18 Sept 1986

Hey, there, Udo!–

Another letter from Puerto Rico. It’s a good thing you enjoy traveling to exotic places where you can eat exotic foods and enjoy exotic indigestion. And while were on the subject of food: when you were at The Forbidden City you used to promote haggis enthusiastically. I thought you might open a haggis franchise in Española. Nothing seems to have come of it. Do you ever feel that haggis might have been more fulfilling than the average buffer solution?

HERZOG: His cataract operation had to be postponed because he developed lung congestion, which has now cleared up under antibiotics. Next surgery schedule: mid-October, at St. Vincent’s which he says is four minutes from where he lives. Apparently Santa Fe now has a taxi service that uses English-style cabs. It’s called London Taxi or something like that. John prefers it because it has high roofs in the cabs. Doesn’t sound like the old Santa Fe that I experienced when I went there as a plain ol’ foot-sloggin’ doggie, and everybody in Santa Fe either walked or stayed home. You must remember, too that most of the streets were quaintly unpaved, and converted themselves to attractive mud in the summer rains and the winter snow-melt. Those old values have apparently disappeared, never to return, especially if Ray Powell is elected. His chances are reported not good.

APPENDICITIS: About two weeks ago I had to take my wife to the emergency room with a pain that was diagnosed as appendicitis. Six hours later she was in surgery with what turned out to be a ruptured appendix. Stayed in the hospital six days, during which I was there about 12 hours a day. The nursing was good, but they can’t be in attendance every minute. I took up the slack. She is now home and mending well. Stepdaughter also stood watches, but with 3 tiny tots at home, it wasn’t easy to get away. My son-in-law–as I may have mentioned–is a neurosurgeon, and he uses that hospital, among others. He dropped in several times a day in his surgical gown. His presence did no harm in motivating the nursing staff and getting my wife a private room (we were told there weren’t any available). And so we put behind us another challenging milestone along the Road of Life, most of which seems to be uphill. And sometimes, like Old Santa Fe, it wasn’t paved.

GRANDCHILDREN: Glad you enjoyed the photocopy, and I hope to be able to send you the original color photo as soon as they come from the studio. It’s only been a short five months or so since they were promised. Actually the family resemblance among them is something of an illusion in black and white. They don’t resemble each other that strongly, although Sean (the middle child) and Mary Katherine (the youngest) look most alike.

CERAMICS: Have advised the British Consul here in The Big Tomato that Anne will be forwarding ceramic samples, and we expect Wedgwood to behave in a civil manner when they lose the Queen’s custom. The old order changeth inevitably. If they can’t agree, Thomas will have to give them a treatment with Elmer’s glue. We will ask them laughingly if that is what is known as a “sticky wicket,” and everyone will have a jolly chuckle. It’s the least the can do in recognition of our efforts to restore one of their colonies.

DIGITAL EQUIPMENT: After reading your ongoing saga of “The Deliverance of Digital,” I think they should offer you a position on their board of directors. Or at least buy a set of Anne’s ceramics for their executive diningroom. Quid pro quo. And there should be no harm in mentioning the possible restoration of the Monarchy, with opportunities for all those who contribute now to the candidates (we should have at least one in due time).

DO YOU ever wonder what happened to Seymor Katkoff?

Regards to the family.

Fred C. (“Paramedic”) Dobbs

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