Here I am once again to save the day. It’s me, Chess, the border collie. You may remember me from all the other excellent posts that were about me like “The Mysteries of Life” and “Big Flat Rocks”, which, in truth, weren’t sufficiently about me, but at least enough to make them interesting.
This is me in another characteristic pose. You can see how busy my day has been.
We went on our walks and the guy I live with even made a movie of me on my walk, which was really gripping, but he said I tugged on the leash so much that the camera jiggled, and watching the movie made him really dizzy. So he deleted it.
The guy I live with spent most of the day raking the neighbor’s yard, and then digging up a bunch of plants in the way back garden here and triumphantly tossing them aside. I understand that most gardeners like to put plants in the ground; the guy I live with digs them up constantly. I’ve said before he’s kind of a nut, and this should prove it conclusively.
So he took hardly any pictures, and most of them were dumb anyway. He did take a picture of Penstemon arenicola (that’s what he says it is) with Antennaria aromatica, in one of the limestone troughs, and he always says that there are few things more beautiful than blue flowered penstemons in Section Coerulei set off by (as in, growing in) white limestone or shale. He’s probably right, but my color vision isn’t good enough to say one way or the other.
He’s always right. My mommy called him Mister Always Right, because he was, except for the times when he wasn’t, and you should have heard the two of them then. She would email everyone she knew telling them that Mister Always Right was wrong. Like a meteorite fell in the back yard or something.
The guy I live with says that penstemons in Section Coerulei remind him of Claude Barr. I think you’d have to read Jewels of the Plains to see why, although what reminds him of things can often seem really bizarre to other people, because they don’t see how this kind of memory works. In fact, the guy I live with says that once they asked chess grandmaster Alekhine (nothing to do with me), when he was giving a blindfold exhibition of twenty or so games, if he saw each individual chess board in his mind, and the grandmaster said no. He said, when he played a game without seeing the chess board, he only saw his opponent’s piece move on the board. That’s weird, and that’s the way these things work. Or so the guy I live with says.
Where was I? Oh. One time, there was this argument between the guy I live with and my mommy over whether or not Claude Barr had a telephone. That’s the sort of thing the two of them talked about. Whether or not Claude Barr had a telephone. My mommy said he had to have had one, but the guy I live with, who worked for the phone company for almost thirty years and knew about things like that (my mommy worked for the phone company too, when they met), said that at that time a lot of rural places had radios instead of telephones. She didn’t believe him, of course.
Well, the guy I live with “just happened to have on hand” the December, 1970 issue of The Bulletin of the American Penstemon Society, and he found a note in there, written by Barr, explaining why he missed the Midwest Regional Meeting. His car got stuck in the gumbo clay in his driveway, and he wasn’t able to call anyone to tell them his car got stuck, because the two-way radio wasn’t working. In fact, and this is the part he read out loud to my mommy “…the two-way came to life only toward night, precluding also having an explanation relayed by telephone ….” Precluding, he noted loudly. Relayed, he noted again, as my mommy became more and more irritated with Mister Always Right.
She said this was a really stupid thing to talk about, but the guy I live with said it was interesting. It wasn’t really, of course, but that’s the way things were.