Copyright 2005 Ben S. Pollock
Sunday, May 8, 2005: An ode to Mother’s Day. It’s the first one since Mom passed last November.
I’ve started reading a new, and perhaps the only so far, full biography of Ogden Nash. Here is a lede that won’t work in my eventual newspaper review of it: It’s more about me. So it goes here and not there.
My mom and dad noticed one another at Fort Smith High School in the late 1930s. Yet, they never really got together for well over a decade, marrying in 1954.
For one thing, Dad was drafted and went overseas for World War II. For another, Mom married a Cincinnati boy she met at college and had two children by him (he served stateside). Such things kept Mom and Dad apart for years.
Yet Mom knew Dad subscribed to The New Yorker, which he had sent to his posts in central Asia, back home in Fort Smith, then during the Korean Conflict to his apartment in Washington and finally to Fort Smith for the rest of his life, to 1985.
So Mom subscribed to the weekly, too. She felt she connected with him surreptitiously this way, reading what he was reading, thinking what he was thinking, at about the same time as well.
So together-but-apart they read Alexander Woollcott and Wolcott Gibbs, Thurber and White, enjoyed cartoons of Arno and Addams, the stories of John Cheever, the journalism of John Hersey and, always, Ogden Nash. That’s what Mom would say, and did say: This was her recollection of this part of their romance.
Why did Dad get The New Yorker back then? I would think it was that he loved to read and that good literature and good reportage fascinated him.
Dad unlike Mom never said, but he likely would respond that he read The New Yorker for the articles.
That’s my Mother’s Day thought. –30–