Library of Cultural References

  • Library: Cultural References in Books

My Life

by Bill Clinton [2004]
ASIN: 0375414576

Our pal Julius reported from San Francisco: I was among the first people to meet President Bill Clinton when he came to San Francisco earlier this week. The event was quite a spectacle. They estimate that 4000 people waited in line all along the waterfront to meet the ex-prez.
I had a nice chat with him and got to witness his famous charisma firsthand. He greeted people and signed copies of his 957 page book for 5 hours straight with just one 15 minute break. He's left handed, so he shook hands with his right hand while signing with his left...all the while listening to whatever comments the star-struck book-buyers would make. Then he'd reply something like: "Thank you for saying that" or "thank you for telling me that" or "if we pull together we can win in November." I got a "Wow" and a laugh out of him, too, which thrills me to no end. I got three of my books signed.
Anyway, on the ferry back to Marin from San Francisco, I took a peek at the index. Sure enough it read: "Mitchell, Joni, 73, 646"
I'm about to quote what he said, so if you're going to get the book, and you don't want it spoiled for you right now, cover your ears and go "ah yaah yah nanah annanan nah nah!!!!!!" Okay, here it comes:
Page 73
"Though occasionally I felt cooped up in Georgetown, most days I was happy as a clam, absorbed in my classes and my friends. However, I was also grateful for my few trips out of the cocoon. Several weeks into my first semester, I went to the Lisner Auditorium to hear Judy Collins sing. I can still see, her standing alone on the stage with her long blond hair, floor-length cotton dress, and guitar. From that day on, I was a huge Judy Collins fan. In December 1978, Hillary and I were on a brief vacation to London after the first time I was elected governor. One day as we window-shopped down King's Road in Chelsea, the loudspeaker of a store blasted out Judy's version of Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning." We agreed on the spot that if we ever had a daughter we'd call her Chelsea."
Page 646 (regarding a visit to Canada while president)
"I also spoke to the Canadian parliament, thanking them for our economic and security partnerships and the rich cultural contributions of Canadians to American life, including Oscar Peterson, my favorite jazz pianist; singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who wrote "Chelsea Morning"; Yousuf Karsh, the great photographer who had become famous for his portrait of Churchill scowling after Karsh jerked the omnipresent cigar out of his hand, and who had photographed Hillary and me in less forbidding poses."

(Contributed by Julius Mills)


Log in to make a comment