I spent the last couple of quarantined hours looking through some very old travel notebooks. They are now valuable for 2 reasons. They are a trove of travel memories, and they yield many quotes. For some reason, Ruth & I pause anytime we see that someone we are reading about on a trip has said something interesting. We always take the time to write it down. Often I will hand my notebook to Ruth, and she will do the copying because she has a better handwriting than me and doesn’t mind this task. Below are some nostalgic quotes we took down to remember that I haven’t seen since we copied them years ago.
I saw this quote in a tourist attraction that no longer exists, the Newseum in Washington, DC. Philip Graham of the Washington Post once said, “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” Being a journalist, this struck me as true.
I copied this in 2007 while looking at a maritime exhibit in Perth, Western Australia. Australians were very proud of this feat. “Australia II crossed the finish line 41 seconds ahead of the American defender Liberty. The world’s oldest sporting trophy, the America’s Cup, went to Australia, its first trophy for 132 years.” A few pages later after copying a recipe for Australian damper, an Outback bread, I wrote this lame joke for no good reason I can remember. “What do you get when you cross a chicken with a cement mixer? Answer: a brick layer.” You can laugh or not at this attempt at Aussie humor.
I wrote this in Australia 5 years later but do not know who said it. “Traveling makes one modest–you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Amen to that.
Pablo Picasso said this, “Everything you can imagine is real.” I read this in Rome right before Ruth & I went to a criminology museum. There is probably no relationship. A few weeks later on the north shore of Lake Superior, Ruth wrote this, “If you pulled the (3 quadrillion gallons) plug on Lake Superior, you would flood all of the U.S., Canada, Central and South Am. with a foot of water.”
This long quote really spoke to Ruth, who copied it in its entirety. “One day seven years ago I found myself saying to myself–I can’t live where I want to, I can’t go where I want to go. I can’t do what I want to do. I can’t even say what I want to–I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to.” This was said by Lee Krasner in 1923. She was the wife of painter Jackson Pollock who went on to become an accomplished painter on her own.
This last one happened to me in Australia. I was talking to a dear man named Michael whom I met on a tour of the Australian Outback. He was an immigrant to this country after his family had lived in Ireland for centuries. Ruth & I later tracked down his ancestral castle, at least what was left of it, in Ireland. He was at the time we traveled together the world explorer who had been far more places than I ever dreamed of seeing. I once asked Michael about his favorite destination, and he said without pause, “Bhutan.” He was the most quick-witted person I ever met. At the time we were discussing our birth dates. I said, “June 18” and Michael retorted, “Ah, the Battle of Waterloo.”