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Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22 2016

It is day break at Harsens Island, Michigan.

The Right Honourable Paul J. Martin just passed heading downriver

She was brightly lit as the sun had not yet risen at 6:00 AM. One can tell the summer is reversing itself into autumn. When I look up I expect to see flocks of geese flying their routes to the South and following the ribbon of the St. Clair River as far as their next landmark navigational change.

I wonder if geese use ponds and rivers and coastlines as landmarks the same way humans use bars, taverns, and pubs? Or do they spit on the ground, squash it with their feet, and see which way the spittle flies? Or do they roll raven bones?

Soon the Cuyahoga was upward bound

I forget which great iconic freighter of my youth the Cuyahoga forms the modern day re-incarnation of. She was built in 1943 and I think she was the John J. Boland for her first life, but that could be way off. Back then Great Lakes freighters ruled the roost and preened themselves on their spit and polish; steel and the taconite ore needed were King Arthur and the freighters were the Round Table, and we read books based upon their exploits and quests.

Back then, freighters ran on real coal and the smoke was dark and thick. When rain moved in, the smoke hung stepped down from the prominence of the rear stack and descended to the river where it tailed the vessel and you could smell its biting odor.
Flies and insects alit on surfaces, too. The bees got dopey and just sort of sat around in uncharacteristic spots, waiting for a human being to plop themselves down and get a sting... or not... I mean, was it worth the effort? It was a lot like Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront crying that he coulda been a contendah!
I mean, at the onset of a big summer storm, the entire flying insect world acted as if they had started drinking at 6 o'clock in the morn and the bars had unexpectedly shut down at 2 o'clock afternoon and they stumbled out onto the fading sun and were alternately crying Mother Machree and blessing her sainted preciousness or starting a fight at the merest provocation.

The granddaughter is visiting for the first time. Every bit of nonsense and sound and fury of the world fades away at her approach.


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