Timeline question (1 Viewer)

I am just re-reading Volume 2 of the letters, Living on Luck, and in a December [?3], 1961 letter to John Corrington (p. 22), Bukowski writes: "You should have seen my fight with Tommy McGillan in a Philadelphia alley in 1948." We have him back in LA in 1947 on the Timeline. Is it possible he was back in Philadelphia in 1948, or is he misremembering the date here?

Another confirmation of 1948 being the date he stops being "on the road"--letter to Corrington, December 24, 1962: "I traveled until I was almost cuckoo, from 19 to 28." (p. 36, Living on Luck). This would be 1948 again.

So this would mean he headed BACK to Philadelphia AFTER the photo taken of him in the backyard in 1947 in L.A.? It seems odd he would get the date wrong twice: the fight with McGillan in Philly in 1948 and then that he was traveling between 1939 and 1948?
 
I wonder how he could not remember "I was in Philadelphia in 1948"? I just thought that it is
PERHAPS possible that his memory was so damaged after the 1954 health crisis that he didn't remember the
difference between 1947 and 1948? It seems like he would have had to have had pretty bad brain damage to
forget what year he was in LA or in Philadelphia. Do any of the other records we have make in impossible for him to
have been back in Phil in 1948?
 

cirerita

Founding member
I took a quick look at the unpublished correspondence, and B. was in Philly in April, 1947. The next letter I have is dated Nov. 1948 and he was living in L.A. by then (Union Drive address).
 

mjp

Founding member
It seems like he would have had to have had pretty bad brain damage to forget what year he was in LA or in Philadelphia.
Easy there, big fella -- brain damage?

He had a very good memory, including things like which year he did or wrote or published something. But he was also full of shit, so when he's telling stories about a fight or a woman or a shack, you have to take the years he throws around with a grain of salt.

The timeline is not haphazard. If something is in there, it's usually based on pretty solid information.
 
OK, so the next letter is November 1948 which means he COULD have been in Philly still in 1948? Or are we not sure whne he left Philly for LA. When he is writing to Corrington and he says 1948. That's what I don't get. There's no reason to say he is in Philadelphia in 1948 if he was actually in L.A. Why didn't he say "You should have seen my fight with Tommy in 1947?" So do we have a gap between Philly April, 1947 and LA Nov. 1948?
 

mjp

Founding member
do we have a gap between Philly April, 1947 and LA Nov. 1948?
No. Note that he had the same job (in Los Angeles) from 1947 to 1949. He worked two jobs in Philadelphia, one from 1942 to 1944, and the other in 1946. If you put the address data and the job data together you get a better overview of what was going on.
Why didn't he say "You should have seen my fight with Tommy in 1947?"
I'm just speculating here, but it could be that he said that because he was talking about something that happened 14 or 15 years earlier and since he was writing a letter and not an autobiography, the actual, precise year was not important.
 
I can't even remember the precise year of things 3-4 years back (maybe my brain damage is alot more severe than Bs). Seems pretty impressive to remember a fight in the forties and just missing it by one year.

I just don't understand what you find so weird about him haphazardly saying it was -48 when it was actually -47?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I think that I moved to Delaware in 2003 and think that I bought my house in Dover in 2004, but am not sure about it. The fact that he could even get so close amazes me.
 
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. He also said his movements and speech slowed considerably after the crisis--that before he was rushing around and was now quite a bit more slow moving. Do we have letters or dates for the time between Philly April '47 and LA Nov. 48?
 

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