again at 7am. Quickly have coffee, shave, shower, shampoo, dress. Very unsystematic job of packing a few clothes. Call a taxi to collect Patricia at the Esmeralda, then call her to tell her the taxi is on the way. Carlos is up and he insists upon taking my bag outside. The taxi arrives and I am on my way.
Minutes later we are at Orly and the Tower Air counter. I am told Claude is busy, so stand and watch everyone check-in. Patricia and her pretty daughter check-in and go upstairs. Claude arrives and quickly gets my tickets and boarding pass. He says that he will try to bump me up to Business Class. Bored customs officials barely look at my passport. Purchase "The Trib" and make my way to Gate 39. See Errol Glazer and he says he flies to Houston. Chat briefly with a young woman on her way to Manhattan; she studies at Parsons. Sure enough, Claude arrives and he has a new boarding pass for me. I have been bumped up. Thank Claude and tell him to come and dine in the autumn.
The flight is called and I am on my way to JFK. It has been about 8 years since my last trip to the Big Apple. My seat, 6K, is very comfortable. No one is next to me. It looks like I'll read and nap all the way over. Read "The Trib" and "The Sunday Times". Chat with a stew named Karen. She tells me she is from Israel and speaks Hungarian and Hebrew. I ask if she knew Dahn Ben-Amotz. She never met him, but she knew about him. Write a bunch of letters: to Magda, to Bill Levy, to Marco Polo, to Paul G. We begin our approach to JFK. Custom forms are passed out. I help the young fellow behind me who doesn't speak English. His name is Jose Valasquez and he is from Puerto Rico. Smooth landing.
Quickly clear customs and I am soon outside. Find the shuttle to the subway. See the young Parsons student and we ride into Manhattan together. Give her a newsletter (#269) and invite her to dine the next time she is in Paris. Call John Flattau and he says he will walk down 8th Street and give me a hand.
We meet on 8th and University Place. He takes one of my bags and we walk to his loft on Broadway. He calls Alan Furst in Long Island and he tells me he has finished THE POLISH SOLDIER. We call Tracy Hart and discuss Emile the Rat. John and I go out for a drink and our waitress is from south west France and her sister lives in Paris. Back to John's and his wonderful daughter, Anna, arrives. She is just back from 10 weeks in China. She has certainly bloomed. She looks like Anna Magnani in "Bitter Rice".
Leave them and walk to Jesper's 90 St.Mark's apartment. His beautiful flatmate, Elena Broms, gives me a set of keys. Deposit my bag in Claudia's room. A fellow called Roger Andersson is staying in Jesper's room. Make a few telephone calls. Tell Ed Hogan that the fax he sent to Paris has been forwarded to me here at Jesper's. We talk about the publication of People to People: Russia. Try to reach Don Loeb in Seattle, but get his answering machine. Try to reach Jane Alexander in Carmel and am told she and Ed are in Nantucket. Jesper calls from Miami to welcome me to the New World. Call Sharon in Telluride and we discuss my travel plans. Try to get Jane & Anselm Hollo. Briefly rest. Call Ernie Eban and he says he has a date with a lovely lady, but we can meet late tonight in a Cornelia Street cafe. Later I realize that I just might be very tired because it will be about 6am (Paris time).
Call John. He suggests I ring his bell, he will come downstairs and we can go and dine somewhere in the neighborhood. Minutes later John, Anna and I collect Margot and head for an Indian restaurant in University Place. We four stuff ourselves. It is 50% Paris prices. Anna and I discuss restaurant prices in Russia and China. We walk over to Ben & Jerry's in 2nd Avenue for four large tubs of ice cream. My favorite drug. By this time it is 10pm in New York and 4am in Paris. I realize that I cannot keep my rendezvous with Ernie. Anna goes to her new student apt, Margot & John head southwest, and I walk southeast.
There have been two calls from me: Jane & Anselm in Boulder and Don Loeb in Seattle. Lynne Tillman calls and we agree to dine tomorrow night. Fall into Claudia's bed and am soon in a deep sleep.
Wednesday, 31st Aug: A great night's sleep. Up at 7am, then decide to sleep another hour. I hear movement in the next room and it is Roger. Good Swede that he is, he takes a shower. Quickly dress and go out for coffee, milk, sugar, cereal, bread, butter. Roger and I chat over coffee and I learn that he is from Goteborg, that he is studying film-making at N.Y.U. for ten weeks. Don Loeb calls and we discuss my possible trip to Seattle. Sharon calls; her sister is not driving to Telluride, but she might know someone else.
Jesper calls from Miami and we talk about the tragic drowning of his good friend, Pascal. He jumped into a river in Locarno to try to save a young woman and they were found days later. Jesper reports that his beautiful sister, Lisa, and her boyfriend are moving to San Francisco in order to create a magazine. And we talk about Lotta. I call Boulder and talk with Jane; she and Anselm have been in Baltimore. A fax arrives from Magali Moreau in Paris. She is one of my best students. She has a summer job with Rhone-Poulenc. I call Delta and speak with a Michele about flights to Colorado. She tells me she has just married and she and her husband are off to Paris in a few days. She gives me flight information and I suggest some restaurants in Paris. I suddenly remember that I talked with Lynne last night about dinner tonight. Have a long talk with Eve Pommerance and her decision to live in Manhattan.
Then talk with Ernie and apologize for not keeping our appointment. He understands. He will walk to Jesper's and we will go to a restaurant in University Place for lunch. Elena Broms gets up and has coffee. She did not get much sleep last night, suffering from a bizarre rash. Quickly share, shower, shampoo. The shower is glorious; lots of warm water. Ernie arrives and Elena goes out. Ernie and I talk about his two months in the Big Apple. He loves NYC and wants to return and live here.
We walk to the restaurant, Luca's, that Ernie assures me is always full of lovely ladies. It turns out to be next to last night's Indian restaurant. We have delicious salads. Ernie dashes uptown to do some research; we will talk at 7pm. Maybe he will join Lynne and me tonight. I walk up to the Strand bookstore and purchase Sally Belfrage's UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES and Jo Durden-Smith's RUSSIA - A LONG-SHOT ROMANCE. But I do not see Ryszard Kapuscinski's IMPERIUM.
Walk to Ben & Jerry's for another ice cream "hit". The new St.Mark's book store is nearby and they have a copy of Ryszard's book. Sonny Mehta's Knopf have published it and the book is superbly made. Hooray for Sonny! Hooray for Ryszard! I wonder whatever happened to the girl who once stayed with me in Paris. Her father was co-owner of this bookstore. Also purchase "The Nation" for the Misha Glennie article on Bosnia.
Walk to John's loft and we have another talk about E.G., our October trip to Tangier, Athens or Istanbul. Anna arrives and we discuss sexual desire and male-female relationships.
Leave them and walk to Jesper's. Purchase a T-shirt and a pair of boxer shorts from Gap on the way. Crash on Claudia's bed for a wee nap. Call Lynne Tillman and she suggests we meet at Lanza's in 1st Avenue at 8.30. Then I call Ernie to see if he would like to dine with us. He suggests we meet at the Cornelia Street Cafe about 10pm. He will dine with an old friend of Sally Belfridge, John Simon.
When I meet Lynne in 1st Avenue, she says she has changed our dinner location to Col' legno. It's also Italian. We walk arm in arm to 231 East 9th. I walk, she floats. Someone has just given her a massage and she feels light and wonderful. The restaurant is a delight. Lynne orders for both of us. That's what I like: a liberated woman. As always we talk about "the old days" and all our mutual friends. She asks about Jack Moore, Bill Levy & Susan Janssen, Heathcote Williams, Jos Schoffelen. She reads the new Handshake catalogue and is pleased with what I have written about ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART. I insist upon treating and she says she wants to give me two new books. We walk back to St.Marks and she introduces me to the proprietor. I ask him about his partner's daughter, Minohla Dargis. He reports she is now in L.A. and a journalist with "L.A. Weekly". Tell him about my guide books and he says he will stock them. Lynne talks to a writer who says he used to live in Paris. I don't remember his name. He said he lived in 1968 in the Bastille and we were both among the first to enter the Odeon the night it was taken. Lynne gives me the books and we depart. She walks east to a club where David is performing.
I head westward to the Cornelia Street Cafe. Ernie and John Simon sit at an outside table. Our waitress is a heart-breaker. When I suggest she come to Paris and waitress in my restaurant, she replies she doesn't speak French. Only German, Russian, and Swedish. She is from the old DDR. Marlene Dietrich lives! John suggests we go for a drink in Sheridan Square. We continue to talk about Sally Belfrage and the good times we shared with her. Both John and I met Sally via her book, A ROOM IN MOSCOW. He used to be an editor at Random House. We remember that we met once years ago at a Frankfurt Book Fair. I tell him about my People to People guides and he suggests that I write 2,000 words for a future issue of "Argonaut", a magazine he co-edits. We also talk about the old Theatre de Lys where we both saw and enjoyed "The Three Penny Opera" way back in 1956. (Or was it 1959?) I tell him my desire to produce "The Truman Capote Talk Show" with Bob Kingdom somewhere in Manhattan. John suggests that I get Channel 13 involved and that we must talk in the morning after he has had a chance to call Harry Chancey. We have drinks in the Red Horse Inn. (John Calder, Muriel Leyner and I once dined there.) We talk about Barney Rosset and the old Grove Press. I give John a copy of WORKERS. Afterwards Ernie and I walk down Christopher Street to check out the old Theatre de Lys, now renamed. (I remember that I saw "Steel Magnolias" in this same theatre.) We walk to Bleeker Street and pass the apartment I once borrowed from John Calder.
On the way to Jesper's, I get a sharp pain in my gut. What the hell could it be? Ernie is alarmed. We sit quietly in a bar. It slowly drifts away. Manage to get to Jesper's and find a note to call Tuppy Owen in London. But so tired I fall into bed.
Thursday, 1st September: Get up about 9am and feel wonderful. Make coffee and a bowl of cornflakes. Sharon calls from Telluride; she tells me to call Arnie in Denver. He tells me an attorney friend of his, Matt Fingelbaum, will depart about noon tomorrow and maybe I can hitch a ride with him. Later I call Matt and get his secretary. She will have him call me. He calls and we discuss various plans. We decide I will call him from Dallas to confirm my arrival time. I call the limo firm John has recommended and yes they will collect me at 7am tomorrow outside Jesper's. I call Laura Kronenberg. She says she called me yesterday in Paris to find Jack Henry Moore and he answered the phone. Jack told her that I was in Manhattan. She invites me to a cocktail party tonight and says that she would be pleased to host a party for me while I am in town. Have a long talk with Betty Dodson and we make a dinner date for the 23rd. Telephone Tuppy in London and we discuss a book she is writing about the sexual revolution.
