Sunday, October 28, 2012

Two Eugenes I Once Knew Eugene Walter And Eugene J Martin

Above is the entry on Eugene Walter. I met him in Rome in the summer of 1964. My mother was a friend of Annie Lou White who was Eugene's English and French teacher at Murphly High School in Mobile, Alabama.
   When I was going to Europe in the summer of 1964 she gave me Eugene's address in Rome. She must have written him a letter telling him I might stop by to see him because he welcomed me and gave me a good tip on a cheap nearby hotel.
   I was lucky that he was in Rome and at home and not too busy.
The apartment building he lived in at number 18 Corso Emmanuel in Rome was also home to Leontyne Price. He had gotten her the apartment under his to use when she came to Rome to record for RCA Victor.

When I knocked on his door on the top floor I had passed her apartment on the way up. She was originally from Laurel, Mississippi. Eugene and I were from nearby Mobile, Alabama. Still at the tender young age of
24 I was amazed how Southerners get around.

I knocked on Eugene's door. He answered and led me through a room filled with fake trees from some opera set.

He was very friendly and we had a chat and he showed me his terrace where he grew his garden.
  I went off to my hotel and later in the week he took me to dinner in the apartment of Linda Christian.
Some man was staying there. She was not a home. But there were stacks and stacks of her autobiography or biography in the apartment.

I drank so much wine I had to sleep there that night. Eugene took off.
I dropped by to see Eugene before I headed off to Greece at the end of the week.
He gave my a copy of the Transatlantic Review of which he was an editor.
He also told me to read Henry Miller's Colossus of Maroussi which he said was the best travel book in English about Greece.

I mentioned to him that Hamilton Basso described the relationships in the South of the USA where everyone seems to be related as a bundle of fish hooks. Eugene was not impressed with Hamilton Basso.

I was very lucky to meet Eugene Walter when he was still young.

Annie Lou White was keeping Eugene's book collection for him while he was in Europe. She showed some of them to me. I remember he had some William Faulkner first editions.  The first I had ever seen.

Mobile is justly proud of Eugene Walter. In years to come he will be remembered right up there with Madam Octavia Walton Levert.

Eugene Martin I knew in Washington D.C. I think Bill Mckenzie introduced me to him. Eugene Martin a
very quiet nice man. I published one of his drawings in the magazine we were doing back in 1967,1968,1969.
It is nice to find on Youtube that he went on to bigger and better things.

In the videos below you will find out more on Eugene Martin and Eugene Walter.
The picture of Eugene Martin sitting on a bench in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. is what he
looked like in 1969 and when I knew him. Dupont Circle was two blocks from where we lived.
It is also about 4 blocks from  The Phillips Art Museum. And the same distance to the location of The Washington Gallery of Modern Art where Walter Hopps was director in 1967 before moving on in 1970 to the Corcoran Gallery of Art as Director.
Click on the labels below for more info on these people.