One of several conversations recorded our first full night together during my 2017 visit with Patrick. In this one he talked a bit more about teaching in Florida and the birth of the eldest girl.
Patrick: As I recall… let’s see. I was teaching in, where is it? Not Vero Beach, but the next one up.
JP: Like Coco something …?
Patrick: God, I forgot the name of that town! Right up the … But Coco’s up on the on the island side.
Patrick: What’s the name if it? Anyway, I was teaching there and we were visiting your grandfather and family when Donna started having pains and we had to cross the river and get to the hospital. We just barely made it in time.
Patrick: And the drawbridge was up. They let a boat go by. This is the way I remember it. We got to the hospital, she got in, and the baby fell out. (laughs)
Patrick: And the nurse caught it. That’s the way I remember it.
JP: Which baby was this?
Patrick: I guess it had to be Jennifer.
Patrick: Where was Gretchen born?
JP: A year after.
Patrick: But where?
JP: Where? I don’t know.
Patrick: So, I can’t remember, I can’t remember the name of the school I was teaching in, it was not Vero Beach. This must’ve been Vero Beach where Jennifer was born.
Patrick: And the next town up, I got a job teaching there and next door was one of Donna’s good friends from her high school days, a teacher she knew, a Spanish teacher who had just returned from Spain after a year’s sabbatical. And I thought, “What a good idea! Go to Spain!” And the way he told it, what was his name?
JP: Not Charlie Huber?
JP: He was the minister.
Patrick: Yeah. This guy… can’t remember his name. Anyway he arrived back from Spain after a year away from his wife and his family. He’s on the bus and they’re mouthing to each other through the window, and she’s saying “EF” and he’s saying “FF.” “Eat First” or “Fuck First?”
JP: Okay. [laughter]
Patrick: Yeah, this was a good friend of Donna’s we knew at the time, and his classroom was next to my classroom.
Patrick: His name is right in the tip of my mind.
JP: Now I’m confused though, he was mouthing with his wife, or mouthing with Donna?
Patrick: No, his wife. He told me this story in between classes in the hallway.
JP: Oh okay.
Patrick: On the other side of my classroom, there was a guy who was a philosophy major that ended up teaching in the junior high school, and he just couldn’t handle the kids. Who can handle junior high kids anyway?
Patrick: One day I came out of my classroom and his class has pushed him outside and locked him outside the classroom. He’s there banging on the door, feeling so ashamed, his face red.
JP: Yeah? Wow.
Patrick: Yeah, the other guy’s name was Mr. Asky.
JP: Cool! As a computer guy I can dig that.
JP: Although I’m sure it’s not spelled A-S-C-I-I. Which is the American Standard Code for Information Interchange or something like that.
Patrick: Yeah… Mr. Asky.
Patrick: [About the food.] So I guess they’re not gonna bring anything else until this is finished.
JP: Well let’s put it up here, then we can have it with our spaghetti.
Patrick: Yes. Or you can have it with your spaghetti, I’ve had enough.
JP: That’s good enough.
Patrick: Yeah. Yeah, how’s the sauce, diablito? Like a little devil?
JP: Nah. Very mild.
Waitress: Spaghetti? O la nieta?
JP: Muy bien, gracias.
Patrick: That’s a “small.”
Patrick: [About the restaurant] Well… it’s not what I intended, but we can put up with it, huh?
JP: Yes absolutely!
About the restaurant: We were seeking a place in Palma. Patrick was thinking of La Rigoletta but couldn’t remember the name. When discussing it with the cab driver, there was some confusion as the cab driver was thinking of a different place in the same district. He finally dropped us off at the right area, but couldn’t get us close to the door. We discovered after the cab had left that the place was closed, so we went a bit further down to a place called El Diablito. It wasn’t nearly as good as Patrick hoped, but I think it was nonetheless worth the adventure to get out of the apartment.
About the transcription: It was a noisy restaurant and my Spanish skills are weak, so there are likely to be errors, but they are unimportant here.
Patrick Meadows 1934 – 2017.