Letter from a Vagabond 07 12 2018 Remembering Pearl Harbor and other things…



It’s December 7th and it is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a day “that will live in infamy” according to President Franklin Roosevelt who guided the U.S. through the Second World War only to succumb to heart failure as victory was within sight.

The course of history changed; we benefited from the sacrifices of “the greatest generation,” a new world order was established.  As I still keep up the Facebook Page for Edgartown Books, I reminded folks of what today was and where to find history books in the store.

At the moment, I am training north to Hudson, spending the night at the Keene Farm, and heading over tomorrow to catch a ferry from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard where I will be until Christmas Eve, helping people with their Christmas book shopping.  I can’t think of a nicer way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Last Saturday, I went to Baltimore to pick up a few things I needed for the Vineyard, spent a few days with Lionel and Pierre, then up to New York for a Board dinner last night, breakfast this morning with my dear friend Mary Clare Eros, then lunch with my friend Gary Koven, always a nice thing, though I will be adding his father to my prayer list as he is recovering from back surgery and his dad is not having an easy time of it.

Not living in the city anymore, I have forgotten how miserable the traffic is this time of year as streets become overcrowded and roads are blocked for holiday events.  Journeys double in length of time, due to traffic.  As lovely as the city is, I am glad not to have to deal with the crowds.

It will be interesting to see the Vineyard in the winter, with its dramatically smaller population.  On Christmas Eve, I will drive to my “nephew” Kevin Malone’s Boston area home, where he and his wife, Michelle, live while she is finishing Harvard Law.

Since my last letter, I haven’t written, distracted and a little tired, for no good reason I can ascertain.  My British stomach ailment pops up now and again, which is inconvenient but nothing more.

It feels a bit surreal we have arrived at Advent and the Hanukkah candles are being lit.  Can the year really have gone this quickly?  Yesterday, my friend Rita Mullin and I went to the Morgan Library and took in the Frankenstein exhibit [quite a delight].  I made a comment that in museums, time moves more slowly.  Perhaps that is why Christmas is catching me by surprise, during my European trip time moved slowly and then sped up once I returned.  I feel “discombobulated.”

While in Baltimore, Pierre and I put up my white Christmas tree and decorated it with bulbs and ornaments harvested from Target, whose “Wondershop” looked like a wildly plucked field, plowed over at the end.  There were only three strands of white wired lights in the store and I guarded them closely before checkout.

Last year, I started buying Christmas presents in January and this year I have bought none.  Instead, I will make a donation in the name of family and friends to a charity doing some good work in the world.

This year has been an interesting year and I am changed by it and will be assimilating the changes until the last bell has been rung for me.  Not so long ago, it seemed I was at adventure’s end and now feel like it’s another chapter of adventures beginning.  And that is a good feeling.

The world around us is mad; let us give sanity to each other in this Holiday Season.


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