Could it have been only Monday of this week we spent one afternoon and the next morning with friends from College? They had been to Goose Creek once before. I found the picture of them sitting on the front porch, June 2000.
We were barely moved in then, Nate was nearing home in his 1000 mile walk from Bar Harbor. Buster was underfoot, not quite full grown. I hadn’t any inkling then of writing anything but checks. They found both books at Mabry Mill coming up, not knowing. We’ve not kept up very well, nobody’s fault.
John and I were in the same class in grad school in 1970, we couldn’t quite remember which: maybe Vert Zoo II. I’d missed lunch and had no money. I only knew John because we’d chatted some on a recent field trip. I learned he, too, was an old married man, and lived like we did in student housing.
I was bold enough to ask to borrow a dollar to buy something to eat. He had exactly one dollar. I swore I’d get it back to him right away. That evening, we called to ask if we could come over with “The Dollar” and they sat on their stoop, waiting for it. No small deal back then.
I’d forgotten, but John said he’d never forget. We’d gone out on a research field trip for John’s PhD thesis, collecting some particular mussel from some obscure branch of a creek I’d never heard of. John tossed out an empty sardine can–a method of trash disposal he confessed he learned from his father. In the course of conversation at that creekside spot, I walked over, picked up the sardine can, and without saying anything, handed it back to him. He got the message. And apparently, he never forgot it.
We talked about how important it is to teach by example; how one influence in what is obviously the right direction is sometimes all it takes to change behaviors and habits for the good. And we talked and talked and talked. One of the better unplanned pleasures in a long, long while.