Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

May 6, 2017

EDDIE

... john picked me up for a little wanderabout in the rain, if for no other reason than by doing so we undid the adjective "dreary" from the day ... i was mystified that the bubbles kept appearing in the exact same spots, it took me quite a few seconds to realize that the wet tree branch above my head wasn't moving—what can i say, i'll bet even galileo spent a few moments staring through his telescope at the little specks of light surrounding jupiter before he exclaimed, "the bible shows the way to heaven, not the way the heavens go" ...

... castle island camps has been in operation since 1929 ... other'n the fact that it's now within range of a cellphone tower, things haven't really changed all that much ...

... the staff were preparing for the season ...

... weather not good for motorcyle riding, but, nevertheless, a most beautiful day ...

... a day filled with time meant for the most simple of things ... 

... a day in which we're reminded that in new england summer is earned ...

... this time of year, in maine, patience is the byword ...

... in rome john's head turned as we passed nickerson lane, and i said, "go ahead, let's see where it goes" ... always a delight to me, a road i've never driven ... we went by an older man who was trenching the rain water away from his driveway, then almost immediately turned around when we came to a "private drive" sign ... on the way back up the lane i motioned for john to pull over, and i rolled down my window ...

... eddie eckhart ... 91 years old ... "they made me in new brunswick, canada, but ma came over the border for me to be born" ... "i'm getting all new teeth next week" ... john finally turned off the car's engine as entranced we sat and listened to a most fascinating history ...

... i'd noticed something odd after first shaking hands with eddie, but it didn't really register ... later john told me that he'd seen that eddie had only three fingers on one of his hands ... in our conversation eddie said something to the effect that he'd injured his hand while ice fishing ... it was then i saw that he was missing a digit ...

... i took ahold of his hand, "well, it seems to me there's not a scar to be seen"

... eddie laughed, "oh, no, i was born with only three fingers on that hand" ...

... he'd told us about how in world war ii he was a flight engineer/mechanic on a giant martin "mariner" flying boat ... i was surprised, "but ... well, how did you get in the service with a missing finger" ...

... "had worked my way through part of the process before it was noticed ... clerk said to me, 'you can't be in the service, you should be classified 4F, physically unfit for duty'" ... eddie chuckled as he continued his story, "i grabbed him by his collars and lifted him up from his chair ... 'unfit ... !!! ... 4F ... does this seem like 4F ... you're going to take me or i'll go join the japanese army'" ...

... a different time, one in which a processing clerk knew an attitude like eddie's was the path to victory ... or, perhaps, that same clerk realized that stamping a few papers and yelling, "next," was a far easier way to earn his pay than to confront a man who was clearly a force to be reckoned with ... whatever the reason, eddie ended up serving ...

... photographic panic, for just a second, when i realized that from my car seat the 50mm lens on my camera was too long for a good portrait ... "take a deep breath," i reminded myself, "you know how to do this" ... as i leaned back into the seat eddie most graciously took a step backwards, "make sure to get the hat in the picture" ...

... in the driver's seat, equally boxed in, john somehow managed to get a great shot of the two of us ... offering up in advance to john any artistic apologies he might deserve, i took his raw image file and worked it up a bit ... nothing very complicated, for sure, just corrected a tiny bit of chubbiness in my cheeks that absolutely had to have been the result of lens distortion, then i styled the image as a sort of old-time snapshot ...


... for the little wanderabout, john, thank you, and, eddie, for much, much more than just your service, thank you very much ...