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Studio 360 interview: my "Aha moment: Cary Grant in Holiday"

NPR has a show called Studio 360, which I love, and they have a serial segment called the "Aha moment," where they call for listeners to contribute a story about a work of art/film/literature (whatever, really) that changed or deeply influenced their life. So, always one to pipe up, I wrote in with the story about the "retire young, work old" idea, as explained by Cary Grant's character in "Holiday," which I watched as a teenager at about 3am on a tiny old black & white TV in my parents' basement one night. My thanks to Britta Conroy-Randall and Jenny Lawton, for helping me not trip over my words and limiting my repetitions to only the ones they needed for the editing. 

Click here for the interview.

illustration by carolita johnson


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Reader Comments (4)

Hello Carolita,

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your story... It was one I needed to hear today, for inspiration. I too left the East coast (to go to California) and while my life was not so bohemian as yours, there were many aspects of your story that resonated with me... Although I must say, I wish I 'd had the courage to do even more in my twenties...


October 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteryesha

Hi Carolita- I heard the show this morning and was delighted to recognize a kindred creative rebel. I too said, as a child "Not me! I'm not going to get trapped in a boring prison of a job. I know there are other ways to live they're just not telling us about." I asked if I could be an artist (in the sixth grade) and was told yes, I could be a commercial artist. But I became an exhibiting artist instead - not much money in that! Unlike you, I lacked the guts to leave for ten or thirteen years, but did manage to live a life of immaturity and irresponsibility anyway, which I often call taking my "early retirement," and now in midlife (older then you) have decided to finally settle down. In my own quirky, creative, entrepreneurial way. Thank you for supplying the happy ending to the tale of the grasshopper and the ant. Go, grasshoppers! By the way, Cary Grant was my heart throb as a child.

October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTomar Levine

Yesha, I was afraid it was too late when I was 37 and came home, but the way I see it, it's never too late to say the heck with it, and get on with the life you always meant to live. I had to watch other people do it for a while and learn from them. The actual leaving home was no big deal, but learning to stay away and make my own life was the big deal. Sounds like you did that!

Tomar ,I don't think everybody needs to leave. I did, because my family wasn't the best place to be for me to grow. Don't let it throw you that you didn't leave. There're many ways to "leave." You probably figured that out yourself by the end of this reply, eh? ;)

October 4, 2010 | Registered Commentercarolita johnson

Just finished listening to the 360 podcast, had to google some examples of your cartoons. Awesome and inspirational life story!

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRR Anderson
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