Talk to DP Forum

Harry Chauss

Post #517 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr Pinkwater,

My wife and I are going to move to Hoboken in January. When we went down there recently (we live in Troy now). I was sort of expecting it to be the way it was when you lived there. . . of course that was quite a while ago, so I’m not really sure what I was thinking. . . At any rate I have two questions:

1) Do you know if any of the cool places that you used to frequent are still in existance?

2) Has the city of Hoboken ever honored you for all of the tireless work that you have done to promote Hobokenocity through the years?

Daniel replies:

1.) I haven't been in Hoboken for a long time. I heard it changed. 2.) In return for my tireless championing of Hoboken, I have not been burned in effigy or tarred and feathered. After Troy, it may seem all right.



David Paterson

Post #711 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I recently had the great luck to find a copy of 5 Novels at a local bookstore. Needless to say, I bought it and read all 5 within 3 days. But reading them did raise a few questions:

  • (1) What’s with Iceland?

  • (2) Have you ever visited Montreal? We have Real Bagels (boiled in honey water, then baked in a wood stove, coated with poppy or sesame seeds), Montreal Smoked Meat, and Cuban cigars. Let me know if you want to plan a trip.

  • (3) No, really, what’s with Iceland?

Daniel replies:

1.) I don't know; what _is_ with Iceland? 2.) Sounds very nice, but have you tried one of those clear Reykjavik cigars?; 3.) Really, I haven't heard a thing. Is it still there?



Bruce Balan

Post #582 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

In your reply to Michelle Gervais you said:

“I own a horse who used to live in Glen Cove, and also bought a

car there once, (a 1978 Chevrolet station wagon).”

I have 2 questions plus another one:

1. Is the car registered in your name (as the owner of the horse and, therefore, the horse’s possessions) or in the horse’s name?

2. When you take drives together do you use the horses station wagon or your big Mercedes?

3. Is a 78 Chevy wagon really big enough for a horse or was it an impulse buy?

Thanks,

Bruce Balan

Daniel replies:

1. The horse, Lokkur, was a famous horse in his day, was in the transcontinental horse race in 1976, and had money to throw around.

2. He sold the car in 1981.

3. He is seldom impulsive.



David A. Paterson

Post #539 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

A note about “5 Novels” – I went to a bookstore in Toronto a few days ago. Wonder of wonders, their computer system admitted to knowing of your book, and admitted that the bookstore had even ordered copies. My joy was shortlived; none of those copies had ever made it across the 49th Paradox (or is it parallel?) that serves as a border between our two nations. Do you know anything about your books not being shipped into Canada? Or am I merely seeing conspiracies where none exists?

Fnord,

David A. Paterson

Daniel replies:

""A"" bookstore in Toronto? Not a specialist bookstore, likely to carry rare and obscure children's books? Well, there you are. As the the shipment never arriving, it's usually a matter of incompetence rather than conspiracy. I have two words for you, Mr. Paterson: amazon.com (two words and a dot). Thanks for trying. It sickens one a bit to think how many people may have looked for the book, after the two copies suggested by the publisher and ordered by the shop were already sold. (The name of the Toronto bookshop likely to have my stuff escapes me, but I believe it still exists, and might be fun to visit).

[World's Biggest Bookstore, on Edwards Street, may have it -- Ed.]



Bloomeenee

Post #721 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Here’s something yuo might find interesting: Driving home along the Ronald Reagan Expresswa (speed limit 50mph) last night, I passed a billboard of interest. It was simple white block letters against a black background, which read “IT IS NOT WRONG TO LOVE AVOCADOS.” Funny thing to see on a billboard, but the best one I’ve seen in months.

Daniel replies:

They used to call it ""the avocado that dare not speak it's name.""



Clare

Post #574 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

do you like corn muffins?

Daniel replies:

Some of my best friends are corn muffins.



David A. Paterson

Post #564 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Writing for kids is a very demanding audience – unlike adults, kids have taste until we manage to drum it out of them.

Here’s my question: which children’s authors do you enjoy? I’m partial to Robert Munsch – every girl shuld be issued a copy of “The Paperbag Princess” at birth, and I challenge any parent to read “Love You Forever” and not cry.

And here’s my other question: do you deliberatly write children’s books for adults, or am I just hopelessly mired in pre-adolesence?

Daniel replies:

No, sounds to me like you're mired in adolescence. I always go blank when someone asks me to name favorite authors--I can't say why.



