Author Dan Wakefield Recalls Friend James Baldwin Ahead Of Indy Film Screening
What I remember most were his eyes—those large brown eyes that seemed to see right through you, right into your mind, and to know at once if you were speaking the truth.
In 1969, L.S. Ayres invited native son Kurt Vonnegut to sign copies of his latest novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, in the downtown department store. At earlier stops on the book tour, the literary icon had drawn throngs of fans; here, he was met with indifference—and the irony didn’t escape him. “I sold thirteen books in two hours, every one of them to a relative,” Vonnegut wrote to fellow novelist and Shortridge High grad Dan Wakefield. “Word of honor.”
“As all of us change, this place stays the same. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to get in here. And one of the first times I bartended, my grandfather was sitting at the end of the bar watching everything I did. Which was intimidating. I just wish he could see me back there now.”