Thursday, July 29, 2010

Travels with Steinbeck

LOA talks about some summer travels inspired by John Steinbeck, going back to the author himself for the affecting piece that follows. Since last weekend I was up in Stockbridge and got a great look at the Rockwell painting, the image remains fresh in my mind.

"Fifty years ago, when Bridges was six years old, she was the first black student to enroll at the all-white William Frantz Public School in New Orleans. In Travels with Charley, Steinbeck witnessed her historic first steps into that school: 'The show opened on time. Sound the sirens. Motorcycle cops. Then two big black cars filled with big men in blond felt hats pulled up in front of the school. The crowd seemed to hold its breath. Four big marshals got out of each car and from somewhere in the automobiles they extracted the littlest negro girl you ever saw, dressed in shining starchy white, with new white shoes on feet so little they were almost round. Her face and little legs were very black against the white.' " More...

No comments: