I wanted to start off by talking about why we still need Peter, Paul and Mary. But, alas, Mary is forever gone from us.
But, unfortunately, the need lives on. Because this still goes on today:
. . .this song was written in 1971 by Eric Bogle. There are many, many versions of the song. . .and although the song was written about Gallipoli, like all "good" anti-war songs, it is transferable. . .unfortunately. . .because. . .
. . .the war drags on. . .
Wars drag on. . .
. . .all this madness needs to end. . .
so that this little guy. . .
. . .I found so innocently running through the woods yesterday with abandon. . .
and most certainly this little guy. . .
. . .my youngest grandson, The Fabulous Baby J. . .
. . .never have to experience the horrors of war. . .
. . .but, that's really not what I came to talk about today. . .although, probably the most important. . .
I wanted to talk about the beauty, the charm, the wit of Neal Pollack and why we need writers like Neal. . .
My love affair with Neal dates back to 2000 with the publication of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature. Neal, at the time, was one of the hot young writers. . .and one of the things I loved about him and the book is that he made fun of himself constantly. . .I liked the fact that on the cover of the book he had:
FUTURE WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
There are so many priceless moments in that book. . .in the chapter INTERLUDE: THE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEW JUNE 27, 1976:
What is the best advice about writing anyone ever gave you and who gave it?
When I was a boy of 12, Papa Hemingway sat me on his meaty haunch and said, "Fella, you are going to overtake me faster than a jeep on an elephant hunt." When I saw him 10 years later, he was sleeping off a drunk and I didn't want to bother him, but I wanted to say thank you, because he had been perfectly correct.". .
I bring up Pollack because, today, he is self-publishing. After many books with mainstream publishers. He's self-publishing. And so what?! He is still brilliant.
Neal says this: