Bad Time, Wrong Place. 1969

In 1969 I had to go and live in Canada.

Nothing wrong with Canada. A good place.

Julie and I had split up after college. We had always sort of understood that was what we were going to do.

I had to leave America.

The only job I could find was writing a mail-order catalogue, in Toronto.

It was lonely. I listened to music a lot but I had no musical talent. So I made little songs on paper, like this:

Room in a Windy CityThe Snow is Falling

At Christmas I took an all-night bus to New York to visit Malise.

Malise said: “Why don’t you marry Julie? She’s a great girl. Then you get citizenship, residence, you can live here. You’re good together.”

So I went to see her. Actually I didn’t even have to ask her. She suggested it

We lived in San Francisco for a while. Then Malise rang and said there might be a job for me in Los Angeles, on a newspaper.

A senior journalist on the paper had bought one of his paintings.