Snails by Adam Oehlers

Tick Tock: The Race Is on for Pepper Pumperdine

I don’t normally promote my own work in progress on this site; as most people in the film business know, the best way to have your movie never see the light of day is to make big announcements before you’ve begun shooting, much less wrapped the sucker.

That isn’t the case with my children’s book, Pepper Pumperdine and the Fashion Fairy.  It’s been written, it’s been tested on its target audience (in New York City, no less—tough customers even at nine years old),

Designer Mary McFadden

There’s Nobody Like Mary—Part One

It wasn’t even much of temptation to call this piece There’s Something About Mary because not only would that be cliché, it would be inadequate to describe the force of nature who has been one of my best friends for most of my life at this point.  In honor of the release by Rizzoli of her visual autobiography Mary McFadden by Mary McFadden, I thought I’d allow myself to remember some of those years together, particularly seeing as I worked on a very early iteration of that book twenty years ago, which I called Opus, but Mary didn’t, preferring the simpler “my book” instead.

Maybe at some point I’ll explain why that version of the book was abandoned; it is appropriately dramatic, so much so that perhaps Opus fell short, and Grand Opera would have been more on the mark.  But the collapse of that project was quite a few years after the beginning of our relationship.  I’m certainly glad it has finally seen the light, and apparently been given the full Rizzoli treatment worthy of one of our National Living Treasures.

Duane Michals boy and the mirror

Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Jamie,

I’m going to call you that because it was your name as a child before the headmaster in high school changed it to James.  I know, I’m writing this to you as you were up until your mid-thirties or so, and the name was changed when you were a teen, but you get the symbolism.  C’mon, don’t raise your eyes like that!  That’s something we definitely need to talk about: patience.  One of your favorite quotations, “Impatience is a virtue of youth,” is absolute rubbish.

Legendary French actress Annie Girardot

Remembering Annie—Part Two

Please read part one first, or this will make zero sense.

_____________________________

We were on a family vacation in Florida when they told me Oliver Stewart had died—“We have some bad news for you, James: Your friend Oliver is very sick…  actually, he’s dead”—but I didn’t shed a tear.  It didn’t surprise me; I’d done my mourning already in the bathroom of Jules Feiffer’s apartment nine months earlier.  Or maybe shock numbed all normal emotion.  God knows, I can still cry easily enough about it today.

Had we been in New York, I might have made it to the funeral, but it was too complicated to get me to Rome from Florida on such short notice.  As a consequence of not burying him properly, for years I subconsciously believed that Oliver’s death was just another one of his pranks.