Hearts in Suspension

  • This message board permanently closed on June 30th, 2020 at 4PM EDT and is no longer accepting new members.

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
I'm reminded of this once, hadda been in '69 because as it was explained to us by either the disc jockeys playing the music, or the Left-Handed Construction Roofers listening to it, Woodstock was happening. And on the back street of Tamarack Mills one fine day, as the song has it, two identical Chevy Impalas kissed bumpers. I mean they locked up and all the cold water in the world wasn't going to separate them. Both of em, that maroon color, both big long boats. What are the odds?

I like how King describes himself as two people, of sorts. Or that's my take on it. Could be wrong. I'm so often wrong and don't know it. And he gets into the anger, a kind of personal anger I think. Harold wasn't angry. Harold is described as calm, cool even. Wears the beanie. Listens to Debbie maybe? Who was that in Hearts? All those old LPs from home. heh! It took me years to look back on those early stories and poems and realize how angry I was, how ****ing furious, through most of the time I spent at the University of Maine. Seems pretty conversational to me, has that same King-tone I've come to recognize.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
46,336
195,472
76
Just north of Duma Key
I have the last two essays to go before I finish it. This is the quickest I've read a book in years!
Half way into the essays-- enjoying the insights within each, watching each author grow during their years at UMaine and best of all, their interactions with SK. Those 4 years changed each one, and played a significant part in who they are today.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
30,011
127,446
Spokane, WA
Half way into the essays-- enjoying the insights within each, watching each author grow during their years at UMaine and best of all, their interactions with SK. Those 4 years changed each one, and played a significant part in who they are today.
Yes! It's great to see that Steve's been the same basically 'good' guy all of his life that we all 'know' and love. There's some pretty funny stories in there!
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
43
United States
I'm reminded of this once, hadda been in '69 because as it was explained to us by either the disc jockeys playing the music, or the Left-Handed Construction Roofers listening to it, Woodstock was happening. And on the back street of Tamarack Mills one fine day, as the song has it, two identical Chevy Impalas kissed bumpers. I mean they locked up and all the cold water in the world wasn't going to separate them. Both of em, that maroon color, both big long boats. What are the odds?

I like how King describes himself as two people, of sorts. Or that's my take on it. Could be wrong. I'm so often wrong and don't know it. And he gets into the anger, a kind of personal anger I think. Harold wasn't angry. Harold is described as calm, cool even. Wears the beanie. Listens to Debbie maybe? Who was that in Hearts? All those old LPs from home. heh! It took me years to look back on those early stories and poems and realize how angry I was, how ****ing furious, through most of the time I spent at the University of Maine. Seems pretty conversational to me, has that same King-tone I've come to recognize.
:rofl::encouragement:
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
Yeah, it was crazy. We're ten years old looking at these two Impalas locked together, "both of them are the same color! the same car!" Two guys moaning the blues, their palms on the hood, pushing down, trying to bounce them apart. Head-on. Hodges, the guy (he was probably 16+) was likely ticketed as he was in the fabled, other lane. Keep wondering if karma is looking to bite me as I've noticed, too much, over the past several weeks traffic in the fabled other lane veer toward me.

I like how in section 13, page 61 if you want to look see, how King describes expounding "on the unfair gulf that existed between literary fiction and what the critical community perceived (and therefore dismissed) as genre fiction." Writes about Graham Adams, a teacher at Maine, who took King seriously enough to read a couple of novels King was particularly high on. (mostly King's words) In the footnote, #54, the reader learns one of those novels was John D MacDonald's remarkable The End of the Night. MacDonald had a character use a name, Barlow, toward the end of that story that I thought interesting and it is even more so reading the footnote, as I thought or wondered at the time, if the Barlow we know, the name anyway, had its origins in MacDonald's story. It's been two years lacking one month that I read MacDonald's story and I no longer have the paperback to look again...but for some reason I assume legitimate to me...I noted the name in my "review" (notes to myself/what was I thinking?) Kirby=Mr. Barlow at one point in the story. Thought the use of the name strange in the story. Oh look, a cloud, very much like a camel.

Kirby drives an Impala, too. What are the odds? MacDonald rocks the casbah. Good stories if you're in need.
 

Doc Creed

Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2015
17,221
82,822
43
United States
Yeah, it was crazy. We're ten years old looking at these two Impalas locked together, "both of them are the same color! the same car!" Two guys moaning the blues, their palms on the hood, pushing down, trying to bounce them apart. Head-on. Hodges, the guy (he was probably 16+) was likely ticketed as he was in the fabled, other lane. Keep wondering if karma is looking to bite me as I've noticed, too much, over the past several weeks traffic in the fabled other lane veer toward me.

