Bukowski breaks into the field of writing

In Bukowski’s book HAM ON RYE (one of my favorite Bukowski books) he writes about doing a homework writing assignment when he was in grade school. For the homework he wrote an account of the time the president of the United States (I think it was Roosevelt) had visited the city where he lived (Los Angeles). And he described the presidential motorcade parading down the street. And all the people in the crowd. And the speech the president delivered. And etc., etc.

His teacher was so impressed with the writing, she read the story out loud to the entire class. . . Later the teacher sidled up to Bukowski and asked him if he had actually attended the event. Bukowski admitted he hadn’t. “That makes it even more remarkable,” said the teacher. That Bukowski could make up such a realistic piece of writing.

Bukowski had a miserable childhood, mostly filled with abuse, depravation and rejection. And that was one of the rare instances in his childhood where he was actually singled out for praise. It may have even been a seminal moment in his life, and one of the primary reasons why he became a writer in the first place.

You never know.

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