The first time I read Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough, I was in high school. Like so many who have read it, I was captivated by this engaging, delightful and downright funny tale of the misadventures of these two young women as they traveled to England and France in the 1920s.
My copy of the book, circa 1940s, has gone with me on all of my travels for the last 30 years, and the story remains to me as enchanting as ever. It traveled with me on my own first journey to England and France, and though my adventures were a bit different to those of Cornelia and Emily, I found kinship in their spirit and their all-too-true recognition that, “there would never again be a first time”.
I am now older than Cornelia and Emily were when they sat down in 1942 to write the story, and I can say, thirty-plus years after first reading Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, it remains my all-time favorite book.
This summer, I will finally fulfill the dream — or perhaps it is a guilty pleasure – of following the journey which Cornelia and Emily took 95 years ago. I hope to walk in their footsteps, seeing those sights they marveled at, discovering what of their world still exists, and write about what I learn from their journey and my own.
After a career in television and a stint as the co-owner of a mail-order catalog business, I am pursuing my lifelong ambition to travel the world and write about it. Hitting the road with my favorite adventuresses seems like a great place to start.