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Robert Murray Davis
Interchanges Copyright © 2009 Robert Murray Davis All rights reserved. Managing Editor: Susan Smith Nash, Ph. D 1108 Westbrook Terrace Norman, OK 73072 Phone: 405-314-7730 Fax: 405-310-6617 Email: email@example.com Marketing Manager: Elaine Bontempi Cover Design: Susan Smith Nash Cover photos: Robert Murray Davis Graphic Layout: Bren Tatro
Robert Murray Davis
intersection: crossing, converging, meeting, junction, Canadian term interchange—less confining, limiting than exit/entrance describe time space meeting, sharing brief identity not just trip 10,000 miles 5 time zones 20 states 4 provinces 30 beds gift shops measureless to man lives identities overlaying merging shifting moving on….
Who travels alone Morning bathroom preparation time: Male: shower 5” shave 3” tops Female: shower, 15” fixing face etc. 15” plus departure preparations: Male: loading, checking, cursing, 15” plus see below Female: loading checking shifting things from one container to another stopped looking in interest of peace and quiet Zuzak NM road not taken off 66 since 1939 4 years old in NM with schoolteacher aunt gave birthday Christmas books travel chance hang out Girl Scout camp other relatives new wider world Dalhart TX 1952 with Mom from now as long as years she lived stop now at Dairy Queen tell counter kid I worked at one in 1950 50 cents/hour oh wow no one‟s that old. Goodwell OK Panhandle A&M (now State U.) first conference paper Aubrey Beardsley/Ronald Firbank how decadent can you get at least no livestock involved small college chairman says “Davis is a smart son of a bitch but he is smart” want that as epitaph people say no one would put it on a tombstone wrong nephew sells them ready to go when called. Liberal KS (oxymoron?) cousin worked oil patch there helped support family at 19 Cattleman‟s Café “No bull-just great prices, great selection, great service” truth in advertising tea glass quart-sized “take some with you?” not and get to Wichita this week. Air museum relic of WWII B-24 training base good collection small planes Beech Bonanza model Buddy Holly crashed in “The Day the Music Died” didn‟t Waylon gave up seat to Big Bopper good trade music-wise his last home five miles from me semi-pro baseball some more pro some semi Bull Durham baseball simple game throw hit catch here 2
Wichita still on line uncle 9 kids hated father vice versa visited circa 1952 he snarky apologized for calling him to meet me KU girls offered me ride “just like your old man” next generation there shorter wider friendly oldest cousin gave up teaching more money Fuller Brushes almost MA English fought advisor windmill-tilting Democrat candidate heavily Republican district last campaign by bicycle oldest son English teacher bright kid younger hustles brushes others sell good works too many even my generation keep track of pizza place yuppified warehouse “Big-Ass Beers” main cousin‟s wife conventional liked explaining remodel E Home again home again Boonville MO Dairy Queen 1950 musician in sleek convertible leather seats burned absent women‟s backsides impressing Bill Stuesse and me maybe not Bill serious then and 50 years later 2008 middle-aged white couple in yellow „Vette wearing matching do-rags living the dream high school classmate standing in middle brick-paved 7th Street in front of Catholic Church his late wife first girl I kissed didn‟t tell him apologies for not having white lightning yet son coming from Texas to brew and back later to drink family reunion upscale Westcoast daughter-in-law first trip east of Rockies thinks “Deliverance” a documentary good thing didn‟t buy sleeveless camo shirt in Tucumcari cue banjo music doing ok until stuck to glue trap 2 dead bats live music in refurbished hotel good deal niece by marriage got half price fits right in family unforgiveable sin paying retail taken over barnyard with free horses goats sheep chickens occasional coyote not quite ready to terminate but chicken demise moves in that direction local paper list June 31 events surprising number son-in-law judges from billboards MO economy comes from porn and fireworks over two dozen three generations clan assembled one niece not husband Afghanistan starting hospital no resources midnight requisition friends US other niece husband summer job Vermont 9 more possible away plenty left 7 boys under 7 rampaging over sister‟s big yard in/out of fishpond no rules just right house smokehouse on Register Historic Places built c. 1858 our family there sixty years good god when you‟re having fun life whatever 3
