It's Sunday morning, laying in my snugly white down duvet I scan through my emails; I notice The New York Times Books Update is still unread in my inbox. Odd. I never miss my Friday read of the Books Update. How did it get overlooked? Scrolling through the email I speed read the opening letter from the Editor of TNYT Book Review. She is a capable writer. I enjoy reading her weekly letters. I envy her job. What catches my eye though sits at the bottom of the email, The Short List. I click on the link and it brings me to The New York Times Books section on their blog. Click on the same link in the blog, and it takes me to the Sunday Book Review ON READING. I read the article, clicking on various links for each book they are reviewing, adding the titles to my planner list for new reads. Somewhere along the line I am linked to the online print of the paper.
There I glance at a picture of Judy Garland dressed as Dorothy. I love the Wizard of Oz so I click on the picture. "Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles," the link takes me to an original scan of the Wizard of Oz movie review. I look at the year 1939. I'm intrigued. The year has a special connection to me.
Reading the review I am taken to a flat in New York, a little family of four sitting at the kitchen table, I imagine my Grandpa Field reading the review to my grandma before he heads off to work. My grandma listening while she feeds my uncle Bob. A sleepy 9 month old version of my daddy laying in the stroller next to her.
The twinkle in my grandma's eye from the delightful review echoes off the spoon entering my uncle Bob's mouth. I wonder if she wants to go see the movie now that she has heard about it. Was it talked about in her chats with other women on the block? Did they view it as only a "children's" movie? I wish I knew. I can't ask my grandma. My daddy is not old enough to remember... or is he???
I read the ads, the other reviews located on the page. I dabble into looking at the other pages of the issue. I miss the feel of a newspaper in my hands. Even when we got a paper on our front stoop or in the mailbox I didn't find the descriptions from the reviewers as entertaining as I did the writing of Frank. S. Nugent. Didn't he have such a great way of "Showing" us the movie?
This goes to one of my arguments of writing today in papers and print. We have ruined the English language. We make words that are harmless evil and politically incorrect to use, like the word Gay (see one of the ads on the side of a movie caption): which when reading the definition used to have it's number 1 description as: lighthearted and carefree. This has been moved to #2 with the negative, demeaning definition: of a person, especially a man) homosexual. Sad. I loved the word as a meaning of lighthearted and carefree..
If you just graze over the movie review, please go back and read it. It's, as I said before, delightful. Next read the other articles on the page. Informative and entertaining at the same time.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the August 18, 1939 edition of The New York Times. I will venture to say that I was born in the wrong era. I am more a "literature" reader and writer than a "fiction" one. Gobbling up words from the past sometimes puts a damper on words of the future. I guess I need to stop complaining and appreciate that I can read editions of various papers online thanks to the futuristic capabilities of the Internet and computers. Can you imagine if you told my grandfather there would be such a thing what he would say? I think he would say, "only time will tell."
A normal habit of reading my emails sent me on a journey of discovery, and that started my Sunday out perfectly.
*title comes from Maroon 5's, Sunday Morning.