New Civilization News: A Year Without Tagliabue    
 A Year Without Tagliabue24 comments
picture1 Aug 2007 @ 13:19, by Richard Carlson

All of us are watchers---
of television, of time clocks,
of traffic on the freeway---but
few are observers. Everyone is
looking, not many are seeing.

---Peter M. Leschak

You ask why I live in the mountain forest,
and I smile and am silent,
And even my soul remains quiet:
It lives in the other world
Which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom.
The water flows.

---Li Po

My nature is subdued
to what it works in,
like the dyer's hand.

---William Shakespeare

Amid hectic preparations for a move to Providence, Rhode Island, Professor of English Emeritus John Tagliabue---the muse of Bates College for more than forty years---and his wife, Grace, took time out for portraits by Phyllis Graber Jensen in the garden of Muskie Archives. The caption, a fragment from a poem in John's book New And Selected Poems: 1942-1997, reads "...a breeze hails our way,
we lift our sails;
we hold on to each other for dear life." (Bates Magazine, Spring 1998)

And so a year has gone by. A year without friend and poet John Tagliabue. A year without Tagliabue and the sun has shined its radiance with slight dimness. Music of the spheres has played less sparkling. The dancers whirl without shout. His death last year was certainly at his time, but it has meant a year without my teacher pushing me closer to the edge.

Besides a flutter of poems tumbling out like petals from blossoms, his letters and conversation always contained what books to read. He urged them as he did his assignments, shrugging off your foolishness if obviously you didn't read them. There were exhibits at the museums and he would tell you. Dancers and actors on the boards, and he needed to share with his own advertisements. There were foods and people from so many countries to visit. Be sure to have pad and pencil for jotting down impressions of human scenes on the train.

One time, when I was a junior at Bates College, where he taught and I learned, he decided he wanted to see Martha Graham dance in New York. It might be her very last time. We were in Maine. John had a car but he never learned to drive. Refused to. Usually his wife Grace took him somewhere he needed to be, but for some reason this time he asked a few of us students if we wanted to drive him. And we'd see La Martha of course.

As I recall there were 5 of us on the expedition. Two couples and my roommate. We would drive all day, stay one night, see the company's performance, and then drive all night back to Lewiston. I can't think how we fit in that small car. On laps I guess.

When we got to Manhattan, John had us drop him off at his sister's apartment...and then we were left on our own. This was a surprise to us, and hardly our idea of a school field trip. Don lived in New Rochelle, so he just took a train home. Paul's girl friend, like mine, was a sophomore, but he thought he could just bluff his way into a hotel room with her...and he did.

This was 1960, and I wasn't so sure I could get away with it. So Bonnie and I stayed with the car, and drove all over the place looking for a secluded spot to park for the night. Neither of us knew the City. Finally I came to a place near the water that appeared to be a kind of parking lot, at least during the day. It was deserted. Across the bay were a thousand lights...and in the bay stood the Statue of Liberty, far out there. I would later learn this was The Battery, but that's where we stayed---in our fog-windowed coupe. We were not disturbed.

Martha was wondrous, dancing one of her Greek things, but unfortunately barely able to get back up once she had lain down. I never had seen anything like this, but I knew a little about myth and things by then...and sometimes you had to go to the Underworld, and maybe that was happening. The music, also original and strange, sounded underworldly and then maybe rejoicing we were back up. I think dancers waved streamers around or got wrapped in them.

Don drove all the way back. He chainsmoked Camels or Luckys to stay awake, keeping the side vent open to flick an ash or the butt. I think I was in the front seat with him, and maybe Bonnie was up there too. John was in the middle of the back seat, and must be Paul and Carol on either side. We all slept and Don drove. At 3 AM, wherever we were, suddenly this great improvised Kabuki chant shouted. Tagliabue had stirred and needed to announce it! He always made up his own Japanese, whether dance, poem or song. After the fright, we laughed on for miles.

A Japanese friend spoke at John's Memorial Service in Providence a year ago, and said the poet always spoke to him in Japanese. Through all the years he knew him he did that, and the friend would politely reply. But finally the truth could be told: in all those years, he said, he never had understood one word John uttered. But of course that didn't matter. The meaning was clear, always beautiful and somehow about love.