Walk down toward 2nd Avenue and have carrot juice and gazpacho. Visit Pat Kaufman in her West Broadway loft. We talk about theatre and cinema. When I leave her, go to the Prince Street post office and mail all the eleven letters I produced at 30,000 feet above the Atlantic. Walk up Broadway to John's loft and we have our usual free-flowing talk: from tennis to Alexandros Lykourezos, from Natalie's university studies to our possible destinations in early October. John agrees to come to the cocktail party only two blocks away. We ring the bell at 7 Bond Street and nothing happens. After a bit we give up and walk up Lafayette to 8th Street. Johns invites me to dine, but I decide to return to Jesper's to nap.
Just as I cross 2nd Avenue, I feel a tap on my shoulder. It is Ernie Eban. He is on his way to a bar for a writers' gathering and I find myself joining. Am introduced to lots of women. All are writers or wanna-be writers. Meet a woman called Kathy who reviews books for "Women's Circle". When I get up to call Jesper's apartment, I accidently knock over a glass of beer. Fortunately it is nearly empty, but a small amount falls into Kathy's lap. Profuse apologies and she kindly accepts them. Walk to Jesper's to check the messages. Nothing important. Then back to the gathering and meet a pretty blonde. Sharon says she likes to write about scandals. Talk briefly with a fellow called Richard Behar. He is with "Time". Ernie pulls me away and we go to Laura's and I am introduced to her fellow, the painter Banks Clayton. Laura is unchanged; she is still a ball of energy. Banks seems able to match her. He keeps producing silly jokes while putting the finishing touches on a large canvas. Later John Simon joins us; he and Laura talk about Manhattan in the 40s and 50s. I am a bit tired, so excuse myself and head for Jesper's.
Friday, 2nd September: Two alarms are set for 6am, but manage to get up ten minutes before they ring. Quickly am ready. Call the limo service to see if the car can come 30 minutes earlier than reserved. Yes, a brown station wagon will collect me right away. The driver, from Bombay, and I talk all the way to LaGuardia. He is happy with the companionship. The Delta check-in fellow is an Irish comedian. He spends a long time telling me English jokes and manages to check my bags to Denver.
Two delightful stews on the flight to Dallas: one small with bright blue eyes (Stacy) and a taller brunette (Kimberly). Give them a newsletter and suggest they come and dine when they are next in Paris. I sit next to a fellow from Hawaii. He is a tennis fan and has been in New York for the U.S. Open.
When we land, run to Gate 25, and am told the flight to Denver is full. Somehow manage to get the last seat. Sit next to a fellow from Houston. His name is Monty Skidmore. He is on his way to Colorado to visit with a son and to have a fishing weekend. Later we make a bizarre connection. He went to the American High School in Mexico City with Thom Mount. And I have corresponded with Thom, thanks to Kathleen Tynan, for possible help with our Marlene Dietrich film.
We land in the old Denver air port and it seems perfectly Ok to me. Rush to the telephone to call the attorney who might be driving to Telluride and learn that he has already left. Go and pick up my Continental ticket to Montrose. Stroll down to the departure lounge and meet a sweet young woman from Paris. Sophie has an American mother. She studies cinema in San Francisco and is also on her way to the film festival in Telluride. But she does not have a reserved seat and it looks like it is going to be difficult to get one. Later we sit and chat with a fellow from Chicago and Karachi. His name is Jim Agha. Somehow we discover a mutual love of musical theatre and he has seen most of the ones I have seen. We exchange cards. He is on a surprise trip to see two sons attending a boarding school.
My flight is called. Sophie has disappeared. When I board the small 19-seat, twin-propeller Beechcraft, I realize that there are at least two or three seats available. Keep expecting to see Sophie appear. And she doesn't. Talk to a fellow called Robert. He is a film producer from L.A., also on his way to Telluride. Like me, he does not know how he will get to Telluride from Montrose. The fellow who sits in front of him and who looks like a big game hunter suddenly announces we can drive up with him. But "no singing". I ask if we can hum. He doesn't answer, so I take this to be acceptable. Flight is over exceedingly high mountains. We pass through lots of clouds and bounce about.
But the flight is quickly over and we are soon on terra firma once again. William B. Williams rents a red jeep. Soon the four of us (the film producer is with a woman from New York City) are on our way up to Telluride. We pass a very large "ranch" recently purchased by Ralph Lauren; it seems to go on and on. BGH tells us about the time he got thrown out of the Ritz Hotel in Paris. I sit in the front seat and pray quietly to myself. We seem to be moving at an extremely fast pace along very narrow and winding roads. But the gods are smiling and soon we arrive. Cards are exchanged and promises to meet for drinks are made.
It seems that main street has been the scene of a party. I assume to launch the film festival. The festivities are now over. I find a telephone and call Sharon. She gives directions. I cross main street and weave my way through lots of folks and head for what I hope is her street. A young lad asks if I am Jim. He is Sharon's son, Eliot, and has been sent to find me. After Sharon and I embrace, she introduces me to her fellow, Clark. Then she takes me upstairs to my room. I quickly unpack and return to the kitchen. We discuss the ins and outs of getting into films. It seems that not only is Sharon the town judge, she has also been a volunteer for the film festival. In the latter capacity, she has lots of film passes. She hands me a bunch. We discuss the films. Sharon and Clark decide to rush out to see a Polish film. As I sit here now in front of my computer, I cannot remember what I did that evening. Except walk around town all evening.
Saturday, 3rd: Coffee with Sharon and Clark. Meet her ex-sister-in-law and her Hopi Indian boyfriend. They are also here for the film festival. They rush out to see a morning film.
I walk down to the bakery (in "Fat Alley") and have a chocolate milk and a Danish pastry. Then back to Sharon's. Watch a few games of tennis at the U.S.Open on tv.
At 1 o'clock I go to see "The Parrot" directed by Errol Morris and "Crows" by writer/director Dorota Kedzierzawska. "Crows" is a strange Polish film about a young girl who "kidnaps" a younger girl and the two of them run about a strangely empty Gdansk (I think). It's beautifully shot but I am not sure what it adds up to.
Call Pamela Zoline and John Lifton, two old friends from London in the mid-sixties. They have been living in Telluride for years and years. I go over and visit with them, meet two of their children, and some of their friends. After tea and talk, John asks if I would like to drive up a mountain with him and Pamela; they plan to create a new town and to build a new dwelling for themselves. It's wild and beautiful. Now I know what America looked like before it was America. But city-lover that I am is very happy to go back to Telluride.
As soon as we are back in civilization I head for the bakery and have another chocolate milk. Call Jane Hollo in Boulder in order to get Jenny Dorn's Telluride telephone number. Talk with an attractive blonde and learn that she went to the National film School in London and has attended Edinburgh Film Festivals. Her name is Andrea. Pierre Rissient walks pass and I wave a hello. We always seem to meet at film festivals.
Walk to Sharon's and she has left a note for me and more free passes. Walk back to the center of town. Try to get into a screening of porn films, but it is full. Walk into a bar and have a coke. A pretty woman walks up to me and lo and behold it is Roxana Tynan. She and a friend, Steven Backeroe, have driven up from L.A. for the film festival. I sit and talk with them for the rest of the evening. Then go out and try to get into the second porn screening. Fail again. But meet Sheila Hayman who tells me that her sister used to go to the Arts Lab in Covent Garden in the late 60s. Then rush to try to see the late screening of Woody Allen's new film, "Bullets Over Broadway", and fail once again to get inside.
Sunday, 4th: Awake very early and take a shower before anyone else is up. Sharon gets up about 9 and asks if I would like to see the silent film, "Lonesome". It starts at 9.30. I answer yes and within minutes the three of us are there. The film is directed by Hungarian-born Paul Fejos and it is a tender love story. Hollywood at its best. It was produced just at the end of the silent era in 1928 and the beginning of talkies. So before the film was released, it was decided to add a few dialogue scenes. And hand-paint some frames toward the end! Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy refinds girl and presumably they live happily ever after. The Alloy Orchestra performs live and this provides an added excitement and tension. I get even more excitement from the woman on my left. We exchange smiles and comments. (Boy meets girl.) When the film ends, I rush to pee. (Boy loses girl.) Our little story follows the film's plot, except I never find her again.
Outside Clark and Sharon introduce me to lots of people including the documentary film-maker, Ken Burns. He has made a documentary history of baseball in America. We pile into the car and drive toward the court house. On the way, they stop to chat with Andre Gregory. (Yes, "My Dinner with Andre".) He has a film in the festival entitled " Vanya on 42nd Street". He and Sharon have become big pals. Andre is with Sheila Hayman, the woman from London I met last night. We park and Sharon introduces me to Bill Pence, the co-director of the festival. Tom Luddy is the other director. I met Tom many years ago via Dusan Makavejev. We all wander off in various directions. I head for the bakery and my 11.45 date with Roxana and Steven. But do not see them. Meet Jenny Dorn and we discuss the departure to Denver plans.
See "Bab El-Oued City" at 14.15, a film set in Algeria about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. It won the Critics' Prize in Cannes last year and I can understand why. It is extremely moving. Manage to see the porn films at 17.30 in the Nugget thanks to the manager of the theatre. He slips me inside. Talk with the two women, Linda Williams and Constance Penley, who have organized the screening and who are both professors in California. Dine with Pamela and John. Then at 23.15 see the Cuban film, "Strawberry and Chocolate", with Roxana and Steven. I find this Cuban film extremely moving; it makes me want to travel to Cuba in the very near future. Walk up the main street with Roxana and Steven and we say our farewells. They drive to L.A. tomorrow morning.
Monday, 5th: Again up early. Sharon and Clark plan to see "The Easy Life", an Italian road movie. But I elect a quiet morning at home, packing and preparing to depart for Boulder with Jenny Dorn and Ginger Perry. Call Jenny and she tells me they want to go to the picnic on top of the ski lift and that we can leave afterwards. Give her John & Pamela's address and telephone number and tell them I will be ready to go at a moment's notice. Shave, shower and shampoo. Dress. Pack. Carry by stuff to John and Pamela's and deposit it in a corner. Go out to Fat Alley to my favorite bakery and have another chocolate milk and a Danish. And meet Steve and Roxana! We decide to sit outside. They depart for L.A. within the hour. Then spot Jenny Dorn. Call her over to meet Roxana and Steven. We talk about gardening and film-making. Jenny's father did both. He used to live in Cuernavaca. Steven, according to Roxana, is a great gardener. And he is trying to raise money to produce his first feature film. We four walk up Colorado Avenue, pass Sharon's old cafe. Steven and I talk about "being a film-maker in a company town". They depart for California. I show Jenny where she can collect me when she is ready to depart.
