02 April 2011

Drinking Money by Michael Klein

In 1939, when my mother was seven years old, the lyricist Lorenz Hart gave her a photograph of himself on which he had inscribed in midnight blue ink: For Kathryn Jacqueline, from Lorenz Hart, whose name will probably be forgotten by the time she is able to read this. Hart had been a friend of my grandfather, Jack Osterman, a vaudevillian, and I suppose the two had known each other—albeit briefly—in the forties. My mother kept that photograph for many years and I remember reading it for the first time and thinking what an extraordinary thing for someone to say to a child—as if childhood had in it the same kind of unpredictability and loneliness that fame did. I inherited that photograph after my mother’s death and sold it to an autograph dealer on 18th Street in the ‘70s for drinking money.


  1. Gorgeous! Who wrote that? I hope it was you.

  2. I mean, I guess I could have just read the title of the post; but that's asking a lot from a guy like me.