Saturday, May 17, 2014

RP: I Respond to James Grissom's Response to Me!!!

REPRINTED from here

Dear Jim,

I'm glad you enjoyed my memoir, and I must also say that at the Memorial on Tom's birthday in NYC in 1983, from the things Jane Smith told me (not including Tom breaking any commitments to her), I could see how what you claim could be within the range of the possible. However, I have found two kinds of people to lie to me the most: 

1. People who depend on the good graces of Sewanee for access to or use of ANY Tennessee Williams material -- or are associated in any way with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. I certainly don't mean ALL of them, just those who hope to make any money off the story or the writings of Tennessee Williams.

2. Writers of any professional status who overwrite -- which you do rather outrageously in places in your review of Alison's CD, as well as in other blog postings. 

To take this away from the personal: I had a similar problem in Atlanta with Christal Presley, the best friend of Sean Hannity and his wife Jill, who had been her college roommate, and she helped get me the EVIL contract with Alyson Books. She wrote a book about her father's PTSD from the Vietnam War. I knew it was lies as I knew her Dad -- and he was a very vigorous man and loved joking about his war years. And her parents had grown quite rich, although Christal claimed they were their original trailer-trash selves, still -- HA!!! In any case, CNN featured the book on their website as the top story there for two days, and refused to answer my request that they demand proof from Christal, letting them know I had the proof of her lies.

And speaking of CNN, they published an interview with my friend and top gay activist of the 1980s, Edmund White, publishing that he actually then (2011), PRAISED both Ronald Reagan and C. Everett Koop for LIKING gay people and doing everything possible to relieve AIDS -- when the exact opposite can be confirmed in the historical record. I confronted Edmund White with that, thinking CNN published lies about Edmund, but Edmund White was honest enough to admit he told CNN that, then asked me to take him off my email list as it gave him headaches. I never took him off.

Tennessee certainly had HUGE admiration for Carry Nye and her husband Dick Cavett. He lamented that he'd seen neither of them in many, many years, and in early 2012, we drove to Vassilis Voglis's cabin in Amagansett on Long Island, we were to meet up with the two of them the next day, but they cancelled at the last moment. Tennessee told me a time or two that Cavett had told him that he, Cavett, was actually gay, and I see that after Carrie Nye died in 2006, that Cavett married Martha Rogers, PhD in 2010. I thought that meant she was his psychologist, but I see she is a business writer, so I guess the joke is on ME!!!

But that still doesn't explain how you were born in 1965 (according to several Internet profiles of you), and then managed to be TWENTY in 1982 -- when the math says 17 to me . . . 

Please let me know where I am wrong so I can admit my errors on blog and and to all my 500 email recipients.


On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM, James Grissom  wrote:

Dear Scott,

Thank you for your comments on my piece about Alison's CD: I think she--and the CD--are terrific.

I read and admired your book and was grateful for the portrait it presented of Tennessee. 

My meeting with Tennessee was made possible by his running out on a commitment to his friend Jane Smith, and he felt--for reasons only Tennessee could explain --that New Orleans was where he should go. When I met Jane Smith in New York, she laughing called me the "culprit," and told me that Tennessee had been forced to go to New Orleans to rescue a young rube. 

I was actually twenty years old when I met Tennessee, and when I turned 21 a month after our time in New Orleans, Tennessee called to proclaim that--at least in Louisiana--I was alcoholically "legal."

Tennessee gave me the names of various musical artists who had influenced him over the years, and Carrie Nye confirmed for me that he would always seek out "If I Didn't Care" on jukeboxes or in record collections of those with whom he visited. I still wrote that it was "arguably" his favorite song, since so many other people I've interviewed claim that he had many other favorites.

I hope that you retain your copyright, and I hope that "Walking on Glass" finds its way to a print edition. It needs and deserves a large audience.


Jim Grissom


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