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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, January 17

House of Flowers

Such odd nights I've been having in my seniority, wicky wacky dreams and too many hours when I lay there staring at the inside of my eyelids, trying to get to sleep and seldom getting there. F. Scott Fitzgerald, when he was down and just about out in 1936, wrote a series of essays called The Crack-up, in one of which he said, "In the real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day." I know what he meant. A few night ago, around Fitzgerald's 3:00, I found the song "I Never Has Seen Snow" buzzing around in my head. What could have prompted me to think of that song? But there it was, and I heard the music and knew most of the lyrics, singing it over and over in my head, even hearing that odd little upward hitch at the end of the first two lines. I first heard the song in about 1957 or '58, when I heard Diahann Carroll singing it on my car radio. Such an unusual song, with odd music and odd lyrics.
I bought a recording of the Broadway show from which it came, House of Flowers, with story from an odd source, Truman Capote (who contributed some of the lyrics along with Harold Arlen). And I listened to that score often enough to drill the songs into my head, one of my odd characteristics when it comes to music, to listen to Broadway musicals and memorize the songs. But why, in the darkness of middle night, would that song suddenly be there after all these years? And all the information about Diahann Carroll, her role in the long ago hit tv series Julia, her decade-long marriage to Vic Damone. She, along with Pearl Bailey, starred in that Capote show, singing about how beautiful her love was, that "near to me boy," even more beautiful than snow. I might have gotten onto the snow angle from all the snow falling in those places we once called home, and I guess it can be considered beautiful, but after too many years shoveling the stuff, I no longer think of it as beautiful. And now, you have to hear this song, this version not by Diahann Carroll; but by another beautiful woman, Vanessa Williams. The song, Vanessa Williams, the cello accompaniment, are so very beautiful, even more so than snow. And I hope it sticks in your head at three o'clock in the morning. You'll have me to thank for that.

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