Old Katy station caboose in front clamber in up down out tell stories of great grandfather my dad brakeman WWII making Parsons KS run fell off boxcar like his father before him hit boozerelaxed nothurt Blackwater MO niece‟s friend mayor supreme leader for life world traveller rescues fawns grandsons less impressed than grownups into fancy rehabbed railroad hotel restaurant patron see small children there goes neighborhood relief at departure for place locals eat cheese sandwiches hot dogs train up close and personal engineer comes out of restaurant lunch in box climbs on away life good 4 year-old wants to stay and watch more why not onward
Arrow Rock church into theater E‟s sister-in-law acted there years gone told Boonville small not to her went there to shop here one-block canopied wooden sidewalks one side main street stone gutters down to river big stimulus package 1830 or so to ease ford Santa Fe Trail abandoned start line moved to Independence town shrunk delivered vegetables there 1946 played town baseball team 1950 dodging outfield cowpiles years later saw our first base third base brothers catcher twin died cancer left Boonville long ago members local team who knows where most gone if census numbers don‟t lie what‟s left ice cream notions folk kitsch historic inn closed whole town Heritage Site lifesupport Intersection: my sister rummaging finds my 8th grade high school college diplomas and forces them on me to take journey Signs and wonders: Wine Diesel Deli While You Wait Charlie's Tattoos Yucko's Poop Scoop Nude Women Exit 74 billboard stylized Indian brave bare to waist arm raised palm out, “Howe Nissan.” Unpc retaliation Indian artifacts “Smile and say Chee‟s” Eat here Get Gas St.Louis friend over 50 years each other‟s best men his marriage longer after widowing delayed adolescence women got 2 decades crazier than my first crop recent ex-fiancée left godawful pink bedspread guest room dodged bullet good guide Chihuly like Chicken-Man he‟s everywhere New Cathedral gaggle Shriner wives offspring “Are you Catholic?” close enough describe difference cardinal archbishop bishop threw in monsignor much impressed
South to Memphis first in 1957 to New Orleans first view sharecropper cabins segregated fountains B-girls sleazy vice chicory coffee Spanish moss never again that exciting stop White Castle E wanted to try it after Harold/Kumar ordered rings don‟t taste like onions that‟s because they‟re chicken only thing that doesn‟t taste like “all the way to Memphis” code for view of woman sitting immodestly Britney Spears et seq. Memphis he‟p me find the party former colleague too generous pleasant survive old department E‟s halfbrother smalltown smartass successful academic what‟s not to like Stax records only whites there Isaac Hayes‟ Cadillac bling before bling golden screws (old joke: ass fell off) on license plate better shape than home Memphis Slim to be restored better hurry better stuff than Sun Records of course no Elvis Jerry Lee et al. (Six months later memorial half-brother full drama dept. treatment impressive no English dept. could do as well or have the will) not bad town but Fox News in motel Billy Graham column in paper deep in Bible Belt away Conversations people seen heard of phone signs sights where eat stay turn where next E asks questions old lecture habits answers tells friends even if I‟m wrong I‟m entertaining solid basis relationship secret of success plus some breaks 24/7 togetherness quality time shopping her museums wandering me country song how can I miss you if you won‟t go away Stereophonic: female gps nagging more sorrow than anger “Recalculating” named her Shirley always sure
