Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the aura of the far Northland

Again, why I love this guy. You can't own him.
Auburn University thought they owned him for a couple years. WRONG.
The latest on the good Dr. John.

"I can get this project done in 2 years but I have a contract to work at
Northern Tier for 10 weeks this summer." jd

"Can't let you do that." auburn guy

"And I can't let you own me for 12 months on a $15,000 salary." jd

"Sorry" auburn guy

"So am I. I'm flying to Minnesota on May 27." jd

That's basically how it went with my major professor at Auburn. And he
basically said, "Don't come back."

The pull of the lake country where I teach a history program in a
fashion that allows me to practice the arts of music and theater is
overwhelming. And they pay me to do it.

When I got here, I saw Jay Timmerman.
"Hey Jay! What number is this for you?"
"Its my 13th or 14th season. Can't remember."

I'm sitting at the table with the chef one day and I say, "Hey
Christian, have you ever been here before?"
"Yeah, I was a youth participant in 1988."

"Really? That was the first year that I was a guide here."
Christian goes home and checks his map and low and behold there is a
signature on it that says, "6 August, 1988. John Duke."
I was his guide! But I don't remember him - he was 14 and I was 21 at
the time. There are roughly 350 crews that go through here in a summer
and there are about 60 guides. I could explain the math if you wanted
but the chances of one guide getting a particular crew is about 6 out of
350 or about 2%.

To get here this summer, I left my car in ATL and bought a 500 dollar
Geo Metro in Minneapolis. I met this guy in the hood by taking the bus
from the airport. It doesn't look pretty but he was a damn good
mechanic and the car runs like its made for the race track. Its peppy
and gets about 40 miles a gallon. We became good friends and I drank
beer with him for about 2 hours while he put a side view mirror on the
driver's side.

This is my last summer. I swear as God is my witness! At least for a
while. Can't wait to get back to my own hood.

Over and out.

John E. Duke