Meet Carly Simon’s Imaginary Friends

Ha Ha Ginsberg blog

Carly Simon’s Imaginary Friends (A4 ink 2016)

Recently I read Carly Simon’s memoir, Boys in the Trees. Ms Simon is, as her song lyrics would suggest, a sensitive and evocative writer, especially when remembering her childhood. In chapter two, we learn about Carly’s imaginative exploits with her cousin, Jeanie:

I sprawled alongside Jeanie on the grassy circle beneath the apple trees, engaging in make-believe conversations among the imaginary friends we had invented, including Mr Hicks, Meany and Bypress Fongton. The latter two made their home atop the pool-house weather vane, whereas Mr Hicks, lacking a permanent home, roamed between the orchard and the deep end of the pool, stirring up conflicts and making trouble for another of Jeanie’s imaginary friends, Ha Ha Ginsberg, a character who over time got to be so famous, for unknown reasons, that her name showed up in a New Yorker story. When her father gave her the news, I remember, Jeanie called upstairs, “Ha Ha, guess what, you were in The New Yorker!”

I’ve taken enormous liberties with Carly Simon’s childhood friends. I don’t know if Mr Hicks was really a duck in a bowler hat or Bypress Fongton a sharply-dressed toad in the style of the great German illustrator, Wolf Erlbruch. Careful readers among you will have noticed that I’ve changed the sex of Ha Ha Ginsberg altogether, but I couldn’t resist doing a caricature of the bearded beat poet. All I can say with absolute certainty is that Meany must have been a disgruntled cat…

Anyway, whether accurate or, as I suspect, not, drawing Carly Simon’s imaginary friends was enormous fun and my partner and I had a great time putting names to faces, so to speak. Do read Boys in the Trees – it’s well worth your time.



29 thoughts on “Meet Carly Simon’s Imaginary Friends

  1. Wow, I’m so loving this illustrative style, Michael – your enjoyment is clear, and infectious, going by the grin on my face! Ha Ha Ginsberg in particular is genius, but they’re all wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carly’s Memoir is fantastic! The audio book read by Ms. Simon is beyond fabulous! Scored by Carly and Teese Gohl. Not only is the listener treated to her amazing music, but the careful and knowlegable Carlyphile will wonder what snippets of unreleased songs did she use!?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The refuge of the drawn line | A Certain Line

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