Voice (11)

“A DOCTOR to whom I occasionally talk suggests that I have made an inadequate adjustment to aging.
Wrong, I want to say.
In fact I have made no adjustment whatsoever to aging.
In fact I have lived my entire life to date without seriously believing that I would age.
I had no doubt that I would continue to wear the red suede sandals with four-inch heels that I had always preferred.
I had no doubt that I would continue to wear the gold hoop earrings on which I had always relied, the black cashmere leggings, the enameled beads.”

— Joan Didion, from Blue Nights

Rewind: Hard Bop

THIS WAS one of my favorite “finds” of my childhood. Not so much as a much-listened to piece, but the graphics — the declaration of the title — which were a trip. The version my Mom had was a 45 with the cardboard sleeve so it looked like a mini-lp. I absconded with it. I just learned that I still have it among my things as it tumbled out while I was looking for something else.

Here’s “Cranky Spanky”

Carl Van Vechten’s Circle

AMONG the folks whom Carl Van Vechten, photographer, writer and perhaps most famously patron of Harlem Renaissance writers, the two who remained most loyal, despite Van Vechten’s complicated profile, were Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes.

These two shots of Hurston and Hughes, respectively, are part of the tremendous Van Vechten archive. My piece about Emily Bernard’s powerful soul-searching and new book is out today in the L.A. Times. You can find it here.

“The Game Hasn’t Changed It’s Just Different People Playing The Parts”

I FINALLY was able to sit down and really watch this closely last night and was very moved by the story and the storytellers. They all spoke so frankly and we learn so much not just about the men who “played the game” but the environment around them and the impetus to step into the ring. So very well done. Here’s the intro here. And this part too — wrecked me.