Friday, April 17, 2015

This shouldn't be on a blog. ANY blog.

What slang words have this meaning?

The definitions of these slang words appear below the list.

axe woundbadly wrapped kebabbald man in a boatbang holebat cavebeanbearded clambearded oysterbeavbeaverbeefcurtainbeef curtainbeef flapbirth cannonblue waffleboxbreadbujucamel's footcamel toecandychachcha chacherrychochacho-chochonchchootclitclown holeclungecockcock pocketcock socketcoocoochcoochiecookiecoosiecootercudercunnycuntcunt holecunt puntcuttycut up'c' wordfannyfish tacoflangefront bottomfuck holefur burgerfur piegapgashgrowlerhair burgerhair piehairy axe woundham flapham wallethatchet woundhooded ladyhoo-hoohot pocketill na-naincisionjutekittykoochkooterkuderliplove cavelove tacolunchmeatmanginaman in the boatman in the boat, themeat curtainsmeat flapmeatwalletmeat walletmingemoose knucklemuffmuffinna-nanappy dugoutnedenninja footnookieopen woundpinkpink canoepink sausage walletpink tacopink velvet sausage walletpiss flapspookiepoonpoonanerpoonanipoontangpoon tang piepootangpoo tangpooterpootie tangprison pursepromised land, thepunanipunannipusspussyputangpu-tangquifquiffquimquivering mound of love puddingroast beefroast beef curtainsslitsmush mittensnatchsnizzsoggy boxsprained vaginatampon tunneltangtrimtunnel of lovetwattwitchetVvadgevagvaginevagoovajayjayva-jay-jayvajizzlevertical smilewhisker biscuitwhispering eyewizard sleevewoowoogitwuggetwuss

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of George

(from The Memory of All That: The Life of George Gershwin by Joan Peyser)

The cat from New York City

Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City
Ooh wah, ooh wah c'mon kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City

He's kind of tall
He's really fine
Some day I hope to make him mine, all mine
And he's neat
And oh so sweet
And just the way he looked at me
He swept me off my feet
Ooh whee, you ought to come and see
How he walks
And how he talks

Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City

He's really down
And he's no clown
He has the finest penthouse I've ever seen in town
And he's cute
In his mohair suit
And he keeps his pockets full of spending loot
Ooh whee, say you ought to come and see
His dueling scar
And brand new car

Every time he says he loves me
Chills run down my spine
Every time he wants to kiss me
He makes me feel so fine
Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City

Well he can dance (He can dance, take a chance with a little)
And make romance (Romance baby, cause he's a looker)
That's when I feel in love 
With just one glance (He's sweet talking and cool)

He was shy 
And so was I
And now I know I'll never, ever say goodbye
Ooh whee, say you ought to come and see
He's the most
From coast to coast

Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City
Ooh wah, ooh wah c'mon kitty
Tell us about the boy from New York City

Stalking Gershwin: Julia's story

My completely obsessive but hugely enjoyable George Trek continues, and I just keep finding more and more enthralling stuff.

It seems strange to say that George Gershwin had a stalker. I didn’t even realize it until I began to read the formerly-controversial bio The Memory of All That by Joan Peyser (the one that was vilified and ripped apart by critics for daring to claim that Gershwin had an illegitimate son – which he did). Other bios mention a certain infatuated fan who pursued George, mainly through letters and phone calls, for nearly ten years. So who was this Julia Van Norman, and why did her daughter Nancy insist that she was Gershwin’s love child? It certainly muddies the waters in the case of Alan Gershwin, who at least had a few threads of veracity in his paternity claim  – not to mention looking so much like his suspected father that it was breathtaking to behold.

It started with a letter – a fan letter – a lavishly-written fan letter to George Gershwin from an articulate, gifted, emotionally fragile  (and married) woman, probably in her 30s, who had heard a recording of Rhapsody in Blue which caused her to do mental and emotional back-flips. Ironically, it was her husband Horace who had bought the record, to try to lift Julia out of a “profoundly unhappy” state. No doubt the fan letter was fired off without  much hope or expectation of a reply.

To quote Julia's long-suffering husband, “One day, to my complete astonishment, my wife showed me a blue envelope postmarked Long Island. It began ‘Dear Mrs. Van Norman: Your letter, which I received some time ago, gave me a feeling that is difficult to describe. I receive quite a few letters from various sources, due to the nature of my work, but I must say yours stuck in my mind longer than any other.” He then speaks of his new work, Concerto in F, and invites her to attend its premiere, expressing a desire to meet her: “Will you by any chance be in New York at this time? Or are you there already?”

