Saturday, July 07, 2007

Memory Lane

This morning I was hardly awake and listening to Roger Federer spank his French opponent in the semi-finals at Wimbledon when two flashes from my distant past came into view.

First, I remember reading Moss Hart's "Act One" way back when it was a best-seller in 1959, when I was also reading Bennett Cerf's "As You Like It," and other anecdotal books on the edges of show-biz and high-brow art.

Then I picked up the new New Yorker and began reading about my favorite composer, and recalled the early sixties when I fell in love with Sibelius's Fifth Symphony whose elegaic strains still waft through my consciousness whenever I see a snowy scene on TV or at the cinema.

A photo-portrait of Sibelius by Karsh of Ottawa reminded me of my meeting Youssef Karsh in a Grande Hotel bar in Ottawa while being escorted by Amoco's man in Canada in the early '90s. Karsh sat with his spouse and accepted my compliments, then went back to his drink. I always thought it a bit strange that he would go to a hotel bar and drink in public, though he and his wife were seated at a table.

Now my 18-year-old daughter watches MTV & E! so often I'm afraid she's picked up the low-brow end of this gregariousness gene. I wish Moss Hart had come out with his second and third memoirs, and that Sibelius hadn't shut down for the last thirty years of his life---now I know what I'm experiencing, on a much smaller scale, with my own miserable cramp-outs while writing.

UPDATE as a memorandum to the files: Today on TV are two golf tournaments at places I played....Congressional just after a Kemper Open a dozen years ago and Whistling Straits, where I played Blackwolf Run in Kohler WI back in the day. I used to go up the gorgeous Wisconsin coast to Terre Andre Park and the brats in Sheboygan are the best in the world---better than Munich, where the weisswurst is nowhere near as good as the radishes and beer, which I sampled on numerous visits [the English Garden is my favorite spot in Europe except for the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris--and of course anywhere in Venice]

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