Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Taking the commuter train to Michigan City, Indiana, where my brother, who lives in Kalamazoo but has business in South Bend today, will pick us up.

Splendid dinner with friends Kate & Michael & their 3 kids, Kerry, Jeff & his new wife (whom I hadn't met), Randy & his 2 kids, and my sister and her 2 kids last night. Boistrous! Kate & Michael are moving to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands to try something new; Michael, after 15 albums in 17 years, says he has given up music, "run out of gas." Randy's playing with a Rolling Stones cover band that can pull in $3,000 for one gig. Jeff's working on several projects, as always; Kerry's writing a story on David (who was out of town, so I missed him) and Mickle (with whom we had lunched earlier in the day), both of whom have Poe adaptations opening in Chicago in the next couple months. Mr. Jumping Chocolate Pudding and his 4 and a half year old cousin spend half the dinner under the table; Kate & Michael's kids are lovely, as are Randy's; everybody seems well.

The image above is Santa, from the original illustrated edition of "A Visit From St. Nicholas." I found a cheap used Dover reprint of the book in a small town in Canada last summer. In one of the pictures, Santa is standing on a stool to reach the mantle to get the stockings. This short, authentically Livingstonian (see below), or, if you insist, Moore-esque, Santa is so unfamiliar to readers today that the Dover edition sports the Thomas Nast Santa pictured below on the cover!

Merry Winter to all!
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