Here’s an oddity from the Spill’s archive. An eight page pamphlet containing James Thurber’s speech delivered upon receiving the Ohioana Sesquicentennial Medal. The Citation reads (in part): In appreciation of your generosity of spirit…originality of concept…your matchless satire…at times pure wit…oft times gentle humor…your priceless gift of laughter…boon to disturbed mankind…In recognition of the world wide fame you have bestowed on the state of Ohio and your home town of Columbus the pleasure you have given readers round the globe.
Thurber couldn’t be there in person to accept, so his speech was read by the then editor of The Columbus Dispatch. The award was presented in October of 1954. It included this oft-cited passage:
I have lived in the East for nearly thirty years now, but many of my books prove that I am never very far away from Ohio in my thoughts, and that the clocks that strike in my dreams are often the clocks of Columbus.
James Stevenson’s Hat Trick Issue Of The New Yorker: March 22, 1969
Look closely at the above table of contents and you’ll see James Stevenson’s name appears three times. He’s credited with the piece, “Notes From an Exhibition”; he’s credited with the cover, and he is credited with contributing a cartoon, under “Drawings.” Perhaps — perhaps! — we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Stevenson’s work was all over the place in the issue. He is believed to be the most prolific New Yorker contributor of all time (if you add up his cartoons, his covers and his written contributions). This weighty presence in the magazine is best exhibited in the Sally William’s documentary, Stevenson: Lost And Found,* when the filmmaker animates Mr. Stevenson’s black binders piling up in the magazine’s library. Every New Yorker contributor’s work is added into a binder. If you’ve contributed a lot of work, you end up with your own binder. If your work exceeds the binder’s page limit, you get a second binder, and so on. Mr. Stevenson has five binders in the magazine’s library. They look like this:
A fun fact about the above Table of Contents: The New Yorker that appeared the week before had a Table of Contents that looked (exactly) like the one shown below. For a magazine that rarely (in those days) messed with its design, this change to a more informative Table of Contents was a very big thing. The next time The Table Of Contents design changed was the issue of October 5, 1992 — the debut issue of Tina Brown’s editorship.
*It was announced just yesterday that Stevenson: Lost and Found has been selected to screen at The Newport Beach Film Festival, Salem Film Fest, and Block Island Film Festival.
Teresa Burns Parkhurst on VP Pence’s new job assignment. Ms. Parkhurst has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2017.
During one of my many daily Google searches for New Yorker cartoonist news, this special little box shown below titled “New Yorker Illustrators” turned up (I’ve provided a screenshot). I wasn’t searching for New Yorker illustrators — this came to me unbidden. Of the several things wrong with this offered selection, besides the glaring one sitting dead center, is that only one of the people shown — Mr. Niemann — is a New Yorker illustrator (unless Trump does illustration work on the side I’m not aware of). And okay, okay, I’ll add the obvious “quip”: I never thought Donald Trump would get between me and my wife.