Sunday, December 28, 2008

A perfect pause

Macon, Ga. -- Otis Redding is still dancing around in my brain. Guess that happens here, in the cradle of soul, birthplace of a genius.

"They don't sing like that anymore" isn't a cliche. Not with him.

But, this is not about the Big O. We'll talk about him some other time.

The Garrison Keillor novel "Love Me" is keeping me company today. The Lawsons left for a perambulation at the park. This is my vacation; today I want to read.

Keillor's book isn't set -- for once -- in Lake Wobegone. It begins in Minnesota -- of course -- and will in time take me to New York, to the New Yorker, back when it was a magazine, back when William Shawn ruled the roost, back when one had to read it.

The tome is erudite -- but you would expect no less. It is funny. No surprise.

And it fits my mood, tugs at wistful thoughts of having lived and loved and lounged with literati, back when NEW YORK was spelled out in neon lights.

Someday I must read the Shawn memoir, the good one, written at the turn of the last century by Lillian Ross. I am too lazy to look up its title.

When Christmas debts are paid in full, and health care is not robbing me blind, I will buy, too, the DVD-ROM that collects every New Yorker through the set's release date -- if nothing else to read Calvin Trillin's U.S. Journal and Roger Angell's musings on baseball.

Now it's back to the recliner, to pages illuminated by the light of the afternoon, to a perfect pause in a holiday week made for such moments.

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