Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Regular readers will remember the entry a few weeks back about HG Wells saying, “I write as I walk because I want to get somewhere and I write as straight as I can, just as I walk as straight as I can, because that is the best way to get there.”

Well, life being like that, I just came across an anecdote about Frank Lloyd Wright, which suggests he took a very different view. That’s a picture of him below, with his wife Oglivanna, walking along the esplanade at Florida Southern College.

The anecdote is as follows: Wright was nine years old, there was snow on the ground, and he went walking with a no-nonsense uncle.  After they’d crossed a snow-covered field the uncle stopped and looked back at their footsteps.  Then the uncle said, "Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again.  And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that."

Wright reckoned there was a quite different lesson from the one his uncle intended, one that changed his outlook on life. "I determined right then, not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had."

I think Wright never walked around the finished Ennis House – he fell out with his clients and his son took over.  There’s evidence however of some quite spectacular walking around the place, organized by Helmut Newton.

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