Air Force Museum WWII planes my youth wanting to fly John Wayne P40 wear long silk scarf be dashing get girl 20/200 in good eye shift to P-51 sleek rare conflict Grandpa Murray built P-47s like burly bumblebees main strength and awkwardness B-17 biggest plane imaginable 60 years later in one cramped small little grandson delighted sit down Mom takeoff museum planes I‟d barely heard of row on row E pose for photo by B-25 “Strawberry Bitch” she said it Cold War trophy DDR German Trabant 2cycle pollution machine pulled in triumph through Persepolis wherever newer planes technology takes over aura WWII patriotic movies overlying period planes OMG Shirley throws spring in plug no gps oh woe only made solo trip Maritimes halfdozen times no gps no Mapquest what to do to do up 4 a.m. motel computer Mapquest printouts relief forge on Niagara Falls shuffle off past Buffalo Ontario Falls “delightfully tacky” US side just tacky memory of my son 1986 “almost like a foreign country” disconcerting Cuban cigars seal pelts open ads for US contraband long limo tour 4 couples Brits miniature pilot wife college students two oldest couple loudest/funniest pretty to think so sight of youth restraining reckless middle age and well beyond sign for motel Retro Prices green shag carpet predicted Tight with water contrast southwest big glasses here juice glass with reluctance Reunions on fly former colleague good life Connecticut River view niece Vermont summer trek one year Oregon one Alaska kids love it bestbehaved we‟ve seen including ours locust descent local library check out maximum librarian should hold rest of summer wrong back next week older nephew defensive about being labeled obsessive reader worked for me daughter bound for jail or high office not incompatible youngest “You‟re a lot like Papa” brother wrong like me I‟m older strained credulity more past in passing this lot key to us escape crap timeshare cheap motellike nicer closer civilization simulacrum anyway
Vermont breakfast specials raspberry cream cheese stuffed French toast waffle topped chocolate raspberry ice cream
New England villages hemmed in valleys holding on between summer tourists skiers antiques as fallback selling quaint most retro-looking shops run by outsiders $1.91 for coffee refill in New Hampshire owner preserving outsider look hair trying to fit in fat chance miles to go before see gas station none from Troy NY-Bennington VT (2 stations; pumps hooded suppliers unpaid) first gas in Bennington old-fashioned station (cf. Retro Prices) grimy, pleasant proprietor grimy early teen son old-fashioned values old-fashioned scuz in bathroom E stayed in car old-fashioned way of paying—cash later towns don‟t seem independently sustainable go elsewhere buy real stuff Difference Northeast/Southwest linear smalltowns latter embrace honest depressing decency decay in landscape sprawl Case against New England trees obscure view of landscape actual site of gas stations screw up satellite radio reception just unnatural West is West
Cape Cod economy Dunkin‟ Donuts miniature golf speed limits 40 Tantalus torment (Phoenix 45 rueful joke city planners) illusion progress complete halt Provincetown E “Sure are a lot of men here” I‟m hip change of Martha‟s Vineyard Gay Head to Aquinnah pc loss to low-minded humorists Thoreau in all museums honored in breach Cape Cod not on sale Hyannis deli tile-setter foreign workers flooding market means East Europeans Portuguese well “They make the tiles” knows about ristras if not the word lousy place to visit maybe live ok E heroic outwaits valued customer recording halfhour anyway charms customer service nextday replacement Shirley plug and on Food notes motel waffle machines each one teach one sign of seasoned traveler cheap West Yarmouth breakfast $4.95 plus coffee ham slice square no part of pig I ever saw hometown ham salty edges curled bone-in that‟s a pig Cape Cod regular coffee cream sugar wrong wrong wrong Newport RI “where people are rich together” so that‟s a sitz bath to pamper Vanderbilt butts how to get out? servants do that for us guy in line on cell phone hold steel shares another day you been to Europe oh 15 times or so up yours sent to servants quarters toilets know your place Maine Moose Moose Moose sign Moose Antlers Blueberries 2 of 3 buses from Bar Harbor “Out of Service” Maine motto? Ellsworth intersection 1981 from New Brunswick to Hungary via Oklahoma August Saturday rain campers all in town no stoplight Calais-Portland inauspicious start to new life effective end of life in Oklahoma