I like how in section 13, page 61 if you want to look see, how King describes expounding "on the unfair gulf that existed between literary fiction and what the critical community perceived (and therefore dismissed) as genre fiction." Writes about Graham Adams, a teacher at Maine, who took King seriously enough to read a couple of novels King was particularly high on. (mostly King's words) In the footnote, #54, the reader learns one of those novels was John D MacDonald's remarkable The End of the Night. MacDonald had a character use a name, Barlow, toward the end of that story that I thought interesting and it is even more so reading the footnote, as I thought or wondered at the time, if the Barlow we know, the name anyway, had its origins in MacDonald's story. It's been two years lacking one month that I read MacDonald's story and I no longer have the paperback to look again...but for some reason I assume legitimate to me...I noted the name in my "review" (notes to myself/what was I thinking?) Kirby=Mr. Barlow at one point in the story. Thought the use of the name strange in the story. Oh look, a cloud, very much like a camel.

Kirby drives an Impala, too. What are the odds? MacDonald rocks the casbah. Good stories if you're in need.
Hamlet? (the cloud bit) lol
That's interesting about the possible Barlow connection. I haven't read Hearts In Suspension yet, but I trust your reference. I have been checking this thread because this is one instance where I'm actually looking for spoilers. I have read the first Travis McGee novel but that's it; hope to find more. Man, I hope you are a writer and have at least written your memoir; you are hilarious. Like Muskrat, you have a jaunty and rhapsodic use of the English language. I'd buy your books.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
Hamlet? (the cloud bit) lol
That's interesting about the possible Barlow connection. I haven't read Hearts In Suspension yet, but I trust your reference. I have been checking this thread because this is one instance where I'm actually looking for spoilers. I have read the first Travis McGee novel but that's it; hope to find more. Man, I hope you are a writer and have at least written your memoir; you are hilarious. Like Muskrat, you have a jaunty and rhapsodic use of the English language. I'd buy your books.
I lost a manuscript this once going Greyhound. Months later I open my mailbox at the 2nd Street Post Office in Gainesville, see the return address, tear open the envelope--'cause I was a student at the time, G.I. Bill ($376/month), selling blood plasma, this that the other--and I open the letter pull out the check and I see:
****$32604****
Whoa! Time to test drive a BMW! I was on my way back to the rooming house where I lived and I stop dead, look at the numbers, look at the sky. The claim was for a couple hundred bucks, I think, some worn blue jeans, flannel shirts, a jar of pennies--which probably inspired whatever petty thief took my seabag--and a manuscript. We did stop at Fort Knox on the way north and another Fort...Fort Apache maybe. Could have been taken off there. Anyway, I stop at a In & Out Burger joint on University where a payphone existed outside, drop a quarter, and call Greyhound. They put me in touch with the president of the company, no hold, no elevator music.

Thank you for calling, Mr...Oobleck...almost typed my name. I didn't have much time to respond. He's telling me they already stopped payment on the check, it's your zip code by the way (do'h!), and could you write void on it and return it to us? Hey man, you lost my skivvy shorts and a jar of pennies. I've joked since then that Greyhound bought my story, look for it in the seatback, next to the sick bag and the highway catalog. Once upon a time I burned out a couple typewriters. Have another of the fabled novels I'd like to rewrite, maybe this winter. Carpentry and self-employed doesn't lend itself to free time. So I hide shiest in the walls of the houses I remodel. Imagine someone in the distant future pulling out a floppy disc, hey! ma! what's this? Son, that's an eight-track, I've heard tales of those things. Lately, paper, but mice and bugs will eventually eat that and so it goes. And yeah, Hamlet, that scene with Polonius? Thank you for the vote of confidence. King said he got a C+ on a paper. Heh! The first paper I turned in I got a big fat "E". But I can pound nails. And like Ramon said, if digging a ditch makes you happy, Walter, dig it.

My notes on The End of the Night has Kirby calling another, a female character, Mr Barlow. Least, that's the way I wrote it in my "review" (notes to myself). And the name comes out of the blue. MacDonald has more than a few times thrown a curve-ball into the story and that was one of them. "Mr Barlow" Today, I was wondering if that is a nod to something historical? He has this other curve-ball in that story, Where is Janice Gantry? This line that seems to have no bearing or relationship to the story:
“there is one demon loose upon the world who spends all his infinite time and energy on the devising of all the vicious little coincidences which confound mankind. his specialty is to confront the unwary with coincidences so eerie, so obviously planned by a malevolent intelligence, that time itself comes to a full stop and his victim stands transfixed by a conviction of unreality, while in infra-space, the demon hugs his hairy belly, kicks his hooves in the air, rolling and gasping with silent laughter.”
Really, check out John D MacDonald. He has so much on offer far and above the Travis McGee stories.
 

roseannebarr

Well-Known Member
Aug 17, 2011
164
802
You should feel lucky that you got to see King in person. It's always a great time when that happens.
People can only ruin your day if you let them. I thoroughly enjoyed the event and appreciate any and every time I get to see SK speak. A signed book would have been a bonus, but Ebay is one way to get one. If it was not for ebay, I would not have the collection that I have. PS there are only a few on ebay. a few people like to sell their books to pay for their trips. If only we could all live on the east coast.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
Read four or five essays the two hours before dark in my tree-stand and I finished the remainder tonight. An enjoyable, entertaining, enlightening read. Was and still am curious about King saying he was "furious". Jim Bishop noted in his concluding essay that many of King's classmates and associates from the time do not remember him as such, remembered him as a number of things, furious not among them. I don't see anything wrong with furious. I've been furious at times. Frumious. Bandersnatch.

