Tuesday, December 27, 2022
#362 / Come Back In September
That's Elizabeth Hardwick on the right. She was an American writer who also taught writing seminars at both Barnard College and Columbia University's School of the Arts. On the left is Darryl Pinckney, also a writer. Pinckney was one of Hardwick's students, and he has written a book about Hardwick, Come Back In September. I haven't read Pinckney's book, but I much enjoyed the book review published in The Wall Street Journal.
According to that review, it was Hardwick's belief that "one's life and autobiography are intrinsically tied to what one has read." Again, citing to the review of Pinckney's book, Hardwick also believed that "one's life and autobiography are intrinsically tied to the people you have been fortunate enough to know."
I am in profound agreement with these two, quite compatible, observations. Therefore, let me express, here, my gratitude for having been exposed to the literary works of Søren Kierkegaard, Hannah Arendt, and Bob Dylan. And with respect to the people I have been fortunate to know, let me express my thanks to my parents, Philips and Alma Patton, to my wife, Marilyn Dilworth Patton, and to my two children, Sonya and Philips (and my three grandchildren, too: Dylan, Delaney, and Jay). I should also list my friend from my undergraduate years at Stanford, Larry Spears (now augmented by an entire contingent of Spears and Spears-contingent people whom I see most Sundays, as we all call in from Arizona, Duluth, New York City, Woodside, San Jose, Santa Cruz, and other places around the nation). I definitely have to name both Denise and Alan Holbert, too, who asked me to run for the Board of Supervisors in 1974. And let me add Andy Schiffrin, who, with Denise, worked in the office of the Third District Supervisor during my twenty years in office. I am leaving some pople out! This is, absolutely, only a very "partial list" of those whom I acknowledge, deep in my heart, as having made my life worthwhile, and full of joy.
I really do look back on "a life and autobiography" that makes me grateful to have been alive. That Come Back In September book review, in The Wall Street Journal, convinced me that I ought to acknowledge that fact "out loud," and to say how truly grateful I am to all those whom I have been so privileged to have known, admired, and loved.
In books, and songs, and real life: Thank you!