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Saturday, August 29, 2009

England 2009 - Part X

Wednesday, May 17, 2009
Awoke to rain, dark skies, scratchy throat, and runny nose so went back to sleep. Slept until 10am then got up had breakfast, took a shower then went back to sleep. Finally roused myself around noon to get dressed and ride into town. It looked as if the clouds were going to break up so after purchasing some bread and lunch meat when to have a relaxing lunch with the ducks. I shared my lunch with some baby ducks, and one brave Drake who eat out of my hand. It began to tinkle so PUB Time I thought and headed in that direction. I proceeded to spend the rest of the day in the Pub drinking tea with lemon and talking to people online.
Several asked where I was riding to which I answered “Nowhere.” Then felt guilty as if I were letting everyone down by not doing some adventuresome, aqueous ride on dangerous roads or wet narrow paths. Just writing about doing nothing but everyday stuff was not why they read the blog, was it? Would they not be wondering why my Blog reported the mundane? My thoughts have been wondering why also. Reviewing the reasons for my initially wanting to come to England and ride brings to the fact that they had all been accomplished. Well, all except the trip to Austria and this will be coming up shortly.
The first year was the search for the Arthurian Way so to speak, next was to find Merlyn and then the air field my Dad flew out of during the war, then to attempt to get to Austria by bike riding through part of France, and now this year touching the places my family started. All goals will have been met then what? No more rides, no more Europe, no more? This year, thanks to my new bosses, money has no plagued me as an issue. So far more has been spent this trip then any of the previous three, and probably more than the first two trips combined. What is the reason for coming back again next year?
Mark stated “You push yourself to hard. I don’t know understand why you do that.” After thinking about that the reason seemed to be answered by one word “Passion.” Now this surprised me as I have always wondered what I had a passion for if anything. So now I have a passion for riding longer and longer, further and further, and harder and harder. The exhilaration I have experienced when seeing a goal come in to sight after hours of hard riding while your brain is telling you “you are not going to make it” is hard to explain. Then get up, do it again, begin to build endurance and each time it has given me back part of myself that I lost, or had not know was there. In riding there is just me, the bike and the world. My struggle is with me to do more than before and keep doing more. The only way to find out how far you can go is to attempt to go there. Never once considered this to be passion until the question was asked. I guess I need to rethink my idea of what passion is?
I’ve had people tell me I’m passionate about things confuses me because I don’t see my idea of what is passion in myself. For many years I thought that my passion was to be the champion of those I perceived as the underdog, or to right some things I believed to be wrong. I was fooled in to believing that appreciation for my actions would follow, it did not. I found myself standing on the hill fort, which is claimed to be Camelot, looking down as I allowed my imagination see the fields full of those who were once thought to be friends. And, clearly understood what it must have felt like for Arthur’s dream to be destroyed by the jealous who wanted to take over. Arthur knew he would not rule this forever nor did he want to. He wanted to set something in place for those he cared about then let them run it. The interesting thing about this is that my goal has always been that once achieved I too wanted them to take over. But, for some that was not acceptable as what I had put together was acceptable to them, it had to be torn down, me along with it, in order for it to be constructed in their perceived better way.
People who I thought were friends turned into betrayers. In family therapy there is the Triangle which is made up of the Savior, Persecutor, and the Victim. These roles are traded from time to time and anyone who attempts to help the victim can become yet another triangle attached to the first. I have taught this over and over, yet find myself succumbing to its siren song time and time again. The savior turns into the Persecutor of the Persecutor which turns the Persecutor into the Victim and the Victim turns into the Savior. This is seen time and time again when Police answer domestic violence calls. The Police (Savior) quickly become the Persecutor, allowing the Persecutor to become the Victim, and the Victim(s) become the Savior turning on the police. A therapist not paying attention can find themselves pulled into this game very quickly. However, when the word “friend” is used CYA is not necessary right?
That’s what Arthur thought, but it was his “friends” who destroyed him along with what he had built so they could show how much better they were then he. They succeeded because he trusted his “friends” and was left empty when he found he could not. I believe I could trust people who reported themselves to be friends and found out over time they were not. Yet I will try again with the hope that this time there will be a real friend who will stay at my side much like Mark and Gary.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I picked up the mail today

Usually my first stop upon leaving the house is to pick up my mail. I pick it up from silver sentries standing at attention beside the main road I must use to start any adventure. I peeked in and at first thought the box to be empty, but stooping a bit lower brought into view what looked like junk mail. Amids the flyer's is an envelop which at first glance look as if it came from my bank in England. However, the envelop, as it came free of the junk mail, had a neat, tight, hand written address on it. The last part of the envelop to be freed from the junk mail showed that this letter came from Austria.

"OH MY GOD!" My new family was writing to me! I looked on the back and was stunned, my mind began to create all these pictures!

