jump to navigation

Chinatown July 23, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
4 comments

The first time I saw Chinatown, I was a seventeen-year-old kid passing through Camden, Maine, on vacation with my best friend’s family—in a motorhome. We had traveled from Maryland to Boston, to Cape Cod (taking in a play at Falmouth, I believe); taken a ferry (sans motorhome) to Martha’s Vineyard and back; then headed up the coast of Maine, getting as far north as Camden.

Sue and I were ready to be on our own, away from her parents and an accompanying couple. There was a movie theater in town, kind of art-housey, I guess, because they were showing Chinatown, and this was five years after its initial release. Could we go? Sure, Mary Helen said. Get a cab out to the campground after. Off they drove to the outskirts. Somewhere.

So we saw Chinatown. (“She’s my sister and…!”) Then, in the dark Camden evening, we found a phone booth (remember those?) and scanned the phone book for a cab service.

There was none.

Sue and I grew up in a small town. It’s not so small anymore, but it was then. In that small town, there were cabs to be called. A complete lack of cabs hadn’t occurred to any of us.

We didn’t know where the campground was or how to get there or how far a walk out of town it might be. There was no way to contact our peeps and have them disconnect all their hookups, leave their campsite, and come get us.

So we walked to the police station.

It turned out that despite our having always been told how helpful the police could be, these particular police were not very sympathetic to our predicament. They sat us down on a bench with other teenage hoodlums and made us wait. And wait. For what, I’m not sure. It seemed that there were more cops than hoodlums and perhaps we might be helped more quickly. Clearly, no one wanted to lower himself to cab service.

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

Perhaps an hour later, figuring we had suffered enough, someone loaded us into the back of a police car and drove us to the campground, several miles out.

That night, that station, that car—that’s what I think about when anyone mentions Chinatown. I remember very little of the movie.

But another Sue—one who has never seen the film and has had a DVD copy forced upon her by a mutual, well-meaning Faye Dunaway–freak friend (“What? You’ve never seen Chinatown?”)—plans to drop over this evening, right after she gets her hair done, and watch it on my big-ass TV screen. I haven’t seen Chinatown in thirty-five years. No doubt the police in this film will prove to be very helpful people. Right?

 

Advertisements

The Fifth of July July 5, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Derek, 15 March 1972–5 July 2012

Cheryl, 2 May 1961–5 July 2013

 

3BY2: Quarterly Report July 1, 2014

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
4 comments

Eastern phoebe, common merganser, song sparrow, wood duck, common loon, common eider, osprey, black-backed gull, double-crested cormorant, northern flicker, chimney swift, rose-breasted grosbeak, tree swallow, yellow-bellied sapsucker, barn swallow, indigo bunting, Baltimore oriole, warbling vireo, yellow-throated vireo, ovenbird, eastern towhee, gray catbird, yellow warbler, American redstart, field sparrow, chipping sparrow, white-throated sparrow, black-billed magpie, pinyon jay, ash-throated flycatcher, black-throated sparrow, violet-green swallow, lark sparrow, blue-gray gnatcatcher, lazuli bunting, black-headed grosbeak, Eurasian collared dove, white-crowned sparrow, Bullock’s oriole, spotted towhee, juniper titmouse, yellow-rumped warbler, western kingbird, bank swallow, Wilson’s warbler, black-chinned hummingbird, spotted sandpiper, white-throated swift, green towhee, brown-headed cowbird, western meadowlark, common yellowthroat, brown thrasher, bobolink, veery, hermit thrush, killdeer, eastern meadowlark, ruby-throated hummingbird, wood thrush, black and white warbler, eastern wood peewee, house wren, green heron, cedar waxwing, prairie warbler, northern waterthrush, ruffed grouse. (Bringing 2014 total thus far to 108. 2012: 102. 2013: 162.)

I admit to being a lazy birder. It’s like I’m barely trying. Our biggest day since March was adding a dozen species on an early-May walk on the rail trail. We added two dozen on our Utah trip, which is pretty good, I guess, but pales in comparison with Arizona’s 73 (of course, we’d hired a guide).

I can’t believe I haven’t seen a scarlet tanager yet. My neighbor across the street took a photo of one in her yard, for cryin’ out loud!