Wednesday, 11 February 2009

05 February 2009

bunch of Mexican boys. They pulled up fearfully, they thought it was the law. “Aren’t your headlights working? “Yes sir, yes sir.” they said. “Well” called Brierly “Happy New Year” and because he’d held up traffic for this ridiculous conversation horns were tooting behind. “Oh shut up!” yealled Brierly and shot the car ahead. He pointed his spotlight flush on the richest home in Dnever at four o’clock in the morning and explained every room to me as the beams illuminated the interior. People were sleeping in there,---he didn’t care. In his study he suddenly fished out an old full-face portrait of Neal when he was sixteen yrs. old. You never saw a chaster face. “See what Neal used to look like? That’s why I had faith in him then. Don’t worry I saw his possibilities---he just wouldn’t learn so I washed my hands of him.” “It’s too bad---Neal could have become a big man in the world. On the other hand I like him better the way he is. Big men in the world are unhappy.” “You wouldn’t say that Neal is happy would you?” “He’s ecstatic---if that’s more or less than happy.” “I should think it’s less. Getting all involved with three wives and kids all over the country---it’s absurd.” “Go find his mother for him.” “Anyway Jack it’s been a lot of fun.” Brierly grew serious. “Yes I’ve had a lot of fun and I’d live this life all over again. I’m getting more and more wrapped up in discovering and developing these kids---why I’ve left my law practice practically go to pot, I’ve abandoned real estate altogether and next year I think I’ll give up my Central City secretaryship. I’m back where I started teaching hi school English.” On Brierly’s blackboard in High School I saw the names of Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman scribbled in chalk. A little Negro boy came to him with a problem. He had no time to deliver papers and do his homework all at the same time. Brierly called up his bosses and changed the hours and set everything straight. Boys coming in from vacation from Eastern Universities came to him for summer jobs. He merely picked up the phone and called the Mayor. “Do you happen to remember Bruce Rockwell at Columbia? He’s assistant to the mayor now you know---doing very well indeed. He was in your class wasn’t he” He’d been after me. I

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