Friday, August 12, 2005

"Tra La La La La, happy as can be...."

Five years ago, for Mean Magazine, I wrote the cover article and a handful of sidebar and accompanying pieces on Pippi Longstocking, creation of the very wonderful Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. A hero since childhood, Pippi had been (and is!) a lifelong role model for Ms. Booty.
(The late Mean Magazine was, at the time, edited by my friend and writer pal Jay Babcock, who has since gone on to establish Arthur Magazine, a free counterculture book that comes out every couple months.)

At any rate, the cover piece I wrote on Pippi remains one of my all time favorites, both in terms of the actual writing process and the writing as it exists in the five year old mag. Imagine my surprise, delight and humble gratitude upon learning that it-- my piece!-- served as inspiration for a 60 year anniversary commemorative documentary on Pippi Longstocking for Swedish Public Television!! And imagine that creator / producer of this documentary, Marie Nyreröd, along with Swedish Public Television cameraman Sven-Åke, arrived at the Booty Family's humble cozy nest yesterday morning to interview Mama Booty for said documentary! What a delightful windfall of a day!!

Marie, who has worked for Swedish Public Television for more than twenty years and is the mama of two teenage girls, has worked as everything from a news reporter to a documentary filmmaker on subjects including Ingmar Bergman and, currently (in addition to the Longstockinged one), 9/11. A huge fan of Astrid Lindgren's work and a Pippi collector, Marie stumbled upon the Pippi issue of Mean at newspaper shop in Stockholm when it first came out, thus planting the seed, as she told me yesterday, for a Pippi turns 60 documentary. It all seems fairly unbelievable, though it's gratifying in a way that makes Ms. Booty's heart sing.

Months back, Marie found me on the internet and as the address she found for me didn't work, emailed My Beloved Mister.... we'd early on expected the interview to take place in the Spring, but as it worked out, Ms. Booty ended up dishing on Pippi in August at 8 months pregnant in 98 degree weather on her front porch. Marie and Sven, basing themselves in New York City during their US trip, flew to Nashville yesterday morning and flew back to New York yesterday evening! (Both Marie & I tried in vain to find LA / NYC writer & Pippi uber-fan John Sanchez, who I'd interviewed for the Mean piece -- John, if you're out there, please get in touch as I'd love to know that whatsits of your life these days.)

I was eating my favorite snack when they arrived: golden delicious apple with peanut butter and a glass of the loveliest organic milk. I'd had a difficult time choosing what to wear and had at last settled on one of my standard uniforms of a black skirt and tank with a colorful jacket or sweater, a turquoise linen Flax jacket, in this case. We visited a bit and Marie, bless her heart, came bearing gifts!: a large Pippi Langstrump doll, a Pippi lanyard with a smaller doll attached, and what may be my favorite: Pippi bandaids! And for Ziggy: the most wonderfully bright red long sleeved onsie with Pippi emblazoned on the chest. Our Zig will of course know Ms. Longstocking back and forth by the time he's a young boy.

Professional and utterly lovely, Marie and Sven set us up for the interview on the front porch and we went to it. A theatre major with some history of doing commercials and such, it's been quite some time since I've done anything on camera, though unlike me, I never really got nervous about this. Both Marie and Sven say it went very well and they got what they need, and I do hope it's so as I'm just beyond thrilled that Pippi will get such attentions. I expect, however, that it won't be particularly easy to watch myself on film.... but moreso, I am just itching to see whatall Marie comes up with, including her interview with the grown up Inger Nilsson, as shown above, who (fantastically!) played Pippi in Olle Hellbom's cult classic films of the early 70's. (Did you know those films were pieced together from Swedish television episodes for American audiences and there was never a feature film intended?!)

After our hour long interview, Sven filmed me "doing things around the house" like hanging out with Bert, icing glasses of tea, washing dishes, sitting at my computer, etc. No idea how this'll be used, but what a a funny lovely day!

I served Marie and Sven some more fruit tea, gave them a fist-full of Hatch Show Print post cards and sent them off to explore Lower Broad including Hatch, with lunch recommedations for Arnold's meat & three or Jack's BBQ. I think we'll stay in touch.


  1. Anonymous9:53 PM

    This is great news! Not only did it make your day, Ms. Booty, but reading it made my day, too.

  2. I keep my very own copy of "Mean" with your Pippi feature on the cover in with all my other treasures.
    Congrats on a great interview.