Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One hand clapping

Mr. Keegan taught physics at Rib Lake High School. He also taught algebra and calculus, it was and is a small school. By the time I met him, he'd been teaching in the neighborhood of twenty years. Mr. Keegan taught a few years, took a year off, taught a few more, took a year off and so on. I thought that was pretty damn cool.

One thing I wondered about in the Cool Department was his wardrobe. He bought one new, high-quality suit at the beginning of each school year. He wore the new suit the first day of school, then it became part of the rotation. Since he'd only purchased high-quality garments and had taken those sabbaticals, he had suits from disco through grunge in the line-up. He stood on his chair to start one class so we could all laugh at the pink plaid ensemble before moving on to the quadratic equation.

Mr. Keegan claimed that whether anyone was around to hear a tree fall, it still made noise. Noise was disturbance of the air. Sound was our interpretation of said disturbance. I found that explanation logical and elegant.

The sky turned the same shade of purple found under the hero's left eye in the seventh round of Rocky IV(see there's still a reason to learn Roman numerals) at about three yesterday afternoon. The wind howled and I heard a plane land at the airstrip. Knowing that no one was scheduled to arrive or depart, I went out to see what may or may not be up.

The pilot landed to wait out the storm with Maun reporting forty knots, gusting 60 from the south. Since the Maun International Airport's runway is 08/26, even if it's goat-free, which it isn't always, that's a bit much as far as landing with a crosswind goes. I helped the pilot tie down the plane, then we went to have coffee and wait for the storm to blow through.

By the time the wind died down, an African Armarula(they produce fig-like fruits that elephants eat after they've partially fermented. Yep, drunken elephants. The liqueur of the same name has an angry elephant on the label.) had fallen across the path, cutting cottage number twelve off from the civilized world. Over on the staff village side of camp, a sycamore fell on Chippie's cabin, crushing the tin roof like a can against a redneck's forehead. No one heard Chippie screaming until the wind stopped.

Rafters smashed into her shins and cut her up a bit but other than being pinned down and scared half to death, she made it through unscathed.


Aunt Patty said...

Shane, I see Bob Keegan when we go to the lake. I will print this for him and he'll enjoy it. He just got a new puppy. Patty

cynicalbuddha said...

When you going to work DA in there?