"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, June 26, 2010

John Waters- Role Models

"How did somebody from a quiet Baltimore neighborhood grow up to become the outlandish, brilliant, and insane John Waters? Two words: Johnny Mathis."
-Augusten Burroughs

"Tennessee Williams saved my life. As a twelve-year-old boy in suburban Baltimore, I would look up his name in the card catalog at the library, and it would read "See Librarian." I wanted these "See Librarian" books-and I wanted them now-but in the late fifties (and sadly even today), there was no way that a warped adolescent like myself could get his hands on one. I soon figured out that the "See Librarian" books were on a special shelf behind the counter, so when the librarian was helping the "normal" kids with their book reports, I snuck behind the checkout desk and stole the first book I wanted on my own. 'One Arm,' read the forbidden cover-a short story collection by Tennessee Williams that I later found out had been only available in an expensive limited edition, sold under the counter in "special" bookshops before new Directions released the hardback version in 1954. And now it was mine.
Yes, Tennessee Williams was my childhood friend. I yearned for a bad influence and Tennessee was one in the best sense of the word: joyous, alarming, sexually confusing, and dangerously funny....there was another world that Tennessee Williams knew about, a universe filled with special people who didn't want to be a part of this dreary conformist life that I was told I had to join."

In honor of the new John Waters book, ROLE MODELS (of which we have signed copies in stock), I asked our Book Soup staff to think of their own childhood role models, and we came up with some nice ones.....
This will be a weekly examination.

JINNY- "James Cagney. I wanted to be a fast-talkin', gun-wieldin', tap-dancin' tough guy just like him."

JULIA- "Michael Jordan because he could fly."

PAIGE- "Debbie Harry. She was so pretty and she looked like she wouldn't take any guff from anyone."

DEVRI- "Lucille Ball. As a child all I wanted to do was practice pratfalls, make silly faces, procure a Cuban bandleader husband and break into showbiz..."

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