Through thickest December, with plumb bob and tape measure
MAINLY for the edification of a female relative who would probably yield to nobody the peculiar distinction of being the most chronic and constant reader of this page, we’ve decided to record here some fairly astounding figures concerning this particular issue.
JÓZEF TEODOR KONRAD KORZENIOWSKI, who died in 1924, was known as Joseph Conrad in his later years. He was also known as one of the greatest English novelists, this son of a Polish man of letters who sailed the Oriental seas as master of his ships.
Clair Huffaker really drew a fine picture of the female species, every inch of truth, no exceptions, in All Women Are Cheats (October, 1956). They promise much, flirt egregiously and deliver very little. ROBERT M. HUGHES Rochester, N. Y.
The compleat sportsman: Imperial flannel slacks, in all wool, $14.95, by Haggar. Exurbanite sports shirt comes with a diagonal-striped front, $4.95, by TruVal. The Continental suede button-front jacket for weekend wear in the country, with knit trim in back at waist, $55, by Scully Suedes.
Mexico Land—and a travel compendium from shore to jungle to mountain peak
IF High Road Throngh Mexico on page 182 should turn your steps or your tires toward Mexico City, you’ll find the Mexican capital blooming like a garden when you get there. This is a safe prediction because Mexico City enjoys beautiful weather throughout the year, which is one of its many attractions for American visitors.
THIS year’s winner of the Non-Fiction National Book Award is Herbert Kubly, whose American in Italy was a product of what he calls “The most extravagant and enriching journey” of his life—a year as a wandering Fulbright professor. As you will see by turning to his report on Zurich (The Town of Many Faces, page 139), Mr. Kubly has continued his peregrinations abroad; and his appraisal of Switzerland, like that of Italy, reveals the clear-sighted warmth of a very special affection.
READERS of this department may be interested to know that it operates with complete independence. Many of the newspaper and magazine columns in this field are not in such an enviable position. They are written by gentlemen who must live upon the good will and, in some cases, the advertising, of the entrepreneurs in the food-and-drink field.
THE last time I saw-Otto Klemperer conduct was two and a half years ago, in the Teatro Fenice in Venice. The Fenice (it means phoenix) is specialized as an opera house the way a court-tennis building is specialized for court tennis, and Klemperer’s was a symphony concert; the musicians sat on the stage itself, crowding forward onto the apron in the dim hope of getting sound across the open pit into the house itself.
EVERY year as we jot down our Christmas list on the back of a blank check, the various truisms of gift-giving come to mind. They give us no comfort, but they are not without their funny side. You know, the cliches we’ve all heard bandied about since childhood, like:
Oh, hide the elephant just one more time, and saw that beautiful woman in two!
GEORGE JEAN NATHAN
IT may be a shameless confession and good ammunition for those of my reader customers who suspect me at times of naïveté and backwardness when I say that one of the things I miss in the present theatre is the presto boys, the magicians, if not the card-trick performers among them, whom I gladly can do without, who once graced the stage in abundance.
The carrot in front or the stick behind: learning in spite of teachers
THE demand for good art is enormous; but the supply (as everyone knows, who has visited the world’s war memorials and galleries of contemporary painting, who has read its fiction, listened to its broadcasts and looked at its television screens) is pitiably small.
<p>THE three men struggling each from another direction against the galelashed rain that drenched the dark Eastchapel street, hard by the bend in the River Thames, bore upon the light that gleamed out of the pitch darkness of the miserable, stormy Twelfth Night that engulfed London.</p>
Before the sensile leaf falls is a season for fear, pity and love
ANTHONY C. WEST
<p>IT was in the early spring of my fifteenth year when my brother sent me a clutch of thirteen prize Indian Runner duck eggs snugly packed in soft hay. My parents asked me what I intended to do with them and smiled when I said I would put them under a hen.</p>
And the voice of the rat is silenced throughout the walls
SCOTTY MCMEAN’S basement apartment looked out onto an alleyway. It was a dim and dusty place furnished with shabby pieces from another era, but it was cheap and a man could live there in peace and without objection to his two business partners:
ESTES KEFAUVER is going to be President of the United States. Someday. Or die trying. “I am anxious to be President," he says. The time: twelve noon. The place: the Esso refinery, Bayonne, New Jersey. We ride right into the middle of the huge tanks glistening in the sun.
