Friday, November 9, 2012

Grand Canyon Thoughts

Listening to the recording of Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon suite reminded me of how thoroughly I had come to know this music before actually seeing the place. Needless to say, none of that music came to mind either while I was standing on the south rim or when I went half-way down on the back of a mule. (I did not have the time for the full descent on my first visit, which I why I used a second visit to provide my wife with her first.)

The fact is that I came to the Grand Canyon with precious little background knowledge. The only thing I really remembered vividly was the Sam Levenson joke about a kid from Brooklyn whose parents take him there for a summer vacation. When they returned to their motel, his mother insisted he send at least one postcard to a friend. The kid wrote:
Dear Louie,
Today I spit one mile.
Your friend,

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