|Libby's first column for Premiere,|
February 1988 (credit: Sixsquare.com)
I was obsessed with movies throughout middle school, high school, and most of college (my enthusiasm began to wane after I spent my freshman year in a film-school program), so I read Premiere from cover to cover most months, and the one thing the magazine had that my parents and I could bond over in each issue was Libby's column. I would read it to them after supper or in the car on a long trip; Libby's Cass-family record for laughs per minute was challenged only by Dave Barry. When I spotted the paperback edition of If You Ask Me in a bookstore in New York City in December of '95, I immediately bought it for my parents for Christmas.
Ten years later I came home to my apartment building in Chicago and found a stack of Premieres in the lobby dating back to 1999. Someone in the building didn't want to move them to his or her next apartment, I guess, so I grabbed the entire stack.
In July 2015 my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with my brother, his wife, their two daughters, and me, and on the way from North Carolina, where my parents have lived since 2009, to meet my brother and his family in Tennessee, I read my parents nine of Libby's columns from that stack. It didn't matter that the movies Libby was writing about were more than a decade old—funny is funny, and Libby's writing was LOL long before that acronym became ubiquitous, which is why I decided to make as many of her post-If You Ask Me columns available online as I can. (A good friend from college who subscribed to Premiere until it went belly up in '07 generously clipped many of Libby's columns for me after I stopped subscribing.)
By the way, if this blog encourages you to purchase a copy of If You Ask Me, make sure you don't order a "print on demand" copy from Amazon or another site. I've made that mistake twice, unfortunately, and learned my lesson. You're better off paying a little extra for a used paperback from 20 years ago, and if you want a first edition signed by Libby herself, there's one listed at AbeBooks.com whose description would probably make even her laugh: "Signed and inscribed by the author. Also signed by Paul Rudman (?)."