Jim Haynes

Posted on August 1, 2005 by Susie Hollands

That famous address. The one and only Jim Haynes. I stop by to pick up virgin copies of the People to People books. Jim and I chat about Dorothy Parker and I am reminded that I still need to read Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. Here he is with a filing cabinet of his address filofaxes containing the nalmes and addresses of interesting souls all over the globe.

It’s funny to think how many times I have been at Jim’s, researching topics, picking his brains, listening to tales of intrepid reporting from the Cannes Film Festival in the 70’s. How often I’ve been at the Sunday night dinners, sometimes paying, sometimes for free (thanks Jim) when I was skint and/or making food for the Sunday night dinners, including one fateful time making Lentil Stew for 100 people with Whitey Flagg.

Jim is a person who has been of enormous importance to me since I came to Paris. I first found my creative feet at the Sunday night Salons and the people I met there gave me the support and affection I needed to bring to fruition some of my ideas and projects. It was here that I first discovered People to People, the books which form the basis of “The Future is Bleak Uncertain and Beautiful” – the piece I am working on for the LA show. I discovered so many things and met so many important people in my own life through this man. I highly recommend his book “Thanks for Coming” – pun intended – and it reads like a role call of famous names and happenings – Jim drops them all from, Samuel Beckett to Yoko Ono, Vladimir Putin to Charles Bukowski. But most impressive, he once spoke for 30 minutes to MARLENE DIETRICH! It has to be read to be believed.

Every time you think something is crazy and how can you possibly carry it off I recommend you do as I do and periodically dip into some Haynes anthology and renew your brim and vigour. My favourite story begins when Jim is an Edinburgh undergraduate with 600 quid in his pocket. Next day he stumbles upon a broken down, stuffed to the gills junk shop and asks the old lady how much for the premises. She says £300 and he opens the doors next day with a sign saying “Everything Free” which guts the shop as people arrive to take what they like. The store soon becomes “The Paperback” and later the spiritual home of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Sundays from September at 83 rue de la Tombe Issoire, Atelier A-2 , 75014 Metro Alesia. Call Jim on or email [email protected] to confirm you are coming.