Wednesday, June 7, 2017

the winner

and the winner is ... Soldier 

Seven o’clock whistle of lifelong fame, from the papermill. Several miles distance between the mill, which is clearly visible across StAndrewsBay from here, and out here on 7H porch. Traveling at 1,090 feet per second, how long does it take the seven o'clock whistle sound to get here. Or to get to Cove School, where Robert and I notice it every morning walk. Summer we’re walking by 0630, otherwise we start at 0700 just as the whistle blows. Robert has a Timex watch that has for years and does keep time perfect to the second, and marks the time when the whistle blows, in our history signaling time to get up, dress, quick breakfast, dart to school. Who wants prestige, wear a Rolex. Who wants perfect time, wear a Timex. I had a Rolex once, a gift that a friend brought me from Thailand, cost him $10 American. Went nicely with my used Cadillac. 

I love this day.

Wednesday, a beautiful day. 

For our breakfast, Linda is putting on a pot of Coarse Stone-Ground Grits from Bradley’s Country Store. I will grate the cheese for them. Grits are plural.

A rushing noise on the Bay: sound of cavitation as USNavy makes through the storm for another day of victory at sea. She’ll return before Happy Hour. Do I miss it? Hell alphabet no, but I love the memories. Would I do it again? Only the destroyer duty. Three years, out and home to the heaven that is StAndrewsBay. Except that they lassoed me by promoting me, from below the promotion zone, from lt(jg) to lieutenant, which made me real and made me think they thought I was real. December 1960. Only other than the destroyer? Well, WashDC duty was nice. And MGoBlue. WarCollege. And that morning an Assistant Secretary of the Navy pinned a medal on me. You can pretty much stuff the rest of it. Except the WashDC duty and my view from my fifth floor corner office, my first captain's billet. Apparently I can be flattered into any alphabet thing. 

Today after grits. Mental struggle between Soldier and what to say to The Faithful and Saved Remnant on Shell Island Sunday. 

There’s a line, I’m thinking of a line. From the seminary bookstore at LTSG, I still have a few of my books. One on Psalms, one on Isaiah, both of those the seminary dean recommended to me during a flattering personal tour he took me on through the bookstore one day in the early 1980s as other students looked on in wonder; when in retrospect I realized that he’d obviously noticed my car and my suit and intended to ask me to finance the purchase of a $25,000 ancient manuscript. And especially The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964, again what a loss), which from time to time, once every couple years or so, I pick up, flip to any page, and read. They are noir Southern, quite dark, distressingly so these days as I contemplate the certainties in which I grew up. In one of the short stories O’Connor has a line, a man, I think he may be a used car salesman, saying, “Any man with a good car don’t need salvation.” 

That’s where I am today. Anyone who lives at 7H don’t need salvation.


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