To the editors.
I read Grant Pick's article "A Philosopher's Life" [June 3, 19881 with some trepidation. One never knows how one's own words, or those of others, will be construed and misconstrued.
In fact, I was generally pleased and touched by what he wrote and how he wrote it. There were two inaccuracies, however, which I feel compelled to comment upon. The first suggests a hilarious image, and "politically incorrect" behavior on my part: namely, that I "warmed up [the Aspen house] with a stuffed crocodile." On various trips to West Africa, I have collected traditional sculpture, especially from the Bobo area of Burkina Faso. The "stuffed crocodile" is a five-foot long wooden Bobo carving, which I gave to Irving after we got married.
I was also credited with remembering Irving's recollection of his "father's 'big cigars and limousines.'" As a sickly. man, I can't imagine that he smoked cigars. Rather, what Irving remembered was his father's cronies coming to the house each night to watch the day's takes--in their limousines and smoking big cigars.
Syracuse, New York