Peck-Crouch: Linda Yablonsky’s Take

Thanks in part to Sarah, I just spoke with Linda Yablonsky, who had lunch with Dale Peck when Stanley Crouch confronted him. She told me that as the two of them were dining, Stanley Crouch looked in. He put his hand on Peck’s shoulder and asked, “Are you Dale Peck?” Peck was a little flushed, but prepared. The two of them stared at each other. There was silence. Peck asked, “So what?”

Crouch didn’t know what. He then replied, “I just wanted to meet you. I just wanted to know what you were.”

Peck didn’t react. Then there was a brief beat, and Crouch slapped Peck in the face, leaving a mark.

Everyone in Tartine grew silent. The busboy cowered (which may explain why the restaurant owner knew nothing about it). Crouch said something else — what he said, Yablonsky does not know. Then he apologized and said to Peck, “Now you have something on me.”

Peck then said something along the lines of “If you hit me again, you’ll…”

Crouch then said that he shouldn’t have slapped Peck, but suggested that the two of them step outside. Peck refused and Crouch left.

Yablonsky reminded me that Crouch is, in her words, “five times the size” of Peck.

(Thanks to Linda Yablonsky, whose novel The Story of Junk, can be purchased here.)


  1. Not quite as momentous as Norman Mailer headbutting Gore Vidal in Dick Cavett’s green room, or Pappa Hemingway nearly crushing George Plimpton’s thumb in a game of thumb-wrestling gone wild, but interesting nonetheless.

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