I re-read this book last week because it was on my self-assigned “reading list” and because I wanted to read it before seeing the movie that is now in the theaters. For one thing, I didn’t want Leo DiCaprio’s image in my head as I read it. It’s not that I don’t think he is a good actor—I do, actually—but because I always prefer characters painted by my own imagination, and when I can manage it, based on the words of a book’s author.
Too late. Seeing the trailer was enough. Every time Gatsby called someone “Old Sport” in the book, my mind conjured up DiCaprio. I’m not even sure Tobey Maguire plays the role of Nick Carraway in the film, but I think I remember him from the trailer. Whether he did or not, he was my narrator. I didn’t recognize the actress who portrays Daisy, and I’m not sure that Jordan made an appearance in the trailer. Jordan Baker is a golf pro in the book, but I enjoyed picturing her as the tennis pro Anna Kournikova. Why not? … Read more »
Harper Lee’s novel was published in the year I was born, 1960, and describes events that happened in 1938, just three years before the birth of my father. Its portrayal of the deeply ingrained racism (and sexism) of the American South at this late date is very disturbing, though not surprising. The movie “42″ is in the theaters right now to remind us that it wasn’t until 1947 that Jackie Robinson was allowed to play alongside white players in major league baseball. I grew up as a rabid baseball fan, and to this day I don’t believe I have a greater sports hero than Henry Aaron. On and off the field, it is hard to imagine a man more worthy of admiration. Yet, he was born in Alabama—Mockingbird’s setting—where as late as the early 1960s he could not legally eat in the same room in a restaurant as his white teammates. … Read more »
A Photographic Retrospective
Even by Minnesota standards, April 2013 was brutal. According to the National Weather Service, it was the coldest April here since 1975 (13th coldest on record) and 3rd snowiest ever. The birds believe it. Below are my favorite photos from the month. All were shot through windows from the comfortable warmth inside of my house. … Read more »
For the second consecutive year, Joann and I attended the Salt Lake Bird Count. Last year, I called it the Not Too Bad Salt Lake Bird Count, and noted that we saw six life birds and, with a total count of 72 bird species seen, had what was at the time our biggest ever “big day.” This year the weather was much improved (the first spring-like weekend of the year), the camaraderie was even better (our good friends Paul S and Sally H joined us), and with 78 total species seen on Saturday we set a new “big day” record. We stuck around for a half day on Sunday to … Read more »