Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Mr. Styles and Dr. Joyce Brothers
On rare occasions, when I walk Olga, I don't bring my camera. I feel about the camera sort of what I feel about the computer -- it's a great device but you have to back away now and then just to maintain your sanity and your perspective. You know?
Yesterday morning, Olga and I set out sans camera and walked in a wide circle to the west. We were passing near Latimer Road, a popular graffiti area, so I decided to look and see if anything new had appeared. Voila! A beautiful new piece by Mr. Styles, whose work I really like.
Of course that meant I had to walk back to Latimer Road yesterday afternoon, with the camera, to take some pictures. (A little more than two miles round-trip.) One thing I've learned -- if you see a nice piece of street art you better photograph it immediately, because it's likely to be covered with new tags in no time.
In other news, I see that Dr. Joyce Brothers died. Here's the story of my brush with Dr. Brothers.
Almost 25 years ago, when I was working as a reporter in Central Florida, an editor asked me to write a short article about the uplifting scent of springtime orange blossoms. (Newspapers had a lot of space in those days.) I was trying to find some experts to give this story a little punch, and I thought, why not call a psychologist to talk about how and why pleasant smells can elevate our mood?
So I called Dr. Joyce Brothers. She was very pleasant and gave me some answers about how smell receptors are close to the pleasure centers of the brain, and I dutifully included all this in my article.
I was dismayed when it came out in print the next day, though. Apparently what I turned in was too long for this particular editor, who took a hacksaw to the piece and cut it mercilessly, without regard for preserving transitions or flow. What ran was a tattered mess.
Dr. Brothers had asked me to send her a copy of the article, and I did so -- but in an uncharacteristic act of professional rebellion I also sent a printout of the unedited piece, to show what it was supposed to have looked like. I also complained to the senior editors, one of whom sent me a note praising my ingenuity and gave the hacksaw-wielding editor a little talk.
Victory is mine, sayeth the reporter!