Pound for pound, Harry Greb was the best of them all
<p>ON a day last summer prize-fighter-turned-painter Mickey Walker (“I could always leave a guy flat on his back in the ring and never give a damn, but now a flower in a painting can keep me awake all night”) took time out in his new establishment on Broadway to give for the first time the official low-down on a fight.</p>
What Boswell referred to as “our fashionable end and aim,” the pungent, powdered, ripened, blended sweet-or-biting delight of our ancestors, is on its way back. Not that it ever lost its reputation for clearing the mind, contenting the heart, and stimulating a superior brand of conversation—witness the scrupulously tended public snuff jars in the Halls of Congress.
ALL of us are living on the doorstep of the wild. You don't have to make a trek of hundreds of miles to find good game-bird shooting. Whether you have hayseed in your hair or whether you live in an apartment building surrounded by the spires of skyscrapers, you can reach hunting territory in practically no time at all.
Critique of pure Zurich: humanism, money and malaise
NOT since the late Bunk Johnson’s vespers in Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Casino had I heard such Dixieland. The overcrowded, overheated hall was jumping. Six young musicians, wearing Levis and coonskin caps, rocked and swayed ecstatically to their own riffs and rides.
SOME five hundred years ago, in the province of Konya in Turkey, there lived a puckish character by the name of Nasr-ed-Din. What he looked like we do not know, save that he had a beard and wore a turban, but what sort of man he was we know very well.
Guys in formal guise are more elegant every minute. Our friend, left, sports the new La Scala collar, an embroidered dress shirt, cummerbund, the works. Note that patent-leather shoes are still right. The caper on the right wears a self-striped mohair-blend tail coat with Monaco collar, again patent shoes, and white pearl studs matching his teeth.
IF you’ll just stop mooning for a minute at that beauteous Judy Tyler (star of Pipe Dream) we’d like a word or two with you about the guise of the guys. Left: he rejoices in a white satin dinner jacket with figures underscored by metallic threads—the new elegance, friends, the more the eleganter.
The heart has its reasons that reason knows not of
J. D. RATCLIFF
BUYING a railroad ticket is supposed to be a reasonably simple transaction. Any five-year-old who has ever negotiated a deal for a marshmallow banana at a penny-candy counter should be able to handle it—or at least that is what I always thought.
IT was dank and misty that night in London. The elegant mansions of Park Lane sent out muffled chimes from their great dining-hall clocks. The sounds hung toffeelike in the gloom. The dinner lights hitting the fog split into slivers of blurry beams.
<p>Let the champagne razzle-dazzle shine through the festive bowle—this modern wassail is meant to be seen through crystal, for it has beauty as well as authority and zest. Begin with a bed of ice, then add: two bottles champagne, one cup vodka, two cups apricot brandy, two bottles ginger ale.</p>
Our unofficial ambassador of good living, who manages to acquire hotels at the same rate other men buy neckties (twenty-eight at last count), matches his spectacular acumen with a flair for ferocious relaxation. He is an indefatigable dancer, accomplished pianist and tireless golfer, a man whose affability and disarming candor mark him as the truly unaffected cosmopolitan
The language of praise belongs to the heart, not the lips
LEO DILLON MURTAGH
HE was walking down Broadway, lithe and limber-hipped, when he saw a full-length mirror set in the wall at the entrance to a cheap movie house. There had been few full-length mirrors in the country from which he had come and none at all that he had ever seen.
<p>SHOW BUSINESS derives its glamour for the most part from pretty girls whose talent is debatable, but whose epic graces, anatomical gifts and rakehellion patter make the existence or nonexistence of talent a matter of no moment. It is awkward, in the face of this tradition, to chronicle the short, happy life of a girl who is all talent, who has leaped from obscurity to solid stardom the way Athena leaped, full-blown and fully armed from the forehead of Zeus, and who each night rushes from the theatre to dictate a tape of excited comment to air-mail Mummy and Daddy, back home at Walton-on-Thames; yet this is the fresh, unbelievable story of the beautiful and gifted Julie Andrews whose performance in My Fair Lady has been about as cataclysmic an event as anything which has hit Broadway since Lillian Russell appeared, insouciant and daring, in silken tights.</p>
Reversing the camera on the father of modern fashion photography, Erwin Blumenfeld exposes the master of chiaroscuro to some of his own effects. Here—in a new and mischievous dimension—is the official photographer of the British Royal Family, whose histrionic talents are currently combined with his famous flair for exquisite chic in the fantastic costumes of My Fair Lady
I was waiting in a Singapore bar for my friend, Sergeant Tommy Turner of Australia’s Northern Territory Mounted Police, when I saw the tattooed mermaid. Tattooed, of course, on the arm of a sailor, but I hardly looked at him. I'd never seen a fat mermaid before, and this one, tastefully embroidered on biceps that looked like a big leg of veal, writhed in the most extraordinary manner as her owner lifted and lowered his glass.
