And I like my friends’ app, li.st
Here are the best lists I’ve made on this app:
Right before Christmas had a chance to visit San Francisco — always great!
In San Francisco you can really feel like you’re halfway in the ocean.
Finding myself with an idle hour I went to go check out Diego Rivera’s mural Allegory of California over at the City Club in the former Pacific Stock Exchange building. The City Club was all done up for a Christmas party.
Pictures of the mural often leave out the amazing ceiling part:
Rivera painted this one in 1931, He modeled the lady on tennis champ Helen Wills Moody, who was at that time one of California’s most famous daughters:
She was a painter herself:
Wills was an artist by avocation. She received a degree in fine arts along with a Phi Beta Kappa key from the University of California, and painted throughout her life. She was delighted to be chosen as the model for Diego Rivera’s two-story mural “The Riches of California,” commissioned for $2,500 in 1930. Wills and the first of her two husbands, the financier Frederick Moody, invited Rivera and his wife, the painter Frieda Kahlo, to a celebratory tea after the mural’s unveiling at the former San Francisco Stock Exchange.
For Wills, who confessed to suffering the intangible pangs of “a restless heart,” tennis and painting were the best antidotes for melancholy. She maintained an artist’s studio at her residences in San Francisco and later in Carmel, once sold 40 paintings for $100 each and illustrated her own articles for The Saturday Evening Post.
Here’s one of her own drawings:
Perhaps Wills’s most infamous match, and certainly the one she extolled as the focal point of her playing career, was her only meeting with Lenglen, the queen of the continent, in a much ballyhooed showdown at Cannes in 1926. Lenglen was 26 and tactically superior; Wills was 20 and physically stronger. Lenglen won the raucous encounter, 6-3, 8-6.
There was a prizefight atmosphere, with tickets scalped at a then-shocking rate of $50 each, and an international gallery of spectators that included King Gustaf, a group of stowaway French schoolboys in a eucalyptus tree at one end of the court and Wills’s future husband, Frederick Moody, who introduced himself to her after the match. Wills was fond of noting that although she lost the match, she not only gained perspective on necessary changes to her game, which tended to be without nuance and relied on battering her opponents into submission with repetitious forehand ground strokes, but also gained a husband.
Maybe next time I’m up there I will get to see Making Of A Fresco:
Sorry I haven’t been posting more. Trying to finish my book and get Great Debates Live organized (get your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are legit almost sold out). Honestly it’s a LITTLE unfair to be mad at me for not producing enough free content.
A few items too good to ignore came across our desk:
1) Reader Robert P. in Los Angeles sends us this item:
Thought you might enjoy this wiki. There’s a great part about a riddle and another great part about conducting a trial. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Numbers_Gang
Gotta say, this is one of the most intriguing Wikipedia pages I can remember. I love when Wikipedia takes myth at face value.
2) Re: our recent post about Tanya Tucker, reader Bobby M. writes:
Saw that Tanya Tucker’s Delta Dawn popped up. Love that one. We like to joke that the lyrics are a conversation wherein some jerk is taunting an insanse person. “Oh, and, Delta? Did I hear you say he was meeting you here today? And (aside to chittering friend: ‘get a load of this’) did I also hear you say he’d be taking you to his mansion. In the sky? Yeah, that’s what I thought you said, Delta. Nice flower you have on.” Midler’s version blows.
Bobby M. is one of the contributors to Lost Almanac, a truly funny print and online comedy mag.
3) We ran into reader Leila S. in New York City. She was reading the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and sends in some highlights:
to John Peale Bishop, March, 1925, he wrote “I am quite drunk” at the top of the paper above the date, then later in the letter: “I have lost my pen so I will have to continue in pencil. It turned up– I was writing with it all the time and hadn’t noticed.”to H.L. Mencken, May 4, 1925, re: Great Gatsby:
“You say, ‘the story is fundamentally trivial.'”
to Gertrude Stein, June 1925, after a long letter kissing her ass:
“Like Gatsby, I have only hope.” Dude quoted his own book he just wrote!to Mrs. Bayard Turnbull, May 31, 1934, after a long apology about his embarrassing behavior at a tea party:
“P.S. I’m sorry this is typed but I seem to have contracted Scottie’s poison ivy and my hands are swathed in bandages.”
to Joseph Hergesheimer, Fall 1935, re: Tender Is The Night“I could tell in the Stafford Bar that afternoon when you said that it was ‘almost impossible to write a book about an actress’ that you hadn’t read it thru because the actress fades out of it in the first third and is only a catalytic agent.”to Arnold Gingrich, March 20, 1936:“In my ‘Ant’ satire, the phrase ‘Lebanon School for the Blind’ should be changed to ‘New Jersey School for Drug Addicts.'” [The letter continues about other things, then at the very end, emphasis his] “Please don’t forget this change in ‘Ants.'”
to Ernest Hemingway, August, 1936
“Please lay off me in print.”
As always you can reach helytimes at helphely at gmail.com