Thursday, January 26, 2006

Time warp

I drove Mom down to Atlanta Tuesday-Wednesday so she could see one of her grandaughters' high school basketball games. Her dad/my brother has been trying to get her to come down all season, but she's not up for the drive herself. Atlanta... one of my less favorite environments to be immersed in. People and traffic and noise EVERYWHERE; my brain wanted to find a quiet place to escape. Driving driving driving. And lousy food that everyone else raves about. Ordered the CRAYfish salad (where do they call them thangs CRAYfish anyway except in zoology laboratories?), and the friggin' things arrived BREADED and FRIED! It could have been anything inside those lumps of fried bread. When did we start throwing breaded and fried food pieces in salads? Silly me, I should have asked, I just assumed they'd be steamed or broiled or sauteed and have flavor and texture, the way we used to cook 'em in South Carolina and the way they were cooking 'em in Louisiana right up until last August 29th. I'd never seen a chicken-fried CRAYfish... oy. This is an innovaton we can well do without.

I have had very little contact with the Old School since graduating 27 years ago. It was odd, to say the least, to find that so many of the main characters are still right there where I left them. Just a lot grayer. Getting together with my old math teacher for the first time in forever was really nice. He's a bigfoot of a fellow - 6'7", 'bout 300 pounds, long beard, broken teeth from street hockey, and recognized as an exceptional math teacher at a national level. Where else could I have gotten differential equations and linear algebra as a high school sophomore? He used to spend his summers in the Yukon; lately with some health issues he spends them in the US rockies. He gave me "some old bird books" that he had inherited from an Uncle: the three volume set of "Birds of Massachussetts and Other New England States" by Edward Howe Furbish, color plates of illustrations by Louis Agassiz Fuertes and Allan Brooks, published 1925-1929. It's one of those wonderful old State bird tomes, with pages of information about each species instead of just a short paragraph, and full naturalistic watercolor portraits of the birds in habitat by the most prominent bird artist of his generation.

As for the basketball... well the girls had an off night.


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