I watched the video tape that John Rhodes had made of the event Matt Gonzalez and I produced in 2011 at David highSmith’s store regarding the 50th anniversary of the publication or the creation of Alden Van Buskirk’s collection called “LAMI”.
Which reminds me that we should produce another event next year 2021 which will be the 60th anniversary. (Pictured are Jack, David, John and Matt)
Here are some stills from the footage –note that I was edited out because of the fact that I pointed out to John Rhodes who I had never met that he did not ask for permission to film my event. Although David is asked off camera how he heard about Alden Van Buskirk and he said it was when I came in to ask him about producing or hosting the event meaning three months prior. At one point I was going to interview Hirschman about his experience teaching at Dartmouth and he said OK we can yammer someday. Actually Matt and I discussed some type of follow-up within the last year or so having to do with the new edition of David Rattray’s writings and also the ascent as a major American voice of Rachel Kushner parentheses The mars Room, flamethrowers.
I also just sent notice to my old professor Donald Pease –do they teach Alden Van Buskirk at Dartmouth? I remember from my own research that they had a little bit of a file on him which is not the same as whether teachers who teach Bob Dylan or Allen Ginsberg even know about Alden Van buskirk. On the other hand I still cringe at myself a little bit because I asked Williams Spengeman once in his office if he thought they should teach Kurt Vonnegut “Palm Sunday” in the course on prose and memoir.
This concept is slightly fresher in the aftermath of Black Lives Matter and Ferguson; Alden’s book, from 1961, glosses race relations in East St. Louis. Also, his rare disease and ultimate frailty resonate in the COVID era. We all have this 2-in-a-million disease, or we worry about it.
The story of my event more than the text itself reminds me a bit of the story current about Danny Scher taping a Monk concert here then releasing the tape 50 years later. Also, Van references jazz in his work; there is a recording of him playing piano. He mentions in the letter to Peter Kushner (Rachel’s dad) that he had met the Red Garland trio in St. Louis.