S____ once asked, in a now forgotten context, "Is that archaic
enough for you?"
The answer likewise has been forgotten, but the feeling
of deja vu still remains, for I have a fondness for certain
old or antiquated modes. Though I have never been an official member of the
Society for Creative Anachronism
(but do try to stay on good terms with
the local group)
there are certain appealing aspects to
their philosophy - taking the best of the old ways, without suffering
from their limitations. For example,
I often wear Amish style broadfall work pants, a
design little changed by the past century - very comfortable and
they satisfy the Erica Jong criterion.
I have lived for a while in a
an aboriginal tent with central heating,
split wood to heat the morning coffee or evening tea,
cooked cakes in a wood stove and
baked brownies over an open fire.
My taste in music also tends to the old - I sing 18th century hymns with
and fiddle for
Morris Dancing as well as
Playford (1650) and Revolutionary era country dances. Gregorian Chant is
music to my ears. Josquin, Shutz, de Lassus, Palestrina, Sweelink,
Billings and Bach I would sing,
play, or listen to without hesitation.
In this age of ballpoint pens, e-mail, word processors
and page layout programs which I use during
the workday, my personal correspondents may receive letters done by hand
with a nib or quill dipped in ink.
Back to the Present
I like to drive a red car, particularly one with four wheel drive for
pushing through fresh New England snow.
My first car, a red Toyota Land Cruiser, served well for nine years of
driving through mountains, snow, mud, blizzards, and other fun conditions
while carrying canoes, tipi poles, skis and other paraphernalia.
JB and Karen christened it the "Ishmobile", but I never felt
quite comfortable with that name, preferring to think of it as the
Red Rover. Many were the miles we drove together.
Red Rover II
This is a 1985 Jeep Cherokee, great for getting out of those parking
lots which are really cow pastures by day, and also for dealing with
snow - no need to shovel before driving out in the morning.
I do not commute by car - it certainly does not get used on a daily
basis. For some years I used to travel by
but now I get around Boston mostly by
saving the automobile principally for long distance trips or
ferrying heavy loads of groceries.
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Original July 1994
Last modified: Jan 10 07:58 2000 / email@example.com