Here's a poem Grace sent to me recently, carefully calligraphied as she is so expert to do~~~

With infinite Play, with
infinite Presentations

Loving to communicate,
loving to touch, to see,
to hear, to be active sensible,
loving to touch with his feet
the Divine Ground, to dance,
to read this to you, he
returned often; as often as
music in the bodies of lovers.

---John Tagliabue


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24 comments

2 Aug 2007 @ 08:00 by vaxen : Boom!
"Oh WRETCHED race of men, to space confined!
What honour can ye pay to him, whose mind
To that which lies beyond hath penetrated?
The symbols he hath formed shall sound his praise,
And lead him on through unimagined ways
To conquests new, in worlds not yet created.


First, ye Determinants! In ordered row
And massive column ranged, before him go,
To form a phalanx for his safe protection.
Ye powers of the nth roots of - 1!
Around his head in ceaseless* cycles run,
As unembodied spirits of direction.


And you, ye undevelopable scrolls!
Above the host wave your emblazoned rolls,
Ruled for the record of his bright inventions.
Ye cubic surfaces! By threes and nines
Draw round his camp your seven-and-twenty lines-
The seal of Solomon in three dimensions.


March on, symbolic host! With step sublime,
Up to the flaming bounds of Space and Time!
There pause, until by Dickenson depicted,
In two dimensions, we the form may trace
Of him whose soul, too large for vulgar space,
In n dimensions flourished unrestricted."


-- James Clerk Maxwell
To the Committee of the Cayley Portrait Fund -- 1887  



2 Aug 2007 @ 19:50 by Quinty @72.195.137.102 : Tagliabue

"Be sure to have pad and pencil for jotting down impressions of human scenes on the train."

I've always tried to travel that way. Thanks.  



2 Aug 2007 @ 20:56 by vaxen : Trains
The role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the priveleges and pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments. I'm convinced that if we are to get on the right side for the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people; the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered: Martin Luther King  


3 Aug 2007 @ 11:16 by jazzolog : Ivy Clear & Linda Gramatky On Tagliabue
I've received some lovely replies to this post by email both from people who knew John and those who never heard of him...a situation these writings seek to remedy. Unfortunately too many of these friends write that they tried to post, using the non-member feature at this site, and ended up losing their work because the thing doesn't always operate. Of course nothing is more infuriating, so I should remind people always to copy your comment before you click the Add button or whatever it says.

Anyway, 2 such comments came from Ivy and Linda. Ivy met John when she still was somewhat involved with the Joffrey Company and dancing as Ivy Clear. Her stepfather's name was Clear, so it was real...but naturally John went poetic with such a name. He told her it could have been made up by Nathaniel Hawthorne for a novel. Since then she has been identified in her dance career as Ivy Forrest, and you can learn ballet from her at this school [link] . It's never too late!

Well, maybe it is for some of us. Neverthless, Ivy's remark is not about the poet, but about the Martha Graham section~~~

"LOL( the description of Martha)..... I saw her even later than that - everyone wore black & masks except for Martha who wore a permanent mask.... I think it was a farewell performance ( or everyone thought it was - like yours on the trip) and I was struck by her lack of agility but intense presence ; it was a palpable energy in one not moving ( like an unsmashed atom). It is good to remember those gone.... they live thru us now."

"Unsmashed atom." What an image to describe a dancer of that power!

Linda Gramatky was a classmate at Bates and a student of Tagliabue. She was one of dozens who showed up in Providence last year for a tribute and grieving on his passing. Now Linda Gramatky Smith, she spends much of her time managing the estate of her late artist father, Hardie Gramatky, one of this country's most brilliant watercolorists [link] . It's wonderful to be in contact with her, and to receive a message like this~~~

"Oh, this was so wonderful, so evocative of what we loved about John (or 'Tag'). Thank you for sharing your memories of that amazing and funny trip so that we can hold them close too. And now, a huge Kabuki chant, please, to wake Tagliabue up again!"  



3 Aug 2007 @ 22:04 by vaxen : Also...
NCN has been burping a lot of late. Just an hour, or so ago, I couldn't even get in here! So I twittered Flemming ([link]) and told him his server was acting up. Well, it isn't 'his' server per se but the past few weeks has seen a lot of sticking! When a site loads at 200 to 300 bytes per second you know that something is wrong!

