you know you’re semi-good-lookin’ . . . or are you

Another literary light lost. J. D. Salinger this time. I am one of the admirers of CATCHER IN THE RYE and his Glass Family stories, seeing something profound in Holden’s struggle against phonies and towards an innocence he knows is already forever lost. I also wonder whether his daughter Margaret will publish some of his writings that he did only for himself–he wrote every day for hours, and people say that notebooks are lined up on shelves containing new stories or journals or something. It will be interesting if she does publish some of the work. He didn’t want it out there during his lifetime, and here’s hoping he didn’t leave instructions for it to be destroyed. (Or that she ignores his wishes and prints some of it for the rest of us to see.)

On the other hand, as hubby observed, “Maybe there’s a reason he didn’t want to publish any of the rest of it.” I always figured it was because he knew it would be compared and held up for scrutiny against the canonized works, and didn’t want that pressure. But who can say, until we see it? Maybe not even then.

Closer to home, yesterday the world lost a WWII fighter pilot, family man, and wonderful physics teacher.

Mr. Loisel was one of the best teachers I ever had, and was a wonderful person as well. I was in his Physics class my senior year in 1977, and I still remember what he taught us in Project Physics about waves, the electromagnetic field and Right Hand Rule(s), particles, and randomness. I can still recall the “aha!” moment I had when he showed us how a wave traveling through water propagates without “moving” (I don’t explain it as well–wish we’d had video cams back then.) My posse Linda, Susan, Denise2, and I used to go over and eat lunch with him in the cafeteria anytime we saw him at a table alone. He rescued my notebook when a fellow student (a boy I had a crush on) stole it through a subterfuge right before finals and returned it to me with the admonition, “Don’t be fooled by good looks and charm.” *grin* He came to my house to see my final project, a large-scale telescope, and have me identify Mars and show him the Pleiades and so forth. Mama served him strong coffee and I remember he just stirred and stirred it–it never DID get weak enough to drink (I think she dissolved silver spoons in that stuff). I was just thinking a couple of months ago (when I ran across my old textbook) how I should go by to see him and take him a copy of my latest novel and tell him how I have had a career in science/math as well! He lived a few streets over from us! But I kept thinking I didn’t want anyone from my past to see me until I lose more weight. Dumb. **sobs** He was definitely one of our best and favorite teachers. I remember the time we planned to scare him by having everyone in the lab yell “Hit the deck!” and jump to the floor. It worked, too! When the warning bell to exit class rang, my crush yelled in his basso profundo voice, “Hit the deck!” and we all hit the floor, INCLUDING MR. LOISEL! It is a wonder we idiots did not make someone get hurt! *We were mean* I know that up in Heaven, Mr. Loisel is enjoying seeing all his cohorts and fellow pilots and family and friends again, and that someday when we all get to Heaven, we’ll all meet again. My condolences to his family, and congratulations to him for a life well lived!

I tried to post that as a comment on the online obit, but the system rejected me. Prolly too long. The reason I wanted to put it online is that I’d like his family to know how much his students appreciated him. It’s supposed to ice over tonight, so I don’t know if I will make it out to the service. (There aren’t many people I would go to a service for–I don’t like them, and I generally don’t go to many.) I do hope the flyover of the F-16s takes place, no matter what the weather.

My friend’s grandmother passed this morning. She’s in Colorado and I really don’t know what to say anyhow. I’m not even sure we’re Close Personal Friends any more, as we seem to have run out of things in common when she left our shared neighborhood, book group, and so forth. But . . . anyway, I feel bad for her.

And I had a fairly bad stomach problem last night stretching into this morning, so I had to cancel my second piano lesson. What a drag! I have practiced the first page of the Mozart sonata and the first two pages of the Chopin waltz SO MUCH, and I have the Schubert memorized. I also made up a medley of show tunes that we’re going to work on. But anyhow, I’ll either go for a make-up on Sunday (if it doesn’t snow/ice and if I finally feel human again, gronk) or I’ll see her next Thursday.

I tell my family I’m going to a writers’ meet-up so they won’t suspect I’m taking piano. This way, Mama doesn’t demand to go along with me (she thinks writers are boring). And they don’t know I’m spending money, tra la. What they don’t know about the cheaper grocery items they’re getting in order to pay for this won’t hurt them!

I guess I’ve been occupied, huh? No wonder I totally missed Thomas Crapper Day, which was yesterday or thereabouts. Happy Flushes to you all, belatedly!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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