Friday, January 25, 2019

Where's Neil?

     I'm not the man in motion I sometimes pretend to be. In fact, fairly homebound and glad of it, partially because I can be bad about doing all the planning necessary for a trip. I'm out-of-town today, working on a story. But before I left, my wife and I had an exchange that made me smile: 

     She: Could you send me the address where you're staying?
     Me: I don't know where I'm staying.
     She: Well then, could you tell me what state you'll be in?
     Me: North Carolina.


  1. In the late Fifties, during the brief Twenties nostalgia craze, Robert Paul Smith had a huge best-seller about what it was like to be an active young city kid during those times. He took the title from his memory of a typical 1920s parent-child exchange. Your brief dialogue reminded me of that book title. I haven't seen a copy in many years. Haven't even given it a thought, until now. It's worth a read, if you can find a copy, because it's both well-written and extremely funny.

    Parent: Where did you go?
    Child: Out.
    Parent: What did you do?
    Child: Nothing.

    1. That wouldn't have gone over too well with my folks, even later. ;)

    2. I'm sure I could find the book with just the author's name, but you did fail to mention the title, Grizz.


    3. Strike that. And my apologies: you did cite the title even though you didn't identify it as such. I found and ordered the book. Thanks.


    4. Sorry for the misunderstanding and any confusion. I guess I should have identified that brief conversation as the book's title. My father was the fifth of seven brothers who grew up on the streets of the Northwest Side in the Twenties and Thirties. He became an accountant and also what was known as an "early adapter" there was a TV in our home by 1950 and a reel-to-reel tape recorder by 1956. He liked that book so much that he read it out loud into the microphone, thus producing, literally, one of the first-ever "books on tape"--but I just enjoyed it the old-fashioned way: I read it. I remember some very nice illustrations (in ink) of kids at play, too.

    5. I always thought it was:

      Where did you go?
      What did you do?
      Who were you with?

    6. I walked in and I said "I'd like to volunteer to work for [Adlai] Stevenson and [Paul] Douglas." This quintessential Chicago ward committeeman took the cigar out of his mouth and glared at me and said, "Who sent you?" I said, "Nobody sent me." He put the cigar back in his mouth and he said, "We don't want nobody that nobody sent." This was the beginning of my political career in Chicago.[Abner Mikva, 1926-1990]

    7. bad...Abner Mikva died in the AGE of 90...

  2. If she is anything like my wife she'll know my address before I do!

  3. At least you forwarded that nice picture of your location. That'll narrow it down if she really wants to find you.

  4. Replies
    1. A 5-star country estate with accommodations suitable for all discerning travelers, including livestock.

  5. I nominate that photo for "Saturday Snapshot" :)

  6. Neil has learned the first lesson of how not to be seen...


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