He might be onto something

Published 6:21 am Wednesday, January 6, 2010

“The beauty of life is nothing but this, that each should act in conformity with his nature and his business.” — Fray Luis de Lion

I accessed this from the book Mr. Maugham himself purchased from the Ninth House when it occupied space in and near the boardwalk.

The Ninth House had a certain charm to it then and later, when it moved to the boardwalk, it provided live music and poetry readings…something new for Austin, the poetry reading that is. However there is still music being played at The Bridge on the boardwalk.

Fray Luis de Lion is long gone now as is Mr. Maugham. The book was a collection of writings that demand more of me than I am capable of producing. In Maugham’s day, I’m sure there weren’t all the distractions that people face today, like talking on a cell phone or texting while driving. Coming back from transporting Skyler to Moorhead a woman had one of the longest phone calls I have witnessed with her cell phone. I suspect there were a number of wireless phone calls passing me by.

William McKenzie of the Dallas Morning News was noted in Monday’s Tribune from an interactive log saying, “For many Americans, the decade we just closed began on Sept. 11, 2001, not Jan. 1, 2000. And why not, given 9/11’s magnitude?”

He closes by saying “Going forward, the world’s greatest test is getting adherents to the three major Abrahamic faiths — Christianity, Judaism and Islam—living together in relative harmony, even as they try to understand each other.”

Closer to home Cousin Ed recently lost his brother. This was following the loss of his sister last summer. Yesterday Ed flew out to California where he would join up with Uncle Bill in Los Angeles and together they’re traveling in Uncle Bill’s car up the coast highway to Mike’s place to care for his estate.

Uncle Bill, at 95, was in Austin this summer staying with Cousin Ed and his family. He also attended the Plevka reunion at the Bohemian Hall something he rarely misses.  Uncle Bill grew up in Red Wing, then later moved to Austin to work at Gambles. He met Bessie Vilt on the tennis court and together they moved to Los Angeles.

I mentioned Uncle Bill before when “they” attempted to hospitalize me at a VA Hospital in Brentwood a second time. This time I refused the hospitalization after being transported there from another psychotic adventure in Riverside. My mind had lapsed into one of those times when you are in dire need of help, but you don’t recognize this.

After refusing placement, I was leaving the grounds with a cardboard box of my few belongings when I heard my name being called. It turns out it was Uncle Bill, who was then employed as a telephone service man for the VA Hospital having mastered the trade during WWII. He clarified this at cousin Ed’s place that he just happened to look out the window and saw me walking by. He called my name and then came running out. He had me wait while he went to get his car. And, as I have said before, in one these columns, that had he not spotted me I’d probably not be here today.

Anyway, the two of them are probably making their way up the coast highway to Santa Clara to settle Mike’s estate, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be with them.

Politically speaking I am still impressed with Obama, however I am disappointed with the lack of cooperation between the parties and also concerned that our own governor is “cozying up to Birchers” according to a letter of the day in Monday’s Star Tribune.  There, the writer points out that Pawlenty is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which is cosponsored by the John Birch Society. The letter writer tells us the John Birch Society “is off the deep end of the conspiratorial conservative spectrum of Republicanism.”

I guess you gotta do what you gotta do unfortunately. Bob Dylan had a line in one of his songs that tells us “the world’s gone wrong.” I think he might be on to something.