Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Boy Named Fat

"Duke chose the banjo. His teacher was a boy named Fat Stockridge, who was a year or two older. But all of Duke's extracurricular activities meant that he didn't have any time for practice. When he and Stockbridge would get together, Duke would have made no progress, so Stockbridge would amuse himself by playing dirty songs on the banjo." That's something I just read in this new John Wayne biography, which I picked up at Square Books today. I bought it as one pathetic way of trying to pretend that Megan is still in town. She started reading it while she was here, and I can imagine that I'll run into her somewhere and we'll discuss it. I checked the index for Jerry Lewis. Four entries! I haven't peeked, but I fear they will be fleeting allusions to his partnership with Dean Martin, with whom John Wayne made some movies. But you never know! And four is pretty good. It means this John Wayne bio has as much Jerry Lewis in it as the Dick Van Dyke autobiography, the Roger Ebert autobiography, the thousand-page Spencer Tracy biography and the Henry Fonda biography combined.