Back in The Bronx through the eyes and personal stories of writer Arlene Alda, who today was interviewed by her famous husband, the actor Alan Alda. The former MASH star is a graduate of Fordham University and now serves as a member of SUNY's faculty.
Arlene was careful to point out that according to mystery writer and former Bronxite, Mary Higgins Clark, there few places on earth with "THE" in front of the tittle. The Vatican, The Hague and The Bronx. The celebrity couple continued to point out that a lot of people know about it, but do they really know The Bronx?
Mrs. Alda shared her personal stories and anecdotes about growing up in The Bronx and also preview excerpts from her upcoming book “Just Kids from the Bronx.”
Mrs. Alda told the crowd that The Bronx symbolized city life and the rural experience because of massive city parks like Pelham Bay, where she picked Violets and Lilacs and where local graffiti artists produced their paintings, just like modern day smoke signals, where they rolled on to other boroughs and spread their otherwise unknowned identities.
Arlene and Alan agreed that The Bronx is the only NYC borough with no phonies and she recalled her early years of having no phone, and no money. With just a ball, a bike, marbles, a sled she was on top of the world.
This sold out standing room only event at bronxmuseum.org was a very special program which should be shared. the Aldas will hopefully reconsider their initial request of having no video cameras, but the museum has the only video archive of the marvelous event.
Arlene Alda was born in The Bronx Arlene Weiss. She attended Evander Childs High School and Hunter College, graduating as a music Major, Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude. Alda was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Cologne, Germany, where she studied clarinet at the Kolnisches Hochschule fur Musik.
When she returned to New York, she became a member of the National Orchestra conducted by Leon Barzin. She studied Clarinet with Abraham Goldstein and Leon Russianoff becoming a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, playing asst. first clarinet and bass clarinet under the baton of Leopold Stokowski. Ms. Alda played first clarinet in the Ridgefield orchestra conducted by Beatrice Brown. She pursued an early interest in photography by studying with Mort Shapiro and Lou Bernstein. ultimately changing careers as a photographer and writer. As a photographer, Alda had several major one person shows, including those in Nikon House in NYC , Mark Humphrey Gallery in Southampton, NY. As a freelancer, her photographs appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Vogue, People magazine, Life Magazine and Today's Health magazine, for which she received a Chicago Graphics Communications Award for her photo essay, "Allison's Tonsillectomy."
Arlene Alda is the accomplished author of 15 children's books, including the best seller, Sheep, Sheep Sheep, Help Me Fall Asleep (Doubleday Books for Young Readers,1992) Arlene Alda's 1,2,3 (Tricycle Press 1998), which won an American Library Notable citation, The Book of ZZZs (Tundra 2005), Did You Say Pears? (Tundra 2006), and Except the Color Grey (Tundra 2011) . She also wrote the popular Hurry Granny Annie, published by Tricycle Press in 1999 as well as Hold the Bus (published by Troll Press in 1996) , Iris Has a Virus, (2008 ) and Lulu's Piano Lesson (2010) For much, but not all, of her career as an author, she has provided her own photography as illustrations used in her children's books. She is also represented in photo anthologies, Women of Vision, and Soho Gallery 2. Alda is the author of On Set (Fireside/Simon and Schuster 1981), illustrated with over one hundred of her photographs and The Last Days of Mash (Unicorn, 1983), with photos by Alda and co- written with her husband, Alan Alda. Her current book, Just Kids from The Bronx, an anthology of more then 50 interviews with prominent Bronxites, past and present, will be published by Henry Holt and Co.The couple was married on March 15, 1957, and they have three daughters, Eve, Elizabeth, and Beatrice, as well as eight grandchildren.
Some images courtesy of The Bronx Museum of the Arts/Lauren Click.
Stars recall their childhoods in 'Just Kids From the Bronx' http://nydn.us/1AvrU95