Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A satisfying Tuesday night

Four-thirty in the afternoon and I am at the Half Barrel on the Strip.

I manage to find a meter adjacent to where I'm going. But, those who would know tell me that putting quarters in the slot after 4 is a waste. Oh, well. I found them underneath the seat.

Talk awhile with a friend and former professor. Brought back memories, fond ones, of lectures on the farce that was Johnson's impeachment, on the last five years of Lee's life, on Reconstruction and Rutherford Hayes.

It feels good. I'm going to be back in that world soon.

While I was paying my check, the talk at the bar turned my stomach. I actually heard the "N Word" used in conversation. Followed by laughs. I turned to my right and saw the source. I was no longer surprised.

Didn't want to drive back to Halls at rush hour so I headed west to the book store. (Yeah, they still have them, a real life, honest to God brick-and-mortar bookstore.)

Tried to pull the plug on Eric Foner's best-in-its-field study on Reconstruction. But, I know I can find it cheaper on Amazon. (Ironic, given my previous statement, huh?)

I once held a hardback copy in my hand. Five bucks. Had it in my hand. Put it back. Some of the biggest regrets of my life are putting good books back on the shelf.

I am a nerd. Sue me.

After going belly up at Borders, I waited out the storm (saw Bill "Heartland Series" Landry!) and then stopped by McKay Used Books. Ahh, a little more luck. Here I found a 75-cent gem, "Nixon Reconsidered," as well as a first edition of a book that made quite an impression a decade ago, Pauline Maier's "American Scripture," on the making of the Declaration.

I am curious as to what I will think about it now. Plan to read it after "The Coming of Rain" and something I just had shipped to the Halls Branch Library on the 1876 presidential election. (Yes, Tilden should have been president.)

Ate dinner with the family (sort of -- I took it home), then watched the Red Sox lose to Minnesota. (Oh, well. Heidi was wearing black tonight.)

Don't have a point here. Just a few moments on a satisfying Tuesday night.

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