Meeting Fred

Nobody said everything, or anything, for that matter, but we all tried.

Fred, Zen, Robert, Milo, Barbara, Tony, Ruthven, Barry, Eivin, Alastair.

Certain encounters change the course of one’s life. You might not recognize that until much later, but eventually, upon reflection, it becomes obvious.

Such was that moment in the faculty room of the Island Trees Junior High school, not a setting one would expect to lead to a life of romance, travel, and adventure.

We all wore ties and jackets, the men. Most of us wore dacron wash and wear suits and loafers.

Fred was slightly different from the others. He wore a sports jacket with leather patches on the elbows. Not a white shirt, but a pale blue and a narrow knit tie. His loafers had tassels. Most important, he seemed to be the only bachelor in the school. This fact was noted by the several single women teachers and the school nurse. They rather swarmed when he was on lunch break or free period.

He had a boyish smile and a charming tinge of the south in his accent. He had large hands with scarred knuckles from his days as an MP in the Marines. He taught the advanced ninth grade English class across the hall from my advanced eighth grade class.

We fell naturally into an easy friendship. We both were trying to be writers, and we both liked classical music.

This excerpt is from a collection of files Patrick called Scattered Notes.odt dated from 2014 to 2016. I’ll continue to add other segments as time allows.