So, I’m going to give you an executive summary of the remainder of the trip and adjourn from this site, most likely until February of 2008. For a little while, the chair will be empty. But, I will be back.
The Rest of the Story
I continued to call the airlines from pay phone booths, dialing the 21 consecutive numbers to locations all over the world. The problem I was having was having everyone push me off to another number and location that was guaranteed to solve my problem. One day, and I am not exaggerating, I stood in a noisy phone booth for 3 hours dialing and talking and being put on hold. I'm talking about 3 consecutive hours! I finally called a teammate in
Our wonderful friend Stephanie Collins continued to loan BEG clothes. She was and is kind and sweet beyond measure. After day six or so I started buying BEG new clothes, but out of absolute stubbornness, which is a character flaw of mine, I continued to wash and wear my same clothes for 11 days. A lot of the time I was actually at the track wearing competition clothes so that was a break for those that had to continue to look at me.
My ears and lips developed a case of fungus. That’s right; there was a fungus among us. My ears got all scaly, causing me to look as if I might be headed for a ‘circus freak’ audition. Step right up folks and see the “
Thanks a lot pal.
He gave me a fungal cream that was literally a miracle cure. OK, thanks for real this time.
In hindsight I am now aware that the enormous toll of the early days, lack of sleep and lack of food presented conditions ripe for a lowered performance on the track and opened the door for the sneaky Italian bus dwelling bacterium. The 200 meter races did not go particularly well. I made it to the final sixteen, but I was just too ‘off-track’ to haul my tired hiney and scaly ears around the track at my normal speeds.
The good news is that after an additional week I was given the opportunity to run on the
The even better news is that the remainder of the trip, spent in sight seeing, was truly wonderful and the gods and sun smiled on both BEG and myself. We visited
And a story I wanted to tell you; we damn near missed the flight from
And for my faithful readers Kid Bratcher and Silver Lovely I want to acknowledge you and thank you for support in helping me relive the story. It was fun knowing you were reading with interest. For Kid, I am including a photo of Christine. The photo was taken by BEG on the day I finally got my luggage. Christine was so happy for me she kissed me! Maybe she was just really happy she was through dealing with me?
I wanted to develop some characters for you. Not in the way a fictional write might, but more to paint a picture of the real and wonderful people that surrounded me in
I could have told you so much more about Bill, my coach and world champion sprinter. More important to know is I consider him a world champion friend. He is like a big brother, always with an eye cast my way to safeguard and make my track experience as good as it can become.
I would have told you about Stephanie’s always present smile, laughter and kindness. If you read this Stephanie, understand you are considered a treasure.
I could have gone on at length about our Aussie teammate Bob Cozens. He is a live wire at age 70, a man truly alive, refusing to succumb to what so many men his age might succumb to. He is 30 years old in my mind. That’s a gift to be observed and incorporated as I move along in age. Thanks Bob.
And most importantly I should remind you all of the golden treasure BEG brings to my life every day. In a trip filled with potholes and cold rain early on, she kept smiling and holding my hand. She even told me she loved me several times. Go figure.
I must go now and help write a book, but I’ll return next year.
Good Thoughts to you all,