I first slithered onto this board, to use a word another used to describe my being here, ten years ago lacking but two months, January of aught-seven, a few weeks after reading Hearts in Atlantis, paperback, one of three paperbacks my wife gave me for Christmas, '06. I'd already devoured the tower. Hearts in Atlantis brought me here.

Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow. Like I said above, or below, depending on your scroll...I was a ten-year-old in '69. One of my first posts here was a kind of homage to Bag of Bones, another Christmas gift, '06. My wife knows what her little boy likes. The post, long gone now, had "guilt in the green" spelled out first letter of the paragraph or two of my post, a poor attempt to describe our own adolescent angst of that time. I don't recall the post, other than my attempt to be cute in the letters running down the right side. (oops, left side...I do that a lot) Nineteen down. But Hearts had touched me like few other stories ever had and I've read it enough to know when to step into the other room. My wife gets a kick out of it when she sees me tear up. (She's getting ready to fix a shake.)

Furious would be right for the time. That was the impression I had of the older boys, playing rough games of football on the lawn below the old four-gable schoolhouse where we had elementary and where four others and myself "marched" around the school at lunch, our arms around each other's shoulders, chanting "down with Nixon!" Heh! I don't know who came up with that idea...I've got an idea who, the only explanation that makes sense, but I don't remember. The same goes for those gigantic snow-boulders we made one winter noon, rolling one in front of and the other in back of Mrs. Erva's big blue Buick. Our attempt to be like the older kids. Gene and Finny jumped from trees, preparing for war in Knowles's story. We played a like kind exchange but we also were witness to the news with Walter Cronkite, hippies protesting the war, cops with nightsticks whopping them in the head, the images from the war. Furious. When they finished they got into their muscle cars parked beneath the streetlight buzzing with moths and squealed their tires as they left to do other things. Younger, my friends and I sat on the hillside and watched them go.

(Honey, you're almost done...my wife...just picked up the book. Didn't tell her I am done. Musta left a bookmarker in a few pages back.)

Good men through the ages tryin to find the sun. The essays describe a time of energy and devotion, acts both enlightening and baffling. There's a range of emotion expressed in the essays, some emotion fringes on furious, to maintain a theme, or at least potent anger. That's furious, isn't it? But there's a range of emotion, from Harold's calm and cool demeanor, a calmness also expressed by one of the female essayists, or maybe more than one. One of the poets. Quite a few poets and singers among the essayists. (I wondered if Laurie Andersen...a local guy who apparently went to school with Stephen King, and also a writer, would have been available to contribute? Met him briefly at a bookstore in Hancock and I've read some of his work.) I'm curious about the contributors...some are published...and given time I'll read some more. Curious, as always...like we were on the hill, watching them go...where they went from there.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
Heard the singers playin...how we cheered for more.
The essayists, a good number of them, remembered the opposition to their protests. I remember watching the opposition to the protests, tough guys in hardhats arms crossed, variations on that theme. But when I try to recall those times the opposition isn't something that comes readily to mind. Jon Stewart said something recently about "tribalism" I believe in relation to the election, the outcome. If anything we've become more tribal. The tribe has spoken. Same with this time the essayists record at the University of Maine. The one time when two or more "opposing" ideas are gathered together in the same room, roommates say, is before they go completely tribal. You have the one group, they would gather at places and talk about a number of things, express all manner of ideas and such. There was no opposition present there. Only one tribe gathered together.

One of the essayists was in a fraternity and apparently the fraternity was not opposed to the war. But things got hot there at the frat and the one left and went along with another group, people who thought the same way. Maybe there were people gathered with them when they discussed the assorted issues of the day and maybe more than one viewpoint was present, but I didn't get the sense that that was the case. I got the sense of "tribalism"...pennants. Each group flying their own flag.

