Sunday, January 07, 2007
Whither Thou Goest
When Bill was in the US Air Force, I got a job there too and soon felt myself a part of the force. I was in charge of an information program called “Commander’s Call” and acquired the nickname “Commander’s Call Girl.” I had just graduated from an all-woman’s college and was thrown into an all-male space; I would be the only woman in a hangar full of men. One of the programs was about identifying different airplanes. For a long while afterwards I could identify them, and I have never lost my interest in gazing up in the sky. Somewhere over the last few days – probably in the Globe and Mail – I read this: “Never vacation in a place where people still point at airplanes.” Sometimes on a summer evening Bill and I will sit out on the front porch with our coffee, and I will note the lines in the sky that a plane makes (this has a technical name that I can’t recall.) Where is it coming from? When I was a child, everywhere in our village was close to the sound of the train. I would lie in bed and wonder where the train was going. I knew where it was going in one direction – we would often take the train to Lowell -- but I didn’t know where it was going in the other direction. Some place exotic, no doubt. My father bought me a biography of Maggie Higgins, the foreign correspondent, and I decided that is what I wanted to be. In college I took four years of Russian to prepare myself, but love beckoned, and I shelved that plan. I did get to live most of my life in a foreign country, if only an hour away from the USA.