Weather snobbery motel clerk from 4 hours north real snow 211” last year Catch-22 be proud of something you ought to be ashamed of campers show up 2 a.m. torrential rainstorm mesh-side tent think only rains straight down me 35 years in OK didn‟t know it could rain straight down Catamaran Bar Harbor Yarmouth guy in old pick up camper shell with sheep honeymoon? guard go home and take your girlfriend with you crossing swell heavy fog elderly female “They sure blow the horn a lot” E queasy I contra advice coffee breakfast sandwich easy black looks Western Nova Scotia economy nursing homes used clothing Frenchy‟s known from NB days all over E lusts after comforter still in plastic no room gets 4 dishcloths $2 also Guy‟s Frenchy‟s schism Guy the Martin Luther of used clothing how many theses church door later learn no difference disillusion wanted doctrinal struggles holy wars peltings worn jeans parkas Digby NS restaurant facing scallop boats brought dinner long hawsers for Bay of Fundy tide drop Habitation/Port Royal English burnt rebuilt in tribute for tourists praise gallant losing commander what‟s now Annapolis Royal participation award like Louisburg captured through spy‟s map in bar of soap no wonder French attitude soap later learn Quebec City conquered perfidious English came from wrong direction Maginot Line etc. never forget/learn Annapolis Royal no Frenchy‟s Wal-Mart chain store tasteful tourist trap one sign PMS Papier Maché Sculpture sense of humor warning? Annapolis Royal b&b nice Nazi owner imperious doesn‟t cover it go here eat there put knife on special rest peelings in bowls very unNovaScotian rehabs houses Frank Lloyd Wright of interior décor miniature Pom unyippy (or else) other guests Olympia WA tax accountant on my writing “It‟s deductible!” couple graduated OU 1970 knew colleagues Houston friend stories Donald Barthelme E thinks woman had me for class hiding it 10
All politics local signs Stop the Quarry Start the Quarry Save Digby Neck Signs putative villages don‟t materialize scattering of houses agriculture no commercial life „ til tip of Digby Neck restaurants whale watching promise ride (wrote “rid”) of life on Zodiac inflatables boast never turned over consoling sign southern NS “Fauxburg” applies most towns Neck most NS coasts
Fakelore Grand Pre fictional Evangeline more real than people Dorothy‟s house Liberal KS Wizard of Oz Anne of Green Gables Prince Edward Island Grand Pre entrance fee $7 seniors no conversion break this year see 18th century farming domestic implements generic life poor nasty brutish Brits moved Acadians to warmer climate okra cuisine gets crown AAA like Louvre compared to what I basketball center 1951 go figure Cross culturalism Auld‟s Cove NS Tim Horton‟s in Petro Canada station group ageing men bullshitting drinking coffee like my father‟s/brother‟s morning ritual shock my age now gathering would take ton of airline tickets Tim Horton‟s Cheticamp group bullshitting French Albuquerque Spanish-English McDonald‟s Cape Breton 2nd language shifts French-Gaelic back again at Cheticamp St Ann‟s College teaches Gaelic piping Scot stuff gift shop coffee mug your coat of arms (E‟s Maxwell mine Murray) only $25 tax included only fake Scot pays that much most real Scots Cape Breton took look said get fuck out built ship New Zealand sign first landing Portuguese? E wading below ankles to say she did it cold
Cabot Trail sign Folk Art Ahead thanks for warning like elk/moose/etc. steered E pewter not bad other stuff just sad otherwise nothing funny Cape Breton gorgeous views few people no Tim Horton‟s Point HawkesburyCheticamp What to do Cheticamp Friday night Julia‟s Frenchy‟s discount store Dollar Store restaurant live music mournful like Annapolis Royal sans Frenchy‟s etc. St.Ninian‟s Antigonish 1 altar unique name like ninny‟s tomb Midsummer Night’s Dream Vacation Bible School sign “Surfin‟ with the Holy Spirit” His own blog facebook beyond shoving Bibles in motel drawers Tidal Bore Truro NS unlike expected Cecil B. DeMille flooding Red Sea tsunami—2-3 foot wave keeps on coming odder phenomenon Mormon bikers m/f hearty wind-burned blonde you‟re from Arizona? LDS? E great restraint says simply no idea for book series Hardy Boys etc. Mormon Bikers at the Tidal Bore Tom Swift and Mormon Bikers at the Tidal Bore Tarzan etc. Terminator XXV: Mormon Bikers…E says shut up Truro Saturday night even Mormons think dead bacchanalian compared to Sunday death warmed over few fast food places large supermarkets in/near larger towns breakfast dean theology Acadia University come to give sermons Presbyterian churches definitely not Southern Baptist tho‟ some of his best friends…. 12
