Thursday, July 9, 2009


"Wayne, you've got to get out more," I told myself during layover at the Seattle airport, then told myself again at LAX. And again at National Airport where Larry picked me up. There are actually way more attractive people in the world than live in my hometown. Reston Town Center is a long ways from The Wal-Mart in Cottage Grove, Oregon. ("Shopping choice of large people," my friend, Al, has branded it.)

So of course I had to call Ben to share my epiphany. Ben, my friend from Lansing, is an indefatigable pursuer of younger women. They love him, at least for a while. A very few break his heart. He is eclectic and dashing, a graphic designer by profession -- the best I've ever known.

I told him I had found his theme song on the trip: "Sulfur to Sugarcane" by Elvis Costello. "Get the CD. You'll thank me later," I told him.
"...if you take all the sugar you'll end up in the sulfur
And you'll burn in...
'Hello, baby I'm a pleased to meet you'
'I wouldn't do you wrong honey'
'I wouldn't cheat you honey'
'When can I see you again?'
'Wrap you up in cellophane.'"
And Costello's salute to Michigan:
"The women in Poughkeepsie
Take their clothes off when they're tipsy
But I hear in Ypsilanti
They don't wear any panties."
Ben and I marvel that he and I are about the only ones among mutual friends our age who haven't been hit with cancer or some other health calamity. Ben had many years of hard smoking and hard drinking, thankfully leaving that behind decades ago.

"Alcohol was too big a price.
That's why I just said, hey, no dice." - Van Morrison
So why Craig? Everyone who knew Craig must have that same thought? He never did anything unhealthy. He ran marathons. And of course your next thought: Gee, if it can happen to Craig it can happen to anyone. Like me, for instance.

In the meantime I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed flying first class (thanks to frequent flier miles). Big, wide seats and lots of leg room. They wait on you and keep pouring nice wine. You get warmed up cashews in a little bowl instead of those tiny bags of pretzels. Hot wash cloths. Pretty good food for a kitchen at 30,000 feet. And during layovers you can relax in airlines' VIP rooms (the "Alaska Airlines Board Room," as it's called in Seattle).

Best, however, was the view on the trip east. Up the Cascades from Eugene to Seattle. Down the Cascades and Central Valley, then a circle over L.A. and the ocean to LAX. Then cross-country to DC, ending with that stunning picture of Washington, DC, at night as you roar up the Potomac River to land. And right there. And there. I fished all those spots. Pohick Bay. The Spoils. The bridges. Gravelly Point. The Kennedy Center.

This trip, however, wasn't about fishing.

Next: "The Reception"

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1 comment:

  1. A matter of clarification--I enjoy, appreciate and admire woman of all ages. The simple fact is, when you are my (our) age most things that we pursue, are "younger". Antiques, vintage cars and old vine is "younger". In our lifetime we have seen, first hand, over 25% of this countries Presidents and the very inception of the computer age. To find or pursue things that are not "younger" is getting exceedingly more difficult, by nature...