Thursday, July 05, 2012

Famous Doors of History

Slade over at Square Books saw that I was reading THE FIGHT by Norman Mailer. It's Mailer's account of the Ali-Foreman bout in Zaire (as it was then called). Slade thought I might like SHADOW BOX, George Plimpton's book that covers the same fight. So he brought it up to the store and loaned it to me. Wasn't that nice of him? And here's what I noticed right away: SHADOW BOX has an owl in it, and therefore goes on our fascinating, comprehensive list of books with owls in them, of which you need to make a lifetime study. I noticed it right away because the owl is in the epigraph. That's just about as early as you can stick an owl in your book. George Plimpton doesn't waste any time making sure his book has an owl in it. "He was not born in the woods to be scared by an owl." I guess I understand what that epigraph means. Don't I? Hey, once I held a door open for George Plimpton. My friend Eugene, who was a friend of Plimpton's, had convinced him to come to an event at a bookstore where I worked in downtown Mobile, where nobody ever went. George Plimpton did not acknowledge me in any way, and why should he? You know for whom else I held a door (different door, different day) in downtown Mobile? Dizzy Gillespie (pictured). He said thanks.