The Loneliness Of Long Distance Wine Country Greatly Amplified By A Black and White Existence

Medlock and Ames Vistas

Oh, you visitors to the Bay area who say, “Take me to Napa Valley, let me drink wine.” I indulge them of course, I’m a good host, but eventually, I take them down miles of winding roads that may get them carsick, climb over the hillocks amongst the staked out vineyards and pause there, point to a random small house on the far horizon, then I quote Norman MacLean’s epic conclusion to a River Runs Through It.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

Having said such a thing, some smart ass will always point out that there’s no water in sight, but that’s not the point, is it? My point is that as far as scientists can tell, all brontosauruses are thin at one end, much, much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end. Q.E.D.

Prepping to be off to Africa in the coming day, and then a truly grand trip begins.

You Can Keep The Congress In Their Hallowed Halls, I’ll Build My Foundations On The Waffle House!

Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA

You’d be surprised at how few of the local San Franciscans have been to some of the more minor significant landmarks in their own city. Don’t get out much? Too busy? Unfortunate…

The Legion of Honor sits at the top of SF’s Lincoln Park in the Land’s End, overseeing all of the city and the Golden Gate. It houses a fine art museum–Monet, anyone?–and a tribute to the Legion itself, and is a three quarter stone replica of its inspiration in Paris. It’s as stunning up close as it looks in this picture; my biking pal commented that they simply don’t make buildings like this anymore. Indeed.

America’s government houses its Congress in such grand buildings, and based on the nasty discourse of modern US politics, one could be tempted to say they are not worthy of the house in which they parlay, but I’ll refrain, as government will do what they will do, and changing that is the innate ability of the voters…me, for instance. I will go into my Fisher-Price voting booth, pull knobs and switches, bells go off and a pre-recorded voice will say, “Way to go!”, and if my candidates win, I’ll give random people a thumbs up, and if not, I’ll endure two or four years of the majority party term and whatever shenanigans they enact.

But hey, it’s the US. As one saying goes, tongue-in-cheek with a little truth, Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they’ve exhausted all the alternatives.

In my mind, intent is half the battle, and it makes no sense for me to hold governmental frustration for any length of time. In such moments, I will jump on my bike, sweat my way up the steep hills to the Legion, and sit within its columns imagining a future ripe with possibility and how I might be part of it.