I realise that Flemming has a life to lead and certainly don't expect anything from hi but he needs to know when this crap happens so he can get on the server admins.  



4 Aug 2007 @ 08:15 by jazzolog : One Thing I Try
when I experience Vax' problem is go to my History, click somewhere I was in NCN from yesterday, and that often works to get me in here. When it doesn't I just have to wait it out. For those of us on dialup---which still includes most of the known world---problems of computing just get worse each day. This Windows Vista, that came with our new Dell, is a total nightmare---unless you were just aching to buy all new programs for everything.

To connect this to my humble thread, the Tagliabues refused to take the next step and get a computer. In fact I just post office mailed this piece, with some comments, to Grace. John only recently gave up on his standard manual typewriter. When he tossed it he wrote a poem of farewell. (Think the aria about the overcoat in La Boheme.) He never got used to the electric he got. Hmmm, I should write a thesis analyzing his poems before and after his old typewriter. Possibly the newer poems were more agitated and rebellious.  



4 Aug 2007 @ 15:18 by vaxen : Post office?
What's that? Yes...you should write a thesis while you still can. ;) The problem is with the server, jazzolog. Only a nice little bout of penetration testing will show me exactly what's up. But, hey...I don't do that here anymore so I just [link]

Are you aware of Lockergnome, jazzolog? Lots of Vista help. You can also rollback the machine to XP. I would recommend learning the system. Vista isn't XP. I'm using XP-Pro and it's a great system. Contemplating Vista, which I have, but I'll wait at least till SP1 is out...

Then Windows 7 is right around the corner but then so are some reallty great brain implants which will make the whole thing a snap...

Tagliabues era ended long ago. So those who are still clinging on,nostalgically, will be hard put to keep pace lest we blast em back to the past along with every other being on this planet;;;

Then we can all sit around blasted parking lots in scortched and empty cities fighting off gangs of marauders eeking out a wretched existence. There will be a few here and there who will remember a poem or two...

===

===

Before A Man Can Become Free, He Must First Choose Freedom
(He begins by de-conditioning his own mind)

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."

~ Stephen Biko, anti-apartheid activist tortured to death by State police (D. Jensen, 2006)


To work against the State, one must begin with himself and his local sphere of influence. Nonviolent methods include tax refusal, boycott of State services, withdrawing to the extent possible from participation in all functions of the State. Become independent and self-reliant. Avoid identification documents, work for barter or cash, shun credit cards and banks. Convert depreciating fiat currency into physical gold in personal possession: quit letting the State embezzle your savings with its printing press inflation. Form local service organizations, community support groups, and local direct unregulated exchange markets. And, importantly, educate others. Spread the word. Return self-government control to the local level, beginning at home. Ignore the State. Live by your own lights and your own wits, and face the consequences. You will enjoy the happiness and freedom of the brave.

Each must work out his own destiny if he is to reclaim his personal identity. One must never give in to power. Walk the talk.

"Once the people have made up their minds to be free, there is nothing that can stop them."

~ Desmond Tutu, in the video A Force More Powerful

[link]  



5 Aug 2007 @ 17:09 by quinty : I never heard of this artist...

He is indeed a good water colorist. Judging only from these electronic reproductions, which, by their nature, tend to lose much, Gramatky was indeed a powerful poet of mood, with a very sensitive and evocative style.

It's too bad "representationalism" has become nearly moot in our day and age, So that someone who is really good at it is ignored - ignored for not being considered relevant or particularly important. And many artists merely search for novelty.

Modernism has brought us to a dead end. And electronic imagery is widespread today, ingrained in our culture. TV and advertising having become dominant.

But a poem is a poem, whatever shape it takes or appears in. And this artist, Gramatky, was a very true and deep and good poet, as his watercolors show.  



5 Aug 2007 @ 17:53 by vaxen : Hardie Gramatky
You're referring to Hardie Gramatky of ultra pep and the big big smile?

 



5 Aug 2007 @ 19:37 by jazzolog : Bet You Have But You Haven't
I was surprised too when Linda Gramatky Smith told me of her father's most famous painted creations. Here she is a couple years ago (l) donating 2 Little Toot sketches to the children's library in Westport.



