Recently I traveled to the Catskill Mountains of New York for nearly a week of quiet reflection. It was a lot different from what I expected.
My first stop was at a rustic country store colorfully named “Slappy Dick’s.” It had a little bit of everything, gas, deli, café, even liquor. The man behind the counter was a burly, bearded fellow who I assumed was Slappy Dick himself. He was wearing a t-shirt that said “the meek will inherit nothing.” While picking up supplies I noticed he was charging 3 to 4 times what I normally pay for booze so I guess Slappy Dick has no conscience.
When I got to the lodge I found my accommodations and felt worse than I did when I saw the price of alcohol. It was a dank one room cabin that was at least 75 years old. There was no television, no internet, no telephone (including cell service) and no air conditioner. For the next 5 days I stayed in that room naked and alone surviving only on vodka and jarlsberg cheese. The lighting was so bad I had to read while sitting on the bathroom toilet which brought back an old proctologic problem.
I did make one friend however. It was a tiny mountain chipmunk I named “Alvin.” It turns out that chipmunks are members of the rodent family and they love cheese, especially my variety of extra sharp swiss. Unfortunately this led to Alvin’s undoing.
I believe that a firm, daily elimination is the basis of good health and all that cheese bound my little buddy up. It left Alvin bloated and lethargic and that’s when tragedy struck. In a vodka haze I accidentally stepped on him and the shock sent me flying into a wooden support post. It was bad news for me and worse news for him. Looking down I shouted “Alvin…Alvin... ALVIN…” but it was too late, he was gone. To make matters worse before I could give him a proper burial a sharp-eyed barn owl swooped down and carried Alvin away.
What follows is a brief photographic journey.
The expensive vodka I bought and the cheese Alvin and I shared in happier times.
The scene of the accident and the post I smashed into.
I felt a little like Rhianna taking this. It’s the serious injury I sustained in the tragedy that cost me a new friend. By the way in this photo I’m only wearing gentlemen’s dress hose and a diver’s sport watch.
Next vacation I’m going back to Sanibel.