The Italian from the Yankee Clipper

The following is an excerpt from my travel journal, written in March of 1999 while I was visiting a friend who was studying at the Royal Holloway, just a 40 minute train ride from London in Egham, Surrey.

I’m sitting here in a public park near Embankment Station, and a little Italian man approaches me.

“Are you Italian?”
“Spanish, then?”
“Ah, then you must be American.”
“Do you know the magazine Yankee Clipper?”
“You are not from New York?”

He then explains that he is “on assignment” for this magazine, and would I be interested in being a millenium hairstyle model for this magazine?


I managed not to laugh. He was probably a crock but even so, what sensible Yankee female would be taken in by an Italian gentleman in ratty trousers and a nylon jacket while she’s alone in a foreign city? Especially one who offers no card? Not as good as having a drink bought for me in a bar, but almost.

And I was going to sketch the lovely tourist sitting on the bench kitty-corner to me, before my Italian encounter. Now he’s gone.

Which the greater lost opportunity?

Waterloo bridge, Embankment station, St Paul's Cathedral
A sketch I did in the journal during my flight home. The passage above says, "Somewhere over Reykjavic."

Re-reading this passage, I suddenly recognized the name Yankee Clipper from my present day life. It’s a magazine-style coupon flyer which comes quarterly in the mail, whether you want  it or not.

7 thoughts on “The Italian from the Yankee Clipper

  1. The only Yankee Clipper I know is the late great Joe Dimaggio. I would have asked him if he knew Joe D’s statistics. Glad it was you instead of me.

    I like the look into your student past

  2. I knew I knew the name “Yankee Clipper” when I read the title.

    I have to remember this for “creepy pickup lines,” whenever I need to supply them…

  3. It’s interesting that I am reading this now…since in 1999 I had just moved and started the job I have now…that Christmas my mom and brother gave me a “woman’s Journal”…it was a pretty book with blank pages for writing but each page has a “woman’s quote” on it. Last weekend I was cleaning out something in my basement and thinking about a post I needed to write for Just Be Enough…and I opened the book…immediately I had a million ideas and resources in that book of quotes. Then I read the very few entries I had made and saw the young, lonely , in love with a guy who was never going to love her- girl I was…and then : more inspiration.

    Reading your post was like that happening all over for me again and it felt “good”..that we are seeing where were “were”.

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