Here’s the bad rhyme part: Nothin’ could be finah than registering your vehicle on-linah. That’s a bad rhyme but renewing vehicle registrations on-line is good. Took A-E fewer than five minutes each and the new paperwork arrived via USPS three days later. Kudos to NYSDMV. A-E saves enough fuel, time and Flivver wear with a few keystrokes for multiple trips to the County Transfer Station and the village yard-waste dump. Yup, that’s another indication that A-E has a reservoir of tightwad Scot heritage.

A-E envies…

…Classmate Pat’s long-suffering wife, Susanne. Here’s why from Correspondent Pat: “Susanne recalled how maybe 20 years ago then-Jasper Central (before the merger) received a grant to bring people in important fields and to speak with kids about their careers and the importance of education. Astronaut Rich Clifford after the presentations went to dinner with some of the teachers, including Susanne, at the Coach Light Restaurant (later Rupert's and now closed). She was very impressed with him.” The astronaut, one of A-E’s all-time heroes, kept his Parkinson’s disease secret while he completed three shuttle missions and a six-hour space walk. A-E struggles to walk to Neighbor Bill’s, only half a dozen houses away.

More comments about aging from Correspondent Richard

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:

'And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?' the reporter asked.

She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.'

More literary A-E

Nobel laureate Seamus Heany died a few years ago. Many called him the best Irish poet since William Butler Yeats. Here‘s why: “Digging,” the first poem in his first collection, “The Death of a Naturalist,” described his father digging potatoes and his grandfather digging turf. The last lines seem a personal manifesto:

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap

Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge

Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.

Malos operarios

Of the maybe dozen Greater Jasper residents who have helped Frau and A-E attempt to transform the Hut into a dwelling, at least three have spent time in the hoosegow since seeking other labor. The sub-headline is Latin for “bad workers.”

A-E vengeance upon Classmate Pat

Classmate-Canadaphobe-correspondent Pat berated A-E for attempting in his truck to play Canadian Gordon Lightfoot’s tapes, hum O Canada and discuss hockey. The weather is warming and it’ll be A-E’s turn soon to drive…and select the musical accompaniment for the hours-long trip within a few months. A-E promises to play endlessly “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” plus sing “O Canada” and “Marie she was a chambermaid on a lumber barge on the Grand Lachine Canal” coming and going to any far-away site Classmate Richard selects.

If Pat’s Anglophobia doesn’t send him babbling to the rubber room after a few tone-deaf verses of A-E’s imitation of Gordon Lightfoot, A-E’ll bring a couple pounds of tripe to snack on with Music from Canada playing loudly in the background.

A-E remembers standing in a line during college registration with Classmate Pat during late August of 1957. For the record, that was 61 years ago. Sadly A-E moved too many times during those intervening decades to keep up with his classmates but Pat and Richard spotted the photo associated with A-E’s column and thankfully chased me to the Tribune City Room.

 

Al Bruce writes a weekly column for The Evening Tribune.