…an Author’s LUV of Steinbeck, O’Hara and Ruark… born of British Rail employees’ industrial strikes in the 1970’s… #TBSU…

…more than forty years ago, this ol’ Jurassic was pitched out of Bonnie Scotland to go peddle his banking wares in London’s Lombard Street… smack bang in the middle of the alleged greatest Financial District in the Universe… (not a patch on my birthplace of Docklands Govan in Glasgow, if yeez ask me, however…but that’s another story)… sloshing around in the heady WURLD of foreign exchange and promissory notes, a tiny Scottish cog, helping to keep the smooth wheels of international trade from seizing up, I played my part… in the main, it was a fun time… a learning experience… a blossoming ‘pin-stripe-suiter’ (no bowler hat, it should be recorded), I travelled daily from the outskirts of the capital to my allotted desk in one of the metropolis’ finest implanted Scottish banks… a trip which covered an hour and a half by train, door-to-desk, and the same reversed in the evening… the rythym of commercial life was visited by regular disruption in the guise of industrial ‘action’ (what a misnomer.. should be ‘inaction’)… the good toilers at British Rail had the wonderful sense of timing we all adore and admire, by calling frequent strikes, usually at prime inconvenience… commuters’ ‘Plan B’ involved rising at least another hour earlier in the morning and tramping down to bus termini, hoping to grab a seat for the tortoise trail via an overwhelmed road system into the City… but, yeez well appreciate, from all negativity, there often comes virtue… I took to reading novels to while away the journeys… Authors I had never discovered until then became my bus-mates… John Steinbeck, John O’Hara, and Robert Ruark prime among these… and what rich literature they wrote… Steinbeck’s East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and MenMaster O’Hara chipped in with From The Terrace, Ten North Frederick, and A Rage to Live… and the Ruark fella produced The Honey Badger, Poor No More, and Uhuru… if yeez have any notion to treat yourselves to majestic novels, these fill the bill admirably… all yeez have to do is petition British Rail Unions to arrange a few wee strikes for yeez… and make sure yer bus ticket season passes are up to date… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ

Steinbeck                                                                                                                                                                O’Hara

steinbecko'hararuark                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ruark

12 Comments

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12 responses to “…an Author’s LUV of Steinbeck, O’Hara and Ruark… born of British Rail employees’ industrial strikes in the 1970’s… #TBSU…

  1. You can’t go wrong with a line-up of authors like that Seumas.

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  2. John Steinbeck is probably my favourite author. There were a lot of strikes in those days. A pity you are not in London, as the forthcoming tube strikes could have proved nostalgic Seumas. I assume strikes are never been a problem where you live know.

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  3. I loved Steinbeck’s big novels, but the book that really made me think was Cannery Row, because it was small scale and it made me relate to the kind of people that I didn’t really know existed. Which, considering the culture gap between a teenage girl in middle England, and n’er do well drunks in Monterey, just shows what an amazing writer he is.

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  4. I used to commute, too. Commuting time is often a curse but I found the chance to read or listen to music for an hour each way, each day, to be an unexpected blessing. Every cloud and all that.

    Cheers

    MTM

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