‘Two rye-and-water,” the man said.
The bartender went on puddling an Old-Fashioned that he was working on, but he was obviously turning over the request in his mind.
“You want a double?” he asked, after a bit.
“No, “said the man. “ Two rye-and –water, please.”
Page 49, 5th sentence +, The Second tree from the Corner by E.B. White. First published in 1954, this is a delightful collection of E.B. White’s early work, including stories, poems, essays, parodies, and social commentary. Most of the pieces in the book were originally published in the New Yorker. The volume has two forwards, one written in 1954, the next one in 1984. At the age of 54, the author, quite convinced that he had outlived his productive years, was “neatening ups his affairs” and saying good bye to his audience. In his next forward, written 30 years later, he admits that this might have been a little premature. The wonderful thing is that the pieces are timeless. 24 years later, I find myself gliding through the book with immense pleasure. In his updated preface, EB White still feels good enough about the contents to chide his readers. “I am not one to pamper readers, and don’t want them daydreaming their way through this book like drivers on a superhighway.” Well that was enough to make me take up the challenge!!!
I first listened to the book’s namesake story being read on a local radio program while I was shuttling my daughter to and from dance class. Wednesday’s Spoken Word with Beryl Greenberg and Charles Brin. They are a wonderful pair. It is obvious that the cohosts have been lifelong readers. They each select a story and read with a dramatic flair and an obvious love of the language. Occasionally, one has a momentary lapse and the other seamlessly picks up where the other left off.
I don’t feel comfortable in tagging anyone. If you would like to join, these are the guidelines:
Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The closest book, not the coolest.