Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 05 2011

US trip, part 8

A brilliant morning accompanied a visit to a local Shaker village, or at least what remains of one as no actual Shakers live there today. But what remains of Pleasant Hill is quite substantial, building-wise. Kevin and Ann and I arrived to find what appeared to be elderly bikers building stone walls by the parking lot.

The Shakers were pretty advanced for their times, technologically speaking, as well as organizationally; modern corporations could have modeled themselves on the Shaker hierarchy, which did not allow voting, and whose ranking was based solely on whom the upper management felt was “pious” enough. They allowed no fraternization between the sexes, no marriages, no couples, no childbirth. Scholars are still puzzled as to how they could have died out.

All of the non-stone buildings in the village were painted yellow, by decree, while all the barns were black. It was a pleasant, quiet setting, though the guides told of violence and infighting and secessions among the various families. The Shakers, like many sects before and since, felt that Christ had come again in the form of their founder.

But it was time for me to leave Kentucky; I said good-bye to Ann and the kids in their lovely home in the afternoon sun, and Kevin drove me to the airport, where even the TSA people were friendly. I sat down in the terminal, sad to be leaving, and waited for my flight on the little plane to Chicago.

The view from the plane was wonderful; the sun set in a red fire among fleeing clouds, and we flew out over the massive lake and past the great Metropolis sticking out into the sky and the water, surrounded by an expansive network of lights. I had to piss like a racehorse and jumped up immediately as the seatbelt signs went out. Our pilot had sounded supremely cool over the intercom, and when I went by the cockpit on the way out, I saw that he looked supremely cool as well. He put on a jacket and joined the rest of us on the tarmac as the last of the day’s light leaked out of the sky.

The layover in Chicago was two hours, so I went to buy a sandwich. “How much is this?” I asked the tired-looking middle-aged woman at the register.

“Ten dollars,” she said.

“Ok,” I said. She looked surprised.

“You serious?”

“Man’s gotta eat.” She just shrugged.

“I suppose so.”

Back in the waiting area, I queried a Chinese man about his package containing a paper lantern; he was from Beijing, with that most notable of accents.

I boarded the same little aircraft that I’d exited, but the attendent was now a Latino man who looked like he might have been dangerous at some point; his accent was lovely. I noticed that these days, members of the military are allowed on planes first. I had no idea they were doing that now.

My sister Leslie and her husband Keith met me at Oklahoma City airport and drove me to their home. They have many dogs and many cats, and their house is a much closer approximation to mine that Kevin’s in terms of order. We chatted a bit as the animals got used to me, but now it’s very late and time for some rest.

posted by Poagao at 11:14 am  

1 Comment »

  1. 我可以體會那種依依不捨的感傷,不過沒關係隔幾年可以再去拜訪他們囉!

    Comment by Chenbl — October 5, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

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