Page 126. " He could take something very jazzy, like 'Tin Roof Blues,' and whistle it so nice and easy "

Listen on Spotify:     Louis Armstrong           Sidney Bechet           Harry Connick, Jr.


Page 127. " All that crap they have in cartoons in the Saturday Evening Post "


The Dugout--one of Rockwell's iconic images
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Dugout--one of Rockwell's iconic images - Credit: delusionalcubsfan--Jason

The Saturday Evening Post is a venerable American magazine, founded by Benjamin Franklin as The Pennsylvania Gazette.  It was most popular from about 1900 through the 1960s, featuring distinctive cover art by Norman Rockwell, and short stories from top American writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald (whom J.D. Salinger admired) and Ring Lardner (whom Holden Caulfield and J.D. Salinger both admired).  

The publication entered difficult times with the age of television, but has been reinvented with a focus on health by the Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society.




Page 130. " Let's go ice-skating at Radio City! "

Radio City at the Rockefeller Center
Creative Commons AttributionRadio City at the Rockefeller Center - Credit: Randy Lemoine
Sally means the ice rink at Rockefeller Center (where Radio City Music Hall is located).  It opened in 1936, and remains a very popular tourist attraction and iconic New York City scene.



Sally wants to see how she'll look in a skating skirt.  Pretty damn cute.

Page 137. " He did the same lousy old half gainer all day long. "

A half gainer is a dive where you start off facing forward, do a back flip in the air and enter the water headfirst now facing the board.


Page 139. " I came in when the goddam stage show was on. The Rockettes were kicking their heads off "

The Rockettes are a precision dance group of disturbingly lookalike women, famous for their chorus line of perfectly timed, high-kicking legs.



Page 142. " he asked him who was the best war poet, Rupert Brooke or Emily Dickinson "
Rupert Brooke
Public DomainRupert Brooke - Credit: Imperial War Museum (United Kingdom)

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) was an English poet known both for his talent and his good looks.  He wrote idealistic sonnets about war, but never saw combat.  Though he sailed with the Royal Navy to Gallipoli in 1915, Brooke died from sepsis in Greece before they arrived.  He was 27.  He was buried on the island of Skyros.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was an American poet who lived a quiet and reclusive life, but wrote extensively.  Only a few of her poems were published in her lifetime, and they were highly edited to fit the conventions of the time.  Not until 1955 did her work appear as it was originally written, and the true extent of her talent become apparent.

In comparing the two, D.B. is suggesting that the poet who wrote idealistically of war but never experienced it did not grasp its horrors, while the more thoughtful recluse (living in the time of the American Civil War) did.