Posts Tagged ‘Roma Sub Rosa’

Letter From Martha’s Vineyard 08 18 15 A good day, a good sail…

August 19, 2015

As I begin this, I am sitting in Terminal 5 at JFK, waiting for the short flight from here to Martha’s Vineyard. In front of me, I am facing an iPad, from which I have just ordered a latte and on which I can check the status of my flight, though that shouldn’t be necessary as I am right at the gate. I am surrounded by people of a myriad of backgrounds and speaking a variety of languages.

Terminal 5, which services Jet Blue, feels a little bit out of a science fiction film; we could all be waiting for flights to the stars. But we’re not, we’re waiting to go to domestic and international destinations, people laughing and enjoying, caught in the pleasure of departure and arrival.

A kind young man delivered me my latte and then circled back to make sure all was well with it.

I am continuing my binge reading of the “Roma Sub Rosa” series by Steven Saylor, up to number eight or nine now, I think, out of twelve. I downloaded two more last night to tide me over, coming and going from the Vineyard as well as reading time on the island.

Perusing the New York Times this morning, it now appears that Donald Trump has a commanding lead among Republicans. Ad Age yesterday had an article that stated Trump was JUST what television needed; his polarizing personality will revitalize viewing and boost ratings. He has boasted that he is “a TV ratings magnet.” And it is apparently too true…

As I finished typing the above sentence, they called my flight and I am now on the Vineyard, having just returned from a two-hour sail and having showered to get all the salt water off me.

The wind was good; we made twenty knots at one point and were thoroughly doused at more than one point. It was great fun.

A humanoid robot went for a walk through the woods today. I hope there were warnings out that he was coming. He looked a bit frightening to anyone just stumbling upon him.

22 were killed and 120, at least, injured in a bombing in Bangkok at a Hindu shrine. CCTV footage has police looking for a man in a yellow T-shirt and black-rimmed glasses. One minute he has a backpack; the next he doesn’t.

The world is tripping on, violent as ever. There are lots of trials going on of police officers all over the country for homicide, something like five of them right now.

Greece is stumbling through two crises. One is their financial one and the other is the flood of immigrants striving to make it to the island of Kos from Turkey. It has been overwhelming resources in that already battered country.

Out the window is Edgartown Harbor. The sun is beginning to set and I must leave you tonight to go meet my friends and see what dinner plans we have. Or take a book and read. It’s been a lovely day for me; may it have been for you too.

Letter from Claverack 08 06 15 Thoughts while watching the creek…

August 7, 2015

It is still light in Claverack; the sky is now pearl grey. The creek is mirror still and there are birds chirping all around me. This morning, while on a conference call, an elegant bird that looked much like a pelican swooped low over the creek and then stood across from me in the water, standing proud on tall spindly legs. This afternoon, returning from the post office, a doe and her fawn crossed the road as I negotiated the curve. I’ve seen few deer of late so this was a particular pleasure.

The packing for my long weekend on Martha’s Vineyard is near completed. In the morning I will throw in my toiletries and be on my way. Depending on my mood, I may go into Hudson and breakfast at Relish, where I lunched today while reading my book.

My binge viewing has declined. My binge reading has increased. I am now in book four of Stephen Saylor’s series, “Roma Sub Rosa.” My Kindle will go with me to the Vineyard. There are twelve books in the series. I wonder if I will read them all?

I suspect so. I am enjoying the characters.

It has been another mostly perfect day in the country. The temperature was moderate and most of the day the sun shone down pleasantly. Up early, I sat in my bathrobe on the deck and sipped my coffee and read the Daily Briefing from the New York Times.

I am sure that Fox News will get staggering ratings tonight for the first Republican Debate, starring Donald Trump who reportedly has not prepared for it. He is what he is and will say what he will say. I am curious of course but I have cut the cord and have no cable.

It is also Jon Stewart’s last night as host of “The Daily Show.”   I really would like to see that but alas, I won’t and suspect I will be asleep before he takes his bows. It will be the talk of tomorrow.

The markets had a bruising day today, driven by a media stock meltdown. Disney issued a guidance, Viacom was off as their networks are not doing so well and so there was a little bit of panic about all old media stocks while Netflix rose another 2+ percent.

Media decline is still more perception than reality. However, the great change is coming and the landscape I grew up with is being irreversibly transformed. I was a bright young man when I opened the West Coast office for A&E and that was the beginning of the gnawing on the bones of broadcast networks. Now cable is feeling the bite.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. A child at the time it was enacted I really didn’t understand the significance. But I do remember a phrase from my childhood. You could do anything you wanted as long as you were “free, white and twenty-one.” I have been thinking about that phrase lately and realizing that it was an expression of deeply rooted racial discrimination.

And there STILL seems to be a determination in this country to disenfranchise people from voting, by any means possible. Our racial record is really disturbing to me.

My sister once reported to my mother that I had called a man a “nigger.” I had not. My sister didn’t like me much and did her best to get me in trouble. My mother washed my mouth out with soap. I still remember it.

Sometime later, my brother wanted to bring home a friend from medical school who was black and my mother forbade it. She and I had a confrontation about it. She acknowledged she had prejudices with which she had grown up and could not shake but did not want us to have them.

Race relations in this country are, at best, fraught. It’s that pesky legacy of slavery.

Across the creek are the sounds of wild animals. I think it is coyotes howling. My neighbors have seen them skulking in the field across from their house.

The sky is still pearl grey. It is closing in on 8:00 PM. I am happy and grateful I am able to write this while on my deck. Tomorrow I will be on the Vineyard.