Sunday, November 24, 2002

Clay Frazer called me out of the blue a couple weeks ago. He is friends with Goat, and the three of us hung out about 10 years ago when we all worked together at The Valley Forge. Funny that none of us are in the news business right now. I was the last to leave. But I hadn't seen Clay since he and his then-girlfriend Valerie came to our wedding almost eight years ago. He signed our guestbook at Trailplace when Esther and I through hiked the Appalachian Trail, but the last I'd heard about him, through Goat, was that Clay was in the Peace Corps in Africa. But he called me a couple weeks ago and invited Esther and I to his wedding party. He and Valerie got married in Key West at the beginning of November. They started dating in 1993, went out for three years, broke up for two, and got back together when Valerie contacted him when she wanted to sell a car the two co-signed on when they were dating. They maintained a long-distance relationship while she was in optometry school in Memphis and when he left for the Peace Corps. She even visited him a couple times in Africa.

Clay is a contributing factor to Esther and I getting into backpacking. He and Valerie gave us a tent as a wedding present. We used it the first two years of our marriage on car camping trips. Clay went to Southern Illinois University and got a degree in Environmental Biology (I think -- it's not like I interviewed him). He is now looking for work with the USDA near where he and Valerie live in Hartland, WI, and is into outdoor activities. How cool is that? Most of my old, old friends I have a hard time relating to because of my love of outdoor activities. Clay is the opposite.

Last night Esther and I saw Clay and Val at their party at the VFW Club in Loves Park. I go there with Dad now and again for Friday night fish fry and it is a stone's throw from Sahara, where my mother had a restaurant and catering business for many years. We show up around 9 p.m. I tell Esther we can drink as much as we want because if we can't drive we can always walk to my parent's place. God my writing sucks today. Too scatalogical. I'll plod on. We don't know anybody except Clay and Valerie, but Valerie's brother recognizes me from a poetry reading I read at about a month ago. He took his ninth grade English class from Harlem there. Right when we walk through the door we hit it off with a group of almost total strangers, trying to converse over loud music. God I love music, but why so loud? Nothing else to do but dance. And since we are not known so well, there is no need for a sense of unconsciousness, dance with abandon, go nuts. I grab the microphone and rap along with the latest Eminem tune. Dance with the bride. Boogie with the groom. All good fun. And relatively sober. No open bar, so only have a couple drinks. Get home from a night of dancing. The good wife attacks me... Some moves.

I'll get back to this blog later. This evening. When I can cogitate a little better....

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