Nova Scotia history disaster on disaster SS Atlantic sinks 1873 Titanic dead/ survivors brought to Halifax 1919 explosion Halifax Harbor 1918 Springhill mine disasters 1891 1956 1958 Swissair Flight 111 crash 1998 state-of-art century Citadel Halifax no shot in anger 200 years counting Citadel pc Asian piper female guardsperson in pseudo-Scots pseudoregiment non-pc question does female dress like real member Highland Regiment Halifax Harbor no seagull in sight where do they go like Holden Caulfield‟s ducks probably doing ok by themselves ducks migrated penned for winter keeper had to shovel duck shit no Salinger/Holden awareness screw „em sign “Cerrado por limpieza” feels like home in Arizona $250 fine for feeding ducks Public Garden maybe keep them slim enough to migrate pity terribly destructive force and costly Natural History Museum fossil imprint horseshoe crabs mating crustacean porn attendant feeding live white mice to bullfrogs audience enthralled children mother a lot of explaining to do tonight osprey nest gone global duct tape McDonald‟s ketchup container Peggy‟s Cove rarest photo lighthouse no tourist in front stupid tourist signs WARNING / INJURY AND DEATH / HAVE REWARDED CARELESS / SIGHT-SEERS HERE /THE OCEAN AND ROCKS ARE TREACHEROUS / SAVOUR THE SEA FROM A DISTANCE new WARNING / Stay away from the water‟s edge /Avoid wet or dark coloured rocks /Stay far back during high winds / and rough seas Darwn award awaits 13
Previous visit previous lover skipped souvenier needed toilet skeptical public one previous experience Mexico here new mantra it‟s so clean Sadly missing sign north of Peggy‟s Cove Pussy Pause Motel truth in advertising with a twist leave cat there other former lover wondered if owners hip/naïve if latter shouldn‟t someone explain where to start? All this familiar half-dozen trips or more to Maritimes 1981-1996 solo sometimes children lovers siblings familiar/strange life that once I led lead me on Cape Cod/ Nova Scotia beaches/ actual view of water congestion/iffy roads quaint/ picturesque commercial chains/ small businesses (except Tim Hortons Wal-Mart/ McDonalds miscegenation) Saint John Reversing Falls v. Tidal Bore first more commercialized overlooks from higher inboard/jet boats through falls kayakers more bird life feeding off turbulence Saint John River to Bay of Fundy/back Saint John paper praises romantic qualities fog cf. Catch-22 again proud of what you ought to be ashamed of source of great headlines Moose Shot in South End Plane Crash Caused by Low Altitude
E ideal tourist why can’t I see everything well here‟s Loyalist House oh would have been good vandal ravaging gift shops credit card v. fire/sword August 4 New Brunswick Day Emancipation Day where I come from ball game Afro kids‟ team took our shortstop deintegrated us do Blacks still gather moved on Rothesay NB-Cambridge Narrows 50 miles 2.5 hours hopping 5 ferries along Saint John River few inhabitants gorgeous scenery River Inn Evandale for sale had best gingerbread since our housekeeper in late 40s took my brother there agreed
Gagetown NB like Arrow Rock MO important transit points river traffic first stop Santa Fe Trail both superseded white houses lots too large many empty only commerce caters tourists more crafts Gagetown more ice cream/notions/dulcimer players Arrow Rock both hanging with vestigial nostalgia better food Gagetown b&b owner says first Americans this season artist co-op clerk was waitress in strip club unregulated area “Where they knew what stripping meant” why Gagetown why not
Fredericton NB capital a few blocks picturesque great hotel room great view of river cheap helpful clerk information center tourism down museum ok founded Beaverbrook big contribution model Lord Copper Evelyn Waugh‟s Scoop shopping even E discouraged onward and up Saint John English restraint French élan History, well told Une histoire épique for King‟s Landing historical reconstruction of village/farm life yawn Grand Falls and so on and on measured relative Niagara Falls fudging altitude water volume whatever it takes Legend of Malabum Indian girl led captor Mohawks over falls to doom spirit appears tropism of Indian maidens falling from high places Tucumcari NM who knows where else what about matrons sluts other nonvirgins Maritime churches Protestant tidy white wood French stone Fredericton new Catholic church built in ruthless absence good taste (Evelyn Waugh) goodness how sad
