Visit from a friend

Met my friend Peter — he of the Louisiana Critter Romance story below — on his way back home from the API memorial for Col. Cooper in New Mexico.

He and Mom started swapping stories, and that, along with some rather nice Italian food, made for a very enjoyable evening.

On the drive back home, Mom made the comment that it was nice to talk Africa with people who knew exactly what you were talking about.

I think she badly misses Africa — but I also think that the Africa she misses changed a long time ago, and not for the better.


Ah, well.


Happy Mothers Day
Three hours and counting.

6 thoughts on “Visit from a friend”

  1. I forget the name of the philosopher who said that one cannot step into the same river twice. Either it has changed or the one stepping in it has. Africa will always be happier in her memory than any reality she could experience today. Besides, she’d be going there without her best friend, your Pa.

    If I were to visit my old neighborhood today, I’d have to take a squad of Marines with me, the place has gone so far to Hell. And the old folk have died off or moved on, too.

    Sadness for the present, a smile to remenice.

  2. I’ve got to drive up and visit LawMom myself, one of these days… She’s easy to chat with over the phone.

    I can’t speak intelligently to Africa, but we’ll have merry time on things Texan.

  3. Mike Resnick wrote a novel titled PARADISE that is a very thinly veiled allegory for post-colonial Africa. Like most of Mike’s stuff, it’s powerful and very evocative.

    He came to the same conclusion, that you can’t go back home again.

  4. Africa has a way of getting into a white man’s blood and never leaving. Once there, it really is impossible to go home again.
    As with anywhere else over the years, though, the people I knew and treasured, have gone: the King, Big Mama, Chief Black Lady, the Alawo, Biokoro, and many of the others. Being there without them would be devastating.
    Every place changes and almost inevitably loses its charm in doing so. Unfortunately, there is nothing to replace it.
    Realistically, I wouldn’t want to go back, because circumstances would be very different: no more afternoons at the Palace, drinking palm wine and watching-sometimes participating-in the often hilarious and sometimes fatal, machinations of the court. No more cobras in the attic. No more glass cutters, accompanied by every watchnight on the estate, running through my house. No more clandestine visits to the smugglers’ black boats out on the river.
    So, yeah, I loved it, was frustrated by it, miss it, hate it here, but here is where I am and likely to be. And I do tend to be a realist.

  5. Continuing tbeck’s sidetrack on books about Africa, I’d like to recommend “The Great Thirst” by William Duggan. Could be a nice little present to LawMom.

  6. I do know what you mean. I lived in Tanzania (Arusha) for sometime and now miss it much.

    Best Wishes
    Dr. Cathey

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