<p>TOURISTS drive the coast road, but the fast route from Los Angeles to the Monterey peninsula is across the bottom of the Diablo Range on U.S. 466, then into the Salinas Valley. And the silver Porsche Spyder was in a hurry, on its way to the Salinas races.</p>
Earthly immortality can depend on whose memories you are
I had always loved the county of Sussex. It held for me some of the happiest memories of my life—my early childhood. Early in June I had slipped down, for a few days’ much-needed rest, to the little village of Heathfield, to dream again of the past and to try to shut out, for a brief period at least, both the present and the future.
The Chriftmas 1956 Edition, Inspired by the divers thoufands of Claffical Mafterpieces, Electronic Wonders, Live Animals, Lapidarian Triumphs, Mercantile Gewgaws, Incunabular Rarities, Marvelous Raiment, lncenfe and Myrrh, all tending to increafe the SPIRIT of CHRISTMAS Giving and to OPEN wide the eyes of the Beholder:
IF YOU HAVE $50 TO SPEND AND A LIST TO TAKE CARE OF
Gift inspirations for four important people on your Christmas list. Select from each group and see how finances fare. CLIENT: Umbrella, $12.50, Crown. Shoehorn, $4, Dunhill. Leather-bound dictionary, $12.95; thesaurus, $12.95, American Binder.
If you have no end of money and taste to match: Victoria Regina Crown Cognac (1819), bottled in honor of her coronation and donated to charity for auction by Buckingham Palace on the date of her death, $250, M. Lehmann Inc. Eighteen-karat gold carry-all, $2310, Mario Buccellati.
Christmas express of motorized marvels for chips-off-old-blocks. Firebird has Fiberglas body, removable extinguisher that shoots water, $500, by Power Car, at F.A.O. Schwarz. Super-Yardbird Streamliner (gasoline, electric) runs on track, pulls two freight or passenger cars, about $230, by Doepke, at R. H. Macy.
CHARLIE, who works the day shift at my neighborhood Bar & Grille, telephoned my wife and suggested that she take me to a doctor. “He ain’t been actin’ just right,” Charlie explained. “He came in here a couple of days ago and I ast him—just to make a little sociable talk— where he’d been, and he said he spent the morning with a decapitated man.
IT was the end of a perfect day, possible only in Mexico City. In the morning we'd wandered through a couple of the Indian market places and done the tourist things at Xochimilco, enjoying ourselves as comfortably as a Parisian bourgeois spending a summer Sunday with his family in the Bois.
<p>You are about to meet Sir Septimus Throttle, KCMG, CIE, MC—a common enough situation what with the United States full of lecturers, mountaineers, and Jaguar salesmen. Besides, you may be in Stratford-upon-Avon at the time. Yes, but who is Sir Septimus Throttle and what do all those letters after his name mean?</p>
A Christmas fable with all the credibility of the incredible
A. D. WINTLE
KING FREDEGUND looked over his spectacles. “Mind how you go, now,” he said. “They say that a Dragon has been seen near the Cave in the Forest.” Princess Clothilda laughed. “I’m not afraid of Dragons,” she replied. “Leastways, not of those that Old Witikind sees.”
Chase's recipes and panaceas for absolutely everything
FRED N. KERWIN
MARJORIE W. KERWIN
<p>THE current do-it-yourself vogue must make some old-timers grin in memory of the rustic A. W. Chase, M.D., who during half a century showed millions of people how to do it with his book of directions, Dr. Chase’s Recipes; or, Information for Everybody.</p>
Pajamas–which came originally from the East—bow luxuriously to the homeland with this Far East adaptation. Of cotton, its finish and its line are definitely on the regal side. The pocket and the raglan sleeves are Occidently on purpose, but bejeweled potentate never slept in plushier p.j.’s.
CAR PLAQUE coat-of-arms in color, representing different countries and cities. A natural for sports-car owners. Imported, they’re easily attached. Over 100 models... U.S.A., England, France, Italy, Monaco, Suisse, London, New York, Cannes, Nice, Canada, Switzerland, etc. $6.95, ppd. Blason, 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn, New York