Thank you to everyone who today sent me the story most relevant to my blog:
I wasn’t planning on ever explaining the naming of this blog, partly because it might seem pretentious and partly because I didn’t want to draw attention to it (and therefore give anyone the idea that I am an expert on R.W. Apple or that I want to emulate every one of his reported characteristics). But of course, after learning today that the man who inspired my blog has died, I’d like to share this following piece of trivia, however humble or doubtful a tribute it may be.
I named my blog after maybe a minute, max, of thought. The quickness of my decision had nothing to do with casualness. Rather, when prompted by the blog host site to come up with a blog address, I had no doubt whose name would capture the qualities I wanted to capture in my blog: R.W. Apple. Bien sur. It’s a name I associated with eating, travelling, and writing, which happen to be the three things I most enjoy doing and which I’d like to share and indulge in through this blog. That he also had a long and famous career with the New York Times was just (extra sweet) icing on the cake, because while I ‘m obviously not quite en route to being London bureau chief for said newspaper, most of you know how I feel about the NYT.
I won’t claim to have admired his political writings (didn’t read enough of them to have an informed opinion) or his taste in restaurants (J. Sheekey, seriously?). But from the following excerpts from today’s NYT obit, you’ll see what I admired and envied most about his life:
Raymond Walter Apple Jr. was born Nov. 20, 1934, in Akron, Ohio. His father, also known as Johnny — nicknamed for Johnny Appleseed — ran a chain of grocery stores that had been founded by the family of Mr. Apple’s mother, the former Julia Albrecht. The senior Apple had hoped his only son would take over the business, but an early encounter with The New York Times in the Akron public library gave Mr. Apple other ideas.
In the pages of The Times, Mr. Apple once told Current Biography, he found “wonderful, romantic” bylines like Osgood Carruthers and Drew Middleton, reporters writing from faraway places. “It seeped into my consciousness that these people were actually being paid to do this,” he said.
At the end of the 1976 campaign, Mr. Apple was named London bureau chief, a job he held until 1985. In that post he covered not only British politics but the Falklands war, elections in France and Spain, the Iranian revolution and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He traveled widely throughout Europe, exploring and writing about his interests in food, wine and architecture and amassing a wine cellar whose contents would animate dinner parties 25 years later.
I’m sorry I will never get to meet him. I don’t know how that meeting would ever have happened if he were still living (OK, fine, maybe I hoped he’d google himself on a rainy day and find my blog and enjoy it enough to post!), but to be sure, now all I can do is hope that this blog lives up to the smarts, wit, adventure and general good living that I wanted to connote by invoking his name.
RW Apple Wannabe.