I am reading the best book right now. It is Trevanian’s semi autobiography entitled The Crazy Ladies of Pearl Street. My initial love began when he wrote that the address was 238 Pearl Street. Two thirty-eight is my lucky number as I was born at that time and so was my oldest, Addi. She being am and me being pm. The number 238 has haunted me for sixty-five years. I once worked at a tv station (channel 13 and I am a Friday the 13th baby) and my phone extension was 238.
Yes, I am the queen of diversion!
Back to the book – this little kid, Jean Luc, his little sister and his mom are abandoned once again by his good for nothing father and are living in a row house at 238 Pearl Street. It is in Albany, New York. The story is quite fascinating and I really don’t want to put it down.
In the book he tells about playing alone a lot and making up wonderful storylines. He pretends that people on the radio are his partners (one is Gabby Hayes, one of the all-time greatest character actors ever). Right now they are fighting the Nazis who are in Albany to start taking over the US of A, and he and his imaginary friends have to defeat them or the US of A will be overrun with Nazis.
I am getting such a feeling of nostalgia that it is inspiring me to write. When I was a kid I played often with this deaf kid down the street, and his brothers and sister. We would make up these imaginary stories. I played Annie Oakley and they would be Gene Autry or Roy Rogers or whoever they wanted at the time. We didn’t really play Cowboys and Indians but rather the Good Guys vs the Bad Guys. A lot of times the brothers and the sister would tire of it and leave Tim and myself to play. Well, since he didn’t talk much and I didn’t know much sign language, it sort of was me making up the stories and acting them out.
I got a Cowgirl outfit for Christmas one year complete with holster and cap gun. I was on cloud nine. My dad put me atop a pony once when we were visiting friends. It took off with me on its back and hightailed it to the clothesline. I ducked the first one but the second one caught me and I was thrown off the pony. I wore a scar around my neck for quite some time. I didn’t really want to be Annie Oakley much after that incident.
And back again to the book – the characters in the book are so real and I just love how Trevanian writes. He uses quite a lot of “big words” and so I am kept busy touching them to discover their meaning. I should write these down. I used to do that when I read physical books. I have lists upon lists of “big words” that I have come across in books. I should write my own dictionary. Lawrence Sanders was the one author I could not keep up with. He used entirely too many “big words”.
Trevanian wrote my very favorite book, Shibumi. If you haven’t read it you should. It is probably one of the greatest spy novels ever written. Exciting, sexy, funny and with wonderful characters. This was the reason I wanted to read the Crazy Ladies book. You could not pick two completely opposite types of literatures. But they are both wonderful. I can wait to finish it because I don’t want it to end.