Sat 26th Feb. – Quite recently I watched and enjoyed a PBS broadcast of ” The Unseen Alistaire Cooke” reconnecting with my old friend prompted me to revisit his works. When I was a young lad of about 17 living in Belvedere on the outskirts of London under the care of Aunt Mary. It was part of my Saturday evening ritual before going out on town. To listen at 6:30pm to the BBC radio broadcast “Letter from America”. I was gripped by his conversational tales from observed life in America transcribed through his eyes and voice. He has been repeatedly honoured for this lifelong work as an American correspondent, a love I believe . Many years ago Dian gifted me ” Alistaire Cooke’s America” which I cherish and have now added “Letter from America 1946-2004″ to my library as this encompasses the entire writing lifespan of the man.
This week I borowed from the public library a copy of another of his books ” America Observed” which is compiled from his regular column in the Manchester Guardian from 1946 to c1985.
Alistaire, a literary master of the story, chose his topics from the meat and fabric of every day life in American that he saw around him, usually in New York. For the most part he shunned the big questions which commanded the tabloid headlines. He preffered instead, to find remarkable people from all walks of life doing ordinary or extraordinary things and show us their contribution to the betterment of the world.
If you care to indulge in a little nostalgia you can listen to the BBC achive of his broadcast “Letters”
Blogging was not around during Alistaire’s time but I am sure he would have enjoyed it !.