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March 19, 2010


What a lovely celebration of an amazing woman!

What a terrific article! And how lucky that Betsy saved it all these years. As you know, Kendall's book changed my life, too, though of course not nearly as much as it changed yours. I was 14 when I read it and had just dropped out of school. My mother bought me The Teenage Liberation handbook and The Day I Became An Autodidact, and except for a brief stint at college (just to see what I was missing--nothing, but I did meet my husband there) I have been self-taught ever since. And because of Kendall I have seen many, many movies I might otherwise have never heard of.

yipeeeeeee to an eccentric life filled w/ eccentric friends! oxox,m

OK, I've got to tell you this story. Years ago, before the wheel, when I was 16 or thereabouts, I used to listen to radio shows. All day. Diane Rehm in the morning, Larry King at night. One day I heard an interview on Diane Rehm with a fascinating young woman who had just written a book - the Day I Became an Autodidact. (Diane just ate Kendall up, BTW. Which was proper and right, b/c she was so interesting and charming.) More than twenty years passed, in which I would occasionally think about this interview, because it was just that memorable. I never read the book - I still haven't, although soon, soon - and I didn't remember the name of the author. But I did remember the name of the book, and by then the miraculous invention of Google provided me with the rest -- which actually led me to your blog. And it turns out you're pretty interesting and charming yourself, Danny, so I bet you and Kendall make a great couple:)

I didn't know anything about your wife prior to reading this and, wow, what an amazing woman! I'd love to read the full text of this article. And Kendall needs a blog, like, NOW.

This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday!

Great post. To have that much wisdom at such a young age. When I'm 90, I don't think I'll have that much wisdom.

What a great memory. However, since you're such a personal history buff, I'm surprised you hadn't seen the article until now!

I looked for the article in the LA Times archives -- the LA Times for charging to read it :(

I was completely taken by her mom's novel, A Woman of Independent Means. I read it as a teen and while I have shed many books over the years, I still have that one.

Danny, I still have that article also. It's great to read it again through your eyes. I'm glad that Kendall let one of her more conventional peers into her unconventional world, allowing us to become such good friends.

I was excited to see this article again. I remember reading it at the time -- and immediately going to Vromans and buying the book, which I still have and which I've read more than once. How fun to see this, and to remember reading Kendall's words for the first time and realizing I'd met somebody I'd carry with me for a long, long time.


I seem to remember you saying once that she was considering a sequel. Any news in that area...?

Interesting to learn more about Kendall & her book. I had a similar kindergarten story: I showed my teacher I could already write my name in cursive writing and she frowned and responded, "Oh, no. No. No. We don't do that until late in first grade." My public school education from that point forward was dreadful. I was bored to death most of the time and ended up leaving school early to pursue writing projects while I did graduate & get a BA, which helped me land work as an editor. Would be interested in learning more about what Kendall's writing today. Yes, there should be a sequel!

Ah, yes! Today is the day I will finally buy Kendall's book. The kindergarten story is similar (I made a duck-billed platypus out of clay instead of an ashtray or snake...)and so amazing that I have a 20 year old who I think I need to send the book to as well!
Thanks again for making my day. I had to catch up here and it was a lovely, lovely time.

Loved reading this! I was looking for a ride to Rock 'n' Bowl on Friday nights when I was 21.

I particularly liked Diane Ravitch's comments in the article. Kendall sounds like a fascinating woman. I'm still interested in where she purchased those cool glasses!

Hugs and kisses to your brilliant and charming wife - reading this reminded me how lucky I am to have you both in my life. I remember finding the book on your bookshelf, shortly after you moved to L.A. and absolutely zooming through it!

when is the sequel coming out?

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