Well, the coronavirus finally hit close to home last week when one of our flyover institute students died. I had actually known this woman for over 30 years.
I was going to my class’s 10th reunion at Smith College. I had just found out that my mother was dying and I didn’t really want to go, but the plane ticket had been bought and arrangements made and everyone said go, so I went. I flew to Hartford, CT and planned to get on the Peter Pan bus to Springfield and then change to a bus to Northampton, as I had always done in college.
But when I arrived at Bradley International Airport, a well-dressed little lady came up to me and said, do you happen to be going to Smith College? I said, why, yes I am. She said, well, I’m going to my 30th reunion and I’m going to rent a car, but I don’t like to drive alone, so would you like to go with me?
I could have cried with relief. So Sally drove me to Northampton and we chatted amiably the whole way. I heard all about Charlie, her husband, and her three kids, her father who had been a professor at Yale, and so on. She was just the ticket for getting my mind off my troubles. I didn’t see Sally again until my first week at work in 2002 when she walked into my flyover institute and we re-introduced ourselves.
I never believed that chance meeting in the Hartford airport was a chance meeting at all. It was the unseen hand on my shoulder, the whisper from the wings assuring me that all would be well. Courage, dear heart.
Sally was 83 when she died and she had a happy life. Many people will miss her, me included.
Daughter #1 came home for 24 hours on Saturday and we had a lovely time working on our puzzle, listening to music, taking a walk, drinking a margarita, sitting on the patio, and watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a top-five favorite movie. The boy came over to borrow a tool and he sat outside with us in the sunshine for twenty minutes.
I read a lot of The Long Goodbye.
“There was a sad fellow over on a bar stool talking to the bartender, who was polishing a glass and listening with that plastic smile people wear when they are trying not to scream.”
It is pretty great but I will be ready for something else when I’m finished. It is too easy to fall into the slough of cynicism he describes so well. It is not a good time to be doing that.
I watched Robert Altman’s film version of the book and I hated it.
I despise it when someone makes a movie based on a book, but all they really use are the names of the characters and maybe one aspect of the plot. What is the point of that?Elliott Gould is not Philip Marlowe by any stretch of the imagination. Gould’s Marlowe is a complete schlub with a cat. Philip Marlowe doesn’t have a cat.
Well, chin up as we start week seven of our confinement. Onward and upward.