Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 58
On The Road... Again
11th Sept, 1983

Home in Paris almost one week now after two months of wandering. I left this city the 4th of July and returned the 6th of September. First stop, London, to visit Faber and check on Thanks for Coming! Spent an evening with Dan Topolski and Fanny Dubes, slept on Ernie Eban's floor. Lunch the next day et the I.C.A. with Lucy Hooberman and two writers from America, Sheila Ballantyne and Lorna Tracy and three people from Gollancz. Lucy organizes the "talks" -For the I.C.A. (and promises to organize one for me next February when Thanks For Coming! is published.)

One week in Edinburgh to help celebrate Edinburgh University's 400th birthday. Leif Christoffersen and I managed to gather about fifteen old friends from our days together at Edinburgh University oh so long ago! It was a warm and loving reunion. Participants included Jane Alexander,Emily ann Dallenbach, Norman Achilles (who brought Maria Depuisse from Paris), Patricia Neish, Rod Mandonald, stas Pruszinski, Becky Christoffersen, David and Judy Steel, David Simpson and lots of others. And of course my host, Scott Griffith. We did many silly things together. We even managed to organize a surprise birthday party for Ricky demarco one morning after Ricky gave us a tour of the Royal Mile.

I flew from Glasgow to Iceland and stayed three days with Helga and Ornolfur Arnason. He was in the middle of (a) preparing a movie (based on the Laxness novel, The Atomic Station), (b) co-producing a child with a very pregnant. Helga, and (c) rebuilding the top floor of their home. Exciting days. I have a superb lunch with Ornolfur and Pall Jonsson. (Pall is one of the stars in the movie.) Reykjavik has more beautiful women per square inch than almost anywhere else on Earth, but Ornolfur and Pall successfully keep me away from most of them. Thanks, fellas. But the ones I did meet were very impressive.

I changed planes in JFK and continued southward to New Orleans. Meade Evans again my host. He and I dined one evening with Ann Marie and Guy Smith and I dined Savannah Cafe with Lamont Johnson and Amanda Hoover. Cat fish! Lunch with Louis Sahuc at K-Pauls. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities...

Three weeks in North Louisiana with my dear Papa. We watched television from morn to night, mainly NBC. The day would begin appropriately enough with The Today Show (and the lovely Jane Pauley) and would end with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. From time to time I would escape to Shreveport (some 50 miles from Springhill) and spend time with old friends: Francis Randall, Dale Lancaster, Bill & Ann Cook, Jay Edwards, Jackie & David Watkins(and their beautiful daughter, Minette, and her fella, Johnny Rachal), Patty & Robert Lunn, Bill & Lottie McGuire. Shreveport is also a delightful city...

Next Baltimore, Maryland. Jane Dalrymple and Sarah Bean are at the airport to meet me and we drive straight to John McClintock's beautiful home. John and Sarah live together. John 15 an editor of one of the best newspapers in America, "The Baltimore Sun". (I am pleased to say that Sarah and Jane have become dear friends. I have been trying to bring them together for years.) They show me Baltimore and I become enraptured. What a delightful city! I did not get to meet Andrei Codrescu. When I called his home, a voice said that he & family were in Mexico. I thought that I recognized said voice. It was Anselm Hollo, an old friend from Paperback Bookshop days. Sad not to meet Andrei, but good to spend some days with Anselm. Jane gave Sarah and me a tour of Johns-Hopkins University and her book-binding table in the basement of the library. And thanks to John, Sarah, and Jane, I discovered "crab cakes"...