Walk back to Sharon's and they say the Italian film was a delight. I give Sharon two passes that Roxana had given me and thank them once again. We go outside for some photographs. Then I head for Pamela's. Sit upstairs, half watch tv, half nap. Pamela invites me to go out and lunch with them, but I say that I had better stay and wait for my ride. A doctor friend of their's enters and we chat about Paris and the film festival. Pamela returns with four slices of pizza and a cup of tea. The telephone rings and it is Jenny. They are outside and ready to go. John and Pamela come out with me and meet Jenny and Ginger Perry. I pile into the back seat and we are off. Goodbye Telluride. It's been wonderful!
Ginger drives. We stop in the evening at the Redstone Inn for dinner. A fellow once proposed marriage to Ginger in this old hotel/restaurant. We have a great meal. I like our waitress. When we leave, Jenny drives. She is an excellent driver, but much too fast for my taste. We pass every car on the road and arrive at some ungodly hour in Denver. We deposit Jenny. Her fellow, Ed Dorn, is in bed. Ginger drives at a slower pace the last 30 minutes to Boulder. Jane and Anselm are waiting up for us. Two sweethearts. We sit and talk and then I fall into bed.
Tuesday, 6th: Early coffee and cereal with Jane and Anselm. Jane asks if I would like to join her for a swim in a pool only a short walk away. Why not! Anselm loans me a swimsuit that fits perfectly. Jane calls Julia and Ron regarding dinner tonight. Then she and I walk to the pool and we have a great time. We three go to the Naropa Institute for black beans and rice lunch. Anselm teaches creative writing classes at Naropa. They introduce me to lots of people including Anne Waldman, the director of Naropa. Afterwards we have a tour of the place and I meet David Gansz, the librarian. Then we three go to Boulder Bookstore and we discover they stock my travel books. The sweet girl behind the counter asks me to sign one. I do and invite the buyer to come for tea when he or she is in Paris. Jane & Anselm introduce me to Lisa Gessner, the young woman who handles the readings. Then we go for ice cream (me) and coffee (them). Then home for naps.
Anselm departs for Naropa for a translation class. Jane and I have a long talk. She is wonderful. I call the super shuttle to book a ride to the air port, but they are full tomorrow. Jane says she and Anselm will drive me to the air port. Early evening Jane and I drive into central Boulder and walk down the walking street to our restaurant. Jane and I are the first to arrive. We ask for a table outside. Then Julia and Ron arrive. Congratulate Julia for the success of her new book on Toulouse-Lautrec. We get an excellent table outside. Anselm joins us. We have a feast. Very late Jane and Anselm show me an old hotel. It is fabulous. At home I sign two books for David the librarian and one for Jane & Anselm. Fall into bed very tired, but very happy.
Wednesday, 7th: The morning begins well: Anselm gives me a copy of "Outlying Districts", his Salt Lake City book. (Front cover drawing and back cover photograph by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo.) We leave Boulder about 10.30 and drive to Denver's "old air port". They come upstairs and see me off. Four young English girls sit nearby. They have a Delta Pass and are touring America and we are all headed for Salt Lake City.
Change planes and soon at San Francisco air port. Call Lotta. No answer. Call Sarah. No answer. Call City Lights and speak with Nancy Peters. She urges me to take the shuttle; it is $10 straight to the book store. It's a fun ride into the city. Thanks, Nancy. Deposit my bag at the desk and go upstairs. Neither Nancy nor Lawrence Ferlinghetti are there. Chat briefly with an Elaine in Nancy's office. Downstairs meet Lawrence as he enters the store. He gives me a tour and we have a good long talk about City Lights and Handshake, about Ted Joans, Prague and Vaclav Havel, my newsletters and A2 Sunday night dinners, his paintings, about Yevtushenko, Voznesensky, Dimitri Prigov. Give him the three pages about Professor Ma in South Korea and he suggests I talk with Allen Ginsberg and PEN. He tells me about a PEN conference in Prague in November. And we discuss Kyle's biography of Corso. Never have I had a long, deep and superb talk with Lawrence before. He is in top form. Leave him and go to the cafe Trieste for a hot chocolate and a Danish pastry.
Call Lotta and this time she is home. Tell her I will grab a taxi and be with her in 30 minutes. Hail a taxi. The driver, Gabriel Ariel Levicky, is a poet from Prague; he and I met years ago in Warsaw via Tomasz Tluczkiewicz. We are both surprised to meet like this. Lotta is downstairs when we arrive and I introduce them. He and I exchange addresses. Tell Lotta the story and she is not surprised. We go upstairs. Lots of hugs and lots of news. She tells me that she and Alan are pals again. Good! We make calls to Jesper, Kyle, Sarah & Thomas, and Herb Gold. We arrange to meet Sarah & Thomas in Zuni's, a restaurant in Market street.
The two of us walk to Castro, then down Market. It's a beautiful night. San Francisco is beautiful. Lotta is beautiful! life is beautiful! ("Even the orchestra is beautiful!") Our waiter is a nice fellow called Steven. Thomas soon joins us and gives me a book of Dietrich photographs. (She is certainly beautiful!) Sarah arrives with a Madonna book for me. (Both Sarah and Madonna are beautiful!) It is one of those nights. Sarah and Thomas talk of moving to Paris in the Spring. Dinner is superb. Sarah gives us a ride home in her car. We all embrace and she asks me to hug Kyle for her. There is a message on the answering machine from Herb Gold. Get into bed with the beautiful Lotta and we cuddle up next to each other. But I am too excited about the evening and cannot sleep. Get up in the middle of the night and look out at the panorama of lights that is San Francisco.
Thursday, 8th: Coffee and "The New York Times" with Lotta. Then she departs for her library job. I call Delta regarding flights to Santa Barbara. I call Walt & Amelia and tell them I am in San Francisco. I call Catherine Barcos at Book Passage and tell her I will see her tonight. I call Herb Gold and he suggests we pass for tea about 5pm. Then slowly wash and dress. Gabriel calls and gives me the name of a girl in Paris. Marianne lives about ten minutes behind my atelier. We discuss meeting this afternoon or tonight. Lotta returns. We talk about Don Loeb. And minutes later we are talking with him in Seattle. I apologize for not getting up to see him this trip. I really intended to do it.
We drive to Market street. She stops for gasoline and I go across the street to make photocopies for her and for me. We drive to Broadway and sit outside and have a coffee. Two attractive women arrive and one of them takes off her sun glasses and exclaims: "Are you Jim Haynes?" When I admit this to be the case, she says she is Jean Milligan. My god we have not seen each other in years. She introduces her friend and announces that she is to be married tomorrow. I tell her I fly to Santa Barbara tomorrow. And then they disappear. What a bizarre incident. Lotta points in the distance and reports that Alan owns the video store just off Broadway. It deals with various kinky sexual tastes. I ask Lotta if she would like a golden shower. When I explain what it means, she is shocked. I calm her down by saying all mutually agreed upon desires are OK. She seems to accept this proposition. We drive the short distance to Herb's apartment. Its location is perfect. And what a view! We have tea and good talk. He gives me some names of people to call in southern California and Miami. A number of his suggestions are people I know. It makes me wonder just how many people do we both know. We discuss Ken & Kathleen Tynan, Willie & Gaia Mostyn-Owen and lots of other people we both know. I tell him that I purchased his book, BOHEMIA, and that the copy Lotta sent to me I passed to Ted Joans. Herb has a dinner date with his son who lives in the Mission. About 6, Lotta and I drop him on our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
he and I continue pass Mill Valley to Corte Madera. When we arrive at Book Passage, I spot the London "Sunday Times" and purchase a copy. Announce myself to the pretty blonde behind the counter and ask for Catherine Barcos. I am handed notes from Victor Herbert and Amelia Laurenson. Mel Clay calls and we chat briefly. We sit and Lotta has a coffee and I have a large glass of pure orange juice. She reads the financial pages and I read the book section. A couple approaches. She is Katherine Olmsted who I met in her office in Moscow in July 93. She is with her husband, John High. Introductions are made and they join us. She is very pregnant. Their son or daughter (Alexander or Alexandra) is due any minute. I am taken away to inspect where I will be talking. A few minutes later I am warmly introduced. A short talk about my People to People series and give a plug for Bob Green's book on travel inside Russia. Throw it open for questions. I am surprised by the number of people in the audience I have touched in some way: People who have been to the Arts Lab in London to people who have slept in my Paris atelier, to people who have dined on a Sunday. The questions are interesting. John asks how is it I know so many poets and writers. Another fellow, Bill Crissman, stands up and announces he has a bag of mine and would I like to have it back. He explains that he stayed in A2 when I was in Edinburgh, needed a bag to fly home, so Jack loaned one to him. I tell him to keep it and to bring it back later. (He did.) An attractive woman from Poznan stands up and announces she is in my book on Poland. It is Agata Nowakowska; I had failed to recognize her. This is the finale. Dramatic enough. Lots of people purchase books and ask me to sign them. John & Katya invite us for a drink. Agata joins us. More talk about Moscow friends, Nadia Bourova and Dimitri Prigov. I give them a copy of WORKERS and they give me a copy of "Five Fingers Review" issue 13. It's time for John & Katya to return to their home. Agata, Lotta and I agree to meet in a Mill Valley Italian restaurant, Piazza d'Angelo, they both know and like. Minutes later we are being led to a table by a tall and incredibly beautiful young woman. Being in Mill Valley I cannot help thinking about Bill Graham. I once attended a Rolling Stones concert with Bill and Marcia Sult. They have a son together. It was a wonderful concert. I dined behind stage with Mick, Bill & Marcia. And Mill Valley also brings memories of the many times I stayed with Rona Elliot. She was always a wonderful hostess. I enjoyed her company and her delicious food. She introduced me to Margo St.James. I once shared a hot tub with Alan Watts and a beautiful woman in Mill Valley thanks to Rona. Now she lives in L.A. Tonight our meal is, alas, not delicious. But I would return again just to see the hostess.
It's time to go to San Francisco. Agata and I make a date to meet in Manhattan in a few weeks. Lotta drives to North Beach. I call Gabriel and someone reports he is out. Call Victor Herbert and we have a nice talk. Call Mel Clay and he reports he is in bed. Lotta and I return to her lovely apartment and bed.
Friday, 9th: Lotta suggests we go out for breakfast. I insist we have a cup of coffee right away. In the end we don't go out. We read "The New York Times"; we go over the events of yesterday. I slowly wash, dress, pack. About 9 o'clock we pile into her red volkswagen and take the back roads to the air port. Painful hugs of farewell. Lotta looks like a young Greta Garbo this morning. And then she departs.
