Händel’s XERXES at San Francisco Opera
December 5, 2011
Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 83
December 29, 2011

Words, funny words and funny funny pictures and Paris in a new picture book!

"Once there were two amusing American ladies..."

It begins:
“Once there were two amusing American ladies, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. They lived in a mighty marvelous apartment in Paris…, ” and goes on to describe a Thanksgiving visit by two naughty American boys, which is based on a real story. It’s now the story of a book for children of ALL ages, by Hans Gallas, illustrated by Tom Hachtman: Gertrude and Alice and Fritz and Tom. One of the boys is/was author Fritz Peters (Boyhood with Gurdjeff), the other is his brother Tom. “We are always the same age inside,” to quote Gertrude Stein.

I had announced the marvelous book already last May, in my Post # 65, and now there is the there there in all its funny words and funny pictures, in time for Hannukah, Solstice, X-mas and the New Year, which will of course be another year of Gertrude Stein. You can order the book directly from the author’s colorful, enticing book page, at www.gertrudeandalice.com, or at Amazon.

Guess what Fritz and Tom discover at 27, rue de Fleurus? “It looks like a museum! I hate museums, everything in a museum is musty and moldy.” The story takes up from there and takes the boys, guess where? To the Louvre!
An interesting detail: no dogs in the picture. The visit happened before Gertrude and Alice got Basket the poodle and Pépé the chihuahua.
To see Basket in his wooly war-time coat, open another new book, the handy little calendar book Everyday Dogs: A Perpetual Calendar for Birthdays & Other Notable Dates by Mary Scott and Susan Snyder (Heyday, Berkeley, $14.95). It says, “What do Gertrude Stein, John Muir, Jack London, Queen Victoria, and your next-door neighbor all have in common? Dogs.” They failed to mention yours truly and Hans Gallas as well. “Woof! A dog fancier’s delight — ideal for birthdays and yearly events.” But they quote Gertrude. Voilà.
Now don’t forget to enter Gertie’s Aquarian birthday into the book: Feb. 3.

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