Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Monday, 22 October 2007


Sarasota, Florida

Tonight will make eleven days in the same place, a record.

We spend the time reading novels and playing tennis. I’ve been ordering a lot of books from since I can pick them up from our post office box during this interlude without paying for reshipping. The nearby Sarasota public library also has a great selection of surplus hard covers for a dollar or two.

We made a trip over to nearby Siesta Key. Strange, this is our first visit there. We never went there while we lived nearby. It’s a nice wide white sand beach, three miles long. The sun in mid-day does not agree with my complexion. We buy some new tennis togs at a store on the beach.

It seems to be more complex to be rid of the cancers on my face and arms. In the old days, the doctor would just cut, burn or freeze them off and that was it. Today I’m dealing with a couple of them that have already been the subject of three attempts extending back over a year. I go in for a consultation today and will still have to schedule an all-day surgery sometime in the near future.

We attended a Monte Carlo night charity function Saturday with some of my old students from the University of Tampa. It was good to see Mike and Argie, Steve and Jil, Joe and Mary and Charlie and Meg once more. They all miss the annual Gasparilla party at our house. Joe will be retiring in less than two years after 30 years on the police force. They all have children in college now and have all strangely morphed from being 20 to being 50. The view from the top of the new dormitory on the banks of the river was vibrant with the lights of the city.

I had the habit of taking polaroid shots of all my students back then and asking them questions for a 3x5 card so that I could address them by name by the second class meeting. Mrs. Phred was going though the pile of cards and pointed out that Mike and Steve were carpenters. They seemed to have a knack for showing up to work at dinnertime and were very helpful in shoring up the old home that we had purchased.I cooked them a lot of steaks, flavored on the grill with leaves from the orange tree.

Once I walked past the old dorm, on my way to teach a class, and a whiskey bottle flew out a fifth floor window and crashed at my feet. That's been torn down and replaced with the new building. Teddy Roosevelt and the general staff camped in this old hotel on the way to Cuba, San Juan hill and glory. They kept a 12 foot alligator in a pond here when I was a boy. In high school I came to the old library to write papers. I had an office in this minaret and worked here for ten years.

In the morning, we either turn south to the Keys or north to the Carolinas. It’s a hard choice, but the water temperature won’t stay perfect forever.

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