November 4, 1984
Dear Mom and Dad,
I've had a very restful week here in Reston. I visited a lot with my old friend, Ernest. And his woman friend, Lari, too. Last Saturday they picked me up at the Greyhound bus depot and we had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. We ate with our fingers by tearing off pieces of this soft doughy bread. Good food. Plenty for a vegetarian. Many cuisines around the world have a lot to offer one who chooses to not eat meat. Sunday we three took a long drive in the Virginia countryside and had a meal in a Mexican restaurant. The weather was perfect - a crisp inviting fall day.
Monday I washed clothes, wrote some letters, and generally rested. Since Minneapolis I had been bothered by a pulled muscle in my chest or a strained ligament or a pinched nerve or something. In Chicago I saw someone about it and got some relief but it still was present on and off. I figured that lugging around my pack was an abnormal stress on top of the stress of the bus and the uncertain food and my body was saying “rest!”. So I rested and took a hot bath and used a heating pad and now it is quite alright. I've got to take care of myself! My body has its limits and its needs.
Tuesday I went to the Census Bureau and saw Charlie and Ron and Bill and Jerry, old friends. It was good.
Wednesday I went to the University of Maryland to look in their library and to check out the math department again. When I got off the bus there was a big crowd of students on some steps. A man at the base of the steps was holding forth. He was sharing with the crowd his experience of being saved by Jesus Christ and his personal relationship with God. The students were having a good time badgering him. A typical line was, “If Christ is the king of kings and Budweiser is the king of beers then Christ is the king of Budweiser.” The man seemed quite happy and was not disturbed too much by the students' ridicule. That night we three had dinner and saw the movie, “Amadeus”.
Thursday I called and met a fellow I knew at Amdahl who is now working here.
Friday I visited Ernest and Lari at the place they work (USGS - Geologic Survey) and took a long long walk and made lasagna for them for dinner.
Saturday Ernest and I played at a home computer that he and Lari bought together and had great fun. Today Ernest left for Denver and I had dinner again with my Amdahl friend, Hank. Lots of eating out! Hard on my pocketbook. I may postpone going to New York for a day or two.
Ernest and Lari are good friends and constant companions. He didn't want to talk about their friendship. Afraid of something. Nature will take her course. Time will tell. In the meantime he has a good friend. He's lucky.
Next week I will write from Iceland! YIKES!
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