Tag Archives: william clark

the f2fb shakedown and the second death of my fiance

i have often been asked if i understand that it’s a little dangerous to be doing my new years resolution.  meeting friends, yes, but sometimes i am meeting friends whom i have never actually met before.  i often employ a chaperone, for instance, captain reggie gholston has accompanied me on two different trips and i don’t think i could have survived mexico city without him.  when i go around the world, beginning in october, i will have two chaperones–dennis sears and my son joseph presser.  closer to home, i use murphy quite a bit.  murphy drives me to a public location and we agree upon a return time.  he will call a half hour before the return time.  if  i don’t answer, he knows to show up and find me.  he also knows exactly who i am meeting.  i want to protect myself physically.

yesterday, i was made aware of a second danger with this project.  i made contact with a facebook friend i haven’t seen in over a quarter century.  i indicated i would be traveling to her country and she said i was to bring her a present:  a mac computer. she has recently moved from america to a remote area of a third world country and is working as a teacher at a university.  her mac broke and the university’s computers are sometimes slow.  i worry both about the cost and about transporting it.  i asked murphy about what i should do.

and now i ask you:


in other f2fb news, i have made no secret of my engagement to f2fb friend #60 captain william clark.

william clark is an american explorer who died in 1838. he is best known for the exploration of the expedition of 1803-1806 of the louisiana purchase


lanny jones, a f2fb friend 59, has written a day by day account of clark’s adventures on a facebook profile for clark.  i have made friends with mr. clark, who is exceedingly popular (900 or so friends) and have also become engaged to him. . .

this is a william clark doll that i take everywhere with me! it was a gift from facebook fiance mr. clark


facebook has deactivated mr. clark’s account–a second death–because lanny is unable to provide a real first and last name.  impersonating someone on facebook is strictly prohibited.  this is sad news because i have several friends who aren’t exactly of the material world. . . . . and also sad because if my fiance is deactivated to whom do i return the engagement ring?

thank you mr. clark (or maybe mr. jones)

as many of you know, i am betrothed to mr. william clark, originally born in caroline county, virginia. but some of you might not know that my fiance has been dead since 1838. he’s buried in st. louis. please don’t tell him. it would break his heart.

he was a farmer, a soldier, a part-time botanist, zoologist, astronomer and cartographer. he was appointed governor of the missouri territory and he most famous for traveling with merriweather lewis across the vast united states after president thomas jefferson purchased the land from the french. you can read about his adventures in my facebook friend lanny jones’ book “william clark and the shaping of the west”.

i met william (i can call my fiance by his first name although most people refer to him as mr. clark) in person when i was in new york. new york was a scary trip for me. i was getting phone calls from my father every few hours–he is convinced his wife barbara is trying to commit him and indeed he was institutionalized very briefly after my visit to tallahassee. i was swindled out of some money on thursday evening of the trip by a member of the harvard club (an ex-member, but still, you’d think harvard people would be better than that) and i had an anxiety attack nearly every minute of every day. but i loved seeing the museum of sex, touring the city with john r. douglas, meeting vince p. and nearly meeting a passel of celebrities.

when i travel, i bring talismans. lucky charms and not in the form of cereal. i have a lucky flight plan of a long ago trip that keeps planes aloft so long as i am on them. i have several rosaries, gifts from my sons. and i now have a diminutive replica of my fiance when he was just an explorer. thank you, mr. clark, i shall travel with him always in my little medicine bag.

btw, william clark actually has his own facebook page. that’s how we met!

my next major trip, well, the one after the western illinois, is to mexico city. i understand i will need my inhaler and a desire for adventure. it will be the first time i’ve been in a country where the primary language is not english. ciudad de mexico, un que lugar hermosa!!!

thank you mr. clark, i will travel always with this reminder that i am officially a member of the club of adventurers! unless your biographer mr. jones sent it, in which case i will still take it with me!

i’m engaged! post your best wishes here!

i never would have thought it. i never would have believed i had any desire to marry again. but i have fallen hopelessly in love . . . and at first sight with f2fb friend #60. he’s dashing, an adventurer and he hopes to join me on my remaining travels! he has been married twice before, but this, well, this is truest love.

but first i should mention facebook friend number 59 lanny jones. lanny is best known for being the managing editor of both people and money magazines. he also coined the term baby boomers which is used to describe americans who were born after world war 2 and well before i was. we talked about charlie sheen’s recent troubles and how magazines have changed. there’s a lot more online and it’s all driven by celebrities and their publicists. he has his own wikipedia entry. so does gilbert gottfried, my weasely facebook friend who never showed up or even returned an email. which tells you that lanny has better manners than gilbert gottfried.

