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Day 55, Dorridge

David & Sue Johnson & family

[Saturday, 9 July 2011] I had a lovely time with David & Sue and their family. I was treated to a fine mess of fish ‘n’ chips for dinner. Afterwards, David and I walked to a local English pub for a pint of ale. We had a great time remembering people and incidents from our days in Dallas, which was about half a lifetime ago. The next morning was leisurely, taking the children to a park, visiting the local parish church, and more reminiscing. All of them came with me to the station to see me off, just as they had all come to the station to greet me when I arrived.

After staying with the Johnsons, I was to stay for a couple of nights with Fr Andrew Stevens, an Anglo-Catholic Priest in a parish in Plumstead, which is in Southwark, on the south side of the Thames in London. For those of you who regularly attend weekday Liturgies at St I’s, you will remember Fr Andrew, for he’s the one who comes around now and then when he’s in Cleveland on “holiday.”

Taking the train back to London from Dorridge turned out to be a bit of an ordeal. There was construction on the train line, so part way back to London, we were all ushered off the train and onto a bus for an hour of the trip, then put back on the train to make our way into the station. Having come from the northwest, I needed, of course, to be in the southeast side of London. A total of three trains, two buses and 5 hours travel time got me some 100 miles from David & Sue’s house to Fr Andrew Steven’s rectory in Plumstead.

Passing note: If public transportation is ever forced upon the U.S. as a whole, Americans will either slaughter each other out of pure frustration, or the sheer passivity of it will destroy the American character.

When I got to Fr Steven’s, I found not only him, but Paul Pangrace (from St Theodosius) there. He was staying a few days with Fr Andrew before going on a two-week tour of Turkey. Fr Andrew had some fine lamb shanks for us for dinner, and a well-stocked liquor and wine selection. We ate very well, drank very well, and talked until we couldn’t keep our eyes open.