Nothing about the election today, because I’m writing this at a point where no one knows anything. It’s possible no one knows anything when you see this. It’s possible no one ever knew anything, and we have propped ourselves up with certainties for centuries, convictions that explain the unknowable and impose order on the random currents that rush through the rivulets of our days and the great wide rivers of the past, he said, pretentiously.

It was a beautiful day - low seventies, a complete rebuke to the bitter winter cold of October’s second half. Walked to the polls with Daughter - the polling place was her old high school, so of course, Memories, and all the strange emotions of connection and alienation you have to those institutional halls. It's not a surprise how quickly you forget high school, but it's always something of a cold rebuke when you discover it forgot you first.

We were surprised to find her cousin as an election judge. All towns are, at some level, small towns.

Kicked through the leaves on the way home. A beautiful day in America.

Went to the office and ate a smal roast beef sandwich at my desk. Same as yesterday. Well, once you've opened the pack, you'd better get to it. Filed two pieces to my editors, who are home. There's an inversion of the way things usually worked.

Wandered around the office. Considered moving my desk to an unoccupied part of the office. There are many open desks in the wing on the other side of the kitchen area. This would be my view.

Why not move? Because it feels wrongosafa. It’s like camping in foreign territory. But there’s no one here to mind or care; what’s the difference? Do I like this dim area where I am now, the lights shut off, the desk whose vertical controls are broken and cannot be adjusted? I couldn’t move for good, and I’d have to leave some emblems of my tenancy behind.

It’s as if I belong to the Tribe of This View.

Something about the old desk seems like a familiar burrow. Setting up over there would be like splitting my identity. Oh, I’d take the things that mattered - the coffee cup from Southwold, the pencil holder with the unsharpened pencils (They’ve been in that state since I began in 1997), but moving family photos would be a statement and a commitment. But it would be wrong to be over there without family photos.

I could, if I wished, set up in one of the small Poohbah Offices, much larger than the Peon Veal-Pens, and I could work there until the Spring and no one would kick me out. It’s not used now.

Nothing is being used.

Presented with new vistas, we nod, admire, and retreat to the familiar views. Why, there’s a lesson there that has particular application to late middle-age of a particular mindset! No doubt. But I also think, anyone who comes here will see me as an interloper. Because I feel like an interloper.

Sat outside with a small cigar enjoying the sun, looking for those Richard Estes moments. You know, the painter who did photorealistic work that turned storefronts into abstractions. Sometimes you think it’s there, but it turns out it’s not. The banner above, for example. It just doesn't work. It's not interesting.

Then sometimes you get it right:

Is that art? Well, yes, I suppose, but good art? Depends. Does the ease of making it argue against it being something I should feel I created? Yes.

Anyway. Most of the ground floor windows are boarded up, but even if they weren’t, there’s nothing much to see.




It’s 1921. This is a robust paper:

Horrible story.

This is the stretch of road:

His grave.

The father died in 1945, on his 83rd birthday.

Eventually two truck drivers were arrested, and the story recedes into the mists.


Good Lord, Iowa had a rough patch here.

I looked at the road, and no trace of the store seems to exist.



Another of those odd backwards ledes:

It was Hurteau, eventually.

Born in Davenport, Iowa on 26 SEP 1912 to Henry Everett Hurto and Frances M Feiler. William Winfield Hurteau married Hazel Frances Walling and had 2 children. He passed away on 20 MAY 1996 in Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona, USA.

He was, it seems a doctor, and a co-author of Atlas of Neuropathology : illustrations from the Photographic Department of the Army Institute of Pathology, Washington 25, D.C.


Goin’ out on a limb there with a controversial take, CEP:

Ah, but who to vote for? Depends on your priorities.

Beer, boxing, and Sunday movies!

Sober and judicious!

Steely at the organ, and Jahn, Agnew and Pierce as a diversion. (Their act consisted of harp solos, dancing, and singing.)

It played at the Capitol, now closed; impressive interior can be found here.

House for sale:

Every room an outside room!

You really don't want an inside room. Ever.


Finally, a Briggs:

If you can't make out the boy's dialogue, it's because he's blathering nonsense.

That will do - see you around, in the 80s.





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