The importance of being disloyal

The importance of being disloyal


I’m thinking a lot about disloyalty today.

Let me explain why.

I feel like I’ve betrayed my hometown and home state.

This essay was published today, and I’d like to say a few things about it.

They Found a Meth Lab in Cole Porter’s Childhood Home

A few months ago, Barb Shoup at the Indiana Writers Center asked me to submit an essay to an anthology of Indiana writers that will be published this fall to celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016. She mentioned that the anthology might end up being used in public schools, and I thought, What would I really like to say to an Indiana high school student? It also stood to reason that Governor Mike Pence might actually read something I wrote. What would I really like to say to him? Oh boy!

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I was doing a little research the other day on Linda Porter’s very public divorce from her first husband. Here are some clippings (posted on my Tumblr) that tell the whole sordid story.

Further evidence of the fame and notoriety Linda brought with her into her marriage to Cole, who was pretty much a nobody when they met.

Back to the book…

P.S. This is the first blog post I’ve ever done from my phone. 

The Day Cole Porter Died

Mrs. Cole Porter
Photo by Don Hunstein. Taken in 1958 during the rehearsals for Alladin, his last show.
Photo by Don Hunstein.

Cole Porter died on October 15, 1964 in Santa Monica, CA.

Reportedly, his last words were, “I don’t know how I did it.”

This is his obituary.

The picture I’ve selected isn’t one where he’s smiling. That’s because his last years were pretty bleak, honestly. Not long after this picture was taken, the leg that had given him pain for over 20 years was finally amputated.

And he never wrote another song.

Around the time that this photograph was taken, he was writing what would end up being his very last song called “Wouldn’t it Be Fun?” You can read the lyrics here, if you like. But they might make you cry.

I think it’s the saddest song he ever wrote.

What’s your favorite Cole Porter tune?

Here are mine.

(Next week, I’ll finish up my “Do the Math” series of posts about time management, but today, I wanted to take a moment to remember the death of my fellow Peruvian.)


For Cole Porter’s Birthday: My Personal Playlist

For Cole Porter’s Birthday: My Personal Playlist

Mrs. Cole Porter

If you think this is going to be all You’re the Toppy, ha! think again.


Miss Otis Regrets

[Follow the title links to hear the songs!] Supposedly, Cole Porter wrote this hilariously maudlin song on a dare: his friend Monty Wooley gave him the worst title he could think of and challenged him to make a song out of it. This was the result. It’s a “story song,” told by Miss Otis’ maid or butler (depending on the gender of the singer), and the plot is reminiscent of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” I’ve linked to a particularly amusing rendition of the song performed live by Fred Astaire. Continue reading

Midnight in Paris & Fantasy Linda

Midnight in Paris & Fantasy Linda

Mrs. Cole Porter Writing

A sincere thank you to everyone who wrote me to make sure I knew about Midnight in Paris. This is the conversation I imagined having with all of you about the movie.

Hey, you said, do you know that Cole Porter is a character in this new Woody Allen film?

Yes, I do know this.

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Linda Died 57 Years Ago Today

Linda Died 57 Years Ago Today

Mrs. Cole Porter The Biggest Things Writing

Note: If you’d like to follow the progress of my book, follow Linda on Twitter, @MrsColePorter. Believe me, if Linda were alive today, she would totally use Twitter.

Linda Lee Thomas Porter died on this day, May 20, 1954. She died in her apartment in the Waldorf Towers after a long battle with emphysema.

Linda described her illness as “smothering spells.” Imagine that: smothering to death over the course of a decade. She once said, “I suppose I shouldn’t want to stop coughing as I have coughed for so many years, if I stopped, the shock might kill me.” Continue reading