Sunday, August 26, 2012

How it all comes together

Yesterday was like one of those long ago days, back in 2005 or 2006, when P-Doug and I really just started our wanders. It was close to home and about exploring.

He picked me up about 2 and we headed over to Satay On the Road on Bayview Avenue. It has a good, inexpensive lunch menu. As usual I had the green chicken curry with rice. From there we wandered up the street a bit to an antique shop whose name I can never remember where he picked up a couple of framed prints and I bought an autobiography I'd seen the last time I was there, that of Melvin Belli, a well-known American lawyer whose varied career included defending Jack Ruby, having a guest starring role in an episode of ST:TNG [edit: oops, TOS, I meant to say], and being contacted by the serial killer Zodiac (and no, I don't mean that's how and why his career ended).

We then did the main the thrust of the day... a trail hike in south Scarborough, not too far from where he lives. We parked in pretty much the wrong spot and were puzzled not to be able to find the trail. He did find an ad hoc trail into the woods down a steep embankment, and as in years before, not slipping and breaking my neck on the way down was my excuse to take off my sandals, and thus to keep them off for most of the walk afterward. It seemed to be a new trail. The asphalt was smooth and not pitted under my feet. The bridge we came to that crossed Taylor-Massey Creek looked as though it had been in place for a year or less.

We made it about half way and turned around because there was a movie P-Doug hoped to see downtown. We called G, his wife, but she seemed to be still sleeping so we headed downtown on the subway from his neighbourhood. The movie we went to see was Easy Money (which I'm intending to write about later). By the time we got out, it was about 9, so we crossed Yonge Street and dined on burgers at Fran's. It was there, when we were on our way out, that P-Doug stopped me and directed my attention to the screens, which told the news that Neil Armstrong had passed away. I couldn't believe it. One of the few genuine heroes in my life was gone, and with him, an era that had defined my whole life so far, aside from the first year or so. It was a kind of sad ending to an otherwise bright, enjoyable day in Max's wake.


Bridgewater said...

On July 20, 1969, we sat outside with our neighbors in the light of a full moon. Someone had placed a TV on the sill of an open window so we could watch the Moon landing and see the Moon at the same time. We felt honored to be witness to that "one small step," conscious that we were present at the greatest moment in the history of mankind. I've been there for other historic events--the building of the Wall, the fall of the Wall, the lowering of the Soviet flag on Krasnaia ploshchad' and the raising of the Russian banner--and I took great pride in my active role in the election of Barack Obama--but on that July night we became truly aware that we were citizens not only of Earth, but of the Cosmos.

Speaking of which--behind Max in the photo you posted--isn't that Sagan's Cosmos, along with the Hansen biography of Armstrong?

barefoot hiker said...

Wow, good eyes. Yes, that's right, they are. That's the copy of Cosmos I bought in 1981 with my own money; the first "real" hardcover book I ever bought. That was around the time I was just getting interested in the manned space program (as opposed to the planets), and I remember being stunned to discover how few people had ever been to the moon, that none from the Soviet Union had gone, and that it was long over. I still can't believe I'm middle aged now and no one's been back.

The biography of Armstrong was a birthday present from a friend several years ago. What a strange coincidence it is that I should post that picture of Max, of all the ones I took, within just a day or so of the death of Neil Armstrong himself.

I wish I could remember the first moon landing. It's truly a curse to be old enough to have been there for it, but not old enough to have really "been there" for it.

Bridgewater said...

It's good to be old enough to have been there, but not yet so old I can't remember having been there. With luck I'll still be remembering stuff several decades from now; the curse for me is knowing I'm going to miss so many amazing events after that. Nope--not gonna be with Jesus in Heaven, watching it all from a cloud...