NauenThen

The Ezra Pound

March 4, 2018

When the sign was up, people would sometimes stop me when I was entering or leaving the building: Did Ezra Pound really live here? Sometimes I said yes, sometimes that I didn't know, sometimes the truth: that all the fancy buildings had names (the Van Gogh, the Dakota) & why shouldn't a tenement? We liked to say we lived at the pound.

How things have changed. Many of the easy-going, hard-scrabble tenants have left or died, & we have young people who don't return greetings, have no interest in the building's history or their neighbors, & one of whom called the city to report a bike in the hall. What the hell?! How was it bothering them? Little entitled pricks think they shouldn't have to brush past something to get to the back yard to drop off their trash but they're too cowardly to say something to the landlord or super

I miss Lucky (1923-1989). I asked him once how he got his nickname. (His real name was Homer Tessier.) He didn't answer but said, "I really am so lucky. I have enough money to feed my pets and I usually get through the month without having to borrow more than $5 or $10." That was Lucky, a man of modest expectations and huge generosity. For example, he would spend months combing catalogues for presents that would please Maggie and me, his self-proclaimed nieces.