Monday, April 8, 2013

Another Publishing Journal: April 8, 2013

I was unable to get the two illustrations referred to in this blog
into the blog. I'll do better in the future, but it didn't work graphically today!
Emil Antonucci drew this illustration for Teo Savory for the contribution, Little Bear, in her 1977 Unicorn Press volume, A Clutch of Fables
     Little Bear is a fable about being an artist, a writer actually, misunderstood by just about everybody important to her and to her success. Teo was portraying herself.
     Whenever I think of Teo, to whom I was married 32 years, I picture her immediately at her typewriter. Teo’s stance at the typewriter was not slouching like Little Bear but much more upright, not a depressed expression on her face, but more vigorous. But she’s typing. Hans Rey portrayed her just right in a letter he wrote to her about the same time as the Antonucci drawing. I’ll put the Hans Rey drawing at the top of the next page.
     Hans of course is the creator of Curious George, and he and Margaret Rey, who  wrote most of the Curious George books, were good friends of ours. Hans wanted us to publish something of his, but Teo wrote back that we had just moved and, in fact, had no office . . . She had to do her work right there, in the P. O. Box we rented at the post office! And this quick-witted artist got it right.
     Today is my first day of work without Mo. That’s Maureen “Mo” Kessler, with whom I’ve worked in harness for the past year and a half, here at Glenwood Coffee & Books.

When I think of Mo it’s not sitting straight-up in front of a typewriter or even standing tall before an easel, it’s running into the bookshop, needing a cup of coffee.  But I like decaffeinated, and that’s what is usually brewing.
     Mo grabs three or four empty gallon jugs and heads for the water supply in the back room. One of her bette noirs is there’s no water supply into the coffeeshop, no drain. We use gallon jugs and an empty bucket! For a year, Mo has desired to get me out of the little enclosed room in our shop, where I live. She wants to see that used as a kitchen, one with a door and a hatchway, that you can keep clean, that has a water supply and a drain.
     Moreover, as she shared when she told me she’s “outta here,” she doesn’t see how she can attract customers into a place where an old, sick man lives!
     This morning, Mo won’t be running in here (“running” is how she walks, which to a turtle like me is memorable). Won’t scrunch up her nose when I tell her it’s decaf in the carafe. Won’t grab three or four empty gallon plastic bottles and head for the bathroom to fill them. Won’t flash her wide, toothy smile at me, although she doesn’t feel like smiling before a big cup and huge gulp of coffee. What a ragmuffin. I feel this echoing silence, this emptiness in the space this morning, very depressing.

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