An unknown land
Near where you live lies an unknown land waiting for you to explore.
In some ways this magic place resembles when we were kids and would crawl between the strands of barbed wire fence and dash into woods and fields where we would play soldier, explorer and naturalist.
“This is a sweet gum tree,” some pre-teen would observe. “Everyone knows that,” the group would respond. Every boy’s dad back in those “Happy Days” had some army gear lying around, ready to be picked up and used for a second Normandy invasion.
Of course the occasional encounter with nature, sometimes of the reptile persuasion lead to a mad dash to safety. When supper was ready, each mother would lay on the car horn. You had better know the sound of your family’s Ford and be capable of Olympic time in the dash for home. I fear my sprinting days are over, but there is a place where I can recapture some of the adventure, creativity and wonder of youth.
You have a public library near you. Inside its walls are books, movies and audio books as well as computers and printers. You literally have the world at your finger tips. I try to vary my reading between fiction and non-fiction. The audio books have been a great way to expand my book consumption.
I recently completed “Inferno” by Dan Brown which comes out as a movie in a couple of weeks. Like “DeVinci Code,” you pick up a lot of medieval history along with a ripping good mystery.
Next, I chose to broaden my knowledge of one of history’s important if shadowy characters. “Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His name to America” fills in the gaps. It turns out we are called Americans by accident. Matin Waldseemuller was preparing a new world map when an account of Amerigo’s latest adventure, complete with monsters and cannibals, circulated in Western Europe. Waldseemuller decides to name this newly discovered landmass America in honor of the explorer who followed Columbus and others. Later Maldseemuller discovers how much of the Amerigo account was bogus and tries to change the name on later maps, but the first name stuck.
On the print side, I have enjoyed a couple of the Billy Boyle mysteries and an account of Julius Caesar’s 10th Legion.
Now that I spend so much time on the road…
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