Raven and I talked about her friend Katherine Butler, now Katherine Butler (Jones). They attended Ethical Culture Fieldston together. She said they encountered a fair amount of unintentional racism, and some intentional. The teachers kept confusing Mrs. Butler and Aunt Anne. Aunt Anne called Mrs. Butler over and said to the teacher, “This is Mrs. Butler. I’m Mrs. Wilkinson. I’m Mrs. Wilkinson. This is Mrs. Butler.” Repetition may or may not have prevented a repeat of the error. Raven said she had a teacher from the South who deliberately called her “Katherine.” The woman stressed her southern roots and identified with a girl in the class who was from Kentucky.
I told Raven that I had been thrilled to find her mentioned Katherine’s book, Deeper Roots, which also has a reference to her father’s dental office.
As the time to depart approached, we caught High Class Limo and Car Service. It’s like a taxi, less icky than Uber, and it appeared in the promised five minutes. Only downside, credit card payments have to be arranged ahead of time. Raven instructed the driver to drop us on the Eighth Avenue side of Penn Station. That was my mistake in leaving the building. I had walked to the LIRR side.
We discovered the train was listed as 45 minutes late, so we chatted in the waiting area. I tried to Facetime with Anna, but we kept missing each other, probably something to do with the amount of metal and the demand on the Wi-Fi system from all those texting, gaming, video watching folks. Raven and I chatted some more about her memories of summers in Old Saybrook and about her brother’s family. I toyed with the idea of changing my ticket and staying another night, but I had a speech to make on Tuesday and needed to finish preparing.
The delay proved to be more than an hour, as it was 4:17 when we pulled out of the station. The train was crowded and the “quiet car” this time had two little kids, one of whom let out a scream somewhere near Bridgeport.
The guy sitting next to me looked like a college student who was either writing code, or designing a building on his laptop – maybe both except when he took a nap. I continued reading The Woman in White, which I will write about after I do another “What I’m Reading Now.”
Arrived Old Saybrook at 6:30, an hour late. Called Larry to say I’d be home in 45 mins. It turned into a hellacious hour and twenty-minute drive on unplowed roads, snow blowing into the windshield, and rotten visibility in the spots where the road goes by the river. On the positive side, there were not many cars on the road, and everyone was driving cautiously, in some cases too cautiously. I don’t understand why people insist on launching high beams when all they do is reflect the snow and fog.
Sooo glad to be home even if the deck looked like the above the next morning.
One terrific insight: It is possible to find quiet, unchaotic places to eat in midtown Manhattan. Ask a local.