It has been some time – a few months anyway – since I’ve written a letter to only one of the kids.
Now is the time for another.
Reid has done a better than admirable job at his gigantic ad agency in Chicago. The advertising game is a harsh what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. He has persevered after his primary account was lost to a competitor. He made himself valuable with his attitude and his intellect. The account went down but he fell upward. And that is a great thing. This week he got a raise and a shift to other big accounts. Maybe he didn’t get all he was after, but I am very proud of his stick-to-itiveness. This is a kid who, early in his agency career, got axed along with a slew of line staff at another shop. At a tender age he became a graduate, with honors, of the school of hard knocks.
I’m not sure when the letter to him will ultimately surface on this page. I will ask but that will be his call. Yet that is the prerogative of dads and moms: tell their children when they have done something that is good and, secondarily, pleases their parents. That is the gist of the note to Reid.
Bridger Wilderness update: Hey, I’m up to one companion for the July, 2011 trip. My cousin Tom Andersen from Oregon, is on board. Bring it on, Tom. Hey, there’s room for plenty more wanderers.
But it’s Wednesday, and we’ll reach a bit further into my bag of tricks for an older letter to the twosome.
July 9, 2007
Reid/Ellen: As weekends go on the old 1-10 scale, I’d have to give this one a 3. This is Murphy’s Law as relates to weekends: whatever could go wrong did go wrong. And once it goes wrong, it really never gets right.
It started when I took the hog in for its 30,000 service — 30,000 miles, can you believe it? – and since the Harley dealership (i.e. crooks) didn’t have loaner bikes, I rented a Dyna Wide Glide for the day at an alleged steep discount. Anyway, the bike didn’t have a windshield, so it was nice to feel the wind, and bugs, in my face for a change. I went home and laid around then thought ‘what the heck, I might as well get out and ride’. So I went northeast of town to Lowe’s Motor Speedway, an absolutely enormous venue that can sit 200,000 for stockcar (i.e. NASCAR) races.
On the way back, it clouded up, and before I knew what hit me, the rain was coming down sideways. If you’ve never been on a bike in the rain without a windshield, the best way to explain it is that raindrops feel like needles. In the space of :30, my face was utterly exfoliated. It was raining unbelievably hard, and by the time I got to shelter under the first Interstate bridge, I was completely soaked. But it was very hot, in the mid-90s, although the shower cooled it down a fair amount. Seems we had a microburst which shoved down trees and powerlines all over the city, and by the time I got back to the Harley dealership (i.e. crooks) I’d navigated through standing water and was mud from head to toe because of all the traffic ahead of my kicking up dirt and debris. And if it’s not enough to catch raindrops, try some sand and stones at 70 mph. That gets your attention. Now I’ve been in rain before and really don’t mind it, but this was incredible.
And that was the high point of entire two days. Against my better judgment, played golf yesterday, and it was more of the same you’ve heard me whine so often about: bad, bad, bad. Shank, shank, shank. It’s sickening. Reid, I may give you my clubs when you and Rachel are down here. I stink.
Am supposed — supposed — to go in today for a skin treatment called Levalan. It’s where the dermatologist slathers your face in some gunk and, as he says, you sit in the lobby for an hour or so to “let the marinade work” (his words), then you sit under some blue light for 90 minutes. It turns your skin bright red — they say absolutely no post-treatment sunlight for 48-72 hours — and in theory it’s supposed to rid your skin of pre-cancerous cells. I’ve had what they call squamas cell carcinomas taken off in recent weeks and this is supposed to do the trick. But when he uses words like marinade and sort of laughs off the treatment, it makes you wonder. So, I’m getting a second opinion in the very near future.
Did bake some round Italian loaves Friday night and dropped them off to some folks around the office on Saturday morning before the deluge. I dunno, Reid, these loaves are good but my gosh, it’s a three-riser and takes roughly 5 hours from start to finish and didn’t take things out of the oven until 11:30. Hardly worth it. But damn, it makes good toast.
Okay, here’s the skinny on Grandma’s birthday. Uncle Ralph has made arrangements for photos on Friday at 2:00. I don’t know why he didn’t get this figured out for Saturday, but that’s the way things are. Can you guys make that? If you need plane tickets, go ahead and make ‘em. FYI…with Joe’s wedding in January, it seems plane tickets may be $1,100 according to Ralphie. That may change our plans a bit. Let’s reconsider making that trip.
Be good, be safe, have fun.