By Byron Rogers
An viewers with an Elephant is a compendium of the oddest and so much eccentric travels - a go back and forth publication to set along Norman Lewis and Eric Newby for the sheer unpredictability of its encounters and its surreal comedy. yet Bryon Rogers did not enterprise to the ends of the earth to discover singular customized and heroic idiosyncrasy: he had no use to. those are trips to the center of the unusual and far-off land of england. On his travels he meets the Turkish POW in British arms - an historic tortoise captured at Gallipoli and now resident in nice Yarmouth - and the teenaged elephant who has opened extra fetes and supermarkets than any television famous person. the following, too, are such extraordinary figures because the octogenerian triathlete, the guy who (before such issues have been banned) held each international consuming list, and the final hangman in his untroubled retirement. even if exploring the center of britain within the forgotten county of Northamptonshire or accompanying the final tramp during the wilder...
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Extra info for An Audience with an Elephant. And Other Encounters on the Eccentric Side
The fisherman is dead, his friends are beginning to die, and, had a photograph not been taken, few people would now believe what happened. A hundred years ago ballads and hearsay would have wrecked it on the wilder shores of myth; as it is, yellowing cuttings from the local paper, almost crumbling into carbon, are slowly unfolded from wallets, a print is unearthed reverently from under a pile of household receipts. It was on 28 July 1933 that Alec Allen caught his fish, but even that has been elbowed into myth.
Alderman Price heard Allen talk about it a few times. ‘It was usually when he heard anglers going on about their catches. ”’ Yet outside the valley and angling circles it was a small fame. There was no mention of it in the national press that July, and it was a small item even in the Carmarthen Journal. The august organ rose to its greatest heights of sensationalism. ‘Two anglers had an exciting time while fishing in the River Towy,’ the report began. In March 1972 Allen died suddenly at the home in Penarth he had shared with a spinster sister, and there was a passage in his will which surprised his friends almost as much as the catching of the sturgeon.
His obituary (far from the national press) says that it was on 9 July. The Guinness Book of Records says that it was 25 July. But the one contemporary cutting had no doubts. It was 28 July. Appropriately, it was a Friday. The photograph is extraordinary. Allen, a short man in a Fairisle pullover and baggy trousers, leans against a wall beside a trestle. It is a typical 1930s snapshot slouch. His hands are in his pockets, there is a cigarette in his mouth. But of course you notice all this a long time afterwards, because of the thing dangling from the trestle.