Without getting mystic about it, I’ve never had hangups about giving credit for what has sometimes seemed supernaturally good luck to the unfathomable, beneficent whimsy of my omniscient creator acknowledged by much of humanity. His names are many: God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Our Father Who Art in Heaven, George Burns, Bruce, Talking Head; different names for different times and different points of view. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Because I talk to Yahweh and pray that His will be done in my life, I am frequently contented in what I perceive to be the harmony of His will and my happiness, but infrequently I am not. Either way, I know He is a dynamic part of my life; much more so that most of my friends have proven to be over the long haul.
Such was my mind-set this morning as I moved aviation magazines and books to the basement, successfully completing the transfer of literally thousands as I take back my living quarters from the space rightfully devoted for decades to the AIRCHIVE and now, the AeroKnow Collection. As I returned upstairs I carried arms full of plastic model kits, boxes of built models to be sorted, catalogued and stored at the airport AeroKnow Museum. There are still many things to move, including some that cannot be lifted by one person, things I missed when four friends helped me move the last of the filing cabinets out a few weeks ago. But until an unsuspecting door-to-door brush salesman visits my front door and I trade him a purchase of his wares for five minutes of help lifting a large model aircraft carrier to my truck, I am stuck, so to speak. But I digress. . . . .
I have been anticipating for days the appearance of astronaut James Lovell at a media reception and book signing at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library today. I’d received the advisory from Dave Blanchette a few weeks ago, and even called him to confirm that freelance writers who contribute to Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times would be admitted to the event. He said there would be no problem at all. I then called SBJ editor to alert her I might have something special for the October edition.
I worked late at the airport Wednesday knowing I’d be committed downtown Thursday. Today after my new lunch du jour of four pieces of toast and a tall glass of iced tea, and a long shower, I trimmed my beard off my upper lip and shined my shoes for the first time in months. I even picked up a copy of my book Springfield Aviation to give to the astronaut this afternoon at the media briefing. Jim Lovell is a hero of the humanity, of the world, through the outcome of his judgment during the flight of Apollo 13, back when the USA was flying to the moon and safely coming home. I resisted the temptation to inscribe it to him here; I’d wait until the big event.
Luck was with me bigtime, even though I had only two quarters in change for the parking meter. I knew I’d be away more than the hour of time 50 cents buys downtown, but if I got a ticket, I’d roll with it; part of the price for meeting Jim Lovell. Luck was with me bigtime even though I had only a $100 bill in my wallet, the last of the back pay partial payment George Jaworski gave me almost two weeks ago. I hoped the bookstore would take a $100 bill. Maybe I’d pay with an AeroKnow Museum check because I have $40 in that account, and I’d give the book to the Museum. I didn’t want to pay with a personal check because if the book costs more than $30, it would frikking bounce and I hate it when that happens! I really had no business buying even Jim Lovell’s book in my situation, and I knew it. It was patent lunacy. What about food? There’s not much left. I would buy the book. Read more and eat less. Don’t take nutrition too seriously.
It was just more than a block to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the media briefing. No sweat. Literally no sweat. But the place seemed deserted; not even a person at the info desk just inside the door; no signage with directions to the reception. I was early; I’d go buy the book. I walked across Jefferson Street to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and asked a sales person where the Lovell books were. “We sold out,” she said. “We had 400 copies. Sold out in no time.” DANGIT!
There was someone at the information desk this time as a returned to the ALP Library. “Can you tell me where the media reception for Jim Lovell is?” I asked.
“That was yesterday,” she replied with a voice as flat as Oscar Levant on a bad day.
Had I been blessed with a third leg, I would have kicked myself in the hindquarters all the bleeping way back to the parking meter!
As I drove home, I realized I had saved myself the price of a wonderful book and a parking ticket, and I would be the better for it. Heq, I might even get to pay part of my overdue water bill! I was disappointed, for sure, but I’ll be better off without it, at least until I can truly afford to buy it. I also feel better knowing my life has been set straight by the Higher Omniscience in whom I entrust my life.
After all, that’s why I say . . . . . . . . . . .
Live long . . . . . . . . . . and proper.