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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Writer's Life 7/27 - Swamped

Herbie didn't bring any books with him today. He asked if I'd seen any of Slick Willie's speech. I hadn't. The sight of any of the three Clintons makes me want to hurl. He lamented the fact that Hillary does not possess Bill's charisma. "I mean, she's smart and everything, but..." he said. I often hear how intelligent she is, and other than the fact that she was good at school I haven't seen much evidence of it. Given the incredible foolishness involving the email scandal, she seems downright dumb, or maybe that was just hubris, since Billary has always been above the law. Anyway. This morning talk show host Mark Simone mentioned that she failed the bar exam twice and did not pass it until she took it in Arkansas. Draw your own conclusions. I mentioned this to Herbie, who said that his dad, who died suddenly of a heart in his 50's, passed the bar the first time, at age 39 after going to night school for years. He had a CPA too. I told him how much I admired that. "My mother was so proud," Herbie reminisced. As we were conversing, I spotted the approach of a middle age woman laden with several shopping bags and a wheeled cart. During the past two months she has donated about 100 books to the cause, many of them celebrity-oriented. I told her: "My friend Herbie here has been looking for a bio of Susan Hayward for the longest time." "Oh, I loved her," she said. Unfortunately, her dad, who passed away recently, didn't have any books on that talented flame-haired beauty. There are several available at Amazon, but Herbie isn't online. Maybe I'll surprise him with one when I do a bulk order of my next book in January. Today's cast of characters included: Cristopher Reeve, Neil Diamond, Jerry Vale, Martin and Lewis, the Rat Pack, Julie Andrews, Princess Grace, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Billy Crystal and Barbra Streisand, the latter of which I let Herbie have as a thanks for all the books he's given me. He was interested because it includes the James Brolin part of Babs' life. There were several other works of non-fiction among the group, including pictorials on Elvis and Sinatra, both of which sold. Only two works of fiction were included: one by the prolific Jodi Picoult, and Shadows on the Hudson by one of my favorite writers, Isaac Bashevis Singer. 

Another woman delivered a batch of about 20 vinyl records, all but one by Latino artists. The other was a compilation featuring Streisand, Steve and Eydie and others. When later two of the porters, Salvador and Juan of the Atlantic Towers complex, were passing, I asked if they wanted any. They declined but Juan was clearly impressed by Daniel Santos, a singer and composer of boleros and overall performer of multiple Caribbean music genres, who died in '92 at 76 (Wiki). His family emigrated to New York in 1924. I was hoping there would be an album by Celia Cruz among the stack -- alas. I only examined three: the aforementioned one in English and two by Santos. I was shocked that all seemed in pristine condition. I'd expected the usual scratches and dust those discs always accumulate. I'll try to sell them for a buck a piece. I may even give them away, especially if any of the porters that have given me books want any. The sale of vinyl records has rebounded the past few years, but still...

My thanks to the young man who bought Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner; to Ira, who purchased Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton -- before the other celebrity stuff he loves so much came to me; and to the other kind folks who made purchases. If the forecast is correct, relief from the heat is only 48 or so hours away. The trunk of the old Hyundai is completely crammed. There must be 200 items in it.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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