She wasn't, but she would be soon. Eventually she would uproot and transplant her whole family from Minnesota to Manhattan just to be near him. The tone of Gershwin's letter is not particularly warm, but could be described as friendly in a detached sort of way. Biographer after biographer describe Gershwin as someone who could not easily express emotion. It all went into the work. I have no record of that first letter from Julia, but we can imagine what it was like. The fact that GG tells her he received it “some time ago” and explains that he receives a lot of letters “due to the nature of my work” seems to be putting it into a slot, just one in a thousand, though he then goes on to say his feelings about the letter were "difficult to describe".  So what prompted GG to respond to it the way he did?

I think it was a combination of narcissism and need. I have come to believe that George Gershwin was a profoundly lonely man who never really connected deeply to another human being. In a photo in which he is attempting to put his arm around his mother, she is pulling away from him in discomfort. He juggled girl friends without falling in love with any of them, and preferred to spend time with married women  because there would be fewer strings attached.

Gershwin included his telephone number with his letter to Julie, prompting even more emotional  back-flips. My theory is that Van Norman’s lavish praise and vivid writing style caused George to think she must be beautiful and ethereal, which is hardly the case. Nevertheless, Julia’s husband insists that when the two finally got together, “he sensed a kindred spirit. She sensed she understood him, his mind, his soul, in a way nobody ever had. The thing went on. They had appointments. They talked and talked and talked.”

And now I remember a song yet to be written, and these lines:

"He'll turn to me and smile
I'll understand
And in a little while
He'll take my hand
And though it seems absurd,
I know we both won't say a word."

But how much of this was Julia’s already-obsessive projection of her own needs? Was she rattling on to her husband about how they were kindred spirits, either to impress him or make him jealous?  Was Gershwin really that attentive? He was a man who often went on and on (and on) about his work, and if he ran out of steam there, he began a sort of “but enough about me, let me tell you about my new penthouse” monologue.  All of this would have thrilled Julie no end, for just being in his presence was a kind of ecstasy. He was just charismatic and charming enough to pull it off.  But it does seem odd that all this would be going on, if in fact it was, right under her husband’s nose.

Poor Julia. Horace didn’t think they were getting it on, because she was not very physically attractive, at least not by George’s standards, so it’s unlikely they were. I have my own theory as to why George strung her along for as long as he did.  He kept her around because of the awful hole at the bottom of his soul that needed endless infusions of admiration to keep him emotionally alive. Certainly poor Julie filled the bill for GG’s narcissistic emotional needs. Peyser sums it up this way:  “But Gershwin kept turning toward more motherly figures, somewhat older than he, married, generally with children, who saw him as someone they could appropriate.” That's a strange term, but perhaps not. He was passive enough to enjoy being moved around like a chess piece. There’s a strange but possibly-true account, second-hand, of someone walking in on George and a girl friend engaging in Fifty Shades-style sadomasochism, with George as the “sub”.  

Whether she was willing to walk him on a leash or not, his longest-lasting relationship was with the brilliant pianist and composer Kay Swift, who filled all his basic requirements: older, married with children, rich.  They lasted ten years as companions, and who knows what they got up to in that time, but GG kept stringing her along in vague promises of marriage that never materialized, not even after she divorced her husband to free herself for him. Stringing women along was something he did all his life, though he never seemed cruel. He had such nice manners, such charm, and besides, he was a genius. How many chances in a lifetime do you get to know a genius? 

As for poor thwarted Julie,  the lopsided quasi-relationship traced a bumpy path, with GG cutting off all communication more than once when her devotion became alarming. Strangely enough, at one point her husband contacted him begging him to reply to her letters again, as she seemed to be “dying of despair”. She was a George-a-holic by this time, and theirs was a mutually parasitic relationship which GG now desperately wanted to escape from. Possibly he did not want to look into the abyss in his own soul which had drawn him in this direction in the first place.