Go inside and check my bag to Santa Barbara but discover at Gate 46 the flight is over-booked. Chat with a young couple from Salzburg on their way to Hawaii. Quickly learn it is impossible to board this flight; the next one is 15.10. Call Santa Barbara and leave a message on an answering machine that I hope to arrive this evening, that I will call again as soon as I know. Call Lotta and tell her that I have not been able to get the flight, suggest we meet at Cafe Flore for lunch. She offers to come and collect me, but I say no. I'll meet her in 30 minutes.
The shuttle driver is a young fellow from St.Petersburg. We chat all the way. Tip Yuri with a copy of WORKERS. No sign of Lotta inside, so elect to wait outside. A fellow walking towards me lowers his sun glasses and announces he is William Cody. He is a poet who stayed in my atelier in September 1992 with Victoria Kilter from Odessa, Ukraine. I tell him I am waiting to have lunch with a beautiful woman and he is welcome to join us. He accepts. While we are talking, a young woman passes and gives me a big warm smile. I give her #269 and tell her to come to dinner the next time she is in Paris. She is pleased and thanks me. Lotta appears on the horizon. What a lovely sight! After I have introduced them, we go inside and find a table. I have hot chocolate and they have coffee. Lotta insists upon treating.
William asks about Ted Joans, Nadia & Dimitri Prigov, Zlata and Stefan Landshoff. We talk about Berlin, Warsaw, Moscow, Odessa and Paris. A young woman sitting next to us interrupts to say that she is writing a poem about her stay in Poland and could not help hearing our conversation. I show her my Poland book and give her #269. She asks William about his poetry and he tells her that City Lights have one of his books. We decide to have another round of drinks. Both William and I demand to pay. I discover I have no money. Have I lost it? Has it been stolen? William goes for the drinks and I dig into my bag and begin to panic. Lotta offers to loan me some cash. Then I realize that I put the dollars next to my Air France ticket. And yes, they are there.
It's time to head again to the air port. William invites Lotta to a reading. She and I make some photocopies and then it's 101 south. After our second farewell embrace, she says she will be pleased to collect me if I get bumped again. At Gate 46, spot the young couple from Germany who were also bumped earlier. We chat until the flight is called. This time we make it. I read David Remnick's LENIN'S TOMB all the way to L.A.
I manage to get an electric car to Gate 67. When I have my boarding pass, I call Amelia in Santa Barbara and she says she will collect me at the air port. Call Kyle and Brett answers. Tell him that I am on my way to Santa Barbara and that I will call again on Sunday. Call San Diego and Mary Duncan answers; she asks if I can be there before noon next Thursday. I say yes. Read the London "Sunday Times" until the flight is called. And continue reading in the small commuter plane until we land at Santa Barbara air port.
The pretty brunette behind the Delta counter gives me my bag and I give her a newsletter. A beautiful blonde gives me a big smile and I give her one in return. She is about to fly somewhere. Amelia arrives before I can discover where she is going. Amelia and I embrace and she says she is so pleased I am in Santa Barbara. What a great welcome! We drive into the city and she points out the points of interest on the way. She says she and Walt are so happy to be living here. We pause at the Modern Museum where Yoko Ono is screening her films this evening and I leave a note for her. Then we drive down State Street to the ocean and along the beach road. We turn away and head up into the hills to her home in Montecito.
By the time we arrive, it is nightfall. The sky is full of stars. Amelia takes me to my quarters. The guest house is bigger than my atelier in Paris. Deposit my things and walk next door. Greet Walt and tell him what I suspect he already knows: he is living in a chateau. He smiles and agrees. The telephone rings and it is Ed Hogan calling from Boston. He wants to know if I can stay longer in America. Yes and no, but I would prefer to keep my departure date on the 2nd of October. He reminds me to plug Bob Greenall's book, AN EXPLORER'S GUIDE TO RUSSIA.
Before we dine, I attempt to reach Danielle & Charles Egan. Manage to leave a message on their answering machine. I tell Amelia and Walt about Charles arriving in Paris on a Sunday, his calling me and my invitation to come to dinner. He and Danielle met that evening and shortly thereafter they marry. Tonight our dinner is a feast: soup, salad, pasta, fresh grapes and chocolate chip cookies. Afterwards we sit outside under a million stars and talk about Jane Alexander, Ed Sherin, Rod Macdonald, Ricky Demarco, Scott Griffith, the Edinburgh Festival, about Walt's tv and screen activities, about their recent trip to France. Then it is time to go to bed. Amelia prepares coffee in a machine for me. All I have to do is press a button in the morning.
Saturday, 10th: Awake about 7am with birds performing outside my window. Push the coffee machine button and fall back into bed. About 20 minutes later, get up and have a delicious cup of coffee. Sit and scribble in a note book about the past few days. Amelia comes over to say that Charles Egan is on the telephone. Go next door and he tells me that he and Danielle passed the bookstore last night to find out when I would be arriving. We talk about Yves & Cathy Monnet, about our writing activities. Amelia shouts "invite them to lunch". I pass the phone to Amelia to give them directions. Amelia tells me that today is Charles & Danielle's 11th anniversary.
I return to my quarters for a quick shower. Then get a tour of the house. Discover Walt has his own office in a separate building in the back. It is another small apartment with a fantastic view. I commiserate with them on their difficult living conditions. Then inspect Amelia's office and it is equally impressive. We drive around Montecito and then down to Peggy Dent's Tecolote Book Shop. Amelia introduces us and tells Peggy about my old bookshop in Edinburgh, my Sunday night salon in Paris and other complimentary things about my past. We excuse ourselves and head for the beach. Take off my shoes, roll up my jeans and away we go. Jim the beach bum! The warm sand and sun feels wonderful. We walk what seems for me a long way, but Amelia assures me is an extremely short promenade. We sit on a cement wall and local points of interest are pointed out. Then it is time to walk back. The tide has come in and the waves splash as high as my waist. I ask about sharks and am given every assurance. But I am not sure.
Back in the car, we sit on towels. Amelia gives me another tour. We ride down a Virginia Street and I say this might be Charles & Danielle's street. Amelia shows me an amazing hotel. Jane Alexander once stayed there. Amelia wants to show me more things, but I suggest we return home. She says she can wash my jeans, etc in her washing machine. I shower and shave and dress again.
Go next door and watch the U.S. Open tennis match on tv until Charles and Danielle arrive. She is as beautiful as ever. A woman named Ann Igoe arrives. Ann began her life in Charleston, South Carolina. I ask her if she knows Bobo Legrendre and, of course, she does. Then a woman named Grace David arrives; she is from Texas. Danielle asks about my plans and when I say I have to be in L.A. tomorrow, she says she might be driving down and that I am welcome to travel with her. Great! She is not sure of her departure time, but will try to let me know tonight. Charles and Danielle have to depart for a massage; it is a part of their anniversary celebrations. I tell Walt about Danielle's Swiss connections and they talk about their Swiss families. Wilford Baumes arrives just as we finish our first course. He was at Yoko's screening and lecture last night. I wonder if she got my note or not. Grace talks about her son's bookstore in Houston that also contained a Cuban cigar room. I tell her that I met her son in his book store years ago. Later she talks about Jean & Catherine Gimpel in London. And I tell her they are old friends of mine. When lunch is over, the guests depart. They say they will see me at the book store and that they will have evil questions prepared.
I go next door, nap briefly. Then put on my Barbara Hoff suit; it always brings me good luck. Amelia and I drive into Santa Barbara. I want to be early in order to check out the shop. I must say I like its name, the Earthling Bookshop. For years I have called myself an Earthling and in the 60s I helped produce World Passports. I introduce myself at the front desk. The session goes more or less like it went in Corte Madera. The big difference is tonight my lecture takes place in the middle of the shop and people continue to browse all around me. It's a bit bizarre. But after 25 years lecturing at the University of Paris, I can handle any situation. At the end of the question session, Kyle Roderick's mum and dad introduce themselves. They have just moved to Santa Barbara. I tell them that I adore their daughter, that I will be staying with her and Brett from tomorrow for a few days. Later a bunch of us return to Walt & Amelia's for an ice cream feast.
Sunday, 11th: Amelia comes to my quarters with fresh oj and the telephone. It's Charles & Danielle; they say they are not sure when they will drive to L.A., maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow. I thank them and say that I will take the train down. Next door for coffee and a warm roll. We call Amtrack and get the departure schedule. I call Kyle and ask when would be good for me to arrive. She suggests the 13.25 which would arrive in L.A. about 1600. She says she will meet the train. It's time to head into Santa Barbara. Walt and I embrace and I thank him for the good times. Amelia drives us into State Street. A 1st class ticket is purchased ($26.) and since we are early, we decide to walk up and down State Street. Amelia says it is her first time to walk up and down the street. She waves goodbye as the train pulls out and heads south. It's an uneventful train ride. I sit and read all the way.
Kyle greets the train. She looks great! Wonder-woman herself. We drive in her volkswagen bus to their new home. On the way she says she has to meet Gregory Corso tonight and go with him to a Allen Ginsberg reading, that I am welcome to join them. I am not sure if I should go or not, but when we arrive at her new home, Brett says he thinks that I will enjoy the evening. OK, that does it. I decide to go. Deposit my bags in Kyle's workroom, say hello to the twins, and jump back into the volkswagen and we head for a supermarket in Pasadena. We purchase drink for the trip to the reading, then drive to Gregory's hotel. Kyle calls Gregory and tells him we are downstairs. Then Ron, a chauffeur, arrives in the limo to collect us. Gregory comes downstairs and Kyle introduces us. I tell him we have met before, but I cannot remember where or when. Maybe it was London in the 60s.
I ride in the front seat with Ron and Kyle rides in the back with Gregory. When we arrive in Venice, we learn that there are two readings and we elect to go to the 2nd one. Ron drives us down to the beach in Venice. Kyle and I go for a walk. We have tacos on the beach and they are delicious. We talk about her biography of Gregory and she reports it is going well. Back to the music store for the reading. The four of us manage to find seats in the back of the small auditorium. It's an intimate reading. Gregory shouts to Allen and they exchange tender barbs. Allen seems to have warm feelings for Gregory. At a certain point, Gregory goes on stage and recites several poems. He is well received. Afterwards Allen signs books and his new audio cassette publication. After the reading Gregory, Kyle and I are invited to dine in the West Beach Cafe, a smart restaurant in Venice. It is small and fashionable. I sit between Winter and Fred Hoffman. Winter, Fred's wife, is an attractive woman who tells me she once studied in Aix-en-Provence. Gregory shares guest of honor with a painter from Tokyo, Hiro Yamagata. Hiro tells me he used to live in Paris. He has a big exhibition at the moment in L.A. and the opening was last Friday evening. Elyse & Stanley Grinstein are our hosts. Elyse is a famous architect and Stanley is a patron of the arts. Very late Ron drives us to Gregory's hotel and Kyle collects her volkswagen and drives us to her place.
