Getting around used to be a lot simpler. We rode in cars and on bicycles. We boarded planes, trains, subways, buses and boats — even hopped on helicopters or a horse-driven carriage — without donning masks or clutching alcohol wipes.
John Fairchild returning from La Grenouille to his offices at Women’s Wear Daily, which was an almost daily commute.
Tennessee Williams relied on his bike to get around Key West.
John Barth cruising along on Chautauqua Lake in his home town of Jamestown, NY.
Nikki Giovanni and her son Thomas pedaling around Upper Manhattan.
V. S. Naipaul on the train from London to his home in Wiltshire.
Hunter Thompson checking in at LaGuardia’s former Marine Air Terminal.
Paul Theroux at the Taunton railway station in Great Britain. He ended up using this photograph on the back jacket of his book, The Great Railway Train Bazaar: By Train Through Asia.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette in Nashville with their tour bus.
William F. Buckley, Jr. with Rowley, his King Charles Spaniel. “It is a large car. I remember having no exact figure in mind when the manager of the garage in Texarkana asked me how long I wanted it, so I simply extended my legs from the desk chair I was sitting in and suggested it be two feet longer than the current standard model … I use the car constantly … I turn on my dictaphone, and check to see that the battery is alive. It is. It always is. Dictaphone has managed to construct a portable recording machine which is about the only thing to remind us that we actually won the war against Japan.”
John McPhee cannot only paddle his own canoe, he knows how to build one. I hope you have read his 1975 book, The Survival of the Bark Canoe.
E.B. White sailing the high seas in Maine.
Toni Morrison on the train to Yale where she was teaching in the Department of African American Studies.
In addition to being an ardent fisherman and birdwatcher, Peter Matthiessen was often seen biking around Sagaponack where he lived.
Walter Cronkite at LaGuardia, headed for his flight’s departure gate.
The CBS anchorman was flying to Washington D.C. to receive an honorary degree from The American University.
Yes, in case you are wondering, of course I photographed Walter Cronkite on his yacht the Wyntje — a 48-footer. We were sailing down to Chesapeake Bay to celebrate James Michener’s birthday. My photographs were for a Life magazine cover story.
Sculptor George Segal queues up behind his lifelike commuter line in New York’s Port Authority bus station. This photograph was not that easy to take because every time I stepped back with my camera various commuters would see the line and just assume they should be in it. I kept having to shoo them away.
Ariel Sharon off to the Lebanon border in his private helicopter.
Isreal’s Defense Minister is airborne.
July 10, 1973: Thornton Wilder in Camden, Connecticut. The septuagenarian boasted that he had just renewed his driver’s license “for which a senior citizen must pass a test every six months in Connecticut.”
Ronee Blakley and Keith Carradine enjoying the perks of a limo while promoting Robert Altman’s Nashville in New York City.
Pete Seeger, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden on their way to Three Mile Island. I was working on a story for Life magazine.
Nadine Gordimer and Robertson Davies in the back of a horse-driven carriage on Central Park West. They were here for the week-long International PEN Conference being held at the nearby Plaza Hotel.
My husband Kurt Vonnegut and our daughter Lily heading to Albany.
Lily in her Laura Ashley finery.
Clyde Edgerton in Durham, North Carolina on the back of his pickup truck. “I wrote about one with dirt in the bed — dirt that had been there so long corn was growing out of it. His books are known for their endearing characters and small-town Southern dialogue.
Bruce Jay Friedman in Southampton, Long Island. I was standing on the corner waiting to cross the street and he stopped for the red light. One photo and I was on my way. So was he.
André Aciman on the subway where he often worked on his novels including Call Me By Your Name, which was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie. “The subway is where I go to speculate about things I normally never think about. Perhaps because it is in transit that I come closer to what I feel, the way it is in writing, more than in just living, that I come closer to who I really am. It is by being elsewhere that we find ourself, and it is when we’re almost absent that we find we may have come closer home indeed.”
Looking back on my own favorite mode of transportation. Back in 1964 when I was a staff photographer for The New York Herald Tribune, the Goodyear folks would take you up — very up — for free in exchange for the accompanying caption: Photographed by Jill Krementz for the New York Herald Tribune from the Goodyear Blimp. Sometimes the credit line was as wide as my photograph.