Friday, January 29, 2010

In Memory of a Piece of Childhood

I was sitting in my car last night waiting for my son listening
to NPR and i heard the news that J.D. Salinger had passed away at
the age of 91. A tear fell from my eye and my heart was saddened with
the news. Even though we have not seen this accomplished and
simply incredible author in decades...not even a whisper of his
voice he still remained and will remain a piece of so many.

I wasn't a rebellious kid, always well behaved, good grades and
never got in trouble, but some how Holden Caulfield stole my heart
and has stayed there till this day. Oh that red book with the
simple words Cather in the Rye...what a treat it was from the
first sentence to the last. The vast span of emotions that it
provoked still amazes me to this day. What is even more special
is that it is an experience that I share with my own children,
J.D. just hit a vein in kids every where with this masterpiece
of literature. Can you even imagine that it was one of the most
banned books of all times because of the use of one word...just
stop and think...generations past, present and future could have
been robbed of this ultimate experience...that would have been
criminal. Mr. Salinger gave us many other splendid literary
experiences, all totally amazing but none as moving and memorable as Holden.

How I wondered if he was in his New Hampshire Home penning
something incredible those 50+ years of being a recluse...what
was he doing...out of site...but never out of mind. I was
exactly what he wanted people to be when it came to him...
keeping the illusion my mind he was never aging...
always mysterious.

You know what else I thank J.D. for...allowing each person that
read Catcher to imagine his or her own create their own
surroundings...visuals...voices and more. He never caved to having
his book turned into a movie and FOUGHT the FIGHT to keep it a pure
literary experience for all that read it. I mean come on now...
he said NO to Steven Spielberg! Amazing in today's day
and age...but Holden is still who YOU want him to be.

I could go on and on but I am just
going to say...Rest In Peace J.D. Salinger and thank you so much for the will live on in Holden for
an eternity and Holden will live in the mind of
your readers forever and a day... that is truly what you wanted. more is a quote from the
Catcher...the one that hangs on to the idea of eternal youth:

Holden: "Anyway, I keep picturing these little kids playing some game
in this big field or rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's
around - nobody big, I mean, except me. And I'm standing on the edge
of some crazy cliff.What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if
they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they
don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and
catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher
in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd
really like to be.

I know it's crazy."

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