Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mexico City (Dec. 1985)

Keiran and Rodney at the Anthropology Museum

On top of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihaucan

In December, 1985, I traveled with my friend Kieran Prather to Mexico City. Kieran had been there before, I had not. I stayed only a few days, Kieran stayed longer.

It was three months after a severe earthquake had hit the city. There were many collapsed buildings and much re-construction work going on.

Kieran and I spent most days apart. I had to do the first-time visitor things, of course. I spent one day at Teotihuacan, one in and around the Zocalo, and most of another at the National Museum of Anthropology. We went to Coyoacán (I think!) for a holiday celebration and fireworks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Autographs - Luis Zapata

Luis Zapata's best known work is El vampiro de la colonia Roma (1979). The English translation (1981) is Adonis Garcia, A Picaresque Novel. I enjoyed it a lot.

My friend Kieran knew Zapata, and in December 1985, I went to Mexico City with him, and we stayed at Zapata's apartment in the Zona Rosa, while Luis stayed with his family for a few days.

Years later, I had Kieran get Zapata to inscribe a Spanish language copy of the book for Victor. I gave the book to Victor. He read it, then quickly lent it to an acquaintance, and it never came back. I was unhappy about losing an autographed book.

(Index of autographs)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A trick of memory

Walking in Debs Park with Princeton (last summer)

Sue, a childhood friend of Bruce Lemerise's, found my note about him and wrote to me Saturday afternoon. I replied early that evening, and she wrote me again Sunday afternoon.

After Bruce died, a friend and neighbor of his gave me some additional illustrations he had drawn. Now, for the second time in twenty years or so, I looked around for them unsuccessfully. I also looked for that neighbor's name. I thought her first name was Susan, but I couldn't be sure that I wasn't just being misled because this new correspondent was named Sue. I did find Bruce's address and phone number in an old phone directory of mine, but no mention of Susan.

Monday morning, I was walking in Debs Park with the neighbors' Great Dane, Princeton, as usual. After about 45 minutes, as we were headed back to his house, I had just glanced at my watch and noted that we were doing well on time, when an unusual three-syllable word popped into my head. As I mentally repeated it, I slowly realized it was probably a last name, and after a few more moments, I realized it wanted to go with "Susan". It took yet another couple of moments and mental repetition of the name before my full consciousness kicked in and I thought, "Wait a minute! Could that really be her name?"

Thirty minutes later, I'm finally back online. I discover that it almost certainly was her name. One of the four people with that name in New York state (still!) lives in the same building that Bruce lived in! And I get a phone number, too.

When we finally talked last night, we were both amazed to have connected. Susan will contact Sue, too.

The more I thought about how Susan's last name suddenly came to me, and my slow mental processing after it did, the more mysterious it all seemed!