ex(yard)ley: a fan’s note

Brock Clarke, author I nearly missed at “‘M’ is For Mystery” store in San Mateo but bought his book anyways, and read it, has a new book called “Exley.” It is a novel that mixes fact and fiction but what I note about it is the fact that there is a chapter starting page 271 called “Yardley” just like my old friend James Barrett “Jim” or “Carolina Jim” or “Brooklyn Jim” but probably not “Nigger Jim” nor “Dean E. Smith Center Jim” Yardley.
check it (or check it out, as I will do, from Palo Alto Public Library 3 1185 00824 7662):

His previous book is “An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes of New England.”

edit to add, May 17, 2011: I read closely one of Jim Yardley’s The New York Times stories and made a list of words that he used that I would not ordinarily think to (and that is why Jim works for New York Times and I do this):













patriotic strip team





rocked by





malfeasance – speaking of “malfeasance” maybe this is a good place to point out that Mr. Clarke’s book is actually referencing Jonathan Yardley, Jim Yardley’s dad, who I have never met or spoken to. I met Jim the year his mother Rosemary Yardley was on a Knight’s Fellowship at Stanford. His father won the Pulitzer that same year, and Jim showed me a newspaper clipping — a fullpage ad, actually — about the news. I talked Jim into joining our school paper, supposedly or so he said, it was his first byline.  Yardley senior wrote a biography of the real Exley, or so he says. Janet Maslin does



Above, when I say “nearly missed” I probably mean “nearly caught.” James Barrett Yardley would never be so slack.  “Narrowly” is what I meant.

edit to add, more that a year later: Bill Yardley has an obit in the Times about Ed Cassidy, the drummer for Spirit, from Bakersfield but died in San Jose. He also played with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, as a trio. I only just learned. I remember Bill Yardley as a tiny toe-head kid brother to Jim when they lived at Escondido Village, in 1980-1981, while Rosemary was a Knight Fellow at Stanford. The three of us, and maybe some passers-by, would play hoops there at the village, half-court. Although I’ve kept in loose contact with Jim — and visited Rosemary in Greensboro in 1991 — I have not seen Bill in the ensuing thirty years. He might recall my name, and maybe he recalls some of my moves. But I was impressed that he knew enough about music to make such a fitting notice of this somewhat obscure legend. I would not have been able to write that story as well. (My All Music Guide, for instance, had no entry on Spirit but mentions Cassidy once in the Ry Cooder section).

Spirit known for “I Got A Line On You (babe)”

two years later: forget how I got here, but there is a bar in Brooklyn called The Exley:

spinning, my head

spinning, my head

if it means anything, the last time I saw yardley, j.b, was in brooklyn, first stop, government buildings

i don’t know williamsburg too well. i went to gallapagos, and then saw sleater-kinney at the polish hall, the night I also met patti rothberg. just got a weird ping of sadness in that a lady I saw dance at galapagos later fell off a horse and broke her back.

these are the people you might meet, at exley:

and this one, the mural is pretty

this is actually black and white, unless your acidic

this is actually black and white, unless your acidic


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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2 Responses to ex(yard)ley: a fan’s note

  1. Mark Weiss says:

    Not sure how this fits here (Jim Y and Krys B were both schoolmates of mine) but here is Krys Bobrowski’s resume at CSM — I am tempted to take her class, as my nephew Jon DJ Atom did:

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