“No matter where the cinema goes, we cannot afford to lose sight of the beginning.”
~ Martin Scorsese
You never know what will inspire a new story. Sometimes I find inspiration in the newspaper, other times I’ll overhear a fragment of conversation that starts the pebble rubbing around inside my shoe.
My last two years have been spent largely in another era, with one foot planted firmly in the early part of the twentieth century while the other foot sometimes flails a bit trying to stay in the twenty-first. Researching deeply into one person’s life has led me off in many directions, some of them related more obviously than others.
My book shelves are now groaning beneath the weight of a collection of books on vaudeville, obscure and not-so-obscure silent movie stars, and oh yes, some guy named Keaton. But it was between the covers of a long-out-of-print volume on largely forgotten silent film comedians that I found a photograph on one page, and then on the next, mention of an ostrich committing a foul act. The two images stayed with me and formed a new pebble in my shoe. Before long there was a title.
And now, a story.
(Photo source: Clown Princes and Court Jesters,
by Kalton C. Lahue and Sam Gill)