Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 38

Gertrude is always good for another controversy.
This one was not her fault. (Is any one?) I wanted to cheer up my Friends group on She Writes with the “Gertrude über Alice” (read: Alles) cartoon of my latest blog, donated by artist Tom Hachtman. It was a moment of collective outrage over the latest male-dominated “best” anthologies. I thought: not everybody reads a blog, not every blog, not this one, perhaps. But everyone might appreciate a good laugh at this very moment. Wrong! Someone received my message and was not amused.There was a warning about “spamming” and maybe even getting “banned” for not “playing by the rules.” This set off a larger discussion, as you can imagine, and She Writers everywhere are now brainstorming over “What ARE the rules?” Are there RULES? Where is our Dear Abby of She Writes etiquette?
Chalk it all up to my enthusiasm: Gertie does that to me every now and then.
But look again at that wonderful, silly cartoon and her great SANDALS! A person walking about in Paris in such sandals could only create scandals.
It’s a fact. Gertrude and brother Leo were once refused service in a Paris café when they strutted in in this footwear. A hotelier in Belley promptly took Gertrude for a gypsy when she appeared at his fine Hotel Pernollet in her sandals. (We are soon going to get there, to the hotel and the country house, when the detective story takes off.) Then he saw her Ford parked in front, which quickly changed his opinion about those sandals. Anyway, now that the cartoon got my attention, I paged through my photobiography à la recherche des sandales perdues. No sandals! All these photographs and not one pair of the famous sandals, made by none other than health apostle Raymond Duncan, Isadora’s brother. I was shocked. Sad but true: all the pictures show Gertrude in either very fine, sexy boots or in her( later) eternal duck shoes (Mary Janes by any other name). Not one of the photographers who caught her hats, her vests, her brooches, thought of going to the bottom of her skirts. Alas. And now I miss them in my book, those sandals that caused scandals.The only ones I got are in the cartoon.
Stay tuned.

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