The most heartbreaking evidence I found of this lack of true reciprocation is this excerpt from a six-page handwritten later from Julia dated May 14, 1933:

“In your Cuban Rhapsody you have attained a breadth of conception and a reach of vision that seems as yet impossible to any of these others. The work is beautiful and tremendous, and left me in a trancelike state, after I had heard it performed under the rise and fall of your baton. . . It is the finest thing you have written, my dear. I feel, and know that you possess a priceless gift, and when I speak as I do of conserving your energy, it is only that I feel your work is going to be of vital importance, and that its achievement will bring you swift (!! emphasis mine) and certain happiness. . . So you must conserve your valuable, virile body and your keen mind, for the task that lies before you. . . And because my love for you is not petty, but profound and deep and sure, I dare to tell you this. My creed begins, ‘I believe in George. . . ‘”

Ye gods! The woman worshipped at the Church of George, and her entire being seemed to revolve around him. But there’s a funny dynamic going on here. Elsewhere in this interminable letter, she assures or reassures him that she will leave him alone to get on with his superlative work which was surely destined for greatness. What provoked this response? It seems likely that GG was trying to scrape her off the bottom of his shoe, or at very least perform the slippery disappearing act that was the hallmark of his relations with women.

The repressed sexuality in this fragment is sad: her “trancelike state” which seems to bespeak sexual rapture; “the rise and fall of your baton”, a Freudian delight; “your valuable, virile body and your keen mind”, with the body mentioned first. The saddest of all is her declaration that her love for him is”profound and deep and sure”, topped off by a bizarre creed that seems cultish in its devotion.

Though that was not the end, things reached a low point when Julia asked George flat-out if he loved her, and he said a flat-out “no”. This seems heartless, but there is practicality in it as well. He insisted on keeping careful boundaries around the connection (one can hardly call it a relationship)  from then on. Julia kept up her six-page rhapsodies in script, and if he replied at all, there was nothing in those letters or telegrams that his mistress Kay Swift couldn’t have read.

Poignantly, Horace Van Norman said in an interview, “What my wife wanted more than anything else was to be free to marry George. But George told her to cool it. I remember Kay Swift once asked me if Julia was prettier than she was. Kay was not so pretty, but she was a witty, intelligent woman.”

This kind of symbiotic connection is common in show biz, and GG’s obvious magnetism and genius (which he forever remind everyone of)  could easily have triggered fan obsession.  There is no evidence she lurked around his property, but Gershwin biographies are largely based on conventional reporting, interviews conducted long after the fact (Horace Van Norman’s revelations came SIXTY year later), and the family’s carefully stage-managed accounts. So what really happened here?

We do know that something eerie happened very close to GG’s death from a neglected, agonizing brain tumor. By this time George wasn't able to manage more than the most terse messages. “Thanks for your letter. Home from hospital. Feeling somewhat better. Don’t worry. Expect to be well in a week or so.” Within a month, he would collapse in a coma and be dead 24 hours later. Almost as sad is Julia’s puppy-dog-tail response to his terse message: “That was the nicest telegram I ever received. Knowing you are better and out of the hospital – well, you can’t know how different everything looks to me. . . I dreamt you sent me a letter and I simply could not decipher it. It looked as if your coordination had gone haywire. Judging from your handwriting, something was terribly wrong with your nervous system. I never did find out what was in the letter. But I did wake up thinking something was wrong with George. Now you are moving away from the thing, thank God.”

Her prescience here is remarkable, because by this time Gershwin was suffering horribly from “the thing”: falling down, drooling, too uncoordinated to play the piano, and almost unable to eat, having his food cut up for him like a child. He was prone to inexplicable spasms of behaviour like trying to push his driver out of a moving car, and smashing up chocolates and smearing them all over his body.

And yet the original diagnosis of “hysteria" never changed. Lee Gershwin, Ira's bitch-on-wheels of a wife, insisted he was putting it all on and wouldn't help him get up off the sidewalk when he fell: "Leave him there. He's just trying to get attention." It almost seems they waited until he fell into a coma to get at the truth: they opened up his head and found a grapefruit-sized tumor that had probably been there for years.

The Peyser book, which has so many rich quotes from Julia’s rhapsodic letters to George, leaves the situation hanging after his death, never even telling us what happened to her. This is one of the clangers that has made this book so frustrating to read. It screams out for a good editor, and apparently never got one. (On one page, the exact same information appears in two separate sentences, only slightly paraphrased.)

But even if it is fairly crappily written, it includes far more than the others about Julia’s fascinatingly awful fan-worship. Howard Pollack’s tome mentions her in passing maybe 3 or 4 times, and quotes a sentence or two of the more prurient letters: “Don’t you suppose I am aware of that warm, living, beautiful body of yours?” Needless to say, GG never replied in kind.

