The Paris Review remembers Bricktop
Her name was Ada, erm my middle name is Ada. She was born in 1894, I was born in 1984, she had a crazy Irish mother, I have a half crazy half Irish mother...see where I'm going with this? Clearly Bricktop aka Ada Smith who owned a legendary saloon frequented by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cole Porter, was a kindred spirit. Clearly if we turned some of those birth digits around I too could have been asked to meet Martin Luther King for a Nobel Peace Prize gin and t. Sadly there is no parallel universe for me to prove this to be a reasonable assumption to make so I'll just soak up all the story possibilities this Paris Review article invokes about a woman who lived the kind of life a lot of African-Americans dare not dream of pre Civil Rights era. Ada made life happen: some of it happened by accident of course, as it always does but a lot of it she made happen through being fabulous and sparkling her way from poverty to royalty without ever feeling she did not have a right to. I like that. A lot. Kind of makes me wish Ada was my first name too.