Monday, 12th: Lazy day. It begins with a rooster crowing about 6am. I hear Brett drive off about 6.30. I get up slowly and have coffee with Kyle. The twins have started their 1st grade classes. Make a few telephone calls, but mainly reach answering machines. Do manage to talk with Jordan Elgrably and he tells me about his new wife, Sherry. I call Priscilla Ulene to confirm that I am in L.A. and that I look forward to my talk tomorrow night in her Traveler's Bookcase. She says that she and her husband, Arthur, would like to take me to dinner afterwards. OK! Anne Hoenig calls and we arrange to meet Wednesday evening after my talk. I call Delta and learn there are dozens of flights to San Diego every morning. No problem. Talk with Carol Wallit and she tells me that Bernie Cornfeld is ill in Israel. Poor Bernie. Victor Herbert had also mentioned this to me. Read old issues of "The New Yorker". Look at Hiro's book from his exhibition. Kyle tells me I missed an incredible evening. A friend of Brett and Kyle's comes over with a lot of Chinese silk shirts. His name is Peter. Kyle selects several for Brett. Peter gives me a beautiful green one.
Later in the evening we all dine in a local Thai restaurant. Peter and his wife, Morgan, join Brett, Kyle, the twins and me. It is absolutely delicious. Peter & Morgan say that I am welcome to stay in their home.
Tuesday, 13th: A quiet morning with Kyle. Wonderful Kyle! I tell her that her mother and father attended my talk in Santa Barbara and that they are very nice. She agrees. Have a long talk with Pietruska. Also with Brian & Lucia. Kyle and I go for lunch in a local taco restaurant. Superb! We get a taco to take to Brett in his studio.
Erskine Peters calls from South Bend regarding my talk at Notre Dame. I go for a stroll outside and find a bunch of dollars and give them to Kyle. Lindsey Smith and I discuss having lunch tomorrow. Hiro Yamagata calls for Kyle and he and I have a nice talk about his book, about Paris. Gregory Corso calls for Kyle and I thank him for the delightful evening. Ed Hogan calls from Boston to give me an update on my schedule and to ask how it is going. He wants me to call Pat Jones in Miami. I call Pat via my telephone card and the two of us have a good long chat.
Brian Maeda & Lucia Brandt pick me up in their beautiful old Mercedes and we speed off toward Beverly Hills. We spot Kyle on the way and we pause briefly so I can give her all her messages. Jordan & Sherry are sitting outside L'Opera, a French bakery, when we arrive. Pietruska soon joins us. I introduce everyone to everyone and we sit, eat, drink and talk about Paris and our lives. It is soon time to go to the Traveler's Bookcase. Priscilla greets me warmly and introduces me to her partner, Harriett Bay, and to a young fellow who helps out in the shop. The talk goes well. Lots of questions. One fellow in the audience introduces himself. He is Paul Supnik. We dined in Paris at le Petit Prince with Mike McCarthy and his daughter, Abbey. Kyle also dined with us. It was in January 1992. What a pleasant surprise! Paul is with his wife and daughter. He says he heard about my talk tonight on his car radio. Another fellow tells me he was one of the people on Schindler's list and that he plans to make his first trip to Poland since WWII. I give him a map showing Stas' restaurant and tell him to lunch there and give Stas my greetings. Sign lots of books for people. Arthur comes up to me and says I can bring anyone I wish to a small restaurant he is taking me to just down the street from the bookstore. I ask Pietruska and Roxana Tynan to join us. Our dinner is superb. A fellow walks over to the table and introduces himself. He is Richard Green and he once stayed in A2 after a Cannes Film Festival. He introduces us to his attractive wife and I explain what I am doing in L.A. and then introduce him to everyone at our table. He asks Arthur if he appears on television and Arthur confesses that he is the medical consultant for "The Today Show". Roxana Tynan gives me a ride to Kyle's place. We talk all the way about her mother, about Ernie Eban, about Steven, and her future plans. Kyle and Brett are in bed reading so I stick my head into their bedroom and give them a report.
Wednesday, 14th: Early morning tea with Brett and then he departs for his studio. Kyle slowly comes alive. She makes coffee for us. Allen Ginsberg calls Kyle and the two of them have a long talk about Gregory. Lindsey Smith calls to say that she and a friend will come and collect me for our luncheon date. Jan Kaczmarek calls to ask if I am available for dinner tonight or an afternoon tea. I say "tea". I call Anne Hoenig regarding tonight's dinner. I call Rona Elliot and we have a good long talk. She tells me a fellow in Kentucky wants copies of Ted Joans' books. Try to telephone Rosalie Swedlin. No luck. Call Distant Lands Travel Bookstore in Pasadena and tell them I will be there tonight at 18.30. Talk with Kyle about Ryszard Kapuscinski's new book, IMPERIUM. Also explain an American tax scam to her (or how the rich in America stay rich).
Lindsey arrives and introduces me to her friend, Linda Seger. And I introduce them to Kyle. Kyle suggests a place for us to lunch in Pasadena and we depart. The place is an excellent suggestion. Linda is doing a book on women in film and she wants contacts in Eastern Europe. I make a number of suggestions to her and say that I am having tea with a friend this afternoon who might be able to supply other names. I call Jan after lunch and he gives directions to Lindsey and they drive me to his home. We get a warm welcome from Jan & Elsbieta. Elsbieta, who has co-produced four children, still looks like a teen-ager. And of course Jan has suggestions for Linda. Agniezka Holland is in L.A. now preparing a new film. Maybe he can connect them. Lots of talk about L.A., Poland, the film and music business, etc. Lindsey and Linda depart.
Later Jan & Elsbieta drive me to Distant Lands and stay for my talk. Pietruska comes again and brings her friend, Jan Murree. Also Larkin McLean comes with her boyfriend from Scotland and with her mum and dad, Louisa and Ross. It is another delightful bookstore experience. Pietruska and Jan drive me to Anne's apartment.
After hugs with Michael & Anne, she shows me her new paintings. And they are truly fantastic! I who am not wild about paintings find myself drooling. I make some suggestions to Anne and she seems to appreciate my ideas. Two of her portraits are of friends: Ken Tynan and Bill Burroughs. Anne, Michael and I go to a semi-secret Japanese restaurant they know in the neighborhood. Again, I who am not wild about Japanese cuisine find myself drooling. The dinner is truly fantastic! Michael is completely wiped-out; he has just finished composing a score for a film. We drop him back at the loft and Anne drives me to Kyle's place.
Thursday, 15th: The alarm gets me up extremely early. Coffee and toast with Brett & Kyle. The twins are still in bed; it's a school holiday of some kind. Kyle drives me to Burbank. Thank her once again for her hospitality. Manage to get the first commuter flight to San Diego.
Call Mary Duncan when I land and get her answering machine. Go down to collect my bag and call again. This time she answers. She had been out briefly to walk her dog. She will collect me right away. Soon I am in her car headed for La Jolla. It's a beautiful warm typically sunny California day. We arrive at her home and she shows me my bedroom and introduces me to a student, Mark, who is living in her place. After a coffee and a lot of talk, we head for San Diego State University. Mary shows me the campus and introduces me to lots of people. We discuss the possibility of exchanging places in the not too distant future. I would teach two months in San Diego and she would teach my classes in Paris. We go up to her office and I make some photocopies. Then it is time to lecture to her students. She introduces me and then I give a typical running, jumping, standing still lecture. The kids seem pleased. I fall in love with a lovely brunette in the back row. Afterwards she speaks privately with me and says: "You're funny!" I wander about on my own and end up at the student center. Eat a taco and have a chocolate milk. Back to Mary's second class and give another lecture. It's fun again. We head back to La Jolla.
Mary cooks a fantastic steak dinner for the two of us. We continue to talk about a possible exchange. We also discuss Moscow and her plan to open an English-language bookshop there. We talk about Gorbachev coming to San Diego to lecture. And Ted Joans. Mary says that she will go to Habana in a few weeks time and I insist she call Pablo Armando Fernandez, an old friend of mine. She promises to do it. (And she does! And they have become friends. And Pablo has been in San Diego to lecture in October.) We drive into La Jolla and have ice cream with Mary's friend, Joyce. Joyce is also the Dean of the university. They are co-owners of a large beautiful apartment that overlooks the Pacific. Mary will host a reception for me there on Saturday evening. Joyce flies early tomorrow morning for Nice to participate in a three-day conference. Later Mary and I walk about the town and she tells me all the gossip.
Friday, 16th: Mary takes me to lunch in the Old Town of San Diego where we have a Mexican feast. Two of her colleagues from the university join us. Back to her place to rest, read, talk. I call Delta and make arrangements to fly out of San Diego late Saturday night for L.A., Dallas, and on to New Orleans. It looks like I will not be able to visit Shreveport this trip. But I telephone Bill & Ann Cook and Jackie Watkins in Shreveport and make my apologies.
We drive to have an early dinner with Bradley & Mara Smith. Bradley is an institution: a writer, editor, photographer, publisher. We met many years ago at a Frankfurt Book Fair. He published books with Henry Miller. Bradley was also very friendly with the late great Eugene Braun-Munk. Mara is from Riga and she is Bradley's second or third wife. She is young and beautiful and seems to be exactly what he needs. We also dine with Elizabeth and Scott. She was once married to Bradley and they are still friends. She is from France. Dinner is superb. Bradley is an excellent cook.
After dinner we drive down to D.G.Wills Bookshop for my talk. It starts at 8pm and by the time the questions end, I realize it is 11 o'clock. Dennis, the proprietor, seems pleased with the way it has evolved. He is very nice and his shop is superb. I know that if Mary & I do make an exchange, I will spend a lot of time with Dennis. Very late back to Mary's. There is a fax for me from Jack in Paris. Mary makes a large glass of fresh orange juice for me and I fall into bed. Happy and content.
Saturday, 17th: Lazy morning. We drive to the apartment and take drinks and food for this afternoon's reception. Mary takes me to Gap and I purchase some items. Back at Mary's, we have a simple chicken lunch. She proudly shows me some books she acquired in Paris from the late Simone de Beauvoir's collection. Books signed by Nelson Algren, Kate Millet, and others. Mary shows me some copies of Julia Voznesenskaya's LETTERS OF LOVE about women political prisoners in the old USSR. I tell her Julia is one of my favorite writers, that her book, THE WOMEN'S DECAMERON, is wonderful. Mary has a number of copies of LETTERS OF LOVE which she plans to take to her future bookstore in Moscow and she insists that I accept one. I take one with great pleasure.