And it is even worse today. You also have the internet to "meet" and anyone who happens along who doesn't agree with the site's thinking is labelled a troll and is eventually run off. I've visited a few websites that are exclusive to one mindset and not open to any opposition. So I guess tribalism is with us to stay. Well it helped us evolve. Maybe it'll be our ruin, too.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
The crowd had rushed together tryin' to keep warm.
More than one essayist writes about the draft, student deferments and a desire to maintain that deferment. One of the essayists writes about...losing that deferment, if I have that right. And apparently at the time there grew in the army an idea expressed FTA. I'd seen letters like this chalked on the sidewalks at Great Lakes Naval Training Center and thought it meant, fire control technician, nuke. Eventually, it dawned on my and others that initials expressed an idea all of the services experience, fock the army. While the initials are not new to me, the idea behind the initials is one I haven't heard expressed before.

Larry Moscowitz's essay, "Order And Disorder at UMO: Coming Of Age In The 60s", had to look in the hardback, refresh my memory..."the F.T.A. (F--- The Army) movement, which was a steadily growing opposition movement within the service." He also writes about the sanctuary movement...also an idea relatively new to me, although we have heard of Sanctuary Cities today. He tells the guys in charge at the induction center that he's "looking forward to going into the service and using my organizing skills to help grow the FTA movement that already existed." I can hear all manner of forehead slaps.

But it all goes back to that idea above, tribalism. The services are the ultimate tribe, everyone dresses alike, uses the same language, there is a standard one does not run afoul of without incurring the wrath and the correction of the institution. And they can pretty much do anything. I remember AFEES Milwaukee, same situation Larry describes, a hundred or more guys in their skivvy shorts, they take ten of us at a time into a room at one point, have us face the wall, drop shorts, bend over and spread our cheeks. There's a doctor, no gunslinger him, he has all digits and is snapping on a pair of rubber gloves. Hey, he's a doctor, I'm sure it's for the advancement of medical science.

Kind of like how one essayist describes the fraternity hazing.

We have all these checks and balances set up to keep everyone in line, would you call that going along to get along? More than a few of the essayists, King among them, describe holding opposing ideas without being aware that they were doing do.

(time to go...)
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
30,011
127,446
Spokane, WA
I just now closed the book after finishing the story Hearts In Atlantis. I deliberately did not read the story until I had finished reading all of the essays. It was nice to be able to put a 'face' (so to speak) to the characters in HIA. I had often wondered how King came up with the idea of 'Rip-rip' falling down in the slushy sidewalk while the other guys were watching from the dorm and now I know. Even though this book is 95% non-fiction, it's still another great book in the King canon. Thanks for this, Steve.
 

Brian's Twinner

Pennywisenheimer
Jun 15, 2008
608
632
MO
I lost a manuscript this once going Greyhound. Months later I open my mailbox at the 2nd Street Post Office in Gainesville, see the return address, tear open the envelope--'cause I was a student at the time, G.I. Bill ($376/month), selling blood plasma, this that the other--and I open the letter pull out the check and I see:
****$32604****
Whoa! Time to test drive a BMW! I was on my way back to the rooming house where I lived and I stop dead, look at the numbers, look at the sky. The claim was for a couple hundred bucks, I think, some worn blue jeans, flannel shirts, a jar of pennies--which probably inspired whatever petty thief took my seabag--and a manuscript. We did stop at Fort Knox on the way north and another Fort...Fort Apache maybe. Could have been taken off there. Anyway, I stop at a In & Out Burger joint on University where a payphone existed outside, drop a quarter, and call Greyhound. They put me in touch with the president of the company, no hold, no elevator music.

Thank you for calling, Mr...Oobleck...almost typed my name. I didn't have much time to respond. He's telling me they already stopped payment on the check, it's your zip code by the way (do'h!), and could you write void on it and return it to us? Hey man, you lost my skivvy shorts and a jar of pennies. I've joked since then that Greyhound bought my story, look for it in the seatback, next to the sick bag and the highway catalog. Once upon a time I burned out a couple typewriters. Have another of the fabled novels I'd like to rewrite, maybe this winter. Carpentry and self-employed doesn't lend itself to free time. So I hide shiest in the walls of the houses I remodel. Imagine someone in the distant future pulling out a floppy disc, hey! ma! what's this? Son, that's an eight-track, I've heard tales of those things. Lately, paper, but mice and bugs will eventually eat that and so it goes. And yeah, Hamlet, that scene with Polonius? Thank you for the vote of confidence. King said he got a C+ on a paper. Heh! The first paper I turned in I got a big fat "E". But I can pound nails. And like Ramon said, if digging a ditch makes you happy, Walter, dig it.

My notes on The End of the Night has Kirby calling another, a female character, Mr Barlow. Least, that's the way I wrote it in my "review" (notes to myself). And the name comes out of the blue. MacDonald has more than a few times thrown a curve-ball into the story and that was one of them. "Mr Barlow" Today, I was wondering if that is a nod to something historical? He has this other curve-ball in that story, Where is Janice Gantry? This line that seems to have no bearing or relationship to the story: Really, check out John D MacDonald. He has so much on offer far and above the Travis McGee stories.
I like the John D MacDonald reference in Doctor Sleep.