Christel

Post #674 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Daniel Pinkwater,

You are definatly my favorite author and “Borgel” is definatly my favorite book. i originally had a soft cover version but it fell apart after about the 20th reading so i was forced to special order a hard cover copy. (i live in alaska. you can’t get anything up here.) i plan on passing it down to my children and thier children. i push your books on people like a Jehovah’s Witness. “Go on, read it!” I say. “The man’s a genius, I tell you!” i have two cats and an iguana. I own a copy of Lizard Music too. I had been a little apprehensive at contacting you for a while because i thought i might find out that you are dead or something. Thanks to you i also have a fixation on Hoboken and I’m looking for a cheap apartment there in my spare time. my mom calls it The Promised Land. well, there were a million things i wanted to talk about but now that i’m here i can’t think of a one.

-christel

p.s. how do you pronounce Fafner?

Daniel replies:

It's not true you can't get anything in Alaska. You can get walrus, and frostbite, to name only two things. You can't get walrus in Hoboken, though there have been people living there who resemble them, (me, for one). I took my temperature just after reading your message, and it appears I am not dead. I want to thank you for bringing this up. Now that I know I'm not dead, I may as well do some more writing. Fans are useful in drawing a writer's attention to things like that. I like BORGEL myself, not that I remember all that much about it.

P.S. Fafner is pronounced ""fotheringay.""



Adam

Post #689 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr Pinkwater,

First let me say that your writing is fully brilliant. Clever to no end, and all of that. Now let me jump over towards the question…

I read and reread descriptions of the old neighborhood part of town in Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death (as well as descriptions of the theatre, area surrounding, etc.) Is this based on a real area? if so- how can I get there from Snellville, Georgia? (the town where “everybody is somebody”-but nobody, believe me, is much of anybody)

Daniel replies:

It's mostly Chicago, little bit of New York, touch of Philadelphia....but, I assure you, there were people in those places, at the same time I was there, for whom they were just the same as Snellville, Ga, (and I bet I could write a good story about that town--I did about Rochester, NY).



Hal Johnson

Post #725 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

I must say, Hoboken has more frat boys in it than one would be led to believe from reading your books. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if, ever since I wrote and told you, several months ago, that I was moving to Hoboken–if you have been laughing at me behind my back all this time, occasionally shaking you head in disbelief and muttering, “I can’t believe I tricked that nimrod into moving there.”

Frat boys regardless, Hoboken is a nice town, and it is true, as Norman says in _Atilla the Pun_, that you can furnish your apartment with items found on the street. I amuse myself by taking friends of mine on Pinkwater-Tours of Hoboken, the highlight of which is an exciting trip to the playground at which Henrietta learned to slide.

I was wondering if you would be willing to provide the approximate locations of the Magic Moscow (or the place that inspired it, should there be one) and your old Hoboken homestead. Surely the statute of limitations has expired, and you can no longer be held acountable for whatever acts fo depravity you committed there; the Cold War is over, and with it your need for secrecy. If I could point out “the old Pinkwater place” on my tours, I would no longer have to hear people say: “That’s it? A crummy slide?”

I would like to point out that I do not charge for these tours, and that I have never eaten a child of my own.

Daniel replies:

It must be 17 years since I last saw Hoboken--no, I tell a lie, it's only 13, (but that was just for as long as it took to slurp some clams, and then duck back to Manhattan). So, it's probably changed a lot since I made it up entirely out of whole cloth for those books.

When I lived there, my mental urban model was an amalgamation of Chicago and Los Angeles, with specific excerpts from New York, London, and Cincinnati, a shot of the White Castle in Cleveland at 2:00 AM, and a certain intersection in the old part of Nairobi. Since then it's changed a bit, and has some Poughkeepsie in it.

You actually live in Hoboken? I didn't know anybody did that any more.



Jessica Blankenship

Post #568 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr Pinkwater,

Your book “Young Adult Novel” got me through a very serious illness, not that I medicated myself with it but it gave me something to think about when nurses and doctors played Lets Find The Vein!! (a game more popular than you’d think) and probably prevented me from having to kill them. So on behalf of their continued ability to procreate and respirate I thank you. As for me, the book was the only thing that made me smile for a very long time, and it still does and so do you….

