Archives for posts with tag: Jan Heemskerk

Haresh Shah

The Bad Boy Of Holland And The “Future Husband” Of Jayne Mansfield

jan_jump4

For those of you who have no clue who is  the bad boy of Holland, here is essential Jan Cremer in his own words. I am the best painter, I am the best writer.  I am for sure the best journalist of the Dutch language, and  certainly one of the best writers in the world’. He said to the writer and ex Playboy Holland editor, Guus Luijters for his book, Jan Cremer in Beeld.

He once famously said: ‘Rembrandt? I never heard of him. I’m not interested in sport.’

You have to be brilliant to utter such arrogant and provocative words. Sounds more like something coming out of the big mouth of  Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhammad Ali, who said in his October 1964 Playboy interview: ‘I’m the greatest, I’m so pretty. People can’t stand a blowhard, but they’ll always listen to them,’, than from the mouth of a gentle Dutch writer and artist.  Jan Cremer too must have realized the shock value of his utterances spewed out in sound bites the way before there was a sound bites. Or could it be that he was just reading off  the script laid out by Cassius Clay?

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Haresh Shah

Every Picture Tells A Story

bythetrunkb

Its crispy cold December morning. The sun is shining bright outside and I am having my usual  Sunday breakfast of Shahmolette – so christened by Jan Heemskerk – our friend and at the time editor-in-chief of Playboy’s Dutch edition. Because in addition to mushrooms and onions, my recipe includes finely chopped, insanely hot Thai peppers and cilantro. Also our Sunday morning feast included freshly baked bagels from Skokie’s famous and the best in the world, Bagels & Bialys, and their home made cream cheese with chives. Carolyn is futzing around the kitchen when the phone rings. I hear her making a perfunctory but pleasant conversation with the caller. Not knowing or caring to know who she might be talking to, I flip the pages of that week’s Time.

‘Sure! He’s right here. Just a minute.’ She covers the mouthpiece of the receiver and mouths ‘Lee Hall.’

Lee Hall? That’s my boss. What is he doing calling me at home on a Sunday morning? It sure couldn’t be good news. I take the receiver and lean against the credenza by the phone.

‘Mr. Shah!’ I hear him say. Once in a while he would call me that endearingly. But still…

‘Sorry to bother you at home on Sunday morning – but as you know I’ve just returned from my far east trip and thought I fill you in on Hong Kong before things get crazy tomorrow morning at the office.’

A sigh of relief! ‘Sure. You want me to come over?’ I offer.

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