Saturday, April 21, 2001

Florence! At long last! We have arrived in horrible weather after a six hour ordeal trying to leave Sicily. The details will have to wait as they are somewhat unbelieveble. But we are here. While in Sicily we got to visit the Roman VIlla and the Vallry of temples. Stunning. Check them out for yourselves on the net.

The small town we stayed in was unremarkable but very pleasant. It is from here that Rossanas family departed over a century ago. Some going to Morroco some to America.

Te rain has stopped now and I think we will take in what sites we can. We deprt tomorrow if a rail strike isnt called. Every day here is a suprise.


Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Departure day and it has snowed. Sweet fanciful Moses is SNOWED. It's been in the seventies. Winter is OVER. And yet, this one last stab at us as we attempt to depart. Last minute stuff. Got an mp3 player that fits into my Visor. I couldn't do this trip without at least SOME music. My limited selections? Gladiator, some Laureena MCKinnet and some stuff from Nordic Roots vol 2.

Had wings last night with Ed and Duff, watched 'Men of Honor' good film. I'm gonna miss my old and slightly deaf cat. I go now to pack up the last of the last.
Tomorrow is the big day. I am almost nausious from anticipation. It has been a long road, and now we are prepared to begin the adventure. We have worked throught a thousand logistical details from reservations to currency to train passes. Yet I am positive we have forgotten something. And it's probably a pretty big something. But there's nothing for it now. Tomorrow gives us a few scant hours to find and fix anything we need to. It has been a bittersweet weekend. On Thursday I received a call from my old boss, Mrs. Martindale, or "Mizzem". I worked for her family and company as a puppeteer and touring Shakesperean actor for five years. One of the many people I worked with was a young kid named Doug. He was all of 16 when I last worked with him about 10 years ago. In that time, he'd grown up, and had gone to live in Spain. He was even engaged.
Then he returned to the US for a short visit and to see why he was having terrible headaches. He is finally admitted to the Cleveland Clinic and is diagnosed with a very rare and quite terminal form of cancer. According to Mizzem it is inoperable and incurable. He is not expected to live long. All that can be done is to make him comfortable, and manage his pain.
I visited him on Friday. He looked, in all honesty, very well. He is a man now. With a fiance' and a job. We talked and cought up on what we'd been doing with our lives. He told me of Spain, and how beautuful it was. It was a cheerful conversation. He said that they were working to get him discharged so he could go home and have a bit of a party. I am both relieved, and terribly dissapointed that I won't be able to attend. Our meeting has stirred many emotions in me which are too deep and too personal to relate here. But I have decided one thing, that I will see the sun set on the Alhambra in Spain. I am told it is one of the most stunning sights in the world. And when I do visit that place, I will think of Doug.

By the time I return he may be gone. And if he is, I will take comfort in knowing that he has has ended one journey, only to begin another.