Saturday, September 9, 2017

Storm Drama

We had some excitement yesterday regarding Hurricane Irma and my family in Jacksonville, Florida. My brother sent me an e-mail saying he couldn't reach my mom, and he and his wife and kids were about to evacuate to South Carolina. So I got on the horn to Mom and her retirement center to find out what the heck was going on.

We eventually got it all sorted out -- Mom had evacuation plans of her own, through her retirement community. My brother and I just wanted to be sure she wasn't staying put, because she lives in a flood zone near a major waterway (albeit on the second floor).

Now, as it's turned out, the storm seems projected to move farther west, over Tampa. My brother wound up not evacuating after all. I'm still not sure whether Mom went as planned. It's hard to stay on top of these things from London, where the skies are calm and the birds are on their feeders in the back garden, oblivious to meteorological drama.

Did you see that Graydon Carter is stepping down after 25 years as editor of Vanity Fair? When I first caught a glimpse of the story yesterday I only saw his name in a headline, and thought he'd died. That would be a hideous injustice, for the man who first dubbed Donald Trump a "short-fingered vulgarian" to die during Trump's presidency! I'm glad to see he's still with us. (Carter, that is, not Trump.)

During the '90s I was an eager consumer of Vanity Fair. I loved Nan Darien, the fictional columnist and social x-ray who commented wryly on the activities of the upper crust. VF's investigative articles were riveting, and the magazine taught me a lot about pop culture. But I began losing interest as I aged and failed to recognize progressively newer, younger stars in its pages. I realized I could never keep track of the next Bright Young Thing, and the dozens of Bright Young Things coming off the assembly line behind. I kind of gave up!

(Photo: A couple of guys fishing in the Thames in Purfleet. I like how they rigged a Peppa Pig bedsheet to give them some shade!)


  1. I don't think they rigged that bed sheet for shade. They were in fact worshipping Peppa Pig who is set to replace Theresa May as the leader of the Tory Party. Hell, if America can have Trump, we can have Peppa Pig.

    Glad to learn your mum's room is on the second floor.

  2. Glad your mom has her safety plans in place. My parents are in hoping to god they are safe. Their home was built to the latest hurricane standards, so we think good thoughts. These storms are dreadful, and it is even worse when you are far away, unable to help.

    Loved V.F. until I saw the umpteenth cover with Angelina Jolie. Then I stopped reading it. I like her but seriously, there are other people on the planet doing good things...

  3. Hope your family escapes damage. still dealing with it here.

  4. I just took an Ativan. Irma is tracking more westerly all the time.
    Talked to a friend down in Tampa who lives a mile from the bay. She has two kids. The roads are gridlocked.
    This is serious shit.

  5. My brother-in-law and his family live in Jacksonville. They're not planning to evacuate so I'm glad it's moving more to the west, although I hate to wish this storm on anyone. South Carolina is getting lots of evacuees, but they hotels are full to capacity (at least here in Florence, but we're right off I-95). I hope your family will be safe and sound, Steve.

  6. I pray your family, and everyone, is safe.

  7. We will all breathe a sigh of relief when this monster hurricane has finally moved on. The lead up is so scary in every way. Hope all goes safely and well for your family and everyone.

  8. We have relatives in Florida also and are concerned about their safety.

    My wife is an avid reader of VF and so am I, when I find the time. Sorry to hear about Graydon but he deserves a break.

  9. This hurricane season is just so scary & crazy! I hope it's not as bad as expected, but I really fear for the worst.

    There was a very brief period in my early twenties when I knew who the bright young things were, but that was long ago & far away.

  10. I'm glad you got your family situation sorted out and I hope you hear from your mom again soon.
    Like you I quit keeping up with the celebrity news. In fact, these days I see stars of films I've never heard of before.

  11. It is hard when we live far from loved ones and they are in a crisis (or a potential one). Hope your family stays safe.

  12. I hope your Mom and family will be safe.