Most American kids have seen the Disney animation of the original book. I believe Hardie "advised" on it but didn't do any of the drawing, although he had worked for Walt in the early '30s. (For a look at the way he drew Mickey Mouse, try here [link] .)

Who can forget the scene of the ocean liner having plowed down several buildings in lower Manhattan? Every little boy like me gets to think, Jeez I never did anything as bad as THAT. Thanks, Little Toot.  



5 Aug 2007 @ 20:30 by vaxen : Yeah...
same, same. Of Walt Disney studio fame. Communication is what is important in Art. Shall we define, then, Art---from the latin Ars which means technology? ;)

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to stage Gramatky show
First exhibit of Gramatky children's book illustrations
Restored Classic edition of Little Toot to be published in 2007

[link]

Little Toot Through The Golden Gate?

Oh WRETCHED race of men, to space confined!
What honour can ye pay to him, whose mind
To that which lies beyond hath penetrated?
The symbols he hath formed shall sound his praise,
And lead him on through unimagined ways
To conquests new, in worlds not yet created.


[link]  



5 Aug 2007 @ 20:46 by vaxen : Hardie Gramatky
Hardie Gramatky, N.A. (1907-1979) Born: Dallas, TX; Studied: Stanford University, Chouinard Art Institute (Los Angeles); Member: National Academy of Design, New York Water Color Club, American Watercolor Society, California Water Color Society. Hardie Gramatky was raised in Southern California. He studied art with F. Tolles Chamberlin, Clarence Hinkle, Pruett Carter and Barse Miller. A dedicated student of watercolor painting, he produced an average of five small watercolors per day. By 1929, he had become a proficient watercolorist and was recognized as one of the true innovators in the development of California Style watercolor painting. These skills helped him to get a job as a head animator at the Walt Disney Studios.

In the early 1930s, he became active on the board of the California Water Color Society and it was largely through his aggressive moves that the California School of watercolorists was able to take control of the Society and expand it into a nationally recognized organization. In 1937 the Ferargil gallery became his art agent in New York City and began selling his watercolors. He also exhibited works in other cities in America and established a reputation as one of California’s premier watercolorists.

By the 1940s, he was producing commercial art to be used for magazine illustrations and began writing and illustrating a series of children’s books. Hercules, Loopy, Creeper’s Jeep and Sparky were all books he created, but Little Toot was the one that would become an all-time best seller. During World War II, he worked in Hollywood producing training films for the United States Air Force and after the war moved back to the East Coast.

Settling in Connecticut he pushed a career as a commercial illustrator producing art for Fortune, Collier’s, Woman’s Day, True, American and Readers Digest. From the 50’s on, he concentrated exclusively on fine art painting and writing and illustrating children’s books. His last book was published posthumously in 1989.

Biographical information:
Interview with Dorothea ("Doppy") Gramatky, 1983.

Biography courtesy of California Watercolors 1850-1970,
©2002 Hillcrest Press, Inc

California Watercolor

[link]  



5 Aug 2007 @ 22:54 by quinty : Having distant relatives who
were cathedral sculptors - those anonymous stone cutters who worked on the numerous figures - I can understand art as a form of technology. Of getting up in the morning and going to work and doing your job well and then coming home to have dinner. I can’t vouch for my distant relatives but much of that medieval stonework is magnificent.

The world in that regard was much simpler and less self conscious. Nor do I think there was a concept of "genius" then: certainly not in the modern sense. But would we trade today's world, with all its hi tech advantages, for that past? When art was on canvas, plaster, or whittled out of stone or wood? And artists worked for royalty or the church?

So why not work for Disney? Though I prefer gargoyles to animated mice and believe gargoyles are somehow more in touch. Have we lost that special sense of something being awry over the centuries too? Something which those sculptors caught so imaginatively and beautifully? Something unique to the Gothic?

With all progress something is lost. What will we get next?  



6 Aug 2007 @ 09:12 by jazzolog : Speaking Of Gargoyles And Gothic
today marks the 62nd anniversary of the explosion of the world's first atomic bomb upon Hiroshima, the kind of date Tagliabue would remind us of with a poem. Instead here we have a photo of some fans cheering on their home team, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. A long homerun ball over the wall might make it to the Aioi Bridge, target of the blast.

