Thursday, January 17, 2008


My cousin Ryon drove up with Catherine to collect me on Friday the 11th. I was a bit ragged from the week, but delighted to see them and show them around campus. Then we drove off to Ryon's place, stopping off for Ben'n'Jerry's and at the Von Trapp Family Lodge, a truly callous display of commercialism. Went out for oven-baked pizza that night at American Flatbread, something I recommend everyone hit if you're passing through Burlington.

Ryon and his wife Irie and their 9-month old Gabriella.

Ryon and I were planning on going skiing Saturday, but it had rained so hard, the snow was useless, so we just drove around the state with the womenfolk, had killer lunch at this place called Bee's Knee's in, I think, Morrisville. Went out for Italian that night, everyone turned in early. Ryon had to work on his sermon for the morning, but then we had a double-nightcap before midnight. Then, I stayed up a few more hours outlining in depth my idea for Young People Behaving Badly in a World Without Boundaries, which will be a bestseller for sure, whenever I can find time to write it.

Saw Ryon preach Sunday morning, and he was excellent. A great, commanding presence. The kid behind us muttered to his brother, "Guess we gotta behave if JEsus is here!" a reference to my beard, I think. I got to take a ride on the organ afterwards, threw down some Mingus and Santa Claus is Coming to Town and What a Wonderful World. First time on an organ, too much fun. We went over and had dinner that night at the house of a couple who he had married and had a fine time.

Then it was time to get up Monday and go. Except Delta cancelled all our flights again! Rat bastards! We were trapped. But, we rallied. Ryon was nice enough to drive us an hour north to catch a ferry to Plattsburg, NY, where we caught the 12:35 Amtrak to Penn Station. The 8-hr ride wound up taking 9 1/2, but we both got some rest and I even managed to crank out an entire 18-pg PKD story that I'm delighted with. I knew my deranged mindset at the time would be perfect to capture this guy's voice. Wrote the last line as we rolled in under Penn Station.

But New York always deserves its own entry.

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