How Patrick Ended Up In College

Transcription of a conversation with Patrick on 2 October 2014 during the drive to the 2014 Prescott Rally, talking about how he managed to get into college and how he met my mom Donna.

JP: You were talking about Florida State.

Patrick: I had no idea I was going to go to college. Never occurred to me to think to go to college. In Winter Park High School for some reason, unknown to anybody, I was in the 98th percentile in that test they give you at the end. The principal called me in and he suggested that I consider college and he talked to the band leader—I was the captain of the band and assistant director of the male chorus for the choir, and I’d been playing piano with a group in high school—so they thought that— Continue reading “How Patrick Ended Up In College”

Patrick Plays Chopin

I haven’t touched my piano in months. The tuning is long overdue. I shirk those responsibilities.

Now, while looking for something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon this video, a recording of Patrick playing Chopin from 2014.

He hadn’t touched a piano in several years, perhaps since November 2011 at Jack and Vera’s, yet he was able to sight-read the entire piece. Yes, there were a few minor oops. Yes, the piano was as out-of-tune then as it is now (and it’s not a superb instrument to begin with.)

Still, I’m still amazed that he can look at the dots and lines and squiggles and turn them into something amazing, from something written by a guy who has been dead for over 100 years.

Here’s the video:

Writing Stories – the 8 Point Arc (by Watts)

Notes that Patrick had made about a writing technique, from a file dated 30 Aug 2014, referencing the book Writing a Novel by Watts. Some of Patrick’s examples come from his own unfinished book, Dr. Weightnovel.


Artwork by Phil, for the unfinished book

The eight points which Watts lists are, in order:

  • Stasis
  • Trigger
  • The quest
  • Surprise
  • Critical choice
  • Climax
  • Reversal
  • Resolution

He explains that every classic plot passes through these stages and that he doesn’t tend to use them to plan a story, but instead uses the points during the writing process. Continue reading “Writing Stories – the 8 Point Arc (by Watts)”

As I Approach Eighty

I approach eighty living on this beautiful island, and probably will finish up here. Over half my life I have been living here in paradise. To get here and stay here I sinned a lot, but it has been worth it. Unless, of course, when I quit this world I have to pay for those sins, as at least one of my daughters seems to believe.

Nobody really knows about that, I suppose. And in any case there’s nothing to change the past, and I’m not one to look for forgiveness, so I will just have to face the music.

Bus Schedule

Bus Schedule

Not sure why, but Patrick had the Port de Soller – Valldemossa – Palma bus schedule saved on his computer so here it is for your amusement.

Perhaps he sent it to people who were coming to visit.

The original PDF of the schedule was dated 18 March 2014.

I found a newer version too, dated 3 May 2016.

Whiffletockers

In high school I worked after classes and on Saturdays delivering furniture for Carl’s Furniture store in Orlando.  Miss Brewster was the secretary and bookkeeper for  my boss. She was what we used to call a handsome woman, probably in her fifties.  She wore reading spectacles with rhinestones on the rims, and was one of the first persons I knew who had a chain to let her glasses dangle from her neck when she wasn’t using them.  I was fascinated by the way they bounced off her bosom when she let them go.

There were two of us working in the delivery van. When we had no deliveries, Miss Brewster put us to work sweeping the premises, washing the display windows, polishing the tables and whatever she could dream up to keep us earning our wage.

She was hard to please and kept after us, never satisfied, especially with the floor and those  dust balls which would flee from the air current created by the push broom, scuttle under a sofa, and later reappear to follow Miss Brewster as she swept by to greet a customer in the showroom.

She called these elusive fluffs whiffletockers, pointing them out to us with her spectacles.  Whiffletockers were hard to catch, and if you managed to grab one with a broom, it stuck there and had to be plucked loose from the bristles by hand.

I never heard the word before or since.  Miss Brewster has since become dust herself, and for me all that remains of her is that pair of spectacles, slanted like cat’s eyes and beaded with rhinestones, and her contralto voice saying whiffletockers.

Memory is often like that.

You try to catch it and it scurries away from you, hiding under other more vivid furniture in the head.  In that sense then, they resemble Miss Brewster’s whiffletockers, and I am determined to track as many of them as I can, weightless though they may be, and flatten them like oversized asterisks on the page.  Maybe then they will cease flitting about on the floor of my mind, or at the very least accumulate in an orderly fashion in a corner where old light is coming through a window.

*

  ‘Nita and I are standing on shining wood.  Barefoot.  Naked. Bright sun illuminates our skin, makes a puddle of light beneath us.  We seem to be floating on the thickness of varnish.

In another room dark and windowless, my newly arrived brother has my place.  He arrived without the harmonica promised to come with him.

That is the beginning of all.

*