Waiting for the Storm to Hit

We got a tornado warning. “The tornado threat from Tropical Storm Isaias has increased for portions of the area. SPC has issued an Enhanced Risk of severe weather for parts of the area for a 10% chance of tornadoes. A tornado watch is in effect until 4 PM.” So I’ll be inside for the day, puttering.

A pharmacy near me is displaying two books of prescriptions dated 1911 and 1903 (not entirely sure of the date of the second one, the last number was difficult to read). I went inside to ask if they had a prescription book from 1918. It would be interesting to read what was being prescribed during the 1918 epidemic. But they only had the two books. Still, I would love to read through these books at my leisure some day. Maybe I would find interesting patterns, or famous people who had afflictions we were not aware of.

That’s right, F U virus!

Seen on my walk this morning. My feelings exactly. I want my life and my city back. And what I wouldn’t give for a nice long swim. And to go to the movies. And for choir to resume.

Waiting for the Service for John Lewis

In case you haven’t seen it, John Lewis wrote this essay shortly before he died and asked that it be printed on the day of his funeral. (His service starts at 11am.)

“When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war.”

Seen on 11th Street. Very fitting for today.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole and J. D. Salinger’s First Wife

I recently watched a documentary about J. D. Salinger, which made me curious about his ex-wife, Sylvia Louise Welter. They met and married in Germany in 1945, and J. D. divorced her two years later, supposedly because of something to do with her Nazi connections.

Given how easily Salinger cut off the women in his life, and with very little cause, I can’t accept on faith whatever Salinger might have said about her. Maybe it’s true, but maybe it’s not. Maybe the truth is complicated. I did find that she stayed in America and later married a man named Beecher Bancroft Cary, who died in 1988. She was his second wife. Beecher’s first wife died young. Sylvia herself died relatively recently, in 2007. I could have reached out to her if I had only know back then! (I plan to post about this topic, about interviewing certain people before it’s too late.). I tracked down relatives from her husband’s family, but I haven’t contacted them. My only reason would be to satisfy my curiosity. Okay, I just tried. But they have taken took down the family tree page where I found them on Ancestry.com and closed their account. Probably because of tons of people like myself.

Anyway, what I loved, what I always love, is how much you can find online. Because of the pandemic, certain databases are accessible to me from home and I was able to download the record of their marriage, for instance. And Beecher’s high school yearbook picture. “Handsome is as handsome does.” He was quite handsome.

Does this look like the same guy? It would be his college yearbook picture. It does look like the same guy. Looking more sober. Less happy.