I subscribe to the deliciously informative and oftimes witty Washington History e-newsletter, which says that on June 19, 1923, E.B. White was fired from the Seattle Times newspaper.
To quote: “White is 24 years old, living the life, in his words (written years later), ‘of exalted footlessness.’ “
In his memoir, he says he can understand why he was fired: “A youth who persisted in rising above facts must have been a headache to a city editor.”
Look where all that “rising above the facts” led him!
I love E.B. White and his father, too. When E.B. graduated from college and decided he wanted to tool around the country in a Model T, instead of freaking out, as I, for instance might, his father wrote:
“If you feel that you are lacking in ambition, be assured that meditation and contemplation, of which your letter is full, is a more certain joy in life..”
Thanks for this great story! Jeannine Atkins
Hahaha! *THIS* explains why I was a horrible writer for the college paper. My editor begged me constantly, “Quit editorializing!!!”
I feel so much better.
I got a job as a sports writer for our little town’s paper, The Leader. I only lasted the basketball season. I’d spend all day coming up with a personal look at the players and coaches, even an expose on an opposing coach that always ran up the scores on crappy teams. My editor always edited out any of the “personality” and it drove me nuts. I was getting peanuts too, so I left. Now, I’m sure he just wanted the facts. I’m the wrong guy for THAT!
I love EB White, what a good writer. From his new yorker articles to his stories, even his account of his trip to Alaska. What a legacy.