Fan Appreciation Day

Lunched yesterday at Hobee’s, which the new Vanity Fair describes, in its “Silicon Valley Exposed” sidebar, as a “sachet-scented restaurant famous for its coffee cake and for being frequented by Mark Andreessen.”

My host was Harry Press, 92, who helped run the journalism fellowship that brought me to Stanford in 1969. Harry had called to congratulate me on my book, so I thought it only proper to get together after all these years.

He had made it impossible for me to return to NY by inviting me to fill in, every once in a while, for his lunchtime doubles partner: tennis in a T-shirt in February!

When I got fired from my first job in San Francisco, Harry offered to see if there might be a place for me writing news releases at Stanford—a very generous and kind response to my misfortune.

I was delighted that Harry ordered an hors d’oeuvre of Hobee’s monstrous, blueberry-studded coffee cake and let me take a couple bites: delish.

Afterward, I went over to the Stanford art library to read Jorgen Wadum’s account of his 1994 restoration of “View of Delft.”

But, of course: the painting I had seen in 1961 was not the same as the one I saw last April. The yellowing varnish had been removed.

And in restoring “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” Wadum had removed one of the three highlights, which turned out to be a fleck left over from an earlier cleaning.

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