Mato Jakšić 1972 phonebook cover

[-13] Name droppings

While cleaning around my desk I stumbled upon my grandfathers phone book from 1972 and READ all of it. I felt like some NSA writer of XX century history. Check why and restore your faith in humanity.

Reading a bunch of names in a phone book of someone you know is a window into their social graph and one of those side-views that shed extra light to what you knew. It’s even more suggestive than browsing through someones library.

The names that my ancestor mainly copied in one session were the ones that remained relevant in the life of a seventy year old guy, in the last ten years of his life. While Bunuel only added crosses next to deceased friends my granddad obviously preferred clean updates. Rather unpoetic.

The guy was a lawyer turned diplomat during the IIWW. Here’s a nano-glimpse of him with Tito and Nehru in Dubrovnik in 1955, the tall guy in light color suit in the first few seconds of the clip:

I have no intention to harass you with family legends. Let me just show you a page or two from the notebook:

Mato Jakšić 1972 phonebook A2
Our dear Sarajevo relatives, one nobel prize writer, a car service, a great Paris gallerist and a founder of a fashion empire…
Mato Jakšić 1972 phonebook M
This guy Fitcroy MacLean in the middle of the left page was a real WWII spy and model for James Bond. He was a baron or a lord and his wife wrote a book of recipes. I remember them as users of best english accent. Also I remember drinking Oolong along.
Mato Jakšić 1972 phonebook K-L
My favourite writer is here, along with few less favourite ones. Plus one of those larger than life revolutionaries, Spanish republican fighter, prominent Partisan and later chief of Yugoslav CIA (really quite a dark character).

In the same little bag was this tiny piece of paper of my own from 1987:

One ex MP, one huge music star, one publisher, one teacher, two movie directors, few unidentified...
One MP, one turbo music star, one writer, one singer, one teacher, two movie directors, few unidentified…

 

So that was a brief demo of archaeology of privacy, or self-spying if you prefer. Since some of the entries in both phone books are nick names, I have decided to show to you what Catherine Soussloff teaches us about them:

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