Elmore Leonard & Me
I flew to Florida this past week for some R&R, and yesterday was rested and relaxed enough to start drafting a Saturday morning blog. Only one problem – I didn’t bring a laptop on the Florida trip, so on the airplane flight coming home I had to write the blog on a yellow legal pad – writing everything longhand.
Yes, longhand. Oh, the brutality. How people wrote anything before computers is inconceivable to me, and how they wrote in pen without inwardly whining like I did on the plane seems even more incredible.
Yesterday’s experience reminded me of an interview I once did with Elmore Leonard at his home in suburban Detroit. One of the things I wanted to know about the famed author was his specific writing schedule.
“Writing is my job so six days a week, every Monday through Saturday, I write full bore from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said the author of “Get Shorty,” “Mr. Majestyk” and 45 other novels. “And I write everything longhand on yellow legal pads, then my secretary types it into a computer. I have never used a computer in my life. Longhand and legal pads – it’s how I’ve always done it and how I always will.”
A Hole in Two
While in Florida, I was hitting a bucket of golf balls and it reminded me of a quick golf anecdote that once happened to me. A friend Dave and I were at Belle Isle Golf Course in Detroit years ago and we started our rounds with two badly played holes. I was grumpy when I teed off the par 3 third hole, so I swung extra hard when it was my turn to hit.
But I barely ticked the ball and it actually somehow went two inches backwards, at which point I was seething. So I took a step back to the hateful ball and just whacked it off the ground as hard as I could. The ball took flight from the tee box area and headed toward the green, and I angrily grabbed my bag to start walking.
Halfway to the green, Dave and I noticed that four big guys playing in front of us were all standing behind the third green, waving their arms wildly and shouting at us.
“Oh, no. I probably hit one of ‘em in the head,” I moaned. “It looks like they wanna fight us. Why do I even play golf?”
But when we reached the formidable foursome, they all pointed to the hole and were falling over each other to shake my hand. It turns out my second whack from the tee box miraculously went 157 yards, right into the hole. I was ecstatic but still had to write a 2 on my scorecard.
I bet Elmore Leonard never got a hole in two.