Back in the early years, when Dorothy Baker wrote Young Man with a Horn, it was with real admiration that David spoke of Dorothy spending night after night sitting in speakeasies in New York City, soaking up the jazz and impressions of the musicians. Her book was published in 1938, with David’s small drawing of a horn on the book jacket. At that time Howard and Dorothy were living in the apartment next to ours in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My sister and I watched with fascination as David and Howard made a “chair” by a four-way clasp of hand over wrist and carried Dorothy up the narrow stairs when she came home from the hospital after the Bakers’ first child, Ellen, was born….
Howard [Baker, Dorothy’s husband] wrote that “the Parks brought music and art, all that sort of thing, with them wherever they were.” I have the copy of Young Man with a Horn that Dorothy gave my parents. On the flyleaf she wrote, “To David and Lydia without whom this book could never have been wrote.” David loved the inscription and when he showed it off, it was always with a big belly laugh.
—Helen Park Bigelow, David Park, Painter: Nothing Held Back
Sharp eyes will have noticed that our Dorothy Baker books always feature cover art by David Park. In fact, Cassandra at the Wedding is dedicated to Park’s memory. So it seemed necessary—to us at least—to pair the work of these two artists, who were so close in their too-short lives, in these editions.
If you aren’t familiar with the work of David Park, read Sanford Schwartz’s appreciation of him in the New York Review’s blog in 2009.