Monday, May 14, 2012

May 10, 2012

Dear Sis~

After allowing it to molder in my locker for several years (while otherwise occupied with more pressing legal work) I've finally retrieved my copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which has long been on my reading list.  This novel, written by a prolific, Nobel Prize winning Spanish author has been described as "a Masterpiece of the art of Fiction."  I'll let you know if I concur when I finish it.  Speaking of books, I recently wrote you about an excellent one I'd just finished, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, the true life saga of a remarkable guy, Louis Zamperini, whose World War II odyssey you won't soon forget. Well, I was pleased to learn that Louis is still alive; I was recently watching a PBS program on Jesse Owens and they interviewed Louis as part of that.  Louis ran the mile in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Jesse Owens was a teammate, and Louis shared his memories of those times.   Louis must be over 90 by now but he looked great and sounded lucid and articulate.  After reading Unbroken I felt like Louis was an old pal, the kind of guy whose friendship would be true and solid, down to earth, salt-of-the-land type of guy you are rarely privileged to meet.  When you read the book you'll understand why I say this.  I was really glad to see that Louis is still alive and kicking.  

The other day I watched Papillion, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, on my little TV.  I vividly recall buying this book at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome in the summer of 1971, picking the paperback off a wire-frame book rack, then reading it cover to cover over the next few days.  At the time, through the lens of a 16-year old, the story seemed adventuresome and exciting and I enjoyed the movie, too, when I saw it perhaps 10 years later.  But this time it was more depressing than epic, a story too closely paralleling my own, a life squandered in the bowels of an oppressive prison system. Instead of inspiring, the movie was just sad.  Funny what 30 years of experience can do to your perspective...

That's all for now, Sis (no new death warrants, knock on wood).