Before my trip began, Laura Richie, Mouse's future roommate,
gave me the address of her friend Daphne Fraenkel who lived in London:
27 Letterstone Road London SW6 Fulham, England
Daphne published and printed books for poets and playwrights. Carrefour Publications was what is called a vanity press. Everyone in London is a poet and an actor. It's built into English culture. Like living in Nashville means you must play the guitar and write bad songs. She typeset the books on a special typewriter. Then printed each sheet on a small printing press. This was a decade before the MacIntosh and Quark XPress created digital desktop publishing. Books were stacked in every square foot of her small apartment. Somehow I found room under the printing press for my sleeping bag.
Daphne was born in Paris on April 8th 1900. Had flaming red hair and always wore purple. She had been married a couple of times. Taught school in Indiana. Witnessed World War I up close and personal, and said it was much worse than the second one. "The Germans killed millions." Well, yeah, so did the French and English. And don't forget the Americans.
We attended a couple of plays together and a ballet. We saw a play titled The Rocky Horror Show starring Tim Curry before he became famous in the movie version. The theatre's stage lights were out, so we watched the show under the ordinary incandescent theatre lights. Also Jean Genet's play about prison life. The title contained the word "Flowers". We also attended the Royal Ballet where I finally saw what classical ballet should look like. Daphne wondered why I was paying her so much attention rather than the younger girls.
Daphne gave me two Italian cut suits, a gray one and a brown one, left by a former visitor with a 28" waist. By this time my waste had shrunk enough that I could wear them. Wore one of them to a gathering at someone's country estate. Daphne and some friends took me out to the country through narrow winding roads that reminded me of the countryside around Little MarrowBone Creek outside of Nashville. It was a party of some sort, a weekend gathering of artistic and theatrical folk. One fellow was a retired ballet dancer for the Royal Ballet. He looked quite fit for 50 something. Dancing keeps us young. They were all impressed by my suit. Daphne said the English always judge a person by his suit. Perhaps this is where I met Amanda Hayes. Amanda was lively, in her twenties, escorted by a couple of bearded fellows. Amanda gave me her address: 16 The Mall at East Sheen in London SW14. Also told me to visit her at the family home in Newcastle when I passed by. She wished to visit the states soon and desired to obtain contacts like me.