So you don’t have to do all the work, here’s a curated list of the week’s offerings of the signature Times feature called the Column One, which I’m pretty jazzed to be editing. And because I listen to music as I edit, you’ll also get the songs that inspired me while I was editing the stories, or reading them later. A curated story-song combo!
Column One is a proud tradition at The Times. In fact, if you’re under 40, it’s older than you are. But great writing is timeless.
Here’s how I like to sum up Column One: There’s a scene in the movie “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” where the Warren Beatty character is sitting on his bed, fretting over the fact that the Julie Christie character doesn’t love him. It’s a lovely, rambling, mumbled monologue, and the line I love is: “I’ve got poetry in me.” Column One has poetry in it.
In these roundups of the week gone by, I’d like to offer the first paragraphs of the story -- maybe they’ll buy your eye. If so, there’s a helpful link to the story, and the song that pairs with it.
Monday’s Column One:
It's a long way from Christy Walton's ocean-view manse near La Jolla to the arid plains of 1940s New Mexico.
But over the decades, the billionaire heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune has found solace and inspiration in Rudolfo Anaya's coming-of-age novel, “Bless Me, Ultima,” set in that unforgiving landscape, and in the mystical story of a Mexican American boy named Tony who lives there.
Finally, a realization hit her.
“One of the things I wanted to do before I died was to see this book made into a movie,” Walton said one recent morning, gazing from her cliffside home toward the Pacific. “It's the only book I've ever felt that way about."
Song: “Guyamas Sonora,” by Beirut (chosen because this wonderful band is from New Mexico, and the song has an old Mexico vibe).