The first time I met Calvin Trillin, my guest on tonight's episode (at 7:30), we were both guests on Sedge Thomson's West Coast Live radio program. My wife and son -- who was then but a toddler -- were with me backstage. With his marvelous deadpan, Trillin pointed at my boy and said to my wife and me, "I'll pay you fifty bucks for that kid, cash on the barrel." We politely declined, but from that moment on I knew that this terrific writer was also a man of great taste.
It was thrill to have Trillin on my show this past season. (Tonight's broadcast is a rerun -- you can read my original blog item here.) In the intervening years he had lost his beloved wife Alice, whose somewhat fictionalized character graced many of his best writings. He was on tour promoting About Alice, his lovely memoir of their long relationship. Understandably, his mood was muted, but during our conversation there were many flashes of the mordant Trillin wit.
It was an honor to get to spend some time with him. And -- perhaps because he now has grandchildren to devote himself to -- he didn't even make a follow-up offer for my son. I wouldn't have bitten, anyhow.
1 comment July 30th, 2007