August 25, 2013

"I was happy with his work — and even happier with his presence in the house because he was a great moral force."

Said the great writer Joan Didion about Harrison Ford, who worked as a carpenter on her beach house in 1971.

Imagine having a beach house in 1971, being 37 years old, having a 29-year-old Harrison Ford, doing carpentry work for you and experiencing him as a great moral force.

Didion was married, you should know. She married John Gregory Dunne in 1964, and they remained married until he dropped dead in 2003. I say "dropped dead" because I read "The Year of Magical Thinking," which begins with that scene.

But how was the young carpenter a moral force? Here's a little song:

12 comments:

EDH said...

Didion was married, you should know.

I wonder if the unrequited nature of their relationship contributed to Ford's Starwars name: Han[d] Solo?

Jane said...

Trivia: My husband is a Boy Scout leader, and every year at the Napowan summer camp is amused by the name "Harry Ford" among the signatures of the past camp counselors there.

YoungHegelian said...

Because it's so much more literary to say 'a great moral force" than "Listen, sister, boards weren't the only thing he nailed."

Hagar said...

Miaow.
Swssht!

surfed said...

Reading in Biblical Archaeology that the word for carpenter was mistranslated from Hebrew - it should have read "stonemason".

roadgeek said...

I was at the post office yesterday and observed the new Johnny Cash stamp for sale. It's nice.

Jeff Gee said...

This is the actual quote: ‘“He was a carpenter,” she explains by phone from New York. “I was happy with his work -- and even happier with his presence in the house because he was a great moral force.”’ That’s it! Not a further word on the subject. I have not the slightest idea what it means. EDH and YoungHegelian propose diametrically opposed interpretations, equally plausible. Maybe it means she didn’t have to count the spoons. Or she did count them and they were all there. Maybe—this is my guess—it means absolutely nothing. I love the ‘she explains.’ Kudos to both Didion and her editor on that one.

phx said...

I think it's not meant for us to know. It's a big wet PDA to Ford. Rank has its privileges kind of deal.

eddie willers said...

I clicked on the Cash video thinking I would get one thing.

When it wasn't I then remembered: no....that was Jesus Was A Capricorn by Kris Kristofferson.

He ate organic food.

cassandra lite said...

Read The White Album.

Mitch H. said...

Reading in Biblical Archaeology that the word for carpenter was mistranslated from Hebrew - it should have read "stonemason".

None of the gospels were written in Hebrew - at best, Mark was written by someone who clearly wrote koine Greek with a heavy Hebraic influence, as a second language. In the Greek version of the Old Testament used by early Christians, there are prophetic references to "tekton" (Hebrew "kharash") which the references in Mark and Matthew which are intended to be fulfillment. Both "tekton" and "kharash" can either mean carpenter or generically "craftsman" - a type of skilled worker *other* than high-toned goldsmiths or stonemasons. The modern Greek usage of tekton to mean stonemason is language drift, it didn't originally mean that, and "kharash" definitely never did.

Trashhauler said...

So, maybe he turned her down.