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2001-09-11 05:36:06 (UTC)


Prior to the advent of the soaring '60s, that is, in the
unenlightened middle-to-late '50s, I was a teenager growing
up in automobile conscious southern California and owned an
immaculately spotless early model wooden Ford station
wagon. Like most high school kids whose cars are a big part
of their life, I spent enormous amounts of time maintaining
and reworking mine in an exacting and meticulous standard
never before dreamed of by the manufacturer. I scraped,
sanded, smoothed, bleached, stained, and spar varnished the
wood beyond the brightest of the brightwork on the most
expensive yacht. There was such a depth of reflection to
the wood that a person could hold their arm to the darkened
inner door panels and see themselves with clarity to their
armpit. The most important thing for me however, was the
popularity the car provided during my high school years. I
could cruise the beach and high school campus with my
buddies and girls would literally clamor for a ride.

During those easy going I-like-Ike high school days, the
house next door went up for sale and was purchased by a
single older man in what was then an otherwise family
oriented beach community. To most of us the man seemed
somewhat weird. He walked everywhere and was almost always
barefoot. Everyday, weather permitting, he wore the same
simple clothes. If warm, a black teeshirt; if cold, a bulky
knit navy blue turtleneck sweater with dark pants and a
wide belt, topped with a dark blue greek fisherman's cap,
which he always tipped most graciously each day toward my
grandmother as he returned from his routine early morning

To be continued...

NOTE: For those who may have an interest, further writings
and offerings by the Wanderling regarding Zen and
Enlightenment can be found by going to the Google search
engine and typing in the word wanderling.