by Caren Osten Gerszberg
When I was young and dreaming of someday being famous like Charlie's Angels, I used to craft interview questions in my head for a future interviewer: "Who was your first love?" the interviewer would ask me, and I'd be torn between answering, "my guitar" or "Brent Dooley," my 5th-grade boyfriend. I've given some interviews, but no one has ever asked me a question unrelated to writing or travel, until now. It was a treat to be interviewed last week about something else: booze! (and my relationship to it). Then again, I guess drinking isn't totally unrelated to traveling and writing...
Here's my tell-all alcohol interview with Caren at the fabulous blog Drinking Diaries:
I can tell you it was probably in my twenties or thirties, it likely occurred in a foreign country, and it definitely involved my best friend, Erin. Chances are we were dancing.
Each week, we post short interviews with interesting people about their thoughts and feelings on women and drinking. There is such a wide array of perspectives about this topic, and we are excited to gain insight into as many as possible and to share them with you.
Drinking Diaries: How old were you when you had your first drink and what was it?
Lavinia Spalding: It was a mixture of beer and lemonade. I was ten years old and about to move from New Hampshire to Arizona with my family. My parents held an enormous yard sale and bought a keg. While they gave free beer to customers and friends, my older brother and I sold lemonade. At some point we decided to mix the two, and it was a hit. We called it “lemoneer” and only stopped serving it after our parents told us that without a liquor license we couldn’t sell it—we’d have to give it away. Completely uninterested in not turning a profit, we went back to selling straight lemonade. But to this day, I prefer my beer with a lemon in it.
How did/does your family treat drinking?
My parents were very social and always drank at dinner—the regular centerpiece of our table was a big jug of wine. I imagine they knew I started drinking on weekends when I was in my early teens, but I can’t remember ever getting caught or punished for drinking. They were fairly permissive and open about alcohol, but they also trusted me to make good decisions, and as a result I was honest with them and tried not to screw up too horrendously.
How do you approach alcohol in your everyday life?
I was recently invited to speak about my favorite subject, the art of keeping a travel journal, on “Journal Talk.” You can listen to the whole interview here! http://www.write4life.us/travel-journaling/ . . .
It was so much fun being interviewed by the wonderful Nathaniel Boyle of the Daily Travel Podcast about everything from ice cream trucks to Italian men to the value of telling travel stories! You can listen here: . . .
What will readers be surprised and delighted by in Edith Wharton's A Motor-Flight Through France? I think what’s most surprising is how encyclopedic Wharton’s knowledge was about French history and architecture. It would be tricky to compare A . . .
I was interviewed by the lovely Lissa Horneber for the KMSU Weekly Reader, about two of my favorite topics: editing The Best Women's Travel Writing and the importance of keeping travel journals. You can listen to the interview here. . . .
What is art but a way of seeing?” –Thomas Berger