The Shoemaker Looked Back

In 1966/67 as a conscript sailor in the Argentine Navy in Buenos Aires I was an aide and translator for the Senior US Naval Advisor, Capt. USN Onofrio Salvia. I refused to carry an order (to show up very early to do some translations)) to an Argentine Lieutenant Commander. He told me that in a time of war I would have been shot or sent to Antarctica where the only females would have been penguins. I was given a week’s arrest in the brig.

I had enough time to walk to Pygmalion Bookstore on Calle Corrientes (Borges patronized it) and purchased Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings (Faber and Faber- 1964) translated into English by Leif Sjöberg and W.H. Auden. In it I read:

He was a member of the crew on Columbus’ caravel — he kept wondering whether he would get back to his home village in time to succeed the old shoemaker before anybody else could grab the job.

Since then I have always tried to look ahead at possibilities and to take chances. I have looked back enough in 2019. This 2020 is one of many possibilities.

And if I am where I am today in more or less pretty good health and with no financial worries, it is all because my Rosemary never ever did look back.

Link to: The Shoemaker Looked Back

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