Joni talks, recites poetry, smokes a lot of cigarettes.
An extended interview from the CBC, well worth the investment of one hour forty-five minutes of your time. Joni goes into depth about her art and life, with sensitive interviewer Jian Ghomeshi keeping her on track. Very little fluff, Joni pulls no punches, but is not antagonistic. Anyone interested in the creative process could learn a thing or three from her.
Joni even does a little of her great Bob Dylan impression as well.
This card found in a flea market with the ticket below, postmarked 1946, was addressed to "Miss Frances Bruno" of Saint Paul Minnesota. The correspondence mentions that "this place is really romantic. Been raining a lot though- darn. Houston TX next." A search for Frances came up empty; maiden names from the 40s don't usually survive the conversion to digital data:
The Court of Two Sisters still exists, catering to the tourist trade. This next piece of ephemera has a little more information, with a little more searching I found enough to start a narrative:
The back has the name of Bruno, Frances written in pencil at the top, with "HOLIDAY ON ICE SHOWS, INC." stamped below it. A little research shows that this troupe began traveling across the country a few years earlier; these trips were made practical after the development of a successful portable ice rink. There are programs from 1947 available online, although the contents are not. Searching a little further (on Bing no less!) I did find a mention of Frances on a HOI reunion board—she was in the chorus! These mementos had been removed from her scrap-book and sold for 50 cents. That's a little sad, I'm sure there was more information about her, although the audience for her story might be very limited. It is known that in 1947 the HOI went on a tour that made it to Mexico City for a stunning nineteen day sold-out run (total attendance of over 350,000!) and also performed in a bullfight arena in Guadalahara.
As to The Southerner, numerous sources chronicle this train:
I take it that car S-4 is the same as SOU 804 Georgia Coach listed above. The locomotive itself is a classic streamliner which ran for many years:
All this must have been heady stuff for a youngster from Minnesota in 1947!
A memoir by
Counterpoint, Berkley, 2013
Sarah Moss is a writer and academic from the UK. She spent parts of 2009 and 2010 teaching in Reykjavík, moving there with her husband and two young sons. I got my copy from my blog-pal, DJ Cousin Mary (Thanks Mary!). I was keen on reading it for I had been there in October of 2009. This book is full of information, although I found it presented in a somewhat skewed fashion. There are some very good interviews with interesting Icelanders (these Icelanders were, as usual, very good story-tellers) and there is a lot of detail about some of the places she visited which I found fascinating although those less interested might just see lists.
Actually finishing the book became an ordeal. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first, but after a few chapters I figured it out. It was something I'd seen before in Icelandic travel books written by UK writers: that distortion of reality filtered through 'English Myopia" exemplified by a sense of superiority coupled with thinly veiled condescension. There was scarcely a page without some form of put-down of Iceland or disparaging cracks about Iceland vis-á-vis the UK. I will grant that the author had walked into a very difficult situation. With Iceland still reeling from a financial meltdown while also experiencing volcanic eruptions (to say nothing of the usual problems of dealing with small children) it is understandable that she would not always be painting a pretty picture. Those circumstances would tax anyone's patience. But I found that the real turn off was her constant whining (whinging) about her distastes and fears of virtually anything the slightest bit out of line with her preconceptions. After the twentieth iteration of how bad Iceland traffic is I was quite ready to throw the book in the trash. I'd give you some more examples, but the stern (neurotic?) warning on the publishers page against any such violation of her "moral right" and the threat of subsequent "criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages" prohibits my use of any quotations from the book. If you do happen across a copy, however, just open it anywhere and read a paragraph or two.