One of my goals when I began this blog was to bring as much recognition to Alice as to Gertrude. Though my use of the term “GertrudeandAlice” implies a symbiotic relationship, which it was, Alice still often plays second fiddle to Gertrude’s first chair violin for some people.
I think I have been able to rectify this disparity of wellknownness over the years and I must think that even Gertrude would not be upset to know that Alice has gotten her due as so much more than chief cook and bottle washer!
In the next few months I propose giving Alice even more due !
March 7, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Alice’s death, so I’m declaring the six month period from now until Alice’s 140th birthday on April 30th ALICE B. TIME! And by chance, there are a lot of Alice related things happening during ABT. » Read the rest of this entry «
This year is the 5th anniversary of my book GERTRUDE AND ALICE AND FRITZ AND TOM. I know it’s a cliche, but I must say it anyway – “Where has the time gone?”
The book has found its way to readers around the world and just last week I shipped another five copies to Shakespeare & Company in Paris, which has sold more copies of it than any other bookstore or online retailer, which I find so appropriate and gratifying.
Would I do it again? Yes! Do I have more tales to tell, yes! But for now, here is my post from five years ago, as I awaited the first shipment of books from Singapore:
Wasn’t it Lady Macbeth who said “What’s done is done,” at some point either before or after that bloody dagger scene? (Just checked, it’s after the dagger scene – that would be logical !)
Well, I’ve done it too and feel a bit like a parent dropping off his first child at kindergarten hoping for the best as tears well-up and Miss Crabtree leads the young one away to join the other rascals.
So what is it that’s been done – the children’s picture book which I’ve been working on for…let’s just say many,many years is on its way to a printer in Singapore!
Happy birthday, Alice Babette! This is not just a wish today on Alice’s 139th birthday, but also a new children’s book by Canadian author Monica Kulling published a few weeks ago by Groundwood Books.
GertrudeandAlice join a long line of famous people that Ms. Kulling has featured in her books including Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, and Henry Ford. Other books have been about lesser known trailblazers such as Margaret Knight, the inventor of the paper bag making machine, and Lillian Gilbreth, the first female engineer with a PhD, who was immortalized by her children in the book Cheaper by the Dozen. » Read the rest of this entry «
Forty-nine years ago today, Alice B. Toklas died a few weeks before her 90th birthday. In remembrance, here is a portion of a story I wrote sixteen years ago about Alice’s life alone following Gertrude’s death.
“What’s the answer?” Gertrude queried. Alice didn’t reply.
“Then what is the question?” Gertrude asked with a sigh.
The day ended in sadness, the room filled with a chill.
Soon Gertrude was gone, she had been too, too ill.
A long friendship was over, years of love, years of care,
Alice sat in the darkness, “Now what, when or where?”
“Stop Pussy, stop, stop, stop!”
The concierge looked toward the window and just shook his head.
“Those Americans, in the middle of the afternoon! I will wait a few moments.”
‘Twas some weeks before Christmas,
At the rue de Fleurus,
Alice stood in the kitchen,
Just basting the goose.
Gertrude sat in the foyer,
Festive thoughts in her head,
And ignored ol’ St. Nick
Doing Nick things in red.
As we move from one season to another, it’s common to reflect on where the time has gone and can it really be time to exchange one set of clothes in the closet for another? (Those of us who live in the San Francisco Bay area or similar climates, usually have both spring/summer and fall/winter clothes ready year round.)
Come September, it’s also time to look ahead to things happening by the end of the year and those that will inaugurate the coming year. In my GertrudeandAlice world there are a few items in the offing if all goes according to plans.
My anniversary-obsessed mind has pinpointed two in 2016, though as the new year gets closer and closer, I’m sure there may be others.
This coming year marks the 5th anniversary of my picture book GERTRUDE AND ALICE AND FRITZ AND TOM and (drumroll, please!) the 90th anniversary of Gertrude’s famous, Caesar haircut! Since the book is set in 1925, Gertrude still has her woman bun.
I’m writing this in London a few days after the official beginning of summer on the calendar. (London was a city Gertrude didn’t particularly like though GertrudeandAlice crossed the Channel several times for various visits and lectures.)
For almost 20 years, summer for GertrudeandAlice meant packing up the Paris apartment to head to their country place in Bilignin. The village was in the heart of foodie heaven in one direction, as it was not far from Lyon, one of France’s gastronomic centers, and the grandeur of the Swiss Alps in the other direction.
As mentioned in the previous two posts, it has been eighty years since GertrudeandAlice returned to the U.S. for Gertrude’s headline-getting lecture tour.
The tour wrapped up in April of 1935 and in that final month, GertrudeandAlice returned to California. Gertrude had turned her back on the Golden Gate in 1893 and Alice had last trekked the earthquake-rubble strewn hills of San Francisco in 1907.
In a nutshell, here is their April itinerary: