Mothers Day

The Way, Alexander Liberman, 1980

Anne was fêted today. Both boys called her and between the three of them, they talked so long, that it was mid-afternoon before we launched. We headed to the Laumeier Art Fair, where the rain had left muddy grounds, but had stopped by the time that we made it there. The sun even came out. Lots of nice art and some fun conversations too. We closed the fair, but the party wasn’t over then. We dined at Big Sky and had a lovely meal, before getting home for this late post.

Dr. Dave called first, while he was waiting in line for brunch. He had a number of medical recommendations for Anne’s “complaints”. He continues his Boston job search, hoping to get out of academia and earn the big bucks. Eventually, his table was called. Dan called next. The package that I had sent him had arrived. Normally, regular mail is delivered on Saturday and not Sunday, but in his Orthodox Jewish neighborhood it is reversed. The package included two newspapers that were from the day he was born, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York Times. They were both Sunday editions and were much thicker than today’s papers are. I think that Evelyn bought them and scribed his birth time, 3:16 PM. I discovered them in the basement and decided to pass them on.

PS – I’m getting my annual Mothers Day hit boost. Who knew that M is for the many things she gave me would be such an enduring hit? Certainly not Bubs.


REI Geese with Real Down

This is the front of the Saint Louis REI store, home to all of our outdoor needs. Now that we are well on our way to senior citizenhood, with regard to tent camping, we are well outside the normal demographic, by several standard deviations. In order to persist in this endeavor, we venerable campers require all available accoutrements not just to facilitate camping, but enough for glamping or glamor camping and REI has it all for us.

Most people our age have succumb to mobile homes, either an RV or a trailer. While our tent cannot compete in comfort with even the most basic of these alternatives, it does offer its own rewards. This is in addition to being able to tour America in our Prius and still get 50 MPG, with our much smaller footprint.

I’m thinking back to our first night of camping this year. It was also the first night of Cycle Zydeco. We had ridden in the rain and had arrived at la Place de Chauntecler or the last legal cockfighting arena in America. The grounds were muddy, from the day’s rain, but we found a concrete pad with awning to set the tent up on. Our Therm-a-Rest cots and mattresses cushioned our aging spines, quite nicely. We were at the far corner of the camping grounds and I could hear the frogs croak all night, in the neighboring swamp. There were four distinct species. Our enjoyment was only made fuller with a shot of schadenfreude, when we learned the following morning that Padre’s Cycle Inn, purveyors of pampered glamping, had set up their tents on a field of flooded fire ants.

We had Gyrotonics and while we were in Louisiana, our instructor Shannon had been in Colorado. She had gone to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we plan to camp next, but had been shutout of the park, after only one day, by a foot of snow. We are not going for a little while yet, but even the long range forecast doesn’t look that hospitable. We may need to revise our plans and get a motel. 



We enjoyed a relaxing Cinco de Mayo or for you Star Wars fans, Revenge of the Fifth. Our municipality held its annual art fair and we walked to it. Joann had her booth there and was hawking her hand dyed clothes. We first met her some thirty years ago, when she came to our house. She was working Parents-as-Teachers, an ahead of its time program that counseled new parents and evaluated their young children for learning disabilities. More recently she and Anne share substitute gigs. We talked for a long time.

On the way home we said hi to a neighbor working in her garden. This soon translated into a half-hour tour of her garden, which really was lovely. Her irises dominated the garden, but she also had plenty of other flowers.

Today is Anne’s birthday and she went to work. This morning’s post featured a picture of her “celebrating” her seventeenth birthday. She is not crying, but she isn’t smiling either. She was embarrassed by her braces. Not to worry though, because in less than a year from that shot, I would walk into her life. Right? 😉

La Fin

We made it! Almost mishap free too, but more on that later. Today was a much better day than yesterday. First off, we had the wind at our back, which always makes things easier. Second, the pavement was unexpectedly better than it has been. I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining. Anyway, these two reasons were more than enough to make it an enjoyable day’s ride.

The literal high point of the day was a visit to Jefferson Island. It was a home once, a long time ago, but is now a resort. It’s on Lake Peigneur, but is not really an island, at least when we saw it. It is built on a salt dome, giving it at least 20′ of elevation over the surrounding countryside, which in flood season would make it an island. Many of the newer homes that we saw today are two story affairs. The living quarters are on the second floor and the first floor is just concrete support structure. In 1980 a sinkhole drained Lake Peigneur, but it is quite pretty now.

Now about that mishap. It didn’t occur on the bike. We successfully biked Cycle Zydeco incident free. We had finished the ride. I had loaded the bikes onto the Prius and we were driving out of the parking lot, when I promptly drove the front of the car into a drainage ditch. I guess, I was still a little punch drunk from the ride. I couldn’t back it out. Anne couldn’t back it out either, even with me pushing. Fortunately, about twenty cyclists appeared then and with only a half a dozen pushing, it was easily extricated from the ditch. All for the low price of getting laughed out of Laugh-e-ette, as it is pronounced here.

Concours d’Elegance

1916 Dodge

Well, I might have been a bit braggadocious yesterday with my boasting about readiness for Cycle Zydeco. We’ll do fine on the first day, but the second…

Sunday, we did an easy ride over to Forest Park and viewed the Easter car show. We started on the upper Muny lot, with the original contest of elegance show. We quickly hooked up with Ron, who was showing his Ford Model T.

Ron is one of the original ‘ons as Dave use to called them, my bike buddies at the time. One of them would call, he would answer and my message would be that one of the ‘ons had called. Don and John were the two other legs of this triad. Dave coined their nickname. When I got home, I would always ask him if anyone had called? He invariably answered, “Oh, one of the ‘ons called.” He does much better now, as the then contemporary voice on our message machine.

Anyway, we had a good long chat. I promised to arrange a luncheon next month, with as many of the ‘ons who can attend. It was getting hot and we bade farewell to Ron for the present. We did a cursory tour of the upper lot, before heading downhill to the lower Muny lot or as Ron called it the junkyard. The lower lot is the home of the second car show, where modified cars are displayed. I find them interesting too. It was getting late by then and many of the cars had left or were leaving. We decided to also skate.

Ron’s 1930 A, the model that he learn to drive on, doesn’t bare any Dodge brothers marking, like the pictured 1916 Dodge emblem does. The wheel hubs of the Ford model T does though. In the early 1900s the Dodge brothers started out as subcontractors to Henry Ford, who they hated. He was a notorious anti-Semite and in order to get back at him they adopted a variation on the Jewish star as their logo, just to taunt him.