Painfully departed Baltimore and fly north and west to Toronto. Jim ans Elisabeth Bacque, my hosts, collect me at the airport. Only time to stay four days and three nights. Every minute is action-packed. I read from Everything Is! one evening at Harbourfront and share the billing with Sam Selvon. See lots of friends and get lots of warm feedback. Jim and Elisabeth organize a gathering before and after the reading. Meet Paul and Christine Rollinsen, Margaret Penman (an old friend from London days), Charles Irving, Noreen Tomlinson, M.T. Kelly (who told me about his recent trip to Russia), Dale Loucarees (a poet), Austin Clarke (we discovered a mutual friend, Ritchie Haynes), Robert Lawrence (a poet I met at an Edinburgh Festival), and Meng Xiangyan (an English Professor from Shandong Teachers' University), etc etc. One afternoon I browsed most of the Queen St bookshops and managed to meet Larry & Toni Wallrich (proprietors of About Books), Cathy Bacque (who assists at About Books) and Jim and Elisabeth's beautiful daughter, and Esther Bogyo (who minds the desk at Pages Bookshop)... To our mutual amazement, bumped into Anne and David Robins as they were departing and I was entering a tube station.. Had dinner with a dear friend, the ever-beautiful. Barbara Belle Creighton. She cooked fresh trout for Susy Wadds, her sister Ainsley, her fella Nathan, and ME..... It was difficult to leave Toronto, but onward to my last stop in the Americas, The Big Apple.

Manhattan is as full of positive energy as ever. My hosts: Monique, Armande, and Jim Martin. Only time to stay one week, alas. Again a people-packed week. First evening Monique cooks trout. Lovely Kyle Roderick dines with us... I somehow manage to see Yoko Toda Moore, Rona Elliot (who shows me her office in N.B.C., Rockefeller Plaza and gives me a tape of one of her programs),John Calder, Fershid Bharucha (who introduces me to beautiful Pooh Sayani, Alyque and Cho Padamsee's niece AND treated me to two superb dinners (one Indonesian and one Japanese). Fershid you are a gentlemen and a scholar and a dear pall. I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry with Volker Kessler... The Japanese dinner with Fershid also included Phil & Gwen Seuling. Phil later treated us to ice cream at Cafe Sha Sha.... John Flattau made a videotape interview with me talking about my childhood and we also dined one evening together in SOHO. Also passed a pleasant afternoon with John and his partner, Ralph Gibson, in their West Broadway loft...Jim Friedman played me some of his songs, Nina Rappaport and I visited the Waldorf Astoria together, Laurie Frank and I had lunch together and caught each other up with news. She has just completed several film scripts that are becoming movies... I visited briefly Michael Parman at his ad agency (and urged him to continue his song-writing). Jill Diamond is alive and well and living in the Upper West Side. We had pizza and ice cream together. . . My last day is spent with Grant Taylor (talking about Betty Dodson, our autobiographies, his new very large motorcycle), Ziska Baum (as pretty as ever), and Lynne Tillman (we only had time to have a quick lunch and gossip)... I bought the videocassette of the Brazilian movie I like so much: "I Love You" with Sonia Braga and far too many books. Thank god Jim Martin helped me carry everything down to the subway.

One day and night in Reykjavik to discover Helga has had a son, Ornolfur's film is almost finished, and their top floor is renovated. Another fish dinner. Salmon this time.

Fly into Glasgow and Joe Gerber greets me and takes me home to lunch. Elaine makes (at my request) porridge. Joe shows me Glasgow and I must admit it does look great. I spend the afternoon at his new theatre project, the Tron, and it feels just like the Traverse in its early days. (Too bad the Traverse has lost this good feeling.) Joe tells me that John Fowler, the Arts Editor of the "Glasgow Herald", wants to interview me (and it later happens in Edinburgh)...

I see that I am nearing the end of another page end I wanted to write about the Edinburgh Festival, about Paula Klein coming from Paris and falling in love with Edinburgh and the Festival (as I predicted), about Jesper Haynes discovering Edinburgh (where he was born 21 years ago), about Alexandra Stefanovic and her job with the Press Office (and the terrible story of her home being robbed), about my wonderfull host, Scott Griffith, and his very lovely lady friend, Barbara Cruickshank and all the wonderful breakfast feasts we had every morning, about Alisse Suess (who entered our lives thanks to Stephanie Wadel), about the dance production Cathy Sroufe managed to launch (with Lisa Markuson), about the Dance Centre project, Belford Church, that Herzmark and others are launching (that also feels like the early Traverse days), about Robie's bookshop, Unknown Forces (53 St Leonard St), and his lovely wife, Vi, about Ricky Demarco and beautiful Jane MacAllister about Tom and Mary Fenton, Oh me, there is no more room...

I saw the lay-outs for Thanks for Coming! Great!!!

more soon,

Jim

 

 

Jim Haynes
11th Sept, 1983

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris France

 

 

 

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