But the point of the meeting was being ignored. "Play The Ballad of Silky Sullivan
for him," said the photographer, remembering the point and rushing to reload. "What?" said Johnny Cash. "The Ballad of Silky Sullivan
," said a press agent. "Sing that." "I can't sing that," said Singer-Composer Cash. "I don't remember the words."
Outside Looking In
Even though, as journalists, we can when necessary whip out a phrase like arbiter elegantiarum, we had not up to now thought ourselves qualified for the role the phrase described. The elegancies of high society we had thought in our rough and hornyhanded way were all a matter of iced punch and petit fours at garden parties and an air of exquisite boredom at the opera. Pulling a respectful forelock, we were content to leave the expertism in such matters to magazines like our British colleague Queen, which always knows exactly whom to snub and when to look bored.
"Society," the editor of Queen tells us with an indolent yawn, "is entirely a matter of who is 'in' and who is 'out.' " This we knew before. What we didn't know until Queen's man told us was how closely the criteria of inmanship on the British Isles parallels our own concerns.
"Ascot, Lords, the Royal Academy and Henley," says Queen's editor, "are still very smart and important." Well, Ascot is a race track, Lords is a cricket field (pardon us, pitch) and Henley is a river site known for its crew races. Four standards of inmanship and three are sporting in nature.
"Shooting and hunting," the authority goes on, "are terribly 'in' and if you have an estate and don't shoot or hunt, you are a joke—despicable." A proper "in," we learn further, doesn't even measure his land in acres but in potential bags. "I have a little place in Devon," he'll say, for instance, "not much, of course, only four days' first shootin' " (i.e., 8,000 to 10,000 acres).
Then there are horses. "The horse," says the Queen's man, "is definitely an 'in' animal, and it is very smart to own horses and go in for racing. But," he adds, "you must win." Now that is something we—and we suspect most of our readers—can definitely understand. Anyone who touts us on to a horse that runs out of the money with our deuce on his nose—he certainly ain't "in," he ain't even no gentleman.
The dark horse won the Derby, yes,
But ever after that
He'd not go on the track unless
Allowed to wear his hat.
—HARVEY L. CARTER