Judy Blume: The pick-up
Here's one of those moments that you wouldn't believe if you read it in a piece of fiction. It's Book Expo America, the annual jamboree of hype, headliners, and hucksterism in America's book industry, once again back at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Lantern's booth is graced by, among others, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, whose latest works are The Olive and the Tree (for us) and the third edition of Sex for Dummies for Wiley.
Dr. Ruth (we have two of them, you know, as authors) asks me to get her a cab. As we cross the road outside Javits, looking for any vehicle to take her to where she needed to be, an attractive, patrician-looking woman of a certain age walks up, and leaning down solicitously introduces herself to Dr. Ruth.
"I'm Judy Blume," she says. "I was on your show in the mid-1980s." While my mind boggles at the thought of a children's book author on Dr. Ruth's show Sexually Speaking, Judy Blume tells Ruth how her (Judy's) mother and friends were watching the TV as Dr. Ruth and her daughter began to talk about female masturbation. "My mother's jaw dropped wide open," says Judy. "She apparently said nothing throughout the show." Somehow, I can imagine that.
The outcome of this little exchange is that Dr. Ruth gets her ride in Judy Blume's publisher's van, and I get a great BEA anecdote.
By the way, today is Dr. Ruth's seventy-ninth birthday. Congratulations to her!