There are some pleasures to be had knowing one will be sequestered in a BC Ferry to Salt Spring Island today. I know that I am taking that particular one that seems to stop everywhere before it takes me to my destination at Long Harbour.
I remember the first time, some years ago when I went on that ferry to photograph artist Robert Bateman. Curiously I noticed that cars that were parked in the ferry did not face in same direction. I soon found out about the chaos that was to happen (a chaos that I believe has been ironed out) where one or two cars ended up pointing in the opposite direction from the terminal at Mayne Island (or perhaps another) and careful jockeying to avoid fender benders had to be performed to turn those errant cars around.
I happened to know the ferry captain and on the bridge I told him about Bateman. I remember him saying, “He lives right there where he can see us every time we pass by. I will blow the ship’s whistle and you can wave at him.”
Being sequestered on a BC Ferry to Salt Spring Island means I can sit in a remote corner of the vessel to read without any interruption. This is indeed a real pleasure that I accompany with a couple of hard-boiled eggs, some carrot and celery sticks and a large mug of very strong tea.
My intention this time around was to read The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. This is a two-volume memoir I have wanted to read for a long time. I went to the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library yesterday to secure a copy but only to find out that all copies were out and what remained were two second editions from the 19th century. They were much too precious to lend out. But the kind librarian let me handle them. Here is the first paragraph of the preface: “Man proposes & God disposes.” There are but few important events in the affairs of men brought about by their own choice.” Mount MaGregor, NY, July 1, 1885 And the first line of the first chapter reads:
My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral.
The memoirs will have to wait for another BC Ferry sequestration. For the present journey I have chosen Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates (published on January of this year and I must add that in a previous ferry trip to take my material for the show at the Duthie Gallery I read her fabulous Accursed ) and a 1902 edition of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s The Professor at the Breakfast Table with illustrations by H.M. Brock.
Meanwhile as I read on that ferry I will think forward about the warmth I will find with Celia Duthie and Nick Hunt at their B&B and Duthie Gallery. Where else can you have a room with a pile of New Yorkers by your bedside?
And perhaps I will have a pleasant chat with my friend and author CC Humphreys
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.