 



8 Aug 2007 @ 10:15 by jazzolog : James Adler On Tagliabue
An online friend I got to meet at last year's memorial in Providence is this member of the staff at the Harvard Divinity School Andover-Harvard Theological Library. James Adler did not go to Bates nor ever had John Tagliabue in class. He found him through the poetry and became so enthused he sought him out. John always had room for more friends, and that's what happened. Jim replied to this entry with a lovely email he's permitting me to post here~~~

Hi Richard,

I've also been meaning to thank you for this terrific piece on John Tagliabue... Last month I pinched a nerve in my back, and have been under the heavy boot of this, though it's slowly getting better. Beautiful piece. So often we all intend to do, I think, what we don't don't get around to doing. This past May I was thinking of writing you the whole month to suggest you do a commemoration for John on Jazzlog on May 31, the date of his death.... We were all probably thinking of John during May... I know I was... and hoping Grace seemed to be holding up as well as could be expected at that anniversary period. I was going to call her May 31, but then felt, well, it was probably a day best just for her family to do the commemoration and have their emotions in private. I called about three days later, and she seemed to have gotten through it decently enough... It's hard to describe for me this first year without John. At one level, I've felt all year like I've lost a father-figure.... At another, I've missed the phone calls, phoning John and having wonderful conversations with Grace for a little while, and then her saying she'd go get John, and then hearing John's booming, exuberant voice, and feeling just a thrill of happiness vibrate through my whole body !, feeling that John was a basic source and pillar in the world of sheer and rock-solid joy, happiness, energy, and the sense that all was in the last analysis well in the world... May was the bad and sad month for me about him. I still can't believe it. What a wonderful picture you sent of him and Grace together... I still just can't believe not only that he is gone, but that he isn't better known... isn't well known... our generation had our own Rumi, Tagore, Hafez, Kabir, what have you, and even the literary public was to small-minded and provincial and secularized to realize it. Just a Pulitzer would have gotten him so much publicity, and in my opinion he deserved more than that. But it was partially John's own karma playing out it's destiny... personality is fate... John just wouldn't sufficiently engage with the practical side of the world, the world of publicity and publishing... He's a complete package of course, and that impracticality was part of the same core of John that enabled him to write poetry constantly, prolifically, and poetry so much about our world but could take a step back and have its source virtually from another fresher and original world, of Eden and innocence, as Mark Van Doren put it, "before creation rested." To have been able to inhabit and tap that source for the unimpeded freshness of his poems, probably necessitated some sort of impracticality. I've told Grace I'm still trying (but now sort of stuck) trying to find someone who will take a "highlights" from his "New and Selected," plus some of the published poems from his other books, and she completely supports it. Incidentally, you probably know that she and a retired Art Professor at Brown are putting together some of his unpublished poetry on French painters... We so miss him... He could have lived, perhaps less actively but still in productive health, into his 90s... if only, like Richard Eberhart, until 101 ! But he had a long life and, thankfully for us and the world, wrote a lot, a whole lot, a huge body, of astoundingly fresh and original and almost Eden-like work... If only we could think of further ways of spreading his work.... Have you discontinued Jazzalog, incidentally? Your recent wonderful emails have just seem to come from "Richard Carlson," rather than "Jazzalog." I wonder if Grace would let us set up a John Tagliabue site? Do any of our friends, or anyone on your mailing list, have access to publishing or publishers, someone who would take a "highlights" of John's work? Grace would want examine and edit and change it before okaying it, of course, but in general she would completely support the project.... Do we have any friends or "friends of friends" somewhere "high up" in publishing somewhere? That might be an interesting question to pose to your list.... Anyway, thanks, thanks, thanks, for the commemoration of John... and his unimpeded affirmations, those of an ancient-modern Orpheus... whom were we all so deeply lucky personally to have known...

Jim  



9 Aug 2007 @ 09:30 by jazzolog : From A Reader
I thought you might be interested in this comment that showed up yesterday afternoon at Blogger. I always wish people were not anonymous (except around 12 step work) but I'm grateful for the information and opinion.

----- Original Message -----

A Reader has left a new comment on your post "A Year Without Tagliabue":

Gone but not forgotten!