lanny lives at princeton, new jersey which is just an hour outside new york. we had a lovely lunch at the princeton faculty club. even though lanny is not actually a faculty member of princeton. i will still call him professor.

he is also famous for writing the book william clark and the shaping of the west. william clark explored the western united states with merriweather lewis in the early 1800s after president thomas jefferson purchased the land from the french (commonly called the louisiana purchase). that’s enough history for one blog.

lanny seems to think that william clark is a bit of blowhard, maybe even a jerk. he confided this to me in the foyer outside the faculty dining room.  and i have the video to prove it but i’m having technical difficulties uploading lanny’s video.  argh!

it’s on my facebook page so you’ll have to switch over there for more of the story.

but i do have the poem that lanny told me i must remember when i am on my journey.  it’s by c.p. cavafy–

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

f2fb preparations for being tossed from a plane

i have long thought it ill-advised to trust that a 485 ton aluminum tube should be able to soar several miles into the air and shoot off to exotic locales like pittsburgh, milan or saigon. most of my adult life i have sided with caution in the gravity vs. aeronautics debate–my son joseph went to boston university and i didn’t visit him, not once, while he was there. i feel awful about that. i could make myself have an anxiety attack just thinking about flying. i could look up at the sky on a summer day and get the shakes watching a jet streak towards the horizon.

and yet, i fly now. i get on planes. i get off of planes. you want to avoid sitting next to me because i fidget during take off and i have to sit on the window seat. but i do it. i owe the change in my perspective to facebook friend power hypnosis. his first name isn’t power and his last name isn’t hypnosis. he’s marc st. camille, which is such a hollywood ready name that i’d put an andrew jackson down on the table that it’s a hypnotism name. did you know all the best hypnotists change their names when they get in the business?

so i’m going skydiving with facebook friends reggie and his cousin sammie in huntsville alabama. i am going in to see mr. hypnosis on friday. i will record the sesion. he has a lot to say about relaxation. and i’ll definitely need to relax when i’m being shot out into the air with nothing but a parachute–the 485 ton aluminum tube is feeling awfully safe in comparison!

yesterday, i went to lunch with two facebook friends who are coworkers who are more like sisters. debra chuk and lynn aldape work at the winnetka community house and sometimes their social life bleeds into their work life–this past friday they invited me to seul’s and then to bingo night at the house and while i didn’t get to go i’m making arrangements to do that soon with them. deb is one of the first winnetkans i ever met. i admire both gals because as we talked i realized what incredible responsibilities they carry on their shoulders–stuff outside of the workplace that i never hear about. i think one thing i’m learning about my friends is that everybody has stuff they don’t talk about and everybody tries their best!

every world tour deserves a kick off concert and mine got cancelled because of the horrific snowstorm–it’s rescheduled for tuesday the twenty second around seven o’clock. email me for details! it’s an excellent way for me to say goodbye as i head off to new york where i’ll visit the museum of sex, staten island, and meet with william clark, who has been dead over a hundred years but that doesn’t stop him. not one little bit!

f2fb #31 a sister can be a very good friend

i hit a wall yesterday.  justin wore me out.  there’s some sort of drug interaction going on.  he calls it “academititis” insofar as he says that he has been trained to keep talking for a full hour for classes so he is unable to help himself except by talking in one hour chunks.  yesterday, in a moment of unbelievable cruelty, i said i had stage four cancer and that my sons had been dead for three weeks.  just to get him to stop talking for a minute.  i really feel like a jerk for doing that.  and besides, it didn’t work.

finally i told him to be quiet for five minutes and let me talk.  i did.  and then he got furious because i was talking about emotional issues.  so we agreed that he would stay quiet for five minutes if i chose a topic that was of suitable academic interest.  i chose the tudor regime.  catherine of aragon, the seymour brothers being beheaded, lady jane grey–i lasted three minutes.  but to his credit he stayed pretty quiet.  he asked one question about the chronology of anne boelyn’s beheading and jane seymour’s engagement announcement.

casey (oh, gosh, facebook friend #31) came into town and we are both worried about justin.  i am surprised at how patient she is with him, how wonderful she manages him, and how much real affection i feel for her.

last night and this morning i got a lot of encouraging messages saying keep going. . . i am reminded that my facebook friend william clark, who has been dead for quite some time, undertook a road trip with merriweather lewis.  and he didn’t know what all stuff he was going to face and overcome.  and i need to buck up because one day this year i’m going to be kidnapped by pirates while jetskiing from korea (to see john choie) to the phillipines (to see mark bitango rosario and his family).  i can’t be a crybaby now.