THE PERILOUS SAGA OF A BOOK PUBLISHING VETERAN

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May 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

 

 

Houghton Mifflin Publishing offices at Two Park Street in Boston (in the right foreground.) Picture taken in the 1920’s.

 

By Bob Vickrey

As I reported for my first day of work in October 1972, and entered the creaky Boston office headquarters of America’s oldest publishing house, I thought perhaps that I had stepped back into the 19th Century.

Houghton Mifflin had indeed been linked to that century by publishing authors such as Emerson, Thoreau, Longfellow and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

One could witness the history preserved there by simply walking the hallways of this 100-year-old charming, but well-worn brick structure located on Park Street just down the block from the ornate Massachusetts State House. The front side faced Boston Common and the backside office windows looked out on the Boston Granary, which was home to considerable Colonial history, including the gravesites of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Read more

Dunga Brook Diary: Green Acres

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May 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

 

Vicki Whicker

Mother’s Day, 2011

Before we open the front-door, Jim says,

“It’s pretty bad inside— the squatters pulled the electrical panels out and, for some reason, they took the stairs, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.“

My new/old house:

An 1820’s Federal-style farmhouse cloaked in dirty-white siding, surrounded by hundreds of acres of farmland, situated on a two-lane “county highway” in the wilds of central New York.

Awhile back, a friend in L.A. bought a house (it was the 80’s, when you could still afford to buy a house) and called it “my new/old house.” It was probably built in the 60’s but, you know, old for L.A. Read more

HOBNOBBING AT THE GRILL ON THE ALLEY

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May 1, 2018 · Posted in Commentary · Comment 

Photos by Barry Stein

By BOB VICKREY

When it was suggested that our monthly lunch club try The Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills, I had to admit that I had never heard of it.

But after learning The Grill was a favorite haunt for show business executives, I understood why I had completely missed this industry hideaway that some refer to as “The Commissary.” Having called L.A. my home for almost 40 years now, I have been living with the shame and humiliation of never having once produced a major movie or successful television series. And what’s worse, I never even tried.

In times past, Los Angeles was recognized for having such celebrated restaurants as The Brown Derby, Chasen’s and Morton’s. And these days, many fans of The Grill have compared it favorably to those classic bistros of bygone years. A few old-timers have even compared it to the venerable Musso & Frank’s Grill in Hollywood, (which officially turns 100 next year). Read more