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Saturday, January 27, 2018

The 8th Anniversary of J.D. Salinger's Death



Today, 1-27-2018, marks the eighth anniversary of author, J.D. Salinger's death. Over the years, I've referenced Salinger in a few entires here on Blogger, which you may reference by clicking here.

Because of the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, in his novel, The Catcher in the Rye, this writer often comes to mind when I see Mallard ducks in Central Park, which is evident in my posts re Salinger.

Lately, during these bitter cold January days, I've paid particular attention to an area of a lake in the park which never seems to freeze. Ducks as well as a lone Great Blue Heron seem to know about as this area, and, they tend to congregate there on unseasonably cold winter days; as evidenced in the photographs atop this entry.

In any event, it's very hard  — at least for me — NOT to consider J.D. Salinger upon seeing ducks in Central Park during the months of winter, mostly due to the exchange his character Caulfield has with another character (Horowitz) in Catcher in the Rye.

I've cited the passages (within entries here on Blogger) before, but now, on the eighth anniversary of the author's death, I'm including them here:

ONE (Holden Caulfield to Horowitz):

"I didn't want to start an argument. "Okay," I said. Then I thought of something, all of a sudden. 'Hey, listen,' I said. 'You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?' I realized it was only one chance in a million.

"He turned around and looked at me like I was a madman. 'What're ya tryna do, bud?' he said. 'Kid me?'

"'No—I was just interested, that's all."'

"He didn't say anything more, so I didn't either. Until we came out of the park at Ninetieth Street. Then he said, 'All right, buddy. Where to?'"


TWO  (Holden Caulfield to Horowitz):

"'The ducks. Do you know, by any chance? I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away, or do they fly away by themselves – go south or something?"'

"Old Horwitz turned all the way around and looked at me. He was a very impatient-type guy. He wasn't a bad guy, though.

"'How the hell should I know?"' he said.

"'How the hell should I know a stupid thing like that?"'

"'Well, don't get sore about it,"' I said. He was sore about it or something.

"'Who's sore? Nobody's sore."'

I stopped having a conversation with him, if he was going to get so damn touchy about it. But he started it up again himself. He turned all the way around again, and said, "'The fish don't go no place. They stay right where they are, the fish. Right in the goddam lake."'

[…] "'Listen,"' he said. "'If you was a fish, Mother Nature'd take care of you, wouldn't she? Right? You don't think them fish just die when it gets to be winter, do ya?"'

"'No, but – "'


"'You're goddam right they don't,"' Horwitz said, and drove off like a bat out of hell. He was about the touchiest guy I ever met. Everything you said made him sore. "

And I'll conclude my unofficial tribute to J.D. Salinger with images of ducks in Central Park that I've taken during this mont of January, Hopefully, they will provide some answers as to what ducks — who normally spend time in NYC's  Central Park — do in the winter.









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