Here is where it gets really strange. Most of the bios I’ve found don’t even mention whatever became of Julia. The story is merely dropped when it ceases to have a direct connection to GG. But I did find this awful, awful statement in Howard Pollack’s 900-page doorstop, George Gershwin: His Life and Work. He states that after Gershwin's death in 1937,  “few suffered as keenly as Julia Van Norman, who had a psychotic breakdown and was removed to a state hospital where she remained until her death in 1997.”

I always have problems with these stories and the language they use. Here is a highly intelligent and articulate, accomplished, musically gifted woman, a mother of three with a more-or-less stable marriage, or at the very least a husband who cares about her, who suddenly mentally disintegrates and never recovers. She simply falls down the other side and we never see her again. Pollack says she “was removed”, a horrendous passive-voice expression which is somehow even worse than those dehumanizing terms “committed” and “put away”. Even a dog isn’t “put away”, maybe laundry or dishes. We like to say it doesn't happen any more, the mentally ill aren't just written off and disposed of "for their own good", but I'm not sure things have changed that much. Or not enough.

Here is another dilemma that I can't resolve. If she was really incarcerated in that state hospital until her death in 1997, how old would she have been? She must have been well over a hundred. This was sixty years after her final letters to George, in which she so eerily picked up something like “static” on the line. She wasn’t young when she first wrote to him, not with three children. In fact she was older than George, who was at least 30 at the time. It feels like a biographical bobble, something that has not been adequately researched but only based on hearsay. Somebody said that somebody said that somebody said. And isn't it a lot easier to paint a picture of a raving lunatic being carted off to an insane asylum, never to be seen again, than to do the difficult homework of trying to find out just what the hell DID happen? 

So how can a lively and intelligent, if emotionally labile person like Julia end up warehoused in one of those wretched halls of degradation and pain? Did anyone come to visit her? Since she was pretty much of an embarrassment to George and those around him, it’s likely no one did. People didn’t visit mental hospitals back then unless they absolutely had to, and I have it from first-hand experience that no matter how sick you are, nobody sends you flowers.

I like to think it didn't happen at all, but was a convenient biographical Shakespearian-tragedy device, illustrating just what kind of a fatal, mystical hold GG had on women. Sorry, not buying it.

This story requires a coda, just like all the other ones, and since it’s one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever written, it must be a doozie - and it is. Joan Peyser mentions - though she is the only biographer who does - that Julia’s daughter Nancy Bloomer Deussen (whose picture actually appears in the book) is convinced she is George Gershwin’s illegitimate daughter. Everyone assumed the Julia/George connection was platonic, and in my opinion it probably was. She could not have dragged her idol off his high-altitude pedestal for such an earthy purpose, and as much of a horndog as George was, I don’t think he was THAT much of a horndog.

So we are left with yet another loose end.

CODA TO THE CODA. I keep noticing something strange. Though the Peyser bio was vilified and even savaged when it first came out, there are a lot of reviews still posted on the internet, whole and complete, after more than 20 years. I'm still finding them, in fact, in the oddest places, small-town newpapers and the like. (Of course that was back when newspapers gave space to books.) Everybody hates the book in these reviews, and they hate Peyser even more, for saying things that  have subsequently been proven, or at least perceived as plausible. All that outrageous scandal is no longer news, and the dirt is no longer dirt, to the point that Howard Pollack quotes Peyser in various places throughout his 900-page Gershwin tome.

But why are all those reviews still around? NOTHING lasts 22 years on the internet! Why does this book keep popping up, when other Gershwin bios, revered and respected ones, are nowhere in sight? What is going on here? I think it's an example of a rotten review having a much longer shelf life than a positive one. We love to see people (writers especially, because they dare to lay their shit on the line) ripped down and eviscerated. It's that schadenfreude stuff - and God how I hope I am spelling that right!  

"You had me at hello"

Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Starbucks melody

It's not Stardust (that's Hoagy Carmichael), but Starbucks that inspires George. GG is the ultimate time traveller and has been known to slip out to the future for a frapp.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

All the human suffering of the world

"Deep in the being of George Gershwin was a map of all the human suffering of the world. Anyone who knew him could not have missed that characteristic feature." - Merle Armitage

Thursday, April 9, 2015

And now, a word from our sponsor!

Glorious George, part 476: that face

That face, that face, that wonderful face
It shines, it glows, all over the place
And how I love to watch it change expressions
Each look becomes the prize of my possessions.