Quebec license plates “Je me souviens” E asks translation “I remember… to hate the English” Quebec really foreign only native Anglophones in Rimouski hotel infrastructure schools etc. familiar what alternative whale watch St. Lawrence more watchers than whales 25+ Zodiacs larger boats humpback 30 feet from boat flipping tail crew delighted nice Danish pharmacologist/wife Ferry across to Forestville no sheep but camper and roof rack won‟t fit no whales lunch French fries and gravy à la “Diner” Baltimore Catholic thing? E says older men look better than older women peculiar set mouth/jaw disappointment unresigned younger other way around (same observation in Montana restaurant year later question of class? urban/rural?) Little one-street towns squeezed between river bank forest b&bs rental cottages nothing obvious for people to do too cold for swimmng—4 to 8 C (39 to 46 F) no real beaches. Maybe just sit Baie St. Paul gorgeous full of tourists unseeable
Basilica St. Anne de Beaupre not as cool as Santiago de Compostella with botafumiero huge censer swings from ceiling across apse occasionally breaks loose museum here dioramas on girlhood of Virgin cobbled from Protogospel of James Gospel of PseudoMatthew inquiring minds want to know pious frauds oblige explaining ecclesiastical hardware E with minimal cringe-factor French spell my language as badly as I pronounce theirs “precluded” translation of “preludé” note about fishing for “ell‟ pamphlet “Why Chose Marriage?” why indeed Basilica crowded ex-votos not as funky as Santuario at Chimayo NM where rubber limbs from dolls hang up sermon French Superman kryptonite superhumanité woman in Harley pullover jeans kneeling by St. Anne group of bikers not Hell‟s Angels in line at separate kiosk await serial blessing old priest patron carpal tunnel coin machine in toilet no condoms perfumes Tylenol gum Redemptorist fathers run it intersection my parents married rectory Redemptorist parish Kansas City 3 more waterfalls in Quebec City area overpriced admission
Quebec City first there 1981 beginning trip changed my life best dinner so far in Aux Ancien Canadiens able to joke about failed marriage back 2008 lunch waiter wasn‟t born in 1981 other restaurant waiter flirts with E she signs charge slip behind her he mimics signing eyebrows raised says to me you‟re very lucky very good I say mojo working don‟t say Everything new to someone polar bear aquarium playing ecstatically with stick where would he have seen one before? Museum of Civilization exhibit new towns Sun City and Arconsanti in AZ we‟re cutting edge prediction of “Quebec in 100 years…meeting places will form randomly and spontaneously, at a street corner, crossroads or square, which instantly become modes of human interaction” pretty to think so if it were the least intelligible biggest crowds roof garden, squash, beans, cabbage, peas, artichokes, lettuce, basil, thyme no sage parsley rosemary urbanites don‟t miss Necrology Isaac Hayes wish he‟d been buried in gold Cadillac I want to ride in Lee Young Lester‟s brother d. 94 sober productive quietly distinguished career don‟t help whitey kill you (Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker, “Bird”) Medical reports: bladder cancer Pennsylvania, staph infection Missouri, projectile vomiting Seattle, tremors New Hampshire, liver transplant problems Arizona, heart attack New Mexico, pacemaker installed Tennessee, depression New Brunswick, possibly thyroid cancer Oklahoma, possible multiple sclerosis Arizona…. 19
Life goes on…non Serbiam trip to Serbia scrubbed to care for grandson while parents go China adopt daughter ex can‟t come up to me E stepping up beyond call confusion and joy at once Ten reasons to prefer Quebec City to Halifax: 10. Old Quebec walking city real character. 9. Suburbs hidden. 8. More and better restaurants, seafood excepted. 7. Things actually happened here besides disasters. 6. When you become annoyed with locals, delight in the triumph of perfidious English 1759 attacking wrong direction. 5. Music livelier than lugubrious Maritime howling. 4. Much better museums. 3. Tune out random conversations not knowing French 2. Really foreign country; Nova Scotia like America seen with squint. 1. More—and better—cleavage
