Carol Olten salutes Chandler with an urbane-yet-surreal pose outside Wisteria Cottage, home of The La Jolla Historical Society.
On July 23rd, Raymond Chandler’s birthday was warmly celebrated by fans and fellow-writers. First, they toured his former home in LaJolla, California, followed by gimlets at the Whaling Bar. (Pictorial below) The first-annual bash was hosted by Steve Chapple, science and adventure writer. William Swank, intrepid reporter and Philip Marlowe enthusiast, reports:
“At 3:50 p.m. the patrolman who arrived was talking to Chandler’s sister-in-law ‘when he heard two shots from the bathroom.’ He ran to the bathroom and found Chandler sitting on the shower floor, the gun in his lap. He describes Chandler at the time as being under the influence of alcohol… He took the gun away from Chandler, who was dressed in robe, pajamas and bedroom slippers.”
Chandler’s office was in the northeast corner of the home. This is where he wrote The Long Goodbye.
“From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away. ” —Raymond Chandler, The High Window
Following the extensive remodel, the only Chandler DNA to be found in the house is a built-in office bookcase. From a distance, the design is Art Moderne, but up close, the shelf edges are exposed plywood.
“A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.”— Long GoodbyeJuan the barkeep prepares an original gimlet in the exact spot where Chandler raised many a glass .William Swank imbibes alongside Polo of the Whaling Bar.
“Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl’s clothes off.” —The Long Goodbye
Pictorial essay and quote selection by William Swank, baseball historian and Philip Marlowe enthusiast. Swank insists he knows more about Raymond Chandler who played outfield for the 1939 Duluth Dukes than he does about the Raymond Chandler who wrote books. Ashedit still thinks he did a stupendous job. Thanks Bill!
Here’s a link to Bill Swank’s blog: http://baseballsantaswank.wordpress.com/
Check out Steve Chapple’s Amazon book page: http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Chapple/e/B001H6OMVE
Don’t miss this incredible piece on reuniting Chandler and his wife Cissy over at The Rap Sheet.