I was just reading about F. Scott Fitzgerald a bit last night, and this popped up in my Twitter feed this morning. I didn’t know he and Hemingway were such close friends. This letter is refreshingly honest, although probably not what Fitzgerald wanted to hear when he asked what Hemingway thought of his latest effort. There’s some great advice in there for any creative type, though, not just writers. Hemingway constantly emphasizes the importance of having your work reflect the truth as much as possible, even if it has to create its own truth.
Also of interest: for a writer, Hemingway’s letter is laden with typos.
Here’s a short video about Bert Lahr’s casting in the Wizard of Oz. I picture him as an early precursor to someone like Jack Black or Will Ferrell. Perhaps not as vulgar, but the combination of high energy, intentional stupidity, and physical comedy is a common thread between all of them.
My favorite part of this video is the unbelievable clip from the 1931 film Flying High. First of all, $3,000 in 1930 money is just shy of $40,000 in today’s dollars, which is not insignificant, but certainly not enough to make someone “rich”. Secondly, how on earth does he contort his arm that way at 0:35 seconds? I’ve tried it. It’s not easy.
"Scientifiction’s fans, mostly boys of 16 to 20, are the jitterbugs of the pulp magazine field. Many keep every issue, and a copy of the magazine’s first issue often fetches $25 from collectors. Publishers soon discovered another odd fact about their readers: They are exceptionally articulate. Most of these magazines have letters columns, in which readers appraise stories. Sample: “Gosh! Wow! Boyoh-boy!, and so forth and so on. Yesiree, yesiree, it’s the greatest in the land and the best that’s on the stand, and I do mean THRILLING WONDER STORIES, and especially that great, magnificent, glorious, most thrilling June issue of the mosta and the besta of science fiction magazines… ."
From a Time Magazine article about one of the first science fiction fan conventions dated July 10th, 1939. The nerd struggle for acceptance seems to reach back very far.
An illustration by the incredible Al Hirschfeld. I could look at his caricatures all day.
I can only guess what this is for, but it looks like various jazz types in a variety of odd costumes. I can only identify two of them, Benny Goodman in the lower left (for some reason not in a weird costume), and Louis Armstrong as the big old Spartan right in the middle. I would love to know what this was for.
Condoli’s most high profile gig was probably playing in the Tonight Show Orchestra during Johnny Carson’s tenure as host. Here’s a video of him playing with Henry Mancini (composer of the Pink Panther theme, among many others) performing the theme from Peter Gunn (you’ll recognize it when you hear it). He solos along with his brother Peter around around 2:33.