A POETIC AND AN ETHICS OF INCLUSION:

“In a time of divisiveness, John Tagliabue showed how to be inclusive. In a time of partisanship, Tagliabue embraced opposites. In a time of suspicion, Tagliabue accepted the other without making them over.”

This review, dated 12/31/98, from a reader, was about John Tagliabue's "New and Selected Poems: 1942-1997":

"New and Selected Poems includes more than half a century of poems, but I find the book speaks to our historical moment. For those who enjoy plenitude, I can recommend no more heartening way to move into the new year than to read--even read aloud--from this big book. It will make you want to reach out, to combat bitterness with wit, to love difference, to imagine, to fully live.

Despite his ethics of inclusion, there is no homogenization of the reader; nor does Tagliabue make an issue of cross-cultural engagement. Rather, his poetics demonstrates how to move in a direction neither of global uniformity nor of radical fragmentation in a globalized democracy. As such this most prolific of American poets mirrors "the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present" and confirms Shelley's belief that "poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World."

The verbal syncretism, oceanic rhythm that counters chronometric progression, freely flowing analogies, unpredictable prosodic doublings and embeddings serve to subvert the reader's expectation of univocal form, yet unravel a mutuality with all things, including the chaos needed in oneself to trigger recognitions, transformations, exchanges. The dialogical openness of Tagliabue's poems, old and new--and for longtime readers a special pleasure is to follow the changes through the decades--will make you hope for our escape from power, as Tagliabue's poems call for the reader to renounce monological boundaries for the lyric as genre."

Such reviews and the testimony of those who knew him are a tribute to the spirit of the man both as a poet and as a person - and man and poet, can the two really be set apart as if we were talking of two separate entities?

I was not a student of his and I never met him in person, and so I cannot speak of him as a "friend," as we usually think of that term (a person whom one has met - an acquaintance) yet, as the saying goes "a good book on your shelf is a friend that turns its back on you and remains a friend." I've collected many such friends over the years, some of whom I have actually met in person, but most of them, came and went before I was ever born, yet they are not gone, they "return often," "with infinite Play," "with infinite Presentation..."

“A good book has no ending.”

Posted by A Reader to jazzoLOG at 1:54 PM  



19 Aug 2007 @ 19:20 by jazzolog : Grace Tagliabue
I had sent John's widow a copy of this article and some comments, as I used to for the poet when I put something on the Net. While he refused to look at anything that purported to be a screen but actually is only the top of a tube of some kind, he was pleased as Punch when I'd post some of his poems here.

Last week Grace wrote back in characteristic calligraphy on a card she made. Since some of her reply refers to messages here and at other entries, I'll share what she writes~~~

Dear Dick Carlson, I received your large envelope of notes, quotations, responses printed out from your jazzoLOG: A Year Without Tagliabue dated 1 August 2007. You were very thoughtful to send it to me, thanks so much. While reading it I was flooded with memories, watered some by tears and visions of July 1, 2006 when so many former students and other friends appeared and filled CAV, that quirky restaurant here in Providence. Francesca, Dina, Erica and I were all overwhelmed by the appreciation and love shown for John. I look back on it as a joyous happy celebration of his life and his poems. Be sure it gives me great gratification because I feel he would have loved it and would have joined in, eating it up; in a sense he was there because we all felt his presence. So your marking the first anniversary was great and I thank you for it.
Your tale about the trip to New York to see Martha Graham dance was vivid and amusing. I recognized a few of the people who responded to your messages on the Internet, Diane Davies, John Holt, Linda Gramatky Smith. I am curious about the Australian John Tagliabue. In fact I recently got a message from one of John's cousins, Charles Tagliabue, mentioning an Australian connection so that may be unraveled someday.
So, Dick, many thanks
Keep in touch
Best wishes to you and your family.
Grace
P.S. I wish your daughter GOOD LUCK in picking the right college---it turns out that that choice in one's life is often momentous.  



20 Aug 2007 @ 18:42 by jazzolog : From Linda Gramatky Smith
I have a number of emails from friends complaining the non-member comment feature doesn't work. They type the secret code thingie and their message disappears. I asked Ming to take a look. In the meantime, this from Linda~~~

Hi Dick,

I'm frustrated since I'm not really good with blogs. I wrote a couple of comments about the nice comments Quinty and Vaxen had written about my dad, Hardie Gramatky, but I couldn't add a comment to your blog. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks for sharing Grace Tagliabue's comments with us. I remember with such love the gathering of so many people who loved John and Grace just a year ago.

