Home Today's Reason to Drink February 19: Lee and Carson’s Birthdays

February 19: Lee and Carson’s Birthdays

It’s actor Lee Marvin and author Carson McCullers’ birthdays. Though they were born seven years apart, 1924 and 1917 respectively, they had a lot in common. They both drank a lot, both considered alcohol a vital tool in their work, and both represented the high-water marks for open and honest boozing in their respective professions. Nowadays celebrities skulk behind publicists and finely-tuned facades, but these two would not only plainly state how much they drank, but drink with vigor during the interview. During one afternoon Q&A, Lee casually sank a fifth of whiskey and delivered a breathtakingly honest, philosophically deep and perfectly coherent interview. The reporter was astounded, but he shouldn’t have been. To quote Ms. McCullers, “It is known that if a message is written with lemon juice on a clean sheet of paper there will be no sign of it. But if the paper is held for a moment to the fire then the letters turn brown and the meaning becomes clear. Imagine that the whiskey is the fire and the message is which is known only in the soul of a man.”