THE LOST JOURNAL!!! (written August 11)
I've struggled with how best to present the wonderful story of the return of the digital camera in my journal. I've decided to stay with a chronological approach, and that means you're going to have to wait for the "Epilogue", which should be on line by August 14, to find out just HOW it was returned.
I will only say at this point that the theme of the Good Samaritan, a theme unknown to me at this journey's start, was hammered home in almost mystical fashion, at its very conclusion.
I'm not drawing this out to try to increase readership, or to keep a secret from anyone. I really feel that if the story is presented to you in its chronological order, you will have a better chance of feeling the same impact it has had on me.
Thanks for your patience. I hope it's rewarded.
TODAY'S JOURNAL (WITH the pictures!!)
While home in July I promised my daughter Ruth that I wouldn't show any more pictures of roadkill for the remainder of the trip, and I have been true to my word.
But there are certain situations in life that call for the breaking of even so solemn a vow as a father makes to his daughter.
I bow, however, to good taste in only showing you a small part of this, the most gruesome road kill of the trip. You will have to take my word for the horror, the disgust, the shock, the pathos, when I came across the remains of...
If I had only known when I took this picture how appropriate "...if I only had a brain" would be by the end of the day...
... and the home of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) at his richest. His Hartford years were his peak earning years, and he had this beautiful brick home built to his own specifications, including the design of the back of the home to resemble the fantail of a Mississippi steamboat.
Clemens is perhaps the quintessential American author. If you've only read 'Tom Sawyer' or 'Huckleberry Finn', you are missing so much. He wrote hundreds of humorous essays and short stories.
Shortly after this home, his dream house, was built, the investments into which he had put most of his money all went south, and so did his fortune.
In his later years, his writing turned virulently cynical (I particularly enjoy his "Letter to the Gas Company"). He took on every piece of bureaucracy, be it political or religious, that angered him, and ripped them to pieces in his own inimitable way.
He died nearly broke, and bitter, going out with Halley's Comet, just as he had come in with it in its previous appearance. I love him.
I would have loved to have stayed around Hartford, but my visit was already getting to be longer than I wanted, and if I was going to get my "century" in today, I needed to get moving.
I stopped by the curb just east of downtown and was looking quizzically at my map, trying to figure out how to get over the Conncecticut River...
You know the rest of the story now, of course, but I can't begin to describe the sick feeling that came over me. I had misplaced the trust that Chris Balsano, our school librarian, had placed in me.
I did the usual. I looked everywhere. There were no office building doors nearby where some good samaritan might have left it.
Report it to the police? I was already another half hour behind schedule. That would have eaten another hour. (This was faulty reasoning. I should have reported it for insurance purposes, if for no other, but I was not thinking along those lines.)
And so I headed up to the Burger King a couple of blocks away to try to clear my head with a Whopper (In fact, I had been biking so hard all morning that I failed to either eat or drink properly, one of the first times on the trip I had done this. Did this make a difference?)
And that is where I met Dave (who left a message on the board under the name Buddha) and Abe Krisst (who also posted a message), who I talk about in the other August 6 journal. Thanks again, Abe. I sure wish I were able to show your picture. If you're reading this, any way you could email me a jpg of you on your bike? I'd love to put it in here.
There are obviously no pictures for the remainder of this day. (Imagine how many 'centuries' I would have cranked out it I hadn't been stopping to take pictures all day!!)
And the rest is now history.
Previous Day (8/6 Without Pictures) Next Day (8/7)