Waiting for the Service for John Lewis

In case you haven’t seen it, John Lewis wrote this essay shortly before he died and asked that it be printed on the day of his funeral. (His service starts at 11am.)

“When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war.”

Seen on 11th Street. Very fitting for today.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole and J. D. Salinger’s First Wife

I recently watched a documentary about J. D. Salinger, which made me curious about his ex-wife, Sylvia Louise Welter. They met and married in Germany in 1945, and J. D. divorced her two years later, supposedly because of something to do with her Nazi connections.

Given how easily Salinger cut off the women in his life, and with very little cause, I can’t accept on faith whatever Salinger might have said about her. Maybe it’s true, but maybe it’s not. Maybe the truth is complicated. I did find that she stayed in America and later married a man named Beecher Bancroft Cary, who died in 1988. She was his second wife. Beecher’s first wife died young. Sylvia herself died relatively recently, in 2007. I could have reached out to her if I had only know back then! (I plan to post about this topic, about interviewing certain people before it’s too late.). I tracked down relatives from her husband’s family, but I haven’t contacted them. My only reason would be to satisfy my curiosity. Okay, I just tried. But they have taken took down the family tree page where I found them on Ancestry.com and closed their account. Probably because of tons of people like myself.

Anyway, what I loved, what I always love, is how much you can find online. Because of the pandemic, certain databases are accessible to me from home and I was able to download the record of their marriage, for instance. And Beecher’s high school yearbook picture. “Handsome is as handsome does.” He was quite handsome.

Does this look like the same guy? It would be his college yearbook picture. It does look like the same guy. Looking more sober. Less happy.

Thank you, Citizen Reader!

My friend Citizen Reader read here that I was feeling a little down-hearted, and she sent me an Economy Candy gift pack featuring candy from the decade of my youth!! That very definitely cheered me up and will continue to cheer me for days to come! (The cats also enjoyed playing with the packing material.). Thank you so much, that was so nice of you!!

Still Can’t See Comet Neowise

I know it’s visible in the Manhattan sky because others have posted pictures. I noted what times their pictures were taken, and it seemed they were pre-dawn. As it happens, I had insomnia last night so I went up to my roof at 3:30am. Couldn’t find it. But I did enjoy being up there at that hour. The sense of peace that you just don’t get at any other time. And I loved the lighting on the crossed cranes, which are beautiful enough to be an art installation.

But all the searching made me long to see a star-filled sky though. I must plan a trip somewhere to see them. By the way, when I looked all the way up, to the point where I could only see sky, I found it impossible to keep my balance! I had to lay down, or hold onto the roof. What’s up with that?