Who’s the Bull Goose Looney Here?

By Grover Lewis Playboy 1975 The midmorning sky over the Oregon State Hospital in Salem looks liverish, quiverish, ready to collapse with torrential rain at any second. On the crewcut lawn behind the main building, an orderly shoos his excursion troupe of exercising...

Asparagus Tops

By Joyce Wadler Harper’s July 1973 I am on the phone with Robert Kushner, a 23-year-old conceptual artist who makes clothes out of food, and we are having a discussion about what he will design for me. “I’d love to make you something in asparagus,” he says. “I could...

The Listeners

By Joyce Wadler Harper’s February 1974 More than one person has suggested that if, in these times of troubled Presidential credibility and general bad faith, anyone wanted to get to the bottom of the Watergate affair really fast, he could just ask the telephone...

Hitching

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry 1970s Anywhere, U.S.A. Hitchhiking, thumb up on some dusty road with the diesels honking and the curious kids in the back of the station wagons blinking their eyes, was the only way to go. By Friday, after a week of sneaking beer...

Hi-Diddely-Dee—The Writer’s Life for Me!

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times March 13, 1977 In an interview after winning the Nobel Prize, Saul Bellow contended that most people don’t pay any mind to writers, and his assessment struck me as correct. This fact was bulldozed home to me in 1969 when, as a...

Pillar of the Post

By Diane K. Shah The National Observer May 20, 1976 I came from this incredibly high-powered family. My mother was sort of a Viking. Very bright, and utterly contemptuous of everyone else. When I told her I had read The Three Musketeers, she said, “undoubtedly a waste...

Neighborhood Characters

By Joe Flaherty The New York Times October 21, 1979 Of late, whenever one encounters an urbanbased novel, especially one set in Manhattan (or worse yet, in Greenwich Village), it’s odds on to be a claustrophobic affair; the activity is usually limited to treks to...

Requiem For A Forgotten Globetrotter

By Peter Goldman Sport November 1977 “You get what your hand called for.” —The Sayings of Leon Hillard Somebody showed me in the papers a while ago where Leon got what his hand didn’t call for. The headline jumped out at me first—EX-GLOBETROTTER IS KILLED BY WIFE—and...

A Fistful of Dollars

By Gail Sheehy Rolling Stone July 14, 1977 November 20th, 1976, a Saturday night, Clay Felker, the New York magazine publisher, invited Rupert Murdoch, the Australian publisher, to dine at Elaine’s to celebrate the announcement that had hit New York by surprise the...

Amen to Sonny

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice January 14, 1971 Will no one say amen? After reading and listening to the New York press, it seems that Charles “Sonny” Liston’s soul will be politely consigned to damnation. Milton Gross of the Post, the Eleanor Roosevelt of the...

The Life of the Most Powerful Woman in New York

By Gail Sheehy New York Magazine December 10, 1973 Men of power sit at her feet. Mamelukes lift her chair from room to room while menservants trail her, carrying wine. The mayor seeks her ear to confess his wounds, the governor to confide his ambitions. When the seat...