Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Call Bernarda ...

Many years ago I knew a woman who was particularly adroit at name-dropping. I'm sure you've all met such people, but this woman did something unparalleled, in my experience, in the name-dropping realm.

A number of us were sitting and making small talk. Discussion turned to the artist Ben Shahn. Someone mentioned speaking to his widow Bernarda, and wondered if anyone else there knew her. Our adroit friend said, “I know Bernarda! In fact, just his morning” - she rummaged in her purse - “I got a message" - she pulled something out of her purse - "to call Bernarda.” As she said this, she brandished a paper fragment at us. On the paper were the words:

Call Bernarda.

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