Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two guys named Leonard

The other day, at this interesting old tavern in Springville called the Legacy, I had lunch with my new friend Alenka Lawrence. I met her at church, at that Latin Mass I go to. How square does that sound? But Alenka is British and exotic. She is also the only person I know who has written a biography. I wanted to talk to her about that.

Both our guys are dead now, both were old men when we met them, and to top it off, both were named Leonard. Alenka's book was about Leonard Cheshire. He was a highly decorated British flying ace who observed the bombing of Nagasaki (that is the word Alenka used, "observed" -- I understood he watched through special glasses, or something), and he also did a lot of bombing of the Ruhr Valley in Germany. Listen to this! We are continuing our theme from the day before!

By the way I almost fell off my chair yesterday when Ward sent in that Monty Python skit. Ha, ha!! That is why I cannot check my blog while I am at work. I would be fired so fast!

Where was I? Leonard Cheshire. He was a flying ace and he was also this playboy. After the war he had a big conversion and turned Catholic and founded a string of homes for disabled people who had no one to care for them. Alenka, bless her heart, admits that this is where the story gets boring. And she said it was all her Leonard wanted to talk about, that he didn't want to talk about his colorful earlier life of playboying and bombing. So she was stuck in the situation I was in with Leonard Pennario, trying to pry these colorful details out of the reluctant old man.

We keep our Leonards straight by saying "your Leonard" and "my Leonard."

But our situations were somewhat different. Alenka was set up with Leonard Cheshire by a religious publishing house that was looking for someone to write a book about him. I guess they never warmed up to each other. Whereas Leonard Pennario and I decided to do our book together because we had just met each other and liked each other and thought it would be fun.

She was with her Leonard for two weeks. She stayed with him in a rambling country house in an idyllic British village. I was with my Leonard for three months. I had my own apartment nearby -- remember, the apartment I got a discount on, because of the shootout that happened there.

My Leonard wasn't married, so there was no Mrs. Pennario underfoot, telling me I couldn't ask this or that or that no, her husband could not go to the movies with me. We even laughed about that. Poor Alenka had Leonard Cheshire's wife to deal with. She said Lady Cheshire was a pain. I could only imagine.

I would say I got the better deal! But I am envious of just one thing. Her book is actually done!

Well, mine will be done too, pretty soon. I am going to get back to work on it this minute.

After I reread Ward's Monty Python skit.

1 comment:

Sarah Bear said...

The joys of creativeness. . . story tellers can make mention of anything you may need to spice up things. You were able to spend time with Len. Me? No. You're a lucky girl. . .