There’ll be no picture of today’s full moon- clouds and cold have moved in. We walked in the wind at the arboretum today as the temperature fell from 40 to 23. I like winter, but know it is a luxury to be able to like it, knowing I can get warm again. Here are a few scenes, and a short reminiscence about an old acquaintance brought on by a billboard, of all things.
As we were driving out to the arboretum this morning I saw a billboard that advised calling “1-800-DIG-RITE” to locate gas and sewer lines before digging and was reminded of an old employee from our manual labor days. This man, Jon, would advise me to call the DIG-RITE number before we dug in a client’s yard to plant trees or install landscape. What I remember most about him though is our last encounter. Several weeks before this last encounter, he walked into the office one Monday morning with his neck wrapped in bandages, sat down, and wrote on a pad (having lost the art of speech) that the doctor had removed several polyps from his throat and he could not speak or work for several weeks. So we gave him indoor duties while he was healing, and what communication we had was via the written word. Telephone calls were impossible, as this was before the advent of texting. One evening, as Dennis and I were eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant nearby, I got a feeling, and followed the idea that we go by the bowling alley where I knew Jon hung out of an evening. The bowling alley was on the second floor, up a long, steep, red-painted concrete staircase. As I got to the top of it I glanced over to the bar and there he was, drinking beer, talking and laughing with his buddies. I began shaking I was so angry at having been played like that. Dennis wanted to play it cool, sidle up to him to see how he’d react, but I could not restrain myself. I stomped across the room and demanded our keys back, immediately. No explanation or terms were required, and he took us to his apartment nearby to get the keys. Never saw him after that, but I do sometimes wonder what has become of such a facile liar. Old Lyin’ Jon, we call him fondly.