Harry Chesterfield

Subj: Harry Chesterfield 
Date: 95-09-14 13:11:51 EDT
  To: El Polvo 

Polvo Bravo, Hey, dude, when you coming up for the big drive? Bring them grizzles under control by showing them who's boss? You still at the station of what? Mebbe I ought to check my E-Mail, be right back. Well here I am again, it's two seconds later, I just didn't have the patience to go through all that on my steam driven computer, takes too long and I'm hot to write. The carpet man George is inside laying new flooring in the bathroom kitchen and back utility room to take some new vinyl/linoleum and we've been working with him to get out what we decided we didn't want to get out, namely the Hotpoint 45 year old stove, and the 150 pound concrete utility sink. I'd spent the better part of the last two days putting in a new toilet, then had to take it out just now right down to the old lead sleeve that the toilet empties into, taking up all the quarter rounds, taking off bottom cabinets to accommodate the flooring, generally having a good time and playing red blooded American male. Spat Copenhagen into a coffee can in the corner, wiped the drool off my chin on my sleeve, kicked the cat and booted the dog, cleaned my sinuses with my fingers then went out and got in a fight with the first guy that came along who happened to be Kent Mosher, the former middleweight champion of the world who now raises Charolais cattle up on the Benchmark. Broke my nose but you ought to see him. Now I feel like breakfast, gonna go out to the buff herd outside of town and rip off some flank steak. We were taking our walk yesterday morning after the kids went to school, woman drives up and stops, said she's seed us walking around town the last few days, wanted to introduce herself, she's Sarah Cobb from the Benchmark, first ranch after Nilan Reservoir, from back east, activist hereabouts, former nurse, tends to the school, invited us to the school board meeting tonight, she makes sure the school moves into the 90's. Nice woman, good smile, clear eyes, direct, funny. She had her eye on Marilyn, knew she was a nurse and teacher, home health practitioner, we'll see what this turns out to be. The receptivity of the community continues hot and friendly, traditionalists and new people alike, like . . . . . . Sara the retired lawyer from Washington who has a gift shop here, is maybe 35, bright but burned out on the old civ., Steve McGill who has a general store and is a plumber and all around handyman, one of those intense metabolisms, sleeps a few hours a night, takes care of the oldsters of the town by accommodating his fees to their income, has a special gimpy old man called Chester, 84, who is an old cuss, he mows his lawn, cashes his checks, does for him generally., he seems like a straight arrow, raises three girls by himself, works the store and goes on calls, contributes time and money to the school regularly, this guy's maybe 38. He's coming over to install a new Gould pump and put us in a larger pressure holding tank. There's Kelly whose mom came from a good family in Ireland, never did adapt to Augusta or Montana, returned to die in her eighties to Limerick, Kelly built the Catholic church here, helps with the service, rides a bike in the morning, still has red hair although she has to be in her sixties, she's a stanchion of the town. George who looked after Nellie's cat here for two years while she was at the retirement home, he came out here in the 30's with a few others, got a job on a ranch the third day, stayed in for the rest of his life, worked as a hand for Nellie for awhile I think at the Broken Circle ranch which she sold to Bill Moore. I told you about that didn't I? He's 80 if he's a day, wonderful smile and sense of humor, has a wife who's been on her last legs for 60 years. George in there, born in Havre, been a carpet layer for 30 years, moved to Seattle during the time his children were growing up so he could make some money which is hard here, stayed there till they went to college, moved back, wants to do something else but he's locked in, this is all he knows, floors, covering, sweet guy, works 60 hours a week on his knees, has terrible pain knocking that thing that stretches the carpet toward the wall, that other thing that you have to thump to tuck the edge down onto the nailsticks. Complains once, that's it, talks about something else. People are heroes, you know? Every goddamned one! We went to a dance and Pig Roast at the Western Bar the other night, cut the rug, had a good time. Friendly out here, all around. Once we start to take our place in the arrangement of things I'm sure we'll polarize some unfriendliness but that's okay. There's an element here that wants sidewalks, curbs, dog rules, a city hall, regs, rules, punishments, an in-town sheriff or police department, 20 screen movieplex, mall, school bussing so they can close up this school and lessen their taxes. They don't believe there's poverty here and that everyone gets enough to eat even when there's old folks living on less than three hundred bucks a month. I was going through kidney failure the past four weeks, got terrible gout during the packing and move, arrived here more dead than alive but I've come back to life, needed to get out of southern Cal, it was doing me in seriously. Now I'm feeling so good I'm going to look at bikes today so I can put in a couple of hours each day tooling around the countryside. We're still moving boxes, need to arrange the garage, put down the old house carpet on the slab and move in the white southwestern furniture that won't fit in the house, make a place for the kids. George will get the flooring down today and lay the linoleum tomorrow, we can get the stove and toilet back in, I'll start laying down some new quarter round. Zach says to me, Hey dad, when are we gonna be able to do something together, you're working all the time. Come play Donkey Kong with me. But this too will pass, I'll be all theirs, their own pappy looking after them and being with them. It's already happening. Loose fingers is the trick. Letting go of the rocks along the bank and giving in to the flow. I tell you Dusty this whole thing is miraculous the way it is unfolding, all of my life pieces fitting together like some master jigsaw man is deftly sorting it all out and having a good time doing it, I hear chuckles all the time and have to smile because I know I'm being played, but this time it feels good because I've given up all resistance. I am letting me be moved, carried, placed, given to understand. I've given up trying to run the show myself. San Diego was the clearing house, the OR where all the cancer was cut out and some bon bons put in their place. Before coming up here I bought the flight simulator you have with a joystick, need to get the address of where I can get the rudder pedals from you, plus another flight simulator program called F-18. Haven't played either one. One of the moving guys who helped me load the U'Haul down south highly recommended the software called Chuck Yeager, said it was the best he's found, good visuals and authentic radio dialogue in all sorts of situations, landing on a carrier, in dogfights, catfights. He said the Microsoft Lear, Cessna and Camel are toys compared. It also has a function where you can work it in extreme slow motion as you master controls. He doesn't use a joystick, just the keyboard, and in the Chuck Yeager one he uses the entire keyboard. Can you imagine that? having to find keys to fly and fight? Gotta go take a walk now, plan the day with Marilyn, so I'll zap this to ye. Hope you're okay and that I see you soon. Bring the Kathleen in the Lexus so I'll recognize y'all. Harry Chesterfield