Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer hit the big city

So yeah, Patrick Landewe and I have a lot in common. We both run public houses in which we reside. He runs a lighthouse/bed and breakfast, and I run a tavern. Sometimes he has drinks at his place with his customers, and I open to the masses to tipple in my house and I occasionally take in boarders when friends pass through such as Patrick and other wandering roustabouts. Patrick and I have had similar experiences since we both started in our enterprises two years ago. He is the lighthouse keeper, a major figure in Saguerties NY. Everyone knows Patrick. Every little thing he does is known in the entire town. He throws a guy off of the grounds, and it is big news around town. There is talk of how good the food is that he makes for breakfast. How nice the place is now that he is there. Everyone wants to talk to Patrick when we go to town. People visit him all the time, often when he is supposed to be off work and in inappropriate situations. It is funny.

So I had my Tom Sawyer epiphany when I got to Saugerties. I have natural rambunctious boyish qualities, for I like to cause trouble and get into things. Patrick is versatile and a wild woodsman like Huck, and I am more of a savvy rough around the edges civilized player like Tom. It is funny, for Patrick and I have caused quite a bit of trouble over the years, but relatively wholesome trouble not unlike Tom and Huck. Nothing really to be ashamed or embarrassed about, just good fun like boys who came of age in the Mississippi valley.

So I knew I was more of a Tom Sawyer when I realized I didn't bring anything but nice slacks and a pair of proper shoes with me. So to adapt I stripped down to my sleeveless shirt and rolled up my pants to my knees and went barefoot like I was on Jackson island. But this island had a lighthouse that needed to be taken care of, so I helped strip the beds, haul the linen and do the dishes. We hauled the linen onto the skiff and hit the trail halfway, for the trail to get to the lighthouse is a half mile through often a couple feet deep water during high tide. We then put the linen on the back of a trailer hooked to a bicycle and hauled it into town to have the laundry done. We gutted it up hills and the flew down the hills. All with the dress pants hiked up. Then we picked up the clean linen and took it back, hauled it by foot down the trails, onto the skiff and back to the lighthouse. Fun.

We headed into NY City this afternoon and got cleaned up and dressed up to hit the town like civilized young men. We even went in a bus like regular passengers and purchased tickets. Patrick even put on shoes when we got to his brother's apartment in Greenwich Village. Patrick hadn't worn real shoes all summer. Seriously. So just as we walked down the steps from his brother's apartment he started tripping in his clumsy shoes. Huck Landewe is so uncivilized. We started walking down the street and after a few blocks he just took off his shoes and walked barefoot down the streets for the rest of the night in Manhattan. He couldn't take it anymore. I smiled as I walked comfortably with my rubber soled shoes. I, on the other hand was civilized by my Aunt Polly, Grandma Elaine. One of the many qualities she instilled in me were that shoes are a sign of civilized manhood. Grandma would never stand for me running around town without shoes on. I had to stand at the door and wait, for Patrick kept having to put on shoes before we entered into the taverns.

Huck and Tom out on the town in NYC.


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