Then we drive into La Jolla to visit a wonderful friend of Mary's. In the late afternoon we prepare the reception. The reception is fun. I make a short speech and meet lots of Mary's friends. One fellow, Richard Farson, also knew Sally Belfrage. Dear Sally, all your friends miss you. My time is San Diego is quickly running out. We drive back to Mary's and I collect my bags. She drives me to the air port. I thank her for the delightful days in her care. We embrace and I head for my flight. I wonder when I will return.
Sunday, 18th: About midnight in L.A. board another Delta flight; this time headed for Dallas. We arrive about 3am. Then change planes for New Orleans. We land at 7.30. I call Meade and he says he will collect me in thirty minutes. Go down and collect my bags and wait for his arrival. Sure enough about 8 o'clock, Meade arrives with Max III. His third German Shepherd. We have coffee and lots of talk when we arrive at 1212 Dufossat. I make a few telephone calls. Manage to reach Ann Marie and Guy Smith; he and I agree to lunch tomorrow. Call Louis Saladino and he will come and collect me right away. Call Andy Horton and he invites me to dine tonight in his home in the French Quarter.
Louis arrives; he takes me to his place and I see his wonderful mother and meet a cousin. After a while he and I go into the French Quarter to a place called Hooters. It is famous for its lovely waitresses. Our waitress, Holly, is a knockout. Louis gives me all his news. He drives me deep into the Quarter to Andy's place.
Introductions are made and I meet his wife, Odette, and a fellow from Toronto called Goodwin. I cannot remember his first name, but Andy says that he once edited "Take One", a famous Toronto film magazine. Jan Gilbert and Kevin McCaffrey join us. Kevin has acquired a new space at 3308 Magazine that he wants to show me tomorrow. Dinner is excellent. Andy gives me a copy of his new book, INSIDE SOVIET FILM SATIRE. He suggests that I visit his class at Loyola tomorrow morning and that I can show some scenes from "DIETRICH SONGS". We agree that we will meet at 11 by the statue of Jesus. Jan & Kevin give me a ride to 1212 Dufossat. They suggest I call Susan Larson, she is a Features Editor at "The Times-Picayune" newspaper and she lives on Dufossat.
Monday, 19th: Meade already up and dressed when I begin to come alive. A friend of Meade's, Dennis Boulmay, arrives to collect him. Dennis stayed in A2 with Meade in September 1989. The two of them depart. I call Susan Larson and get her husband. She has already departed for the newspaper. Quickly shave, shower, and shampoo. Call Susan at her office and when I begin to explain who I am, she interrupts me to say we met years ago in Houston when she worked for The Bookstore on University Blvd. She also reminds me that we met at "Jazz Fest" some years ago. Of course! I feel completely stupid. She is busy all day today, but perhaps we can meet at 6pm. Call Guy Smith and he suggests I call him after I have finished at Loyola and he will collect me. Call Vickie Dodson at the Pioneer Bank in Shreveport and thank her for all the help she has given me over the years and apologize that I will not be coming to north Louisiana this trip.
Walk down St.Charles Avenue and meet Andy as agreed. We go to the Staff Room and have coffee and doughnuts. He tells me about his Summer Institute in Greece and we talk about Samantha Stenzel. I tell him that I will be seeing Sam in Chicago in about ten days and that I might be traveling to Athens in October. We go to his office and he introduces me to several professors. His class is fun. He interviews me and we discuss my travel series, my Paris classes, and "DIETRICH SONGS". We manage to show some scenes from the film just before his class ends. Borrow a phone and call Guy; he will collect me right away out front.
And minutes later, we are driving down St.Charles to a Mexican restaurant he knows. Then he asks where is my next appointment and when I say 3308 Magazine, he turns the car around and we head in the other direction. I ask Guy if he knows where Ann Rice and her husband live. He replies that he acted for them when they purchased their new home. He turns off St.Charles into Napoleon Avenue and shows me the property. We dine at Conway's nearby. We sit outside and both order black bottom fish. And we both have fried banana and ice cream dessert. We talk about his daughter, Nancy, about Jesper, about Meade, about Ricky Demarco, my travel series, his plans to open a classic films video store. Then Guy takes me to Kevin's.
Kevin shows me around his vast premises and introduces me to everyone there including a young woman from Melbourne and her friend from New Zealand. One of Kevin's partners knows Ann Marie & Guy Smith. Her parents go every year to Vendome Place to watch the Academy Awards ceremonies.
Leave them and walk to St.Charles and take the streetcar to Canal Street. Briefly visit B.Dalton's and suggest they order my travel series. The fellow promises to do it. Walk down Royal Street and wonder where I can find Jodi Poretto. Walk to Cafe du Monde and have beignets and chocolate milk. Talk to three young kids from Ulm, near Munchen. Tell them that I once had a girlfriend from Ulm. Walk slowly to Chartes, stick my head in Napoleon House, but no sign of Jodi or anyone I know. Continue to Canal and take the tram to Dufossat.
Meade is at home. We have a long talk. Louis calls and we say farewell until next time. Meade drives me to the air port. What a dear friend and what a character he is. A quick check-in and am soon in the air on my way to Atlanta. Change planes and continue to Miami. This time we hit turbulence. And a young drunk across the aisle keeps offering me a drink. Read another excellent essay in "Time" by Pico Iyer. Also read a frightening article about the renaissance of diseases we had long believed we had under control.
Katherine Hilliard is not to be seen when I collect my bags. A porter jokes with me and asks if I speak Chinese. Tell him if he spots a tall blonde to ask her if she speaks English and Portuguese. If she does, he is to send her to me. And he does! Soon the lovely Katherine and I are embracing. We walk to her bright red car and she heads for Ocean Drive, South Miami Beach. Give her greetings from Daniel Topolski, from Jack Moore. We arrive at her super apartment and talk and talk and talk.
Tuesday, 20th: Katherine produces a breakfast feast: coffee, oj, bread and cheese. She departs for her office at Reader's Digest. I slowly prepare for the day ahead. Call Pat Jones and we agree to meet for lunch. Call the radio station and am told to walk down Ocean Drive for my "live" High Noon interview with Michael Aller. Slowly stroll down the street and find the place. The interview is fun but silly. Afterwards sit in the News Cafe and have a glass of carrot juice and watch the lovely ladies stroll pass.
Pat Jones and her beautiful daughter, Antonia, collect me. She selects a Cuban restaurant in Lincoln Road and we have an absolutely delicious lunch. Afterwards we walk 20 meters and visit Books & Books. I introduce myself. Purchase the Leo Lerman's Marlene Dietrich book and "New York Review of Books". They accept payment for the book, but give me the newspaper. Briefly visit Pat's office, the South Florida Arts Center, and meet an associate, Keith. Walk slowly down Lincoln Road to Katherine's apartment. Read and nap. John Flattau calls and I give him a report. Katherine arrives home. She plays the answering machine and I have had calls from Layne Jackson and Jeff Nightbyrd. I call Layne and catch her and we have a long talk. I call John & Dona Lescroart in North Palm Beach and invite them down to my talk tomorrow night. They say they will try to come. I also try to reach Susan Balent, but no luck. Katherine creates a feast.
We are supposed to have a picnic on the beach, but thank god it looks like it might rain and Katherine decides we had better stay in her apartment. We are over a dozen: Frank & Beth, Ann Marie, two beauties from Burma, a film-maker from Mississippi, Geno & David, Pat Jones & Antonia and a friend of Pat's from Paris. Ann Marie flies to NYC thursday to spend four days with Jesper. I am also flying to NYC Thursday morning but on a different air line and into a different air port. The dinner is, needless to say, excellent and fun. I fall in love with Frank's wife, Beth. A real beauty! Very late Katherine and Ann Marie clean the dishes and I am sent off to bed.
Wednesday, 21st: Coffee in a clean kitchen with Katherine. Samantha Stenzel calls from New York and I introduce her to Katherine. She and Katherine talk and Katherine invites her to Miami.Then she rushes out to her office. Sam and I continue to chat. Shave,shower, shampoo. Sam calls again to say that Studs Terkel will interview me next Thursday. Jeff Nightbyrd calls from Austin and we have a long talk. He is writing an article about me that will appear next Thursday in the Austin "American-Statesman" just the day before my lecture is scheduled. Call Delta and it seems the early morning direct flight will be OK. Try to call Marion Daley and Don Haynes. No luck. Read "New Times" and find that my talk tonight is listed. Katherine calls and we discuss last night and tonight. Try to call Jane Alexander at her office in Washington, D.C. and manage to leave a message for her.
Go downstairs and introduce myself to Judith Rosen, Katherine's landlord. Judith departs in a few days for Paris and I give her some restaurant suggestions. Walk to the post office and post 5 postcards to Europe. Go to News Cafe and have a pastrami sandwich and a pecan pie. Then back to Katherine's to rest and wait for her.
Later she and I walk slowly to Books & Books. It is another nice session. The audience seem interested and after the question and answer period, people come up for me to sign copies of the books. We stroll down Lincoln Road and go to a new restaurant. We are Ann Marie, Katherine, Pat, Pat's friend, a fellow called Michael Graham, and myself. I suggest we play my circle game and it, as usual, works its magic. Big Success. Katherine and I walk Ann Marie to her apartment and we go inside for a quick inspection. It's lovely. Then home and I set the alarm for 5am. Ann Marie calls Katherine two times and they talk and talk.
Thursday, 22nd: Up at the crack of dawn. Quickly wash and dress. K makes coffee for me. She decides not to have any in order to return to her bed after she takes me to the air port. We have a quick trip to the air port. Warm embraces and promises of eternal love. Then she disappears and I check-in with Delta. I learn we have a one-hour lay-over in Orlando.
Find myself walking down a long ramp with an attractive woman from Barcelona. She has a job with the Olympic Committee and is on her way to Atlanta. I tell her I stayed in Barcelona in the early 60s with a friend of Ricardo Bofil. She tells me that Ricardo's son has married Julio Iglesia's daughter and that they live in Miami. She has just been staying with them. I give her a newsletter and invite her to dine the next time she is in Paris.
Read all the way to Orlando. Call John Flattau and he says he will be home all morning. Try to call Dutchie and Billy Milligan. No luck. Purchase a London "Sunday Times". Read the newspaper all the way to the New York area when we hit strong turbulance. Once on the ground call the limo service and ride into Manhattan in style.
