Archive for May, 2008

America has lost a great man of lettersGeorge Garrett was as generous a man as I’ve ever met.  A couple of years ago, I e-mailed him for advice about a contest I was judging. His eyesight was by then so bad he couldn’t read much on the computer.  He sent me a long letter in response in his big script.  I felt terrible I had intruded.  And he was funny and charming.  He could have done stand-up, and sometimes he did.  I’ll miss him.  Here’s an interview with Archipelago.  George taught at FIU for a year before I was here and came as a visiting writer.  He was also on the staff of our writing conference one year.  Here’s aVQR remembrance with links to essays about George. (thanks to Ran in Charlottesville) Three poems by George Garrett.



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feline news

Mollie in Austin thinks her cat needs a job.  Other cats work, right?  And Joe from Cheese, Texas, sends along a map of a cat’s brain:

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U. Utah Phillips has died.  My friend Frances Friedman had told me about Phillips when he came to meetings of the San Francisco Folk Club back in the Sixties.  And then I got a chance to see him perform at Prospect House, a neighborhood center in the Laurel-Clayton neighborhood of Worcester in about 1973 or so.  There weren’t thirty people there that afternoon, and he sang his heart out.  He convinced me to get my Wobblie card, and I became a member of the IWW.  (It might be time for me to re-up.)  He was as close to Woody Guthrie as we got in my lifetime–a vagabonding troubadour and labor organizer.  He was a treasure that not very many people knew about.  Mike in Worcester and Joe in Sunrise wrote me today about Utah, Joe reminding me how he toured a lot with Rosalie Sorrels.  Here’s a look at Utah trough the years.

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powers of ten

A short film taking us from the quark to the edge of the universe. (via BoingBoing)

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more london food

I forgot to mention a wonderful and busy London restaurant in my post earlier this week.  It’s called Tapas Brindisa and it’s beside the Borough Market and a short walk from the London Bridge tube stop.  I had a spectacular grilled chorizo and among Jeannie D., James Bond (yes, I’m serious), Cindy, and me, we also ate fired potatoes, asparagus ham, pork fillet, chorizo omelette, picos (Monte Enebro goat cheese with almond), and chicken livers.  All washed down with Cruzcampo beer for me, and wine for my friends.  We had to wait an hour and a half for a table but found a nearby pub to have a pint. The wait was worth it.  As Cindy says, No more bad food.



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tom waits

Q: What is a gentleman?
A: A man who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.  More Waits wisdom here.

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jack dracula

 Here’s Jack Dracula talking about Diane Arbus.

Here’s a photo Diane Arbus took of Jack Dracula:



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