Carol Morrow

January 1, 1997

Post #551 – 19970101

Dear Mr. Pinkwater — I heard you talking on NPR the other day about your new web page, and logged on the first chance that i got — how wonderful — of course i love listening to you on NPR, but i first became a fan of yours when i read ‘the big orange splot’ to my daughter about 10 years ago — it remains one of my most all-time favorite books — my husband and i (both anthropologists) are in the process of planning to take off the roof of our old 1940’s bungalow in our cosy little neighborhood of tiny homes — and having a grand second story built on top — sometimes our ideas seem a bit radical for our street — but i always have in the back of my mind — ‘i am my house and my house is me — maybe i’ll check into some frangipani for the backyard

Daniel replies:

Anthropologists, remind me of the time I was living in an African village, and there was an anthropologist studying the tribe. She didn't know how to ask questions without prompting a specific answer. She asked a bunch of young men, ""You never lived in thatched huts, did you? They were gone in your grandfathers' time, right?"" Naturally, they told her they never had. Then when she left they began talking about how they'd steal bits of kindling from the roof, and their mothers would holler at them. ""So you all lived in thatched huts,"" I said. ""Why did you tell the anthropologist you never did?"" ""Well, what's the difference?"" they said. ""Besides she wants to think of us as modern people--so why disappoint her?"" I think she wrote a book about the tribe. Tricky business, anthropology.