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That time I wanted to pass myself off as Joyce Carol Oates #TBT

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I submitted my first piece of writing when I was seventeen, a story about my first job, working at the employee cafeteria at General Telephone where my mother was a dispatcher. Rolling the 20# white bond backed by a sheet of thin blue carbon paper into my Smith Corona, I typed it out slowly, carefully, on a piece of erasable paper—and mailed it off to Cosmopolitan along with a cover letter. Not just to any editor at Cosmo, by the way, I sent it directly to Helen Gurley Brown. 

The piece itself, meant to be comical, was full of clumsy attempts at self-effacing humor.  I strived for a similar tone in the cover letter I addressed to Brown, completely clueless that the high powered editor in chief wasn’t the one reading unsolicited manuscripts. After I signed off I added the following PS. I could have said I was Joyce Carol Oates. What I thought that would accomplish I can’t imagine. That an unsatisfactory submission would get published because of a lame joke? 

No surprise, in the SASE I’d …

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 45: Walpole Park, Ealing Broadway

 If it's Friday we must be back in London. Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. Here are the previous days. This is Day 45.

We’re finally going to follow a route other than the Piccadilly! Today we’re walking from Southall—where my grandfather had his shop—down the Broadway to the Ealing Broadway Station where we’ll catch up with the Central line, the longest, busiest and fastest line on the London Underground Network. 



It’s an almost-four mile walk which should take the better part of an hour and a half. No worry, when we get there, I’ve been told there’s a great pub—The North Star—which boasts burgers and craft beer. And an outdoor beer garden. 



Before the burgers we’ll take a very quick turn in Walpole Park, home to Pitzhangar Manor. Lucky for those of you bored with touring old houses, the manor is closed for renovations until the spring of 2018, but the park with its’ lovely pond remains open. The park and the original house—now the local library—were once owned by architect John Soane. We visited the Soane-designed Dulwich Picture Gallery back on Day 14. 



Soane, a passionate art lover and collector, used to sit and fish at the pond at Walpole Park with his friend the artist William Turner. The duo often attended lectures at the Royal Academy of Art together, later both were Royal Academicians themselves. Rocognized as one of the greats, in his day Turner was a controversial figure, breaking all the rules. If you haven’t seen the film you might want check out Mr. Turner starring Timothy Spall. There’s a wonderful scene set at the Academy where the Academicians gathered to put the finishing touches to their work before the opening of the annual exhibition, John Soane would have been in that number.



Now let’s pull up a bench in the North Star’s beer gardenand have a look at some of Turner’s greatest works. You’ll find them all at William Turner: The Complete Works.









Walpole Park & Gardens
Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ
+44 020 8567 1227

The North Star
3 The Broadway, Ealing Broadway, London W5 5JN
 +44 20 8579 0863



Counting the Fitbit steps


Day 1-44:                                                 325,340 steps/143 miles      


Day 45: Southall to Walpole Park             7,500 steps/3.7 miles
                                                           

Total Imaginary Miles to Date           332,840 steps/146.7 miles





Connect to Joy Weese Moll’s British Isles Friday meme. Today she’s writing about Robin Hood.

Comments

  1. We enjoyed Mr. Turner. One of the reasons that I want to get back to London is to spend more time in the art museums.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to see the Tate. Always seems like fantastic exhibitions going on.

      Delete

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