17 May 2013



gary eaton is my archivist.

this means he is exempt from the emails debo receives. emails of the 'can you please read these 19 pages in the next hour and a half??!?' variety. they come across the transom and he hands them over to her.

what it also means is that, when i was in memphis in march, he and i spent an hour chronologizing 279 tabloid magazines and reconciling the mags on the shelf with (a) the files i'd spent all of september/october/november/december scanning and (b) the spreadsheet of every magazine i own.

she is my proofreader. he is my archivist.

i assume you're thinking gary totally won. an hour as compared to three years of increasingly longer proofreading assignments.

but it's a mixed blessing, both being in my employ (i pay in stories, not money) and being my archivist. my father may blithely ignore the 'omg, is this sentence with twelve commas working or does it just stress you out??!?!?' emails, but he is beholden to emails of another kind.

'father bear, can you scan the entire issue of TIME magazine from 31st may 1994???'

'father bear, in the enormo white binder of press clippings, which should be in one of the blue bins in the attic towards the back, there should be a clipping from american vogue that looks sort of like this clipping from japanese vogue that i found online. if it's not in the white binder in the blue bin it's in the yellow folder in the green bin. can you PLEASE find that clipping and let me know the date on it?'

'father bear, can you pull carl sferazza anthony's as we remember her and find a quote from peter beard's oral history wherein jackie said "oh no, i couldn't do that" which should be on or around page 262?!?!?!?'

amazingly, gary eaton has pulled each of these off. the entire issue of TIME magazine was scanned. the clipping was found (though, in my 19-year-old innocence, i had preserved the article but cut off the date). and the quote was thoroughly searched for, though not found. 

however, my father did report back to me something else he had discovered after reading the later half of carl sferazza anthony's as we remember her

nearly 19 years to the day that jackie's story first entered my life, 19 summers after the summer that i confessed to him that i would like to collect jackie kennedy LIFE magazines, from memphis my father looked at me in london and, in a moment that i know- even as it is happening- will undoubtedly become a part of the future way i tell my story of writing jackie's, said of the woman i've spent the last ten years writing about: 'you know, bearoline, she was kind of neat.'

2 comments:

Linda said...

I love this story. and I love that those hats wiggled their way into TWO posts today!

oline said...

i mean, it's your day. visually, that boils down to spangly hats!