I love that face, that face, it hmmm, just isn't fair
You must forgive the way that I stare
But never will these eyes behold a sight that could replace
That face, that face, that face.

I see that face, that face, wherever I go
It's here, and it's there, bewitching me so
It's got my crazy heart in such a tangle
It drives me simply wild from any angle.

I love those eyes, those lips, that fabulous smile
He laughs and spring goes right out of style
And oh, the thrill I feel each time my fingers gently trace
That face, that face, that face.

Oh, what a face, that face, it lights up a room
Intoxicates like heady perfume
No painter or photographer could catch it
No rainbow or no sunset ever match it.

Beneath the moon, the stars, ahhh, under the sun
Asleep, or awake it's second to none
What view completes my universe
Transcending time and space
That face, that face, that face.

Oh that face
That face, that face, oh, that face.

Alan Bergman    Lew Spence

Lost and found: the mystery of Alan Gershwin

This might be categorized as a Separated at Birth of a very different stripe.

I love a mystery, but this mystery has pushed me back time and time again, leading to more frustration than information.

I've been chopping my way through several of the multitude of George Gershwin biographies. Surely no American composer has ever been more sliced, diced, hashed and rehashed than GG. I finally found my way to the really smutty one (The Memory of All That, 1998) by Joan Peyser, the one that reviewers vilified for being inaccurate and making "outrageous claims", including the insistence that GG sired an illegitimate son with a chorus girl in 1926.

One indignant review of the Peyser book sniffily claims that "the family has never recognized Alan Gershwin's claim to their", etc., etc., blah blah blah, but why would they? The stigma of an illegitimate child could ruin a career back then. No doubt the woods were full of opportunists and pretenders, not to mention gold-diggers. After his death, GG's affairs (literally) were hermetically sealed by Ira and Lee Gershwin, his brother and sister-in-law, who lived a long time and were bound and determined to show only the more brilliant facets of this enigmatic jewel to the public.

That restriction remained in place long after both of them were dead.

Strangely enough, in subsequent reviews and commentaries on Peyser's book, critics have become more forgiving.  Over time, her formerly sleazy tell-all has found its way into the Gershwin canon (not the boom-boom kind: I keep telling you!). A three-inch-thick Gershwin tome by Howard Pollack, the "definitive" bio until the next one comes along, admits Peyser's scholarship is a bit wonky, but nevertheless cites her work three or four times in a fairly straightforward manner. It's included, which in itself lends her work validity.  By some mysterious process that I don't understand, her controversial, vilified, preposterous and completely discounted biography now "counts".

Could it be that she got it right? 

But here's the thing. When I try to dig up some hard, plausible evidence that Alan Gershwin exists, or ever did exist, I can't find anything. There is a glorious photo gallery of "someone" - the photographer claims it's AG - taken when he would have been 88 years old.  The fine facial bone structure that has kept him photogenic all these years is a trait he shares with George (who never had the misfortune of growing old). But I can't post these, they're protected by the web site, and there's no text with them that I can find. Nothing to explain the photos. Nothing at all.

The few sites I found that even mention Alan Gershwin now identify him as "son of George", not "supposed" or "alleged" or any of that. No one seems to question it any more. But except for a claim to be a composer in his own right, this man of nearly 90 left very little trace. I found a YouTube video of just one piece he wrote called The Gettysburg Anthem, performed a few years ago at a small church for a commemorative Lincoln event. But the piece was composed FIFTY years ago - a bit longer than the time it took for GG to snatch his notation paper off the piano and perform it in public the same night. In his case, the ink was still wet and the smoke was still rising.

And that is all. No more videos. No more compositions. Nothing. I modestly have to tell you that there is a hell of a lot more of MY stuff on the internet, maybe because I don't know when to keep my mouth shut.

Tantalyzingly, there is a Facebook page that had me racing to find it, but in essence there's nothing on it except a link to a review from the late 1990s of the Peyser bio, one of the very few positive ones that thought her claims of an illegitimate son were valid.

There's also a cropped photo of AG's mouth, the feature that most resembles GG's. Hmmmmm.

If you're to believe this strange and ultimately unproven story, people would see the young Alan Gershwin and nearly fall over backwards because they thought they were seeing a mini-George. Imagine what a shock it must have been after GG's untimely death in 1937. Alan Gershwin was a walking stigma, or else just an oddity with a chance resemblance. But it wasn't just the way he wore his hat, the way he sipped his tea. His gait, his way of inhabiting his lanky body, his nervous energy and the smile that made you hear bells and the intoxicating rattledy-bang of trains - they really did seem to match up.

