Thursday, February 19, 2015

While I was away...

...there were two big deaths in the news: David Carr, of course, and Lesley Gore.

Carr was, among other things, the author of The Night of the Gun, his 2008 memoir about hitting rock, rock bottom before recovering and eventually becoming a columnist for the New York Times.

He was also a 1974 alumnus of my high school in suburban Minneapolis:

It was assumed that I would go to Benilde High School, a suburban all-boys Catholic school where my older brothers had gone. We were expected to work summers and pay half the tuition. I caddied at a Jewish country club, came up with my share, and hated nearly every second of it. Benilde had the same triumvirate that existed in every high school at the time: jocks, nerds, and freaks. I self-assigned to the freaks. 

As I remember it, Benilde-St. Margaret's, as it came to be known by the time I arrived for my junior year in 1974 (it merged with a girls' school after Carr graduated), was divided into "burnouts," of which I assume Carr was one, and "straights," which included me (surprised?). So it's just as well we never met; I kind of doubt Carr would have liked me -- he was cool and I wasn't. (I did know his cousin, though -- a little.)

I once emailed Carr to tell him how much I enjoyed his writing. And to my surprise he actually answered me, briefly, something on the order of "Gee, thanks Mike." (I read later that Carr answered almost all his emails.) I tried to engage him further but heard nothing more. Like I said, he was cool and I wasn't. I just hope he didn't think I was stalking him.

As for Gore, well, I just liked her music.

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