Back in English: McDonalds box for Angus burger “Make it Beef” compared to Big Mac apparently they did First prepay gas pumps just before Quebec-Ontario border Maritime clerks amused at offers to prepay more evidence that it‟s like the US in the 1950s Customs Port Huron long line cursory examination after agent had me open SUV hatch gave up considering luggage miscellaneous crap there we could have unloaded in 10 minutes having had lots of practice First night in US compensated horrible last night in Canada (rampaging young teen lacrosse team) friendly clerks plenty space good breakfast obligatory waffle iron cheerful blond toddler delighted with world steak house next door excellent though one version drowned in bleu cheese hanging offense Southwest E asked if mushrooms fresh yes I knew better as did she quite soon American men louder than Canadians any ethnicity mostly working age rather than families/retirees we‟d grown used to back in real world USA
Maine license plate on semi tractor: “Semipermanent” maybe “Semi Permanent” more fun first way Claim to fame Illinois 90th degree of longitude “1/4 way around the world” like claim elsewhere to be halfway between equator and north pole not unique distinction be proud of something makes no difference Politics is local: “Save Pontiac Prison” Pittsfield IL Christian Broadcasting Network on the TV woman reading newspaper Herald-Whig sounds like legacy but younger than I am last use of Whig in America? Boonville again my brother arranging for his son service my car loan me one “You did fix the brakes on that didn‟t you?” clearly I‟m home sister and husband on 2-week motorcycle trip despite incomplete recovery in spite of herself from staph-caused abscesses odd she‟s that stubborn I say considering my brother‟s and my malleable natures eyerolling given run of house key in usual place brother-in-law‟s bathroom has cloth strip bearing long disquisition on conduct life beginning “go placidly” superfluous his case at least compared to us in sister‟s bathroom would lead to snorting 22
Death a family industry—brother‟s funeral home has two services today another nephew selling monuments so fast he has to take on staff Monday dinner problem locally owned restaurants closed Chinese always open dubious about mid-Missouri Mexican (Southwest snobbery) real Mexicans and E‟s $3.50 margarita cheapest/best in weeks wanted take-out good Italian restaurant it and Mexicans have outdoor dining unprecedented 87 Diner downhome has croissants for sandwiches hypertrophied humongous still croissants as well as chicken fried steak for breakfast consoling locals Dinner grocery store tabs convince her we could live cheaply here maybe if we meaning she were not more frugal we might have to move here oh Man wanting to preserve old Katy railroad bridge across the Missouri River argues it will become tourist draw like Rushmore Cooper County crops must have become really diversified roll your own Breakfast with brother truck stop I-70 exit smoking section full 90% male brother well-known called “Mr. Davis” by waitress unironic did that start when he became a funeral director and began wearing white shirts I call him pillar of community sandstone not granite he says still pretty quick
Cars and trucks stacking up at my nephew‟s muffler shop assistant Black man rents from my brother half of duplex our family lived in 1944-1946 provided barbecue family reunion from trailer pulled behind his truck billowing smoke people following the smell like Pied Piper Sister-in-law: you two still speaking? yes tone varies always settles down so far Back in Oklahoma TV news people unchanged 6 years look older generally tireder rain all the way from Missouri water standing in the fields First traffic Sun Lakes return fire truck emergency vehicle making run local street one of few places when you see fire truck in front of house hope it‟s on fire
What we bought: Me: 2 shortsleeved shirts at a truck stop 4 t-shirts: Stax, Boonville Heritage Days, 2 at another truck stop 2 key-chains for kids 1 pocket tool kit with clippers, knife, file to replace those lost at various security checks x number of postcards—under a dozen 2 small notebooks in case I used up the ones I brought (didn‟t) backup otc meds She: 3 pair shoes (maybe) numerous magnets (except Nantucket—screw Nantucket) blouses pillow to replace one left in New Hampshire 2 pr. reading glasses to replace 1 pr. lost, another broken jellies/jams from B&B owner in Gagetown 18 bottles Canadian beer God knows what else—small packages filled every available interstice Touchdown debriefing: sorting luggage, loose packages, unpacking, storing, collecting/ sorting mail, backed-up New Yorkers—bathroom reading for months unfamiliarity of familiar First reader sees pathos we don‟t need no stinking
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