I can’t really write this post because I don’t have the words in my vocabulary to say what I want to say. In fact, I’m not sure they exist in the English language, which is the only language I know except for high school Latin and that was a looooonnnng time ago. I had Mrs. Velde and she was a Latvian concentration camp survivor who schlepped her bad leg up three flights of stairs every day to her makeshift classroom on the third floor of our horrifically over-crowded high school. But I’m off on a tangent.

It’s funny how, even when you are only in a certain place for a few days, you start little traditions. You know that when the weekend is over everybody will fly back to wherever they live and get back into the everyday business of their lives. But just for the few days you are together, it feels like you are going to keep the tradition going forever.

There’s this place we call the Green Guy Cafe. It is on the front deck of Radical Betty’s beautiful ski chalet on the shores of Gitchee Gumee. There is wi-fi there and over the summer it gradually acquired a few chairs (very short beach-sitting chairs) and a table or two (milk crates turned upside down). For one short gorgeous weekend at the end of the summer (and Radical Betty’s life), you could get coffee there too! And music! Only during certain hours, though, like 6:30 – 8:00 AM. Be there or be square.

And so, on those mornings, Uber Kayak Woman and I would meet up early at the cafe and she would make coffee in Radical Betty’s kitchen and we would sit there and do our email et al, and UKW would be thinking about how she wanted to arrange her day and which of the staggering number of tasks on her plate she could manage to schedule. The weather? This was Labor Day weekend, and I have been on the shores of Gitchee Gumee on Labor Day weekend when there were snowflakes in the air (and us kids were still swimming). Not this Labor Day weekend. I don’t *really* believe in divine intervention but our weather was perfect that weekend! Warm with beautiful sunsets, sunrises, not to mention moonsets and moonrises. Even the little bit of rain that we got was perfectly timed. And loon calls before Betty’s celebration. Swimming? Yes. And a bitsy bit of kayaking and some sort of sailing and a bit of towing thereof.

So, the morning of Betty’s celebration, we were sitting there in the Green Guy Cafe watching birds and squirrels and ocean freighters glide down toward the locks in the distance. UKW started playing a YouTube video of Os Mutantes on her laptop and I hadn’t heard the group before but when I heard “der der der der der der der der” coming from a guitar, I knew it was 60s music. I was absolutely entranced with the music and we started kind of rocking in our short little beach chairs and laughing at ourselves. (Actually, it was *me* who was rocking and we were probably laughing at *me*!!!)

In that strange kind of way that you get into when someone dies an honorable and peaceful death after a long, happy, adventuresome life, we were okay. I think. At least for that moment. We were together, a few of the many folks who loved Betty. We were laughing. Our lives were going on.

Now we have been back into the daily grind of our lives for a while. And so, here is that video. Play the video and hang out with us for a few minutes at the Green Guy Cafe.

3 Responses to “Serendipity”

  1. Paulette Says:

    A few doors down from the Green Guy Cafe…..on a calm, starlit night on Gitchee Gumee, Os Mutantes fills the air!! Dance! Sing! Raise a glass or two! In tribute to Radical Betty and the men of the Edmund Fitz! Join in!

  2. Aimee Nassoiy Says:

    I’m joining in! Thanks so much for the good memories. Peculiar, but accurate, hours for the cafe part of the cafe. Too cold to sit there now, but I’ll bet that Betty’s spirit will join you there whenever. Os Mutantes rocks! Frogggy might have an open mike at the Green Guy cafe next summer. Stay tuned. Cheers to the crew of the Edmund Fitz!

  3. l4827 Says:

    Yes all the memories up there are interesting. With the sounds of Os Mutantes, Radical Betty’s spirit does live on with all of us who enjoy the sights, sounds, and experiences of the Up North. The Fitz was downed just north of there. Campfires, songs, conversation these too are life enabling.