Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Graham Keyes Benedictus

BENNINGTON -- Maybe I needed to get fired to wake up again. Perhaps I needed to divorce myself from newspapering. Maybe the sex, drugs and deadline rock 'n' roll got to be a drag. 

Perhaps. Who knows.

I do know that life is good inside the the old marble bank building turned art gallery, which is worlds away from the soul-sucking newsroom and the carneys who inhabit it, although I was one of those newsroom carneys who sucked life out of a few colleagues.

And for that I apologize. I kind of lost myself the last few years in Trenton. Told the bosses that I wanted to be in NYC and regressed each day the call didn't come.

But anyway. Today's title is Graham Keyes Benedictus for a few reasons:

1) This arrived in the mail today ...

... which is my own Graham Scarborough Davidson 3D pop-out box. It is titled "Oy Vey! We should have bought a smaller menorah!" I told Charles and Candy Scarborough when they visited Fiddlehead at Four Corners two weeks ago how much I wanted a Graham piece. Candy emailed the next day thanking me for the video I shot of Charles reminiscing about Graham and said she would send me something. They also must have liked THIS PIECE because folks all over Texas have been reading it. Thank you, Charles and Candy. It will be a mainstay in the next place I call home here in the highlands.

2) I finished Keyes' "Flowers for Algernon" ...

... which I plucked it from the "Banned Books" case because of THIS MOMENT last week inside Fiddlehead's Graffiti Vault. Terrific book, one of the best I've ever read. Heartbreak ending, though "that that is is" is nowhere to be found in the book ...

... which leads to 3) this book arrived in the mail today ...

... the 1964 book by Britain's David Benedictus called "You're A Big Boy Now" -- which I'm going to start reading today. I've seen Francis Ford Coppola's movie version 50 times, so I should probably read the pulp version to see the similarities and disparities.

I ordered the book, finally, because early in Flowers for Algernon I noticed how much its protagonist Charlie Gordon reminded me of Bernard Chanticleer of YABBN. So much that I contacted Benedictus and conducted an interview with the 74-year-old via email HERE.

David wrote the first authorized update of Winnie the Pooh -- "Return to Hundred Acre Wood" -- 81 years after A.A. Milne's original. During the series of emails last week he said he never read Flowers for Algernon, which dropped in 1958, or 6 years before YABBN.

There are so many little similarities between the stories and characters.

I opened the paperback and noticed the left side (picture at top).

Who is Robert Olson?

And does he still live at 720 N 148 SEATTLE WASH?