This week, I am on vacation but you can join Eugene Winkleman on his to beautiful… Rochester, NY!
I grew up in the Rochester area, where this book was very popular due to the meticulous descriptions of local landmarks (many of which are now lost to history).
However, in my original write-up, I inadvertently overlooked the fact that Eugene and his uncle are clearly staying at the Downtowner Motor Inn (which would have closed by the book’s publication, but was probably on its last legs when Pinkwater was doing his research).
I also strongly suspect that the unnamed movie theater where they go see the Yobgorgle documentary was probably the Waring 1 & 2, also closed for 20+ years as of this writing.
However, I can report that the Clock of Nations still greets weary travelers at its permanent-temporary home at the airport.
This is about the time I lived for two weeks in a motel in Rochester, New York, with my Uncle Mel, and what happened to me while I was there.
Background: Daniel Pinkwater’s 1970s work tends toward the surreal, featuring bizarre characters, moony hippie mysticism and satirical anti-corporate diatribes, along with nomenclature that would give ME Kerr a run for her money.
(He was briefly in the news a few years ago when an excerpt from one of his short stories appeared as part of New York State’s notorious standardized tests, to the bafflement of students, teachers and the author alike. Why any state bureaucrat would choose from Pinkwater’s aggressively zany catalog remains a mystery, although the author suggested that “this was done by someone who was barely literate.”)
Yobgorgle is definitely in this vein, a shaggy dog story that pays meticulous detail to its setting, only to go nowhere in…
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