I loved clicking on "Quinty" and seeing wonderful art of his dad and reading his comments about Dad's watercolors, and how did Vaxen really know my dad? He wrote, "You're referring to Hardie Gramatky of ultra pep and the big big smile?" and I thought that only our family knew what energy and enthusiasm he had and had seen his warm, loving smile!

I loved your analysis of why little boys loved Little Toot after seeing him make the ocean liners PLOW into the buildings along NYC harbor, but it's true that then no kid could be "that bad" in comparison! LOL. May I use your quote when the new www.littletoot.org site is finished in a couple of weeks?

What I've been working on the last year is the new edition of Little Toot that will be published by Penguin Putnam on September 6th. It restores the vibrant reds and blues of the first edition, which has been reprinted so often that the colors had faded to dull oranges and grays, plus it adds back some exciting endpapers and some full-color sketches from Dad's original manuscript. My hope is that it will show readers what made Little Toot so special 68 years ago.

Thanks too for your link to [link] because there is an old Mickey Mouse cartoon there (how do you find all these links, Dick?) that I am sure the curator of the Eric Carle Museum show will want to see. She has a couple of Disney drawings that Dad drew in the exhibit. And the site had the date of Dad's death wrong so I wrote to let them know.

Best to you, Linda (Gramatky Smith)  



8 Oct 2007 @ 09:44 by jazzolog : Little Toot Sails Again
Some nice links from Linda Gramatky Smith yesterday~~~


The tugboat Gramma Lee. T. Moran does figure eights in New York Harbor last week to celebrate the relaunch of “Little Toot.”
Kitty Lyons for WestportNow.com

WestportNow.com
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
NY Party for Children’s Classic by Westport Author is a Toot

When it was first published in 1939, the classic children’s book “Little Toot” about the adventures of a New York City tugboat by Westport artist and illustrator Hardie Gramatky had a fitting launch—aboard a New York City tugboat.

On Sept. 6, a new “restored classic version” of “Little Toot” was published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons and last week the event was fittingly celebrated with another party aboard a New York City tugboat.

“It was Ken’s idea,” said Westporter Linda Gramatky Smith, Hardie Gramatky’s daughter, of her husband, Kendall Smith. “Happily the Moran Towing executives enthusiastically said yes.”

Over the 68 years since it was first published, the colors in “Little Toot” had changed from Gramatky’s vibrant reds and blues to faded oranges and grays, she said, prompting publication of the restored version.

The new edition of this coming-of-age children’s book that the Library of Congress named one of the all-time classics in children’s literature includes end papers that have not been seen for 40 years.

The original art work now in the New York Public Library was rescanned and some new full-color sketches added from Gramatky’s manuscript.

“The result is like having a brand new first edition of ‘Little Toot’ in a child’s hands,” said Gramatky Smith, who worked with Putnam’s to restore the book and has been busy promoting its relaunch.

She has already spoken at schools and bookstores in Massachusetts and California, and made a Connecticut television appearance. In March and April, the Westport Public Library hosted an exhibit of original illustrations from the book.

The creative luminaries aboard a Moran tugboat in New York Harbor in October 1939 for the first christening party of the book included marine artist Gordon Grant, famous New York librarian Anne Carroll Moore, Hardie Gramatky, Eugene Moran, Sr., journalist/author Christopher Morley and watercolorist Reginald Marsh.

Last week’s party was held aboard the Miriam Moran while a second Moran tugboat, the Gramma Lee T. Moran, delighted the crowd on board with antics that are familiar to readers of “Little Toot"-- doing figure eights, shooting streams of water, blowing black smoke balls and blasting its horn at the other tugboat.

The three-hour tugboat ride hosted a special group of reporters and librarians, including Westport’s own “Miss Kitty” Lyons, head of the Children’s Department.

Posted 10/02 at 06:29 AM
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Yep, who'd-a thought that scrappy little tugboat would someday make it to High Society? Ya see? There's hope for us all!  



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