Summer of 1963

I own a Forest Green 1951 Chevy convertible with a white top. The top is not longer the original canvas, but a brand new vinyl from Rayco. I have had it for three years and treat it with TLC. It gets washed every weekend then polished with Blue Coral wax and sealer, the top is about a year old. The upholstery is real leather died green to match the car. I have put new green carpet in to replace the black rubber. Twin mirrors mounted way up front, twin power aerials adorn the back fenders. The wheels are narrow white walls with silver spinner hub caps locked on.

The sun causes the paint sparkles each time it emerges from the shade as it cruses down N-9 in Upstate NY on its way to Canada. The top is down the tank is full and I am driving my grandmother and my aunt to Montreal. We are going there to visit my grandmother's sister who has just had a baby. My grandmother's sister and her husband have been in Canada about four years now having migrated there from Austria. Her name is Rosie and my uncle's name is Joe. They hope to come to America as some point, but it is now difficult to immigrate do to the new immigration laws.

My aunt Elsie is in front with me, my grandmother in the back both had donned kerchiefs to keep their hair in from blowing about. It is a warm summer day with pale blue Sky's filled with puffs of white clouds. We are driving through green pastures, broken by forest covered mountains or tiny towns. N-9 was the north - south route through NY before the NY Thruway was built. Many summer were spent traveling this road as we headed to Lake George for vacations. It is a two lane road with passing strip that are taken advantage of as much as possible.

My car is quite heavy for it's 90 horsepower straight six engine. So timing is everything as I drop back from the car I'm going to pass, see a passing strip coming up zoom forward gathering momentum to zip passed, then on down the road arm on the door, radio singing away. My Aunt Elsie is the best even if there is a 10 year age difference between us, but you'd never know it. She calls me her older brother even though I'm younger. We have spend a lot of time together over the years doing allot of talking. She is married and currently has three sons who are home with their dad, my uncle Red.

The baby is about three weeks old at this point and we are all anxious to see her. In the trunk, along with our suitcases, are gifts for her and her parents. Uncle Joe does not make much as an upholsterer and they share a two bedroom apartment with another couple. We wonder were we will all sleep upon arrival. I know we will drink Schnapps, laugh, talk, and eat allot. My grandmother will buy all the food and anything else they need. She is not rich, but is willing to give her sister what she can not afford. I think she does this out of guilt as she refuses to sponsor them for entrance into the U.S.

As a sponsor you are staring that if they can't find work you'll pay for them until they do and they will not become a burden on the state. So her sister and family stay in Canada and have only been able to visit us once. This will be my fourth trip to them, the first one as driver. My grandfather could not get off work for the week we are staying. Passing through customs is simply showing my drivers licence, my grandmother's green card, and my Aunt's birth certificate. That's about ten minuets and we're on our way. I'm surprised that no one is complaining about the top being down. So I hope they are enjoying this as much as I.

We arrive in Montreal wandering the streets until we find where they live. It is not the best of neighborhoods with groups of adolescents blocking sidewalks, smoking cigarettes and talking loudly in French. However since I am dress much like them with a cigarette hanging from the corner of my mouth and a pack rolled up in my white t-shirt sleeve I'm given the accepting nod. When I pulled out my black leather motorcycle jacket they were impressed. Although it was to dam hot to ware the thing I put it on to approving looks. The only thing I did not do was pull out my comb and run it through my hair. In those days Vitalis made sure my hair did not move.

We climbed up several floors of wooding stairs attached to the outside of the building reaching the rooftop apartment. After much hugging, tears and laughter we were introduced to Elfie my grand niece. It was not cool to hold babies, but I did for a bit and wondered why anyone would name a kit Elfie. We spent the week, at time I just drove around Montreal to escape the heat and crowd in the apartment. My Aunt Rosie and Uncle Joe spoke little English and mostly German. We managed to have several conversations as they too were close to my age.

A couple of year later they came to visit us on Long Island. By then I was married, owned a home and the Green Chevy convertible was long gone replaced by a Mercury Comet with four doors. Uncle Joe and I talked about Austria as they had come to tell us of their move back. He told me I must come to visit and see the nice house they had there. There was much crying as they climbed into a borrowed car and headed home never to be seen again. There are a few letter's and cards from them to my grandmother, but no more contact. Until now!

The letter I held in my had was from Elfie. I have been reunited with my grand niece. She has written me and I will write her back. She wants to know if I'll be coming to Austria again, see blog, and come hell or high water I will return next year.

Monday, August 17, 2009


There seems to be an idea, as shown by the flood of self-help books, that a person can write a book which will cure a specific set of ills or, for that matter all ills. All you have to do is read enough books, specifically applied to a particular problem, and a cure is sure to be effected. This leads me to the belief, there may be an assumption afoot, that it is possible to lump groups of people together under one generic cure all.
The assumption that one book can be a generic cure for all those who read it is the ultimate oppression of the individual. It seems to display just haw well the socialization process works to limit individualism and effectively destroy creativity. has the process been so successful that it has produced individual non-individuals? All of whom can be grouped together by specific symptoms, given a label for the dysfunction, and treated by one "fix you right up" cure.