Dear Mr. Vonnegut

I found myself in Turtle Bay, a part of Manhattan from 43rd to 53rd Streets, stretching from Lexington to the East River.

It’s mostly known for the long time home of the late Katharine Hepburn, but for me it has a different significance.

The writer, Kurt Vonnegut, also lived there.

Worshiping at his honorable altar, wanting so much to write like him, never being afraid of what others think, proving, one’s truth is often poignant and always very personal.

I decided, being in the neighborhood, to make a pilgrimage to 228 East 48th Street.Unknown.jpeg

I was surprised at how rundown the townhouse was, not knowing if his wife and daughter still lived there, but it didn’t stop me from gazing up to the 4th floor where he wrote many of the books I so treasure.

He was walking down his front steps with Flour, his beloved dog, he was rarely without, when he became tangled in Flour’s leash, kurt600.jpg causing him to fall.

Never regaining consciousness, he died from a traumatic brain injury on April 11th, 2007 at the age of 84.

Staring at those steps I wanted to hug, involuntary tears ran down my cheeks.

It was then, I swear, a warmth swept over me feeling a familiar hand on my shoulder, specially expressed from the ether.

“And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt.
― And so it goes.”  K.V.   Slaughterhouse-Five.

 images.jpeg

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007)

SB

 

About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in animals, Books, creative writing, grace, Love, New York City, Women and men, words, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Dear Mr. Vonnegut

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    I confess, Susannah, I never knew how he died, It always saddens me when someone isn’t allowed to die a natural death. He was a wonderful talent.
    I’m off to teach 9th grade Global History. Next week will be wonderful. Each day I have either special education or reading/literacy. A perfect schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that you teach Skinny. Really! To be at the helm of knowledge must feel amazing. Being an influence…sigh

      Liked by 1 person

      • skinnyuz2b says:

        I do love seeing the young sixth graders mature as they go through middle and high school. As a sub it’s nice to be able to teach everything instead of just one subject. And when the students walk through the door and someone says, “It’s Mrs. Miller, the good sub!” it makes my day.
        The first year that I subbed, most teachers gave me dummied down lessons and more or less used me as a babysitter. I’m not certified, just a four year degree. During the 80s and 90s I taught advanced computer programming to adults, so it took a while for the teachers to figure out I could teach children and young adults too.

        Like

      • You’re so smart and gifted Skinny. Teachers such as yourself, need to be honored more. Imagine being such a force in a kid’s life to not only educate but enlighten and encourage. It’s why your epitaph you’ve chosen is so fitting: We’re really just walking each other home. Paraphrased a bit. 😴

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Thanks for your personal look into an influential life. You did good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorryless says:

    SB,

    He loved that dog for being his perfect idea of company- without airs, unable to lie and capable of extraordinary walks on the most ordinary of days. Vonnegut influenced not one thing but all the things that call themselves art. There was no finite amount of time that would have been enough, because we always would have wanted more of him.

    I love your walk through Turtle Bay.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale says:

    I love it when you bring pieces of New York and all the fabulous parts and peoples of it.
    I am half-ashamed to say I have not read a single word written by Vonnegut. Yet. Now between you and Marc, I feel I must remedy that situation. I think it’s the downfall of having gone to French schools… I have been training myself to read all sorts of classics that never were part of my curriculum.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s just so many wonderful writers out there you discover when you’re ready to. I’m having a love affair with a man who started writing his stories in 1950. They’re amazing, and I ask myself, how did I miss him…Winston Graham. So just Kurt’s waitin’ for ya. Read his essays. Man Without a Country. You’ll get a great dose of him without having it all consume you. My 2 cents.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        This is true so I’ll stop beating myself up about it. And I will start there, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Read what beckons. We change so our interests vary. Stuff I read 5 years ago just doesn’t interest me anymore. I keep track of what I read and I’m convinced our brain has 9 lives, if that makes any sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        I also keep track of what I read. And I read all sorts of stuff! Some days are easier than others. I have attempted to read, three times, Mrs. Dalloway – I am sure, when I am in the right frame of mind, I shall get past page 10.

        Liked by 1 person

      • See, she does zip for me. Although I read a little bio about her from the Penguin Series of famous writers…short read…and liked it. But her prose leaves me flat. Go figure. Have a copy of Room of Her Own on my shelf an ex lover gave me I’ve never read. See. You’re not alone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        That is rather comforting. Much as I loved the movie “The Hours” (which is what made me want to read the damn book) I just couldn’t get into it.

        On a totally different subject (or rather, following our exchange on Sorryless), I just read this fascinating article on Jayne Eyre and had to share it with you. https://theconversation.com/jane-eyre-translated-57-languages-show-how-different-cultures-interpret-charlotte-brontes-classic-novel-124128

        Liked by 1 person

      • That nose that won the Oscar. Sigh. Thanks for Jane. Will read.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Read J.E. piece. Thanks again for sending. Novel writing, for me, is always impressive since it’s not my strong point as a writer. I have an attempt going now that has me stumped…where should it go now? I don’t trust the process since essay writing has a beginning, middle and an end right out of the gate. I flip open Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott’s writing book for solace and remember E.L. Doctorow’s quote she also lauds…

        It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. SIGH…This is the guy who gave us Ragtime, so I guess he knew what he was talking about. 🙂

        Like

  6. I have loved Kurt Vonnegut and have respected his work since I first encountered his writing. I actually won a contest where the writers had to construct an original story in the Vonnegut manner. I was so pleased to win. You are very fortunate to be able to walk those streets. I used to do the same when I lived in Connecticut and had business in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Same way I feel about Isaac Asimov on all his books and, now, JD Robb (Nora Roberts) on her “In Death” series which just is hitting book number 50.

    Liked by 1 person

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