Friday, May 21, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 11 (Bessie Head)

Head, Bessie
When Rain Clouds Gather

I think this was part of the booty from the raid on my brother's high school books that occurred twenty years ago, and which I have mentioned several times before. I have a vague memory of having read it -- or at least of having started to.

I was going to skip right to the excerpt today, then I opened the book to discover a piece of paper with writing on it. It's a piece of lined notebook paper, yellowing heavily. The letters are printed in blue ink. It looks like my brother's notes on the book–part of it does, anyhow, not sure what the other part is. Two numbered lists, of different lengths, in the same hand, with distinct punctuation of the numerals, sit side by side at the top of the page, which is folded in four. The rest is empty.

The left column reads:

1) 22-27

2) cooperative
carrot grass
tobacco (cash crop)

3) p16

The right column reads:

1. Nadar Henefield (UConn

2. Todd Day (Arkansas)

3. Jackie Jones (Oklahoma)

4. Matt Muelbach (Arizona)

5. Doug Orerton (LaSalle)

I'll have to as my brother to comment on the meaning of the mysterious second list.

from When Rain Clouds Gather

The little Barolong village swept right up to the border fence. One of the huts was built so close that a part of its circular wall touched the barbed wire fencing. In this hut a man had been sitting since the early hours of dawn. He was waiting until dark when he would try to sprint across the half-mile gap of no-man's land to the Botswana border fence and the on toe whatever illusion of freedom lay ahead. It was June and winter and bitterly cold, and his legs were too long to allow for pacing in the cramped space of the hut. Every half hour the patrol van of the South African border police sped past with sirens wailing, and this caused an unpleasant sensation in his stomach.


Chris Kelleher said...

Well, I can't say that I remember reading this book or what specifically the lists mean. But, what I can surmise is that it was probably a book from high school, because those players were all playing at those colleges in 1990 when I graduated. No idea what the lists are referring to. I must have selected them all for some sort of March Madness pool.

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Right -- that makes sense.