Playing Bridge with Tyrone Slothrop   Leave a comment

The Thomas Trail: every contact leaves traces

Playing Bridge with Tyrone Slothrop

Around 1975 Thomas Schaub found the name Tyrone Slothrop in the the Berkeley phone book. He then sent a post card to Tyrone Slothrop with his name and phone number. And on Christmas day received a phone call from “Tyrone.” Tyrone then invited Schaub to his Berkeley bungalow at 1034 Bancroft Way for a game of bridge. Schaub followed Tyrone’s directions to an unmarked house set back from the street where a bridge game–short one player–was in session in a room with a king-size bed with black sheets and black curtains. After something like six hours of bridge wherein Tyrone answered each of Schaub’s questions about Gravity’s Rainbow expertly, the man said, “You don’t think I’m Thomas Pynchon, do you?” Years later, Schaub was at a bar in Waterville, Maine talking to Robert Gilepsie who was Pynchon’s Cornell roommate. Gilepsie’s response to Schaub’s story was: “I think you played bridge with Thomas Pynchon!” It turns out, Pynchon’s dorm room had black bed sheets and black drapes and … that he loves to play BRIDGE. It’s hard to say!?

On Point with Tom Ashbrook: Thomas Pynchon’s Work 32:28 – 36:22

1034 Berkeley-Phonebook-1976-Slothrop

1975 Berkeley phonebook

1034 and 1032 Bancroft Way

1032 and 1034 Bancroft Way

(Update: September 7, 2017 by Thomas Schaub) Playing Bridge with Tyrone Slothrop


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