Well, Jell-O again! To me, these past four weeks offline seemed like a summer hiatus, except that they were unscheduled and open-ended. Still sustaining and not in pursuit of a commercial sponsor, I am less certain than ever of an audience (save those lost souls who happen upon these pages in hopes of finding some dirt on—or salacious images of—Lois DeFee, a lesser-known burlesque queen I once mentioned in passing). I wonder who took my place during the interim and whether I will succeed in reclaiming my none-too-prominent slot. Just what has kept me so long (I hope that someone set apart from the apathetic might ask)? Here is the long and very nearly short of it.
After some two-and-a-half weeks of playing broadbandit in New York City, piggybacking rather than coffee-shopping for internet access to so little avail as to manage to file only a single report while on location, I returned to Wales to find our wireless network collapsed, the router having given up the proverbial ghost during a summer storm. And now, just as things are sliding back into their groove, I am taking off again for a weeklong trip to Istanbul. Not that air travel, let alone to Turkey, is a particular delight these days of tourism-targeting terrorism.
Air travel has always been rather uncomfortable; present security measures are even less comforting. Despite several checks and hassles, I still managed to board with a bottle of mouth freshener, which, much to my embarrassment, I discovered at the bottom of my hand luggage while fishing for my generally dormant cellular phone. I sunk into my seat feeling like a felon in flight, at least until I settled down to an episode of Tallulah Bankhead’s Big Show a New York pal of mine had shared with me.
It is with some delay, therefore, that, starting tomorrow and leading up to the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center attack, I carry on with my NYC impressions as they relate to old-time radio, including accounts of my tour of various second-hand bookstores, landmarks and museums, a review of the rather radiogenetic musical The Drowsy Chaperone, assorted remarks about the construction of the Second Avenue subway and the current state of Yorkville (my old neighborhood in Manhattan). The news, such as they are, won’t be altogether current; but then again, I am forever catching up with the out-of-date and my own life need not be an exception.
Indeed, I find it difficult to gather experience and gather my thoughts at the same time. It is far easier when the experiences about which I write are lived vicariously, through radio plays, books, or movies; I gather, it is easier to gather thoughts along with dust. The time is ripe for some house cleaning and perhaps even some reventilating of the old broadcastle I am keeping here. Not only will I catch up with some of my favorite internet journals, but I will also make a few long overdue additions to my mossy blogroll.
The above image, meanwhile, constitutes the latest addition to my collection of Claudette Colbert memorabilia. While in New York City, I purchased the Cecil B. DeMille Collection, containing three of Colbert’s films (one of which, Four Frightened People, I reviewed for the Internet Movie Database earlier this year). And, more than two decades after discovering and losing sight of Mitchell Leisen’s Hands Across the Table (mentioned here), I could once again soak in the bubbles of this frothy charmer, along with Leisen’s Big Broadcast of 1938 about which I will have more to say in the none too distant future.
All this by way of reintroduction. However small the interstice until I take flight again next week, it sure feels good to spend some time sweeping the dust out of my cyberspatial niche . . .