Writer's Query

Did O'Hara Get it Wrong?

In the Companion Guide project I am working on, I think I noticed two mistakes in Appointment in Samarra, and I was wondering if you had the time whether you could check things out in your first edition.

Early on Al Grecco picks up Julian driving home from the Country Club after the drink throwing incident. The books states that Al Grecco is driving a V-61 Cadillac Coach. I went online, and there is no V-61 Cadillac Coach. There is, however, a V-16 Cadillac Coach.

In the scene where Julian wakes up the next day with a hangover, there's a reference to his Kappa Beta Phi Key. There is no Kappa Beta Phi. Instead there is of course Phi Beta Kappa.

I have an email in to Penn State. They promised me an answer. I want to look at the original manuscript to see what was written down. Was this the error of the author or the publisher.

All the more reason for the pilgrimmage to Penn State. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

--Robert Saliba

2 comments:

Philip said...

I don't know much about vintage automobiles, but Kappa Beta Phi was a real thing--an anti Phi Beta Kappa, and it seems appropriate for a sometimes "bad boy" like Julian to be associated with it.

Here's a quote about it from the Alpha Tau Omega magazine The Palm, ca. 1922:

"Kappa Beta Phi . . . turns the name of Phi Beta Kappa wrong end to, and wears a pin that is a vulgar travesty of the well-known key of the oldest and most respected of all fraternities in the colleges. A statement recently received at this office says that the organization began about five years ago, that it initiated at least two thousand members last year, and that the chapters have spread until they exist now at practically every college and university in the country. Unless we are very much mistaken, this thing has been going on for a long time, thirty years ago or so, and has only recently begun to spread rapidly, like any other disease that suddenly finds conditions favorable.

"The membership requirements are that a member must have 'busted' or 'flunked' in at least one subject, or have been suspended or expelled from his college or university."

Phil Eppard

Philip said...

I don't know much about vintage automobiles, but Kappa Beta Phi was a real thing--the anti-Phi Beta Kappa, as it were.

Here's a quote about it from the Alpha Tau Omega magazine, The Palm, ca. 1922. It sounds appropriate for that sometimes bad boy Julian.

"Kappa Beta Phi . . . turns the name of Phi Beta Kappa wrong end to, and wears a pin that is a vulgar travesty of the well-known key of the oldest and most respected of all fraternities in the colleges. A statement recently received at this office says that the organization began about five years ago, that it initiated at least two thousand members last year, and that the chapters have spread until they exist now at practically every college and university in the country. Unless we are very much mistaken, this thing has been going on for a long time, thirty years ago or so, and has only recently begun to spread rapidly, like any other disease that suddenly finds conditions favorable.

"The membership requirements are that a member must have 'busted' or 'flunked' in at least one subject, or have been suspended or expelled from his college or university."

Phil Eppard