Make a Point, Get a Giggle, and Scram!
Loudon Wainwright, father of the famous musical descendants, was a great friend for many years.
He was a writer in a world of photographers at LIFE magazine, specializing in a short word piece he called ‘A View from Here’ for many years. His commentaries were reportedly the second most popular part of the magazine, after the famous cover.
Loudon died much too young in 1988. He had believed that as a proud writer he owed the world a book before he passed. He started at least three times to write different books but gave up each time after he lost interest in the subject. Finally, he wrote “The Great American Magazine,” a history of Life magazine from birth to death.
He told me at the time that if he thought he had ‘a view from here’ and could not make that view clear in 1, 000 or fewer words, he probably did not have a clear enough view himself and tried again. His pieces – a subset of which are available in the controversial “Google Books” project — still resonate in my head. Although I did not realize it at the time, he was my inspiration for my own musings when I joined (many years after his death) the league of independent correspondents known as bloggers.
Loudon believed that most people do not really like, want, or need to read whole books, because it takes so much precious time. But they do enjoy getting the many various points of view efficiently, easily and quickly.
When I started my blogging about 10 years ago, I had completely forgotten Loudon’s influence.
I have always enjoyed the process of writing and my first blogs were simply for my own amusement. When I began to get consistent feedback comments, and even appreciation, from what I am told is a significant number of readers, I began to up the ante and quantity. It was then that I remembered Loudon’s advice.
That led me to a formula I’ve tried to follow –make a point, get a giggle and scram.
On my dreamy days, I imagine that I might be remembered like Grandma Moses without a paint brush– Granfa Frank, as I’m known to my children’s children.
I am all too aware that my anti-Trump stuff was too much and hard to take for some.
Still there was, is and always will be, plenty of stuff in our lives that warrant a view – or at least a giggle and a thought.
This piece is in response to a number of queries over the years, I have had, about how and why I bother to burden you with my random thoughts.
If you have had enough, do not hesitate to say so!
In the meanwhile, I will keep chugging along.