I’m in my office, listening to Red Sovine and doing a bit of prep for the week (I’m showing a video to my History of the English Language class tomorrow, but sssshhhh! It’s a surprise!), but thought I might check in.
This morning, I took Mrs. M’s car to WalMart for an oil change. The young man was gathering my information, and when he was getting the mileage, he noticed Mrs. M’s name badge hanging from the rearview mirror.
“Is that your wife?” he asked.
“She was my first-grade teacher!”
He thought for a moment. “Fifteen years ago.”
“Well, we’ve been here for seventeen. What’s your name?” He told me, and I told him I’d pass his regards to Mrs. M. When I got established in the waiting room (today’s movie was Avengers: Endgame, and I got to see the climax, and part of the denouement.), I texted Mrs. M, and within a few minutes, she had sent back pictures of the young man from the elementary school’s yearbook, along with the traditional group picture.
After the work was done and I had paid the cashier, I exited through the garage area and called to the young man. “Got something to show you,” I said, and showed him the pictures from my phone.
“That was me?” he said. I confirmed it, and he got his phone out and took pictures of the pictures on my phone. But he had to get back to work, and I needed to get home for lunch, so we parted. But it was a nice reminder that Mrs. M has made a difference down here, and a suggestion that I may have as well.
I gave blood yesterday afternoon, and as usual, it was good to feel like I was doing something helpful. But I was taken aback when I noticed that one of the phlebotomists was a near-ringer for my brother. I donated my pint, but I’ll apologize in advance to the recipient — it may be a bit chilled.
This week’s reading included The Shield of Time, Poul Anderson’s final novel in his Time Patrol series. In a way, the series is an expansion of Orwell’s “Who controls the past controls the future,” as members of the Patrol work to maintain history and preserve the present, despite the occasional efforts of groups who desire otherwise, or against random fluctuations in the space-time continuum. Shield was published in 1990, but somehow felt older than that as I read it. That may be because Anderson began working in the 1940s, and was utterly settled into his style by the time he wrote this book. (Of course, with seven Hugos and three Nebulas (Nebulae?) to his credit, clearly he wasn’t the only one who liked his style.) But it seems somehow to read older than, say, Eric Frank Russell’s Wasp (1957), despite Russell’s novel’s seniority. Still, it was a nicely episodic series of ripping yarns, and a pleasant read on its own terms. And what’s wrong with that?
And speaking of reading, I’d like once again to remind everyone of Newberry’s inaugural Noir at the Bar reading, on Thursday, 10 October, at Bar Figaro on Main Street. Mr. Block is the headliner, of course, but there are going to be numerous other terrific writers reading their work, and you might want to bring a little cash with you, because I’d be willing to bet you could buy a book or two.
I heard today’s musical selection today as I drove to WalMart, and I nearly wrecked the car because I was giggling so hard. It’s a song you almost certainly know, but unless you noticed it in the background of Goodfellas, you probably don’t know this version. From 1963, here are New York City’s Vito and the Salutations, with their manic rendition of. . . oh, you’ll see.
See you soon!