THEN AND NOW: (the writer’s life)




     Over my Saturday morning treat of biscuits ‘n gravy and coffee at Carl’s Jr, I happened to be reading a short story by William Saroyan.  The story is called Seventy Thousand Assyrians, and typical of Saroyan, it has a humongous title with very simple content that seems to go nowhere but goes everywhere, if you know what I mean.

     He writes about a young man (the writer, William) needing a haircut; having little money, he goes to a barber college where he can get one for 15 cents.  While he is waiting for his turn he strikes up a conversation with a sixteen-year-old lad, also down on his luck, and waiting for a haircut.  The young man tells him he is heading to Portland, Oregon since there is no work in the lettuce fields of Salinas, which is in California.  And, that brings me to Saroyan’s narrative.  And…

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