The temptation was to call this entry “Galley Slave,” but I fell back on my favorite line from His Girl Friday.
Walter (Cary Grant): What about Hildy’s old age? Think of Hildy. I can see her now. White-haired, lavender and old lace. Can’t you see her, Bruce?
Bruce (Ralph Bellamy): Yes, yes, I can.
Walter: She’s old, isn’t she?
It helps to know the spin that Cary Grant gives that last line.
At any rate, I am feeling quite elderly this morning because I am going over the galleys for, lord help me, the 10th anniversary edition of Baltimore Blues. For those joining me late — that is, for the five or six people who weren’t there at the beginning, when Baltimore Blues was published in 1997 — it was a paperback original, as were my three next books. It was great for my career, but hell on the library copies. So Morrow is bringing out a 10th anniversary version in hardcover and I’m trying to track down the errors brought to my attention over the years. At last, Crow will get Poe’s birthplace right.
Quickly: Where were you ten years ago? And where did you think you would be in 2006? Because I’m pretty shocked at how this whole adventure turned out. The last time I held galleys of Baltimore Blues, I was in a rental car en route to Chicago, where I was going to write features about the Democratic National Convention and take my dog to a White Sox game. (The latter was one of the best scams I ever concocted in twenty years as a reporter. The former was the price I paid for getting to do the latter.)