Daniel replies:

It is annoying when they search for your vein in vain. Even humor is a vein that can wane under such venous invasion. Reports such as yours, that a book of mine was of some use, tend to vitalize my vanity. It may be that other sorts of doctors can help you with the fixed smile.



Abe Gurewitz

Post #625 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Earlier I wrote you on some questions for a paper that I am writing. To be more precise on the questions I had. 1.why do you make fun of how many jewish people are fat, the things that they eat, the way that they dress, and the way that they talk.

Please tell me what you think on these topics and what I could use to show them. I own both moosepire books, borgel, lizard music, fish whistle, Hoboken days and chicago nights, fat men from outer space, and all the snark out boy series.

Thanks,

Abe Gurewitz

P.S. My dad wanted me to mention that he grew up in Benton Harbour Michigan and your charecter from there in the book Borgel seemed to resemble a person who he knew when he lived there.

Daniel replies:

I think the expression ""make fun of,"" is what's giving me the problem. You don't think I am ridiculing people, do you? And I already dealt with your problem concerning Jews in an earlier answer.

Tell your father I have been in Benton Harbor, MI, lots of times. Very special people there. So I think I know where he's coming from, as they say.



Ben

Post #683 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Brutha,

Dig,like I dig you the most, dig? I dig your flip, and your riff, and the place your wig is at, dig? Now did this the most, dig?

a hepcat like you, being the cats pajamas, dig, writes such finery for youth. Why is there no Manus Jrs running about? Why no Jill Jrs? Why no little alan Mendelson Pinkawaters or perhaps a Walter Galt Jr? I have met you, my hep friend, have submitted work to you, admire and respect you, now this my great guru of the jelly donut I must know….for sooth whyfore hast thou not sprung forth fruit from thy loins? in short… why dontcha got a kid? Youd be the perfect papa being such a kid yourself.

Daniel replies:

I regard your fatha, the eminent George, as my spiritual descendent--thus, I am your grandpappy, in a sort of hideous manner of speaking. (You must stop this unnerving fixation on hipster patois--and get a haircut). Nice to hear from you, you bongoing crazy man.



Patrick Snook

Post #686 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Dear Sir,

I heard your radio essay yesterday (Wednesday, 18 March, All Things Considered) about your long search for a decent cup of coffee and a respectable sandwich.

I make superb coffee, quite respectable sandwiches, and not too distractingly bad diner food. My wife and I would like to run our own cafe someday. We’re relatively young, and yet we might not let you down by shortchanging you, or serving frou-frou finger food, or . . . heaven forbid . . . selling espresso.

How about letting us know how to contact the owner and seller of that little cafe, and we’ll see if we can keep you happy of a Sunday.

Daniel replies:

I received email from the prospective new owners of the Bangall Country Store, in Bangall, New York. They assure me that they intend to continue the fine tradition of good bread and lovely cooking. I promised them I will give them a serious series of trials, and correct the record, if it's warranted.



Daniel M. Kanemoto

Post #575 – 19970101

January 1, 1997

Mr. Pinkwater,

Wow. I actually get to ask Daniel Pinkwater a qestion. This is… unbelievable. After reading some of the comments on this page, I’m discovering that my story is strangly similiar to many other people who’ve written you — as a second-grader in the middle of Wisconsin, I found your books in the school library and was hooked (first, it was THE WORMS OF KUKUKALIMA and then, of course, LIZARD MUSIC). I haven’t quit since.

This is actually the SECOND letter I wrote to you — the last time, I used a pencil and that really soft, gray paper they only seem to give to kids in elementary school (great for crayons!) Unfortunatly, I sent the letter to the wrong address — somewhere in Alaska, if I remember correctly — and it got returned, unread. But the letter is still in my scrapbook at home, and it reminds me of what it was like to be a kid, full of imagination, re-reading LIZARD MUSIC obsessivly (in fact, my nickname in the small town I grew up in remains “The Chicken Man”).

But enough rambling — I’ve got a question! I’ve since left Wisconsin (which I miss terribly), and now I live in New York City, where I attend NYU film school. I’m working on my second film, and my question is: would it be possible to adapt a Daniel Pinkwater story for a strictly NON PROFIT student film? Let me know – I think many of your stories are cinematic, and imagining the world of Daniel Pinkwater is one of the main reasons I’ve fallen in love with the movies as well as reading.

Thanks for listening,

Daniel M. Kanemoto

Daniel replies:

I have sent you email directly...so nobody who comes here will ever know my response to your query.



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