Books -- reading and writing.
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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Esthers...

The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.
Esther Williams

When I named the synchronized swimmers at the Community Pool for the most famous swimming movie star of the 1950s, I was certain young readers of my novel GLORY BE wouldn't really get why I'd called those friends of Mrs. Simpson's THE ESTHERS.

(Of course, I wasn't too sure they'd understand who Elvis Presley was either. Shows what I know.)

Check out the swimming suit and high heels. What passed for swim attire in the 1950s...

In an early draft I went on and on, describing the water ballet, having Glory and Frankie watch and comment. On and on and on. 


When revising, I used a word or two of description, mentioned green hair from the swimming pool, and moved on. But I knew I'd named those ladies for Esther Williams. I knew what synchronized swimmers did. And although a few really careful readers do ask about The Esthers, all that cutting wasn't missed.

I love all the layers a story offers. You get what you get, take what you can and skim over what doesn't connect to you as a reader. Note to young readers: only if it's a minor detail like synchronized swimming. Don't skip over the important stuff, please!

Since Esther Williams died today at the age of 90, I'm sharing this treat, clips from her movies.

Click HERE to watch her swimming. And water skiing!


Carol Baldwin said...

Gosh, how dumb am I? I didn't get the "Esther connection!" loved the old movies; will need to play them for my mother--I can remember her doing synchronized swimming with her friends. Thanks for the post. Enjoyed it!

Augusta Scattergood said...

Hope your mom enjoys the movies. I know I did. I even enjoyed watching all those clips!