Click here for the full text on PASC's website. I'm thrilled to be working with PASC! In the piece, I highlighted the Broede family's exquisite collection of Brewton works. In the 1960s, Bruce Broede managed the University of Pennsylvania book store, and Jim worked for him. Bruce and his wife, Carol, became close friends of Jim's.
After Jim's death, Bruce and Carol moved to California and had a son, Jason, giving him the middle name of "Brewton" in memory of their friend. Subsequently, they divorced and Carol remarried. Bruce talked with me several times in 2009, shortly before his death. His memories, and Carol's, offer glimpses of Jim's creative process and motivations.
An endearing, more personal vignette was not included in the essay for PASC.
Here it is:
"One of my favorite memories involved a hotel across from Rittenhouse Square," Carol told me. (The Warwick, according to Bruce. “Jim’s way was, you go directly and get as much roast beef as you can.”)
Carol said, "They had a marvelous Sunday night buffet, and we wanted to take Jim. You couldn’t get in without a jacket and tie. So he went to the Salvation Army and bought a mustard-colored, fuzzy suit and we all trooped in. Jim’s [dining] philosophy was to eat the most important thing first—the roast beef—and then work back to the salad. Jim collected the petits fours and smuggled about a dozen out in his pockets.”
My mother once said that Jim bought his clothes at a thrift store on South Street called “Big-Hearted Jim’s,” and that he sometimes signed his letters “Big-Hearted Jim.”
Past travels with a trusty camera; current work on James E. Brewton Foundation research and memoir
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