Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I was working for AT&T-- for Western Electric. In the PR Department. In my 20s.
It was raining. I told a young man --a veteran at Western Electric--that I envied his bringing an umbrella to work -- we were at the time preparing to go outside.

"Even an umbrella doesn't protect the bottom of your trousers," he said with annoyance. "Even with a raincoat, your shoes get wet."

I was startled. And I thought about it. And concluded that I didn't want to work with people so concerned about the bottoms of their trousers.

Someone I worked with at the Bergen Record had become the editor of the NYTimes Book Review. I met him on the street. He told me that he was now the editor of the Book Review. "I heard," I told him.

"What are you doing?" he asked, a little...superciliously.

"I'm working for a magazine," I said. "Fact magazine."

"Yes, but what is your title? What do you do?"

I was reluctant to say, but with hesitation and a little embarrassment I confessed...

"I'm the editor."

He turned around abruptly and walked away.

To this day I am not sure why. I guess he figured that I had deliberately maneuvered him into a trap.
When in my 20s I saw "The 400 Blows," the film, I concluded: Movies could be as good as any novel.
The first time I ever ate Indian food, in my 20s, I decided: My life from now on is going to be more enjoyable thanks to discovering Indian food.
As a child, I was mesmerized by Chopin's Waltz in C Sharp Minor. Played, I believe, by Horowitz. C Minor is a powerful key, I have recently learned.