Or did they?

AG has never submitted to a DNA test. And of course, there are lots of examples of the Separated at Birth phenomenon (many of which I've posted here) that are almost creepy in their similarity.

Might AG be one of these? Now that he has aged, the resemblance isn't quite so startling, except at certain angles. The photo most widely circulated plays that up.

And yet, and yet.

One of the tidbits I found, deep in the archives of a website called The Blacklisted Journalist, was this piece of information, true or not:

Alan Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on May 18th, 1926, his birth certificate recorded in the name of Albert Schneider, with Mollie Schneider, Alan's mother's sister, listed as his mother.
In Alan's early years and during his occasional visits with his famous father, Gershwin could never find the courage to acknowledge Alan as his son and introduced Alan as a "son of a friend".
For what appears to be endless years, Alan waged a futile battle for full acknowledgement. And while the evidence is overwhelming, denials rage on.

After a sad childhood, lacking even a shred of his father's musical genius, Alan approaches the waning segment of his life still hoping the world will, at the very least, announce him as "the son of George Gershwin," not Gershwin's "son of a friend."

Now that the world is paying at least a scrap of attention, at least enough to take his picture and set up an empty Facebook page, perhaps Alan Gershwin (IF he's Alan Gershwin) feels vindicated. Believe me when I say that I am a bloodhound, and if there is any more information to be found, I will find it. And I haven't found it.

Some people coat-tail all their lives, and it's sad. Meanwhile, a weird thing has happened: Alan Gershwin has morphed into someone who looks sort of like George's grandfather, if grandsons bore that much resemblance (which they don't). 

In fact, in a rare photo of George's father, we see no resemblance at all.

Just when I am ready to write this off as a strange posthumous form of stalking, I think of Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh was a bona fide American hero, an aviator who flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927. Tickertape parade, picture on the cover of Time, the whole works. (Except Time probably didn't exist then.) Though he was supposedly happily married to the longsuffering Anne Morrow Lindbergh, rumors dogged him throughout his life that he in fact had several families scattered all over Europe, and that he had fathered, according to the garbled information I found, either four, five or nine illegitimate children (along with the six he had with Anne). These rumors seemed as preposterous as the murmurings that he was a Nazi sympathizer, until the surviving children took DNA tests in the mid-2000s and proved to the world that it was all true.

This one is truly bizarre, one of the strangest photographs I have ever seen. I have no idea where it came from, who took it, and why. Like all the other shreds I found, there's no explanation for it. It appears to be a shot of Alan Gershwin's face in profile, directly behind that of his father, perhaps made as a deliberate comparison. This would have been hard to accomplish, I mean technically, back in the day, so it may be a sophisticated form of photoshopping. The scribbles all over it are somewhat similar to the scrawling George liked to do when he gave someone a photo. He was even known to write little musical phrases, like-a so:

Or were the scribbles by George himself? Unlikely - they're big and sloppy and nothing like George's small, neat, upright hand. (Sidebar note: apparently George's original manuscripts were as immaculate as Mozart's, often without a single correction.) They also obscure the photo, which would have driven him crazy. In spite of the dash and verve of his music, his vibe suggests to me obsessive attention to detail and an insistence on order. On top of that, like most geniuses he was an inherently narcissistic personality who needed the world to see that incredibly beautiful face.

So we are left to compare basic features: the flattish face, the aristocratic high-bridged nose with its handsome Jewishness, the long clean jaw reminiscent of a movie star's. The sloping forehead with its receding hairline. The sweet, sad, expressive eyes that one jilted girl friend described as "heavenly". But most of all, and perhaps this is why this is on the FB banner, the "Hapsburg lip", pouty, sensual and a little sardonic, but gorgeous when it unfolded in the kind of brilliant smile that would light up a foggy day in London Town, or anywhere else.

What do you think? Are you with me here? Am *I* even with me here? Due to the frustrating lack of information, I don't think I will ever know for sure.

  Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!

BONUS! Just found an incredible version of the "superimposed" GG with Alan Gershwin. It was for sale on Etsy, of all things, for five bucks, an "original", and that's all it said. The mystery deepens. . . 

"You had me at hello"

Visit Margaret's Amazon Author Page!