So I made serious progress on the project – working out a structure. I may have to tweak the whole business, but the foundation is laid and the building can begin. In the process I also finished reading John McPhee’s “The Forager,” about Euell Gibbons and their days of gathering wild stuff in the hills of Pennsylvania. It was actually more engaging than “Encounters with the Archdruid” about David Brower because Gibbons has a more vivid and less abrasive personality. There’s also an almost musical rhythm to the flow of gathering food, preparing it, and eating.
Ran into the nice man who helped me with the luggage cart. He asked how my hand was. I said fine and thanked him again, said I’d had surgery – he took a look and said, “Oh, dupytrens, I have that.” His is on his dominant hand but not nearly as bad as mine was. He said he was waiting to have the surgery because of a problem with his left hand. I said, “Don’t wait. Do it as soon as you can.” His wife gave me a look of gratitude and said, “I’ve been telling him that.” I saw her a couple of minutes later and said, “Keep encouraging him. If he balks, remind him of the woman you met in Syracuse.”
It is utterly bizarre that from never having heard of this ailment, in six months I’ve met or learned of seven people who have it.
Only two birthdays at the hotel restaurant and the added bonus of Pinky, an older black man who sang or played sax and accompanied himself on an electronic music machine. He did the best rendition of “Margaritaville” I’ve ever heard. Dinner was a flavorless penne à la vodka with three miserable shrimp.