Life Was Twice as Beautiful with Stephanie

Here’s a letter to a sister, dated 11 Feb 2015. He mentions Bob Dreicer, who died a couple of days earlier, Suzy, Frank, and of course Stephanie. There are several poetic lines, including “We use to scoop all that scenery up together.

Thanks for the fotos.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too.

Any news from the happy couple?

After two days under snow, the sun is back and only the peaks are white. A couple of nights it was below freezing. Yesterday 80ª on my terrace midday. 55º at night.

The ole rheumatiz is kicking up.

My oldest (since 1961) friend Robert Dreicer died in Florence a couple days ago. 86. Broke his leg just walking in the street, got stuck in the hospital for a month and a half and never got out. Bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia – the usual.

Continue reading “Life Was Twice as Beautiful with Stephanie”

I Sail for Naples

Here’s a letter from Fred to Patrick, probably 1963. Perhaps the date could be made more exact if we knew when Ann B was born since she is referenced here.

The letter includes a poetry critique, some personal observations, and mentions several friends including Bob and Edmund.

Completely unrelated. I just transcribed the recording about how Patrick learned Spanish.

As usual, click on an image to see a larger version.

Continue reading “I Sail for Naples”

Another Short Conversation

A short recording (25 Mar ’17)  in which you can tell Patrick’s pain is clearly getting to him, yet he still shows his sense of humor.

John: Any interesting stories or any practical things you want to …?

Patrick: I’ll have to try to… I can’t think. Let’s see.

Continue reading “Another Short Conversation”

Enough Waxing, Now for Some Slow Waning

E-mail from Patrick on 18 June 2012.

I’m taking a charter flight to Pisa and a train to Florence tomorrow, back on 24 june, the day of Jan Juan. I will have my mobile phone.

Mostly I’m moved to make the trip because a neighbor just died and his son had a wake, then another friend due to arrive for holiday fell, and is being operated on for a blood in the brain, I’m not getting any younger and one of my oldest friends is now ailing in his 80’s. I’m afraid if I wait much longer, one of us won’t be there. Plus I really want to try for the US in the fall, so wouldn’t be able to see him then.

In the meantime, I’m Ok, not to worry. Walked to the sea today – no that was yesterday, and caught a ride back up.

After commenting on Father’s Day, he added:

it’s suddenly cooling off with a light breeze. in between the foothills and promontories below the Teig, clouds are forming out of nothing and climbing up into the blue. quite extraordinary. behind the church a thin mist appeared, consolidated, congealed, if that’s the word, into a hefty white cloud and then rose up like the holy ghost. and behind a sort of butte which most of the time looks to be attached to the cliffs of the Teig, a wispy grey cloud floated along, making 3d from 2d, delineating features seldom distinct. and the last of nightingales are piping their forlorn farewell – it is said they only sing until they mate, and these maybe didn’t score?

the torrente is now bone dry until the next big rain. it’s so quiet now that on the way to the cala you can hear the pods of the wild wheat when they pop open and toss the seeds, or a chameleon shifting under the dry leaves.

enough waxing, now for some slow waning, for twill be a six am morn and straight into the sunrise t’ward the airport. we all turn into mr magoos at 100 kph.

When I asked about the friend in Florence, he replied:

No, it’s Robert Dreicer. We taught school together on Long Island, I visited him in Athens in 63, and he visited me with Fred Young in Galilea, Mallorca in 72.

It’s Christmas Day

it’s christmas day.
the wind is up a bit,
clouds are preparing a total invasion – it’s been blue skies for weeks.
long live merrie, and happie kubrick

already the days are a few seconds longer than last week;
that always encourages me to get my wind up,
to take a new chomp at the biscuit of significant living.
like a prestidigitator, the mind pops out of the hat
the world as we have known it, large as life,
sitting in the sun on the St Marks square,
scarf flapping in the breeze, smiling or bite your beard.
you in your kitchen in freeport making simple soup
then, whoops
a morning in the blue room in salisbury on the way to tampa,
light playing in branches outside the window,
f with a cup of coffee looking askance at the slightly uneven keyboard of
the piano, and whoosh
my brother in dark glasses in the airport bar, plotting murder,
mari leaning against marble fluted columns at the temple of aphrodite
somewhere in turkey,
her white skirt blowing (does that photo still exist, you wonder),
but this vision is run over by a red mercury convertible on a dusty road,
or left in a minimized window
when fred clutches his right(?) hand under his armpit as the swelling begins
and we all jump
into her car and puncture in our haste the oil pan,
and so on and on,
a veritable pride of kodaks in this and that apartment or field or why not,
the smell of a street in athens, where the roasting meat makes memory
salivate for more?
the wind howling in kushadasi…
marvel at the gigabytes we have in common memory…

and yet we are all puzzles to one another,
most of the pieces scattered in the many years of silence and no contact

soon our satellite will leave the influence of the sun – think of it!
it seems whatever we find, we have space for it under our skulls

where did i see this: like a sponge too drenched, the mind when saturated
with grief spills and thus we created tears

also: when soaked with such splendid shared time, we overflow into smiles
and lungs swollen with exhilaration as if we could breathe life into each
other and the universe itself, merely by saying robert, fred, italy, greece,
doug, leftittown (to prequote robbie), tree, rose, red clay, green fields,
mother earth

as 9-year-old yoji in soller said if god is everywhere you and i are god

Lots of love from
P&S
together with you on this celestial RR (pace e.m. forster)


From Patrick on 25 Dec Y2K

Hope you all had a happy Christmas.

I sent this to a couple of friends who are older than I am, Fred Young (in North Carolina), and Robert Dreicer, now in Florence, Italy. We all met when I was teaching on Long Island, and they met all of you, and Donna, so I thought, you might want it, since it is in a way, part of your history, too.

Now we are all so much older, and hopefully some of the sorrows of then have been healed. Some, I say, because never can all be cleansed. Each of us has deeds to regret, and mine are awful and inexcusable…

Still, much love to you all, and may you prosper in this new millennium.

Your father,

Pat


And from 29 Dec Y2K

Yes of course [you may post it]
It was composed on the spot
and sent without further thought- –
which one day I might regret:
but not yet.
Have a good blowout
but not on your Widget!
Love
P