Write About What You Know

While I’m on anecdotes, long-time correspondent John Dinwiddie sends a charming one:

I have a good Henry Cowell tale for you, starring David Tudor and Lou Harrison. In 1967, I drove David Tudor down to the Lansing Speaker Corp. in Sunnyvale to pick up some speaker drivers for the first version of the Rainforest circuit. Afterwards, David decided that I needed to meet a man of real culture – still true – and that we should head down to Aptos to drop in on Lou.

That we did, and late into an evening that would take a long chapter to describe, Lou holds up before his guests around his sunken long table a sheet of paper and asks in his great, Vincent Pricey voice, “David, do you have any idea what this is?” (No.) “Well, it’s Henry Cowell’s first composition, written when he was eight. It’s called, [dramatic pause] ‘I Want An Ice Cream Cone.'”