Monday, February 9, 2009

December 13, Saturday morning -- Reading Walter Lord

A local to the islands who told me, in response to my (hopefully) noninvasive "are you from here?" line of questioning, that, though he now abashedly has "luau feet," he went barefoot through the fourth grade
Reading A Night to Remember, by Walter Lord, about the sinking of the Titanic. He said that, when he takes the ferry home later today, he'll have to read with the cover of the book down.

He'd never read anything about the Titanic and figured it was time, as he spent several years working as a waiter on the SS Constitution and SS Independence cruise ships. He loved his job and always got the butterflies before the new guests would come on board. The floor plan of one of these ships (I can't remember which one) made finding the dining room difficult, which resulted in currents of unease. On an island that a ship is, the evolution of discontent can be charted. Waiters suffer from architecture.

He usually reads books about the history of flight. He is a student private pilot. Once, within the span of about thirty minutes, he got to see the sun rise twice and set once, and in the east. When you're a pilot, he said, you get to see things in different ways, and then explain them to your mother! (It took me two tries to understand the sun rising and setting scenario. It helps to put your hands side by side, call one the sun and the other the plane and then mime the sun rising and then the plane taking off and landing.)

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