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Greetings from Wilmington, NC

We left Durham today, making the two and a half-hour drive to Wilmington in two hours and a half.

Yesterday afternoon we headed over to Chapel Hill to stroll around campus and memory lane. On Franklin Street there were a couple of kids busking with their saxes. While the girls were shopping, I listened to the young men play their jazz. The alto player was good; you could tell he'd been playing a lot, the tenor player was not bad. They had their tip jar and a little boom box to provide accompaniment. When they took a break I chatted with them briefly. The alto guy had only been in town for a week. White kid, early twenties, smoked Newports. The tenor player was a light skinned brother; said he was in the jazz studies program at UNC. I couldn't help but imagine that in this world, this garden of forking paths, if fortune had played her cards differently, I could have been one of those guys busking on the street- in fact, had I had an ax handy, I could have easily joined in, they were just riffing over simple chord changes.

In the evening, after some heavy rains, the skies cleared up enough for us to watch a good baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic park: USA vs. South Korea. The US team was comprised of college all-stars; I can't say for the Koreans. The final score was 1-0, with the US squeaking out a victory. A low scoring game, with strong pitching and three picks of base runners. I'm not a big baseball fan, but I do like to go out to the ballpark, have a beer, and enjoy the ambience. To tell the truth, I was kinda quietly deep inside myself pulling for a Korean victory, especially when the USA brought in this relief pitcher who was throwing 98 MPH fastballs. But I was happy to see a good, close game.

This morning we attended the service at Duke Chapel. The guy who gave the sermon was a guest, and had that sort of Southern homespun humor. I suppose there's an art to sermonizing. Afterwards we hung around for the tour. All those years at Duke, and I never realized that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were immortalized in the Chapel's stones. Lunch at an oyster bar in the warehouse district. No oysters, however, because the BP spill in the gulf has dried up the supply (and according to the waitress, has hurt business considerably - she says a lot of people would come in just to eat oysters). I had some clams, and partook of the spousal unit's fish and chips (very good).

Here in Wilmington, we're staying at one of these "suites" hotels with cooking facilities. My plan was to cook tonight, since it's been at least a week since I've last cooked, but when we made our run for groceries, we ran into a Japanese restaurant ... and our (my) plans changed.... Ah, sushi!

Tomorrow, the beach. The only problem is that it might rain, there is even a chance of thunderstorms. We'll see what happens. Tuesday, the long drive back home to the other side of the state.



November 2018



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