Saturday, January 30, 2010

Postcard Memoir

She Says (she still exists, despite the 12/5/09 post - she's become enamored of facebook) sent me an email about how this teacher at the NOW Academy in LA, in a poor part of Koreatown, wanted postcards representing various parts of the world.

Rather than send her class actual postcards from Minnesota, I sent them Larry Sutin's book, A Postcard Memoir. Larry was my professor at Hamline when I was doing my Master's in writing and scribbling a thesis on dystopias. He's done books on Aleister Crowley and Philip K. Dick as well. But this book is beautiful, and contains pictures of postcards from his collection (he also collects pens from drug companies - a hobby my mother has been helping me to facilitate for him for years) from all over the world, with a bent toward Minnesota: pictures of old hotels (like the Leamington), Annandale, Lake Pepin, et al. If you want a postcard of Minnesota, Larry's pictures are unique.

However. It's a memoir. So some of the writing accompanying the postcards is a bit racy for 2nd and 3rd graders. I'm not so sure they care to know that Larry's mother was gang raped in the French wilderness when she was a Jewish resistance fighter in WWII (his parents are the subject of another book - also very good. Or that they need to know he first masturbated to Cyd Charisse. Twice. I'm glad I didn't know that when we saw each other several times a week. Singing in the Rain is perhaps one of my favorite things in the world. I hate to think of someone wanking to it. And there are a few postcards featuring the odd Greek/Roman statue with the highlighted phallus.

My hope is that the teacher will be sharp enough to simply pick out the postcards that are interesting and present them without presenting any of the text (at least any of the inappropriate text). After all, my teachers in elementary (one in particular) were kind enough to deal with me when I said "vagina" several times in several minutes without raising a serious ruckus. So I suspect they're experts at sifting and dealing with inappropriate material, yet might appreciate that the inappropriate bits are appropriate for them during non-school reading time.

Good luck with all that, Mrs. Sakai. I hope you show them the Annandale Card. That's probably very close to the field where I almost got hypothermia during a Scouting event!

No comments: