Larry White

December 4, 2010

Post #2664 – 20101204

Greetings! I was introduced to your books in the 70s when a WBAI show host whose name I forget (a friend of Post, I think) read Lizard Music over the air. Thus began a period analogous to the inauguration of a pleasure dome for my son and I. My sad sack side dragged me away for a dry period during which I only occasionally caught your refreshing radio presence until I stopped listening to my radio almost ten years ago. Happily, though, I have relatively younger relatives who had yet to discover the Pinkwater magic—until the approach of my second childhood became undeniable. I have been rereading everything and reading or going to read all the newer books plus a couple of stunners I somehow missed, like Borgel and The Worms of Kukumlima! Question: how did you know when it was time for (to borrow from G. Corso) “the last warmth of Arnold”?

Daniel replies:

That was Bill Watson, the greatest classical music disc jockey in NY, who came as a refugee to WBAI (free-speech listener-supported radio) when William F. Buckley, no less, sold his classical music station to a company who wanted to covert it to top 40 rock'n'roll. Buckley, a classical music lover, and aware that the unique resource he had created would be turned into something perfectly ordinary, explained that this was the way to maximize profit--and was thus a prisoner of his principles, and a harbinger of things to come. Watson always talked and read a fair amount when he was at Buckley's station all-night, 7 nights a week. When he came to WBAI to do one shift a week, he did as much talking as he had done in a week at the old gig. Obviously there was a lot less music, and the format lovingly crafted over years was gone, and I think no one was completely happy. It was in this period that he read some of my books--brilliantly. The rule we observe about when a dog has completed its assignment is when discomfort dominates pleasure of living. And of course, when a dog is a threat to the life of others, and cannot be reformed--but that is rare. Welcome to reading my stuff again--when I enter my dotage in the near future, I plan to do the same thing.