The Lending Library
The kids in my high school college prep stream science classes would read Popular Mechanics and Astounding Science Fiction
, and Frank was familiar with this story when I mentioned it to him.
At the time I gave a thumbnail of the Asimov story to Frank (c. 1961?), I had just read a very disturbing short story in a collection of modern American short stories about a boy who followed everyone around with a tape recorder and taped everything that happened, every conversation, every sound, as if he were living life vicariously while trying to document his own existence, and Frank gave me a weird look as I described that plot outline. I can't remember the title or author, though, of that story which is bothersome to me now. Anybody got any ideas on this?
Although it came out pretty much at the same time as I found the paperback book with a red cover called "There Must Be A Pony
!" (which I don't remember too much about except the line, "With all this horse shit around, there must be a pony." My paperback edition had a red cover but it was published in the US, not UK and this was c. 1961. You might not believe me about that date, but that's what I recall.
and another collection of short stories (similarly disturbing), one of which was alarming to me, called "The Rocking Horse Winner
." (But my telling you that will tell you where the "St Mawr" came from in my aka and so you may be more likely to believe me when I say I think I know where the "St" came from when Alex changed his name to "St" Clair.
And, of course, what teen at the time would be complete without Holden Caulfield, who was ok and most of the kids who read or thought about books in my school liked him, but I thought he was nothing when compared to Kafka.
I was young and my mother soon advised me to knock off reading those damn existentialists. I had made the mistake of trying to start that out with Kierkegaard and would underline important passages with a ruler and a pen with red ink.
Frank borrowed my copies of The Stranger
and The Trial
Frank liked Camus, and I'd go watch re-runs of the Battle of Algiers at the local theater, as the theater showed that several times one summer.
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." said Albert Camus. What album title of Frank's references that quote, this is an easy question. The hard part of the question is something a Berkeley graduate in English should be able to answer in a snap: "Name the original source of the Camus quote."
Did you notice the exclamation point at the end of the title, "There Must Be a Pony!"?
That was a first! for a literary title, I believe.
Exclaimers!!!!!! Screamers! They're the written word's voice of excitement!!!! They can be an exclamation ("Wow!") or an imperative ("Obey!") so of course I say to myself the first record had to be a two-fer, just because of the title. Punctuation can be fun!
But everything I was hearing about Hollywood and the entertainment business, taken together with my mother's experience of being the offspring of vaudeville entertainers, was like a big
sign to me.
There was another side to my mother's family, her Uncle Eddie, who became a ship's engineer after going to night school at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th, and he sailed the Great Lakes. He knew two young men named the Dodge Brothers, and they invited him to help them start up a company that built automobiles. He declined because he was the sole support of his aged widowed mother, and there was no certainty or promise of success in a new company making automobiles. He saved his money and bought a house for his mom and took care of her there after he stopped sailing the Lakes. My grandmother said she thought he was an idiot! (to do that) and we'd feel like real losers sometimes, when imagining the possibilities, but we knew Uncle Eddie had done the right thing and he was a hero in our family.
Uncle Taddeus would chime in how he'd learned how to invest in stocks after being around guys at the Federal Reserve Bank, and he'd laugh about how he turned down a chance to invest in
" (which was a popular soda pop at one time in Chicago in the previous century, not the Creedence Clearwater Revival song of the previous century), although the Green River company website claims the product inspired songs by both Al Jolson
and John Fogarty
, they're pulling your leg a bit, you see, and expect you to know that.
But this is also a lead-in as to how I knew some people who were early combatants in the now famous rock and roller cola wars, which I might get around to someday. And that was right about the time the US was beginning to send advisors to Viet Nam all those many years ago, before the Viet Nam War was a "war", still under French colonial rule, and the general all encompassing geography was regarded as a "hot spot".
WOW! Red and green again, and unconsciously.