Go upstairs at 714 Broadway and spend a lazy day with John. Call Diana Wells at the Traveller's Bookstore and tell her I am in Manhattan and that I'll see tonight. We call Jesper & Ann Marie and agree to meet them at Cafe Orlin in Saint Mark's Place. John and I order pasta. Alas it is not very good. John and I return to his loft and talk the afternoon away. Anna arrives and the three of us take the subway uptown to 52nd street. The bookshop is very small but very nice. Diana welcomes me warmly. This is the first time she has had someone present a book in her shop. Lots of people come: Janice Knight,Carole & Lyle Stuart, Hy Shore, Barbara Kennedy, Inge Heckel, Sara Griffith, Barbara Goldman, Lenny Green, Lee, Kasia & Julian Edelman, Franne Lee, Pat Kauffman, Ann Marie & Jesper, Ziska Baum, Nomi Victor and two of her friends, Mike Shatzkin, John, Anna and Margot. There are notes for me from Charles Henri Ford, Andrew & Vickie Makowsky, Roberta Fineberg. I give a short talk and sign a few books. I thank Nomi for all her help in organizing this tour. Then it is over.
Jesper suggests we go to an Indian restaurant on East 6th street. We are eight: Jesper, Ann Marie, John, Margot, Anna, Nomi, Janice Knight and me. As always a delightful dinner.
Friday, 23rd: Jesper, Ann Marie and I have breakfast in Avenue A for $1.95 each. Later I walk to John's. He tells me that Jane Alexander called and left a message on his machine. She is on her way to Wyoming. I am to call her next Monday evening at 1900 at her private number in Washington, D.C. Next Monday I will be in South Bend, Indiana. John tells me I missed a 9am breakfast with Arne Lewis. I feel completely foolish.
Go and visit Andrew & Vicky and meet their beautiful daughter, Olivia. After our talk, Andrew and I go for a short walk to a local video store.
Then I take a subway to the Upper East Side and meet Betty Dodson at an erotic photo exhibition in East 68th. Talk with a number of people including Irena Urdang de Tour and Helen Wolff. Betty is her usual wonderful and fantastic self. There is talk that we will join a bunch of people and dine together somewhere. But there is no leader and time drifts without anyone making a decision. Since I know almost no one, I feel it is not my business to organize the evening. In the end Betty suggests that the two of us slip away and return to her neighborhood to a restaurant she likes. I agree and we go to a place called Silk. She is right; it is terrific. After we go to her place and she gives me some of her books and videocassettes. I want to help find distributors for her in Europe. Betty departs in a few days for Oslo to help celebrate the anniversary of a famous erotic magazine. Leave her and go downstairs. talk with her doorman and he turns out to be from Albania. Dusan Makavejev once told me that all the supers in Manhattan are from Albania.
Grab some drink across the street and hail a taxi to the 8th Avenue roof party that Jesper has invited me to. Meet Askkan, one of the hosts, and he is warm and welcoming. The party is packed with young people. I get vertigo outside on the roof, so stay most of the time inside. Talk with a lovely woman from Germany, Sandra, who invites me to a "full day of music, performance and movement" tomorrow afternoon in Williamsburg. Jesper & Ann Marie arrive. It's beginning to get late, so excuse myself and taxi to Jesper's and fall into bed.
Saturday, 24th: Wake up at Jesper's and arrange with John to meet him at Orlin's. I have eggs, toast and coffee; John just has a cup of coffee. Then back to 714 Broadway. We arrange to meet Arne Lewis at a N.Y.U. cafe. Ralph Gibson says he will join us. The three of us meet, but Ralph never shows up. I apologize to Arne for failing to make the appointment we had earlier. He kindly accepts my apologies.
Back to John's and I call Jack in Paris. he tells me that Gabriel the plumber fixed the leak upstairs and no more water is falling into my room. He says that Magda is staying in my bed. He asks if I can bring a scanner to Paris as hand luggage. It only costs $900.
In the evening I have dinner with Jesper, Ann Marie, and a lovely friend of Jesper's. Her name is Helen. We dine outside in the Yaffa Cafe just across the street from Jesper's apartment. I talk with a tv journalist called Ian MacIntyre (ABC?), with three people from Madrid, and when I am paying with a couple from Dublin. I go to John's and sleep in his bed. He sleeps in Mercer street. Watch some tv, then deep sleep.
Sunday, 25th: John telephones to get me up. Quickly shave, shower, shampoo. Dress and pack. Leave a lot of books and clothes with John, so I can travel lightly. Limo to LaGuardia.
Fly to Cincinnati. Flirt with a young blonde who has a job pushing people in a wheelchair. I tell her I need her to push me. Eat a taco and a chocolate cookie.
Fly to South Bend. Erskine Peters is at the air port to meet me. We drive to his place and catch each other up to date with news. He tells me my schedule. He has organized a small dinner party for me as well. After we have deposited my bags, we drive to Notre Dame and he shows me the campus. Later we dine in the Great Wall of China. Delicious! We return to Erskine's home. He putters about the kitchen making the preparations for tomorrow's party. I sit downstairs in the tv room and watch the Ken Burns documentary, "Baseball". Sam calls; she and Paul will meet my train Tuesday morning. Later Erskine and I talk about Corine and her baby, about Isabelle & Frederic, about Ted Joans, about James Baldwin and Jim Campbell, about Berkeley, Paris. The temperature falls 23 degrees. There is rain and 1 inch of hail. Go to bed with a warm blanket.
Monday, 26th: Coffee, eggs and grits for breakfast. I watch the NBC "Today Show". More rain is expected. I have a long hot shower. Then scribble a bit in a note book. Erskine and I drive to Notre Dame. He takes me around and introduces me to a lot of professors and staff members.
My talk takes place at 14.30 in a small room next to the library. The students seem to enjoy it. A number of staff members also attend. Erskine invites everyone to come to our fete tonight.
Erskine has some administrative things to do, so I go into the library and read "The Warsaw Voice". There is an amazing story about two lads trapped in a mine for 20 days without food and water and they were saved. They survived.
We go to a supermarket for ice and a few items. Then home and continue the party preparations.
I call Jane Alexander at 1900 hours as she suggested and she answers. We talk a long time about her new position, about her financial problems with her ex-accountant who stole her and Ed's money, about my problems with Emile the Rat, and my trip around the USA. She says she plans to come to Paris soon.
he party begins slowly. The smoked turkey is delicious. People drift in and out. There is a lot of intimate conversation. The last to arrive is a woman who teaches film making. She has made a film about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Her new film is about the McCarthy lawyer, Roy Cohn.
Tuesday, 27th: We get up early. After a coffee, Erskine drives me to the train station. It departs at 8am. I thank him for the hospitality and for arranging my talk and visit. And then I board the train for Chicago. It's nice not to be flying.
About 10.30 we arrive. I look for Sam and find her. Paul Arnold and Frank Sherman are on the other side of the building. We walk around and find them. They take me to Annie Leibovitz's photographic exhibition in the Chicago Cultural Center, a wonderful building. Then we go to Savvy Traveller and I meet Sandye Wexler and her partner, Iris. We ask if I can store my bag for a couple of hours. Then we four walk to Baghoff's for a superb lunch. Nikos, from Greece, is our waiter. He and Sam chat a bit in Greek. Then on the way back to Savvy Traveller, I spot a familiar face in State Street. It is Rajak Ohanian behind a camera. My god what a surprise. I rush to give him a big bearhug. He is equally surprised and pleased. Rajak is with his young handsome son, Melik. Introductions are made and he explains that his long love affair with Chicago continues, that he has a major photographic exhibition next year in Lille and Marseilles of his Chicago photos. We invite him to join us tonight for dinner. Sam gives him her telephone number.
We collect my bags, drop Frank at his home and continue to Sam's place. Sam and I talk about her and Paul's trip to Greece in October. I tell her that I might meet her there. She cannot believe it. I make a few telephone calls. Rajak calls and we give him the address of the Grecian Taverna, Sam's local Greek restaurant. Sam takes me upstairs to meet her mother and grandmother. And their Polish house-keeper, Marisha.
Then we walk the short distance to Paul's apartment. We sit and have a drink before we walk to the Taverna. It's too cold to sit outside. But it's nice inside as well. Rajak and Melik arrive on their scooter. Alas, on the way, they had an accident and Rajak has hurt his leg. Oh shit. Poor Rajak. But he refuses to let it bother him. We have a feast. There is one dish: zucchini with a garlic sauce that is a killer. I stuff myself. Somehow manage to walk home. (Or did I roll home?)
Wednesday, 28th: Before Sam arrives, I manage to make coffee for myself. Wash, dress, and await her arrival. We take the Ravenswood El into the Loop. We have front seats, so it's a great ride.
Sam and I go to WBEZ, public radio station, to see Mary Gaffney and to discuss arrangements for the Studs Terkel interview tomorrow. Then we stroll about. She shows me Krocks & Brentanos bookstore. I purchase the London "Sunday Times" and talk to a woman who orders travel books. And to our pleasant surprise, we meet Paul in the bookstore. We walk to my radio interview with Richard Steele. The producer tells me that the creator of the Rough Guides travel series, Mark Ellingham, will participate in our talk from London. And it seems to work out OK. Richard is a pro and Mark and I compliment each other's series.
We take the metro to a place that is called Billy Goats and the proprietor is a friend of Sam's and will not let us pay. We continue to stroll, then bus to the Cultural Center. Andra is the audio visual director. I ask her where I might make a few photocopies and she shows me the room. Later we discuss my slide presentation. Paul naps. Sam and I have coffee and juice downstairs in the small cafe. Rajak arrives and insists upon taking some photos of me outside in the streets of Chicago.
Then it is time for my lecture. Sandye introduces me. I give my talk and it seems to go well. At a certain point someone asks if there will be a slide presentation and I explain that my kind of travel is different, I suspect, from most people's. That I never carry a camera with me. But I will show some slides from my Sunday night dinner salon. I explain my dinners and add that all are welcome to attend when they are next in Paris. Then Andra and I present "my slide show" and it is exceedingly funny. Pictures taken at a Sunday party that I have never seen before. Everyone seems to enjoy it. Lots of questions from the audience. Then it is over. I thank Sandye and meet her mother, Edith. Today is her birthday. I give Edith a copy of WORKERS and invite her to call me when she is next in Paris. And she promises to do it.
