A Book About My Father: George, Being George

Taylor Plimpton in The Rumpus:

51epuugfeyl2 Because it was about him, he probably would have been appalled. (My father preferred being the storyteller, not the story-told, and the very thought of a book like this being done about him most likely would have made him cringe). After all, for a public, extraordinarily social figure, he was a difficult man to know in any sort of intimate detail, and I think he preferred it that way. The self-deprecation and humor, the Scotch, the old New England manners, all of this kept even (and perhaps especially) those closest to him at a safe distance. When one of his old friends and neighbors admits, “There’s a lot I didn’t know about George, and for all of his gregariousness, he was a very private person,” he is not alone in thinking so. He was a mystery, a contradiction even (and perhaps especially) to those who knew him best. I am his son, and reading this book reminds me that I hardly knew him at all.

And so it is this hidden side of him the book attempts to reveal. George, Being George has little to say about his public exploits. His years of participatory journalism—pitching to the All-Star line-up at Yankee Stadium, quarterbacking for the Detroit Lions, boxing Archie Moore, playing goalie for the Bruins—all of these amazing feats are glazed over in this 378-page book in about 25 pages. I was shocked.

More here.