My older brother, Pat, recently discovered my blog. Now that my family's beginning to cotton on to what I'm writing but might not cotton to it, I'll have to measure my words out very carefully.
Along with his promised threat to read my blog, Pat told me of his vacation plan: fly-fishing in the Arkansas Ozarks on the Spring River, a very cold stream that emerges from underground at Mammoth Spring with a flow of 370 cubic feet per second and that draws from various underground tributaries, including the creek that disappears into the mysterious Grand Gulf. I gave him some advice:
Your trip sounds interesting. May you catch many flies. A tip: Honey works better than vinegar. [Our Uncle] Harlin's wife, Betty, told him that, but he never followed her advice. I asked [her], "Yeah, but who wants flies anyway?" Well . . . maybe you do, going fly-fishing and all.
In Pat's reply a week later, I discovered that I had labored under a misapprehension. He wasn't fishing for flies at all:
My fly-fishing on the Spring River was a success. The fish were rising (hitting the surface) after stoneflies which occasionally dropped to the surface. My fly box contained several good imitations of the stoneflies and I fooled about four fish -- rainbow trout -- released all in good health to be caught again another day.
The Lost Nomad will cotton to this fish-fishing experience. But now comes the strange coincidence in my brother's tale:
I did suffer a flat tire on the way back -- not on the gravel road leading to the Bayou Access to the Spring River but on the good old paved road. The highway department boys were laying oil and gravel and must have mixed in an extra sharp rock or a piece of metal. I had the unforgettable experience of changing a tire for the first time in at least 15 years. My tire was ruined but the good people at Goodyear Tires in Mountain Home were happy to sell me a new one for $155 (had to order it from Memphis overnight).
"What's strange?" you ask. This:
Anyway, we left Arkansas on Tuesday and stopped over in Springfield[, Missouri] for a day. We spent Wednesday looking for possible retirement homes in Forsyth and Hollister. I hope to retire from the Bank at age 55 (30 years in my retirement plan) and then piddle around southwest Missouri and northcentral Arkansas for 30-40 years.
First, Pat had to change a tire. Then he speaks of his plans to retire early. Re-tire and retire. Mere coincidence? I don't think so.