We have decided to dine in Little Bucharest. I see Noel and meet his wife, Kris Cahill, and we give them directions. Rajak does not feel well, so he will have a quiet evening in his bed. We head for Paul's car. A friend of Sam's, a woman called Nancy Breseke, joins us. She is on the board of directors at Victory Gardens, the most highly regarded of the neighborhood theaters in Chicago. Sam had earlier told her about "The Truman Capote Talk Show". In the car, we talk about the theater scene in Chicago and apparently it is a lively one. Little Bucharest is also lively. The proprietor, Branko, is a Roman Polanski-lookalike.
We are about ten people - all are Sam's friends except Noel and Kris. Another delightful woman, Nina Klarich, is an economist. It is another superb dinner.
Later Paul drops me at Sam's place. I talk with Ed Hogan and give him a brief report. At some point in the evening I hear about the terrible tragedy of the ferry sinking between Tallinn and Stockholm. I made that trip last year. My god how horrible. All those poor innocent people.
Thursday, 29th: Up before Sam calls. Shave, wash, coffee, dress, pack. Sam arrives and she makes toasted bagels for me. Call Layne in Austin and tell her I might arrive this evening. Paul arrives and we drive to the radio station for my 11am interview with Studs Terkel. Studs has an amazing memory. We talk about Ann Graham Bell and Julia Watson and the Penguin party where we met. He brings up Niccolo Tucci, Tutte Lemkov and Martin Walker. He pulls out the tape of the interview he make with me in the Arts lab in 1968. I give him a copy of WORKERS and THANKS FOR COMING! and he gives me a copy of his book, RACE. We have another incredible interview. I think that Paul and Sam enjoy it as well.
Now it is time for me to head for the air port and the flight to Austin. I insist they take me to the metro and that I will be Ok on my own. We say farewell until early October when we shall meet in Athens. I find my way to the air port, check-in with Delta and try to get on a flight to Atlanta or anywhere toward Texas. And all flights are full. I get bumped and bumped and bumped again. Will I get out of this air port today? tonight? It is a nightmare. I have a delicious pizza and this cheers me up a bit. I call Sam and get her machine. And I cannot find Paul's number. Read a wonderful review of Jim Campbell's book on Paris in the London "Sunday Times". This also cheers me up. Try to call Dick & Lil Gregory. The number I have is disconnected. Try to call Stashu Kybartas, try to call Marianna Beck, try to call Seiji Oyasu. No luck. Call Layne in Austin and leave a message on her machine: not arriving tonight. Finally there is a flight to Cincinnati with an early morning connection to Atlanta. I decide to take it. Have you ever spent the night in Cincinnati air port? It's not very jolly...
Friday, 30th September: About 1am I scribble in a note book. Then read David Remnick's book, LENIN'S TOMB. One can watch CNN in the air port and I learn there is a tropical storm off the Florida keys. Finally at some point, board the 6.20 flight to Atlanta.
As soon as I deplane, rush to Gate B23 and manage to make the connection of a direct flight to Austin. My luck is turning my way. Before boarding call Layne and she reports she has a morning dental appointment and Mike has a series of meetings. She says she will leave her studio key with Donna in the Little City Cafe next door at 920 Congress. A beautiful blonde sits behind me in the flight to Austin. Eat Wheaties Breakfast of Champions for breakfast. Talk with the blonde. Her name is Christina. She lives in Atlanta. She does something in the music business. Give her #269 and she says the People to People series is a good idea.
Collect my bag from Delta and find a taxi. The driver is a chicano with three grandsons in the army and marines. We chat in Spanish all the way to Congress. A very nice fellow. Collect a smile from Donna Taylor at the Little City Cafe and her partner, Nathan Tate, takes me next door to Layne's. There is an envelop on the door with a message of welcome for me as well as the key to the door. Also there is a leaflet on her wall downstairs that announces my talk this evening at the Little City Cafe. After I deposit my bag, I go next door for a coffee and a cinnamon roll. Donna says it is on the house, but silly me insists upon paying. Give her #269. She tells me the Little City Cafe celebrates its first birthday the end of October. I tell her I love her cafe!
Walk down the street and purchase some shaving cream and tooth paste. back to Layne's. Lie down on a couch in her front room to rest.
Layne arrives and, of course, looks great. After our warm embrace, she begins to tell me our schedule. She shows me Jeff's article and it is fun and accurate. It should produce a crowd. I quickly shave, shower and shampoo. Layne produces a big salad for the two of us. We discover there will be no books for me to sign tonight. Panic. She calls Ed Hogan and a number of local bookshops. They all report they have sold out. As always with Layne we talk about Paris and friends in Paris. She says it is almost one year since Alexandra Tuttle's tragic death. I call Shreveport and get the Pioneer Bank's address from Vicky Dodson. Then prepare a letter with the $550. Notre Dame cheque and go out and post the letter to the bank. The talk is scheduled for 1700 hours.
We go next door a bit earlier to set up. The cafe soon fills up. Mike Tolleson & Joan Schatz pass to give me their greetings. They have to go out of town, but they wanted to wish me well before leaving. Pat Crow who once visited A2 via Juan Ochoa, Ann Morris who once wrote an article about me for the "Shreveport Times", and many other delightful people come. It is one of the best talks of the entire tour. People seem really interested. We do not have books to sell, but Layne takes orders. People give her cash and checks and she promises to order the books from Boston for everyone. A woman called Carolyn Martin leaves a cheque for $55 for all my books. A woman called Ariadne Wright asks if I know any one in Moscow from the Spanish Civil War. I tell her I do and that if she writes me in Paris and reminds me, I will send her the names of a young couple I know whose parents fled Spain.
A bunch of people go next door to Layne's for drinks. Her fellow, Michael Osborne, is an excellent host. Then we go down the street to a wonderful restaurant for a great dinner. But the evening is far from over. Layne has another surprise for me.
We go still further down Congress to Jeff Nightbyrd's new nightclub, Paris 25. And it is sensational! Just like the old Alcazar - my favorite nightclub in Paris. Great singers, dancers, and a lovely erotic atmosphere. What a lot of beautiful ladies. My god, I could stay here in this street for a long time. Jeff comes over to our table and I thank him for his superb article and congratulate him on his superb club! Long may it live and prosper! There is a singer/dancer called Keith Price who is sensational. I give him my address and tell him to call if he ever makes it to Paris. There are so many talented people involved that one does not know where to begin: Andrea Ariel, Maria Loisel, Nadia, George Black. Even the door girl, Talitha, is a knockout. At some point in the evening, DeeDee Davidson comes to Paris 25 and steals me away to friends next door. We talk a long time then she takes me back upstairs. At some ungodly hour Layne and Michael walk me to Layne's studio and I fall into a deep sleep.
Saturday, 1st October: Coffee and cookies in the Little City Cafe. Then a second breakfast with Layne and Michael. We go to a Tex-Mex restaurant. And, needless to say, it is wonderful! I thank them over and over for their overwhelming hospitality. They drive me out to the air port and we embrace until next time. They plan a trip to Paris in October.
Check-in with Delta and am soon on a plane to Dallas. We have a one-hour lay-over. I talk with the woman across the aisle. Her name is Cheryl Cromer and she is from Texas but works for Chase Manhattan Bank in Hong Kong. In the air port attempt to reach Eddie Almand, Charles Marowitz and others. No success.
Back on board and we continue to LaGuardia. I ask Cheryl if she would like to share a limo into Manhattan and she says yes. As soon as we land, I call the number. And, of course, no limos are available. As we are collecting our luggage, I give her the news and suggest we share a taxi instead. She says yes once again. On our way out the door, a fellow asks me if I would like a car into Manhattan. I ask him how much. He says it is a limo and the price is $35. This is expensive, but since we are sharing, I say OK. The car is a stretch Lincoln. What a silly ride. I am dropped at 1st Avenue and St.Marks. When I try to pay my share, Cheryl refuses. Chase Manhattan will pay.
Go upstairs and find Jesper and his flatmates and get a warm welcome from them. There are a lot of messages from Ted Joans and Lennie Green. But they do not tell me where they are or leave a telephone number. I decide to walk toward Bleeker Street in case they are sitting outside in a cafe. One of Jesper's lovely flatmates suggests I join them for a drink. I walk to Hy Shore's apartment and no sign of them anywhere. Try to find Jesper's friends and go to the wrong address. It's not my night. Finally go back to Jesper's and fall into bed.
Sunday, 2nd October: My last day this trip in the USA and I have 10,000 things to do. There had been talk about having lunch with Vickie and Andrew, Ted & Laura, Jesper and John. Talk with Ted and Laura and they are going Uptown to a museum. We'll meet again in November in Paris. Call Andrew and no one answers. I go over to John's to begin packing and to make last minute arrangements with him about our October trip. It looks more and more like being Athens.
Jack wants me to purchase a scanner and to hand-carry it to Paris. Jesper begins to search where we might purchase said scanner and he finds a place way down town. He and I have a lunch in Mojos in Saint Mark's Place. Then we go down and purchase the scanner. Taxi to John's. I need another bag, so Jesper goes out and buys one for the scanner. John returns and Jesper departs. We call the limo early to take me to Newark. It finally arrives, but very late. I begin to wonder if I will make the flight or not. But the Indian driver gets me there finally. I manage to check all my bags and to hand-carry the bag that contains the scanner.
No sooner am I at the gate and the Air France flight is called. I manage to store the bag in the back of the plane. To my pleasant surprise, I spot Tom Buckner. He is not staying in Paris, but will be changing planes. We chat briefly. Sit between a photographer from Brazil, Marcelo Krasilcic, and a fellow who has a gallery on the Upper East Side. His name is Ted Donson. Later he and I discover we have a friend in common, Jeffrey Kaplow. Ted sleeps all the way to Paris. Marcelo and I talk. He lives in Manhattan and is on his way to Paris to participate in a photographic exhibition at FNAC. I tell Marcelo that I will be met at Orly and if he would like a ride into Paris with us, he would be welcome.
Monday, 3rd october: Very early morning arrival. When I walk through customs, I spot Jack. Introduce him to Marcelo. We collect our bags and drive in the morning rush hour traffic to Tombe Issoire. Jack drives Marcelo a short distance to where he will be staying.
As soon as I enter, discover a mountain of post, messages, faxes awaits my attention. Stas passes to collect a signed photograph of Roman Polanski for his restaurant in Warsaw. I had written Roman some time ago for it and had almost forgotten I had it. Magda passes to give me hugs and her news. Mary Guggenheim passes and we talk about her novel that I have published. Henner calls from the Kunstlerkeller to say he is expecting my Book Messe party next Friday evening. One thousand more things to deal with.
I call M.Polo and Alex Kan in St.Petesburg, call John Flattau in Manhattan, call John Calder and Jim Campbell, call Fershid in Paris, call Charles Marowitz in Fort Worth and get his machine. At some point jet lag hits and I fall into bed. Home again!
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