I sold my baseball cards way early, before the nostalgia craze, collector frenzy and Ebay. My mom said “take this shoebox or I’ll throw them out.” I sold the whole box to my high school math teacher, Mr. Setek, and he told me the three pristine condition, 1963 Pete Rose cards were going to help put his kids through college. Peggi and i went to Cartagena, Columbia for week’s vacation, at the time the cheapest Caribbean destination. There was some sort of travel advisory in effect and our hotel was patrolled by armed guards and dogs.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude”
Gabriel García Márquez, whose obit was on the front page of Good Friday’s paper, worked as a newspaper journalist in Cartagena in the 50′s during La Violencia. “It was a bohemian life: finish at the paper at 1 in the morning, then write a poem or a short story until about 3, then go out to have a beer,” he said. “When you went home at dawn, ladies who were going to Mass would cross to the other side of the street for fear that you were either drunk or intending to mug or rape them.”
And out of that came the most beautiful book I have ever read, “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” It was on a short list of books I was asked to read for an Empire State class.
“The men on the expedition felt overwhelmed by their most ancient memories in that paradise of dampness and silence, going back to before original sin, as their boots sank into pools of steaming oil and their machetes destroyed bloody lilies and golden salamanders. For a week, almost without speaking, they went ahead like sleepwalkers through a universe of grief, lighted only by the tenuous reflection of luminous insects, and their lungs were overwhelmed by a suffocating smell of blood.”