I just read a comment on Jan and Cora Gordon that I had not seen before, in the “Editorial Diary” section of the Glasgow Herald from February 5th 1944:
“A partnership that brought enjoyment to readers in all the English-speaking countries is broken by the death of Jan Gordon, which we recorded yesterday. He and his wife were a pair of joyous and resourceful travellers, and they could make a delightful book out of any journey. They shared the writing and both were artists. They preferred an unspoilt land, simple folk, and what the average tourist would call hardship.
All modes of transport were fun for them. “Two Vagabonds” in Serbia, in Spain, in Languedoc showed this. In crossing America to find “Star-Dust in Hollywood” they had, of course, to drive a flivver. Jan Gordon would not have settled down in London writing art criticism for “The Observer” if he had been strong enough to keep going on the main road.”
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I smiled last Saturday as we found ourselves taking part in an earnest time-share sales presentation in San Diego, experiencing some insistent and misleading salesmanship, quite alien in style and content to anything a Brit would have come across at home. This prompted a recollection of the encounter between Jan and Cora Gordon and California real estate salesmen in 1928 recorded in " Star-dust in Hollywood ". The similarities are astonishing. ".. every real estate firm, in an agony of cut-throat competition, was trying to catch every 'tourist' as he arrived with his savings, to induce him if possible to invest his money in land before he could discover the real conditions. All along the streets near the centre of the town large rubber-neck wagons waited to abduct the wandering visitor. Young and often charming women pounced upon one from doors, waving prospectuses and promising free drives, free lunches and the rest ." Cora Gordon " was willing