Saturday, January 30, 2010

Portrait of the Blogger As a Young Man

This photograph reached me thanks to the good eye of my old Army buddy, Philip Marshall Cavanaugh. Needless to say, it made me chuckle. The picture dates to 1955 or mid-1956—and yes: I was already at it then in an age that didn’t even dream of the Internet. The tawdry disorder on my do-it-yourself desk in the Army (visible by clicking on the picture), before me my most valued possession, the typewriter, testifies to the shape of my life then, although I must say that looking around at my current work station, things look pretty much the same. And yes, the words were flowing then as now. There on the right is some manuscript in the making.

Sometimes it seems to me that we are born stamped in a certain way, and while changes do take place over time (I hope and pray), the form remains stubbornly the same.

And No. I don’t know what it was that I was doing with my fingers. Removing a carelessly licked stamp from an envelope? Having decided that the letter in the sealed enveloped held a badly turned phrase—realized after the sealing? Compulsive, obsessive editor? Wouldn’t surprise me.

And last, the beige book on the desk is titled The Soldier's Code. Fate inserted that into the picture as a little joke. And Yes. It was hot and humid at Ft. Benjamin Harrison that summer. The paper’s curling everywhere.


  1. Oh, I'm so glad this photo survived.
    Thanks to Cavanaugh for digitizing and sharing it with you and to you for posting it.
    What fun.

  2. Assez émouvant! Thierry thought is was Max when I showed him without telling him who it was... Looks like you're rolling a cigarette but there are some in a pack on the desk with a zippo neatly placed on top.