Alfie and I returned to Maine today, stopping midway for several hours to speak at a lunch in Kennebunkport (no, not at the Bush estate). I've done this two summers in a row, at the Colony Hotel, a vast and luxurious and lovely summer resort hotel. Last year I stayed overnight (their treat in return for my speaking) but this year I needed to head on north because of commitments here tomorrow, and because the dog was with me (though they tell me that it is a dog-friendly hotel,and indeed I did see a cocker spaniel in the lobby).
Alfie was a pretty good boy, though after an hour of so of being tied to a piano leg, the kind local bookseller volunteered to take him for a brief walk. I wrote that sentence wrong, didn't I? I made it sound as if the bookseller was tied to a piano. But you knew what I meant.
I read today's audience...and last week, a different audience, at Lesley University...Chapter 2 from "The Willoughbys"...the chapter that describes the terrible parents, who are dreaming up a despicable plot to rid themselves of their children. Heh heh. Villainry! I love it.
Only recently, reading (also at Lesley) from an very old Anastasia book, did I remember that Anastasia Krupnik..then age 12....had a crush on her gym teacher, who was named...ta DA...Ms. Willoughby!
And also recently, I have had some correspondence with a young man who works for the Civil Liberties Union in Oregon, and his name is...ta DA... Willoughby. And..here in Maine...the local chamber music series is headed up by board president ...ta DA...Mrs. Willoughby.
So apparently the name did not just appear out of the blue, for me. It was lurking there. And I hope no one named Willoughby minds. Although the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Willoughby, are terrible parents and end up dying a bizarre but deserved death at the end....the children (there are four of them) are quite lovely and all of them live happily ever after, as most Willoughbys should....