Wednesday, February 3, 2010

J. D. Salinger Died this week

Dear Internet,
There was an excellent article about J.D Salinger's life in the New York Times. He had an extraordinary impact on my youth. I read Catcher when I was 17 at the same time when many of my friends were reading it. We all started talking like Holden Caufield. It was a private language. Like Holden I managed to get my self bounced out of prep school....a place called The Forum School. I was given the option of graduating by taking classes via correspondence ........studying at the library or at home. In the process I read everything by Salinger or about him that had been written. The Glass family short stories are a riot. I couldn't believe that Zoey actually called his mother " a fat Irish rose" to her face or told her often to" take a nice elevator ride for yourself." I identified with all of Salinger's characters. His setting was always New York city. I spent my 16th year there and knew the upper East side like the back of my hand. I'm afraid Salinger ruined my parents plans for me.
In my 2nd year at college in Vermont I landed a job at the school newspaper as a features writer. So one Sunday afternoon, my girlfriend Vicky Glenn and I took off in my old 1955 Porsche to look up J.D. Salinger at his house in Cornish New Hampshire just across the Connecticut river from Putney. It was easy to find. Vicky and I looked like two of Salinger's characters. She was from Greenwich, short, blond, beautiful dressed in a kilted skirt, green cashmere sweater with a circle pin. I had on a brown tweed jacket, dark red khakis and brown weejuns. ( I think we were stoned on pot). ...crap....I'm going to have to make amends to Vicky. I was a terrible boyfriend.....
We drove right up to his house, went to the front door and we belonged there. Salinger came out. I told him I wanted to interview him for the Lions Roar. He said that he didn't grant interviews anymore and that he was watching the Giants football game on TV. We stood around in his dirt drive talking about why he liked teenagers and that he would talk to us....just not as a formal interview. His wife came out with a baby in her arms. Salinger taught at Dartmouth and had married a Radcliffe student 30 years his junior. She was near our age. Just as suddenly as the talk began, it ended and ol J D went back into his house. Wow. I actually got to speak to the most reclusive writer in America. He was my hero.
The interview was published in the fall of 1967 in the Windham College Lions Roar and has remained otherwise a secret at Salinger's request hidden from everyone until today. It is in the historical Windham College newspaper archives. The college closed in the late 1970s. I do not have a copy of it.
from America's most famous small city
Jann Scott
Boulder Colorado
357 days left in project

1 comment:

Life in Boulder said...

I'm loving your blog! Really wonderful to hear about your meeting with J.D. Salinger.
Keep up the great writing!
your pal Betsy

I really enjoy your blog Jann. I just watched Julie and Julia for the second time and your blog felt llike that movie.
Have a blessed day.

I love your blog