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September 18, 2020: The Third Person

Alys always wondered about the use of the third person, and in her own writing, usually avoided it, instead preferring to write in the first person. When she was a reporter, she had to write in the third person, about other people and did a creditable job. However, she discovered that her own life and times were more interesting than most.

Today she received a letter from her Biographer, Christopher Benson. She’s known him since 1974; they met when they were first year students at Cobleskill Agricultural and Technical College. They could easily have become an item but by

Chris at our backyard picknic table

then Christopher had become involved with his current and only wife, Carolyn.

Their lives have over the past 46 years (has it been that long?) converged and diverged. The glue that’s held the friendship together has been a love of literature and writing. It’s been moxie with epoxy.

Like Alys, Christopher is also in the twilight of his years. They share this attribute with the pope.

Alys and Christopher have kept in touch by letter – quite a feat considering that letter writing has become passe. It’s like the two are continuing to buck a trend.

Anyhow, Alys recently put Christopher in touch with a Vermont poet, Charlie Rossiter, who interviewed him for a podcast. After, Christopher wrote Alys a really nice letter, saying many good things about her, few of which she believed. Alys, you see, has never thought very highly of herself or her accomplishments. Still, this was a nice thing for him to do, and most likely his comments were heartfelt.

Alys has always been of the belief that she knows herself better than anyone, even Christopher does. This is because she lives with herself and therefore is fully aware of her successes and failures. But the letter will go into the Benson archive, and if he dies before she does, will be a part of his self-history. How cool is this?

Alys will soon write Christopher back and tell him what’s been going on lately – going into some detail about her auto mishap, and the on again off again Bright Lights Book Project. She will write some about the garden and the bountiful harvest, and provide some anecdotal information about Pete, perhaps some about his latest forays into the realm of sourdough bread and bagel baking. She’ll also do, as Christopher did in his letter, write some about what’s she’s been reading. He may be interested in hearing about James Nestor’s book on breathing. If she could afford it, she’d send him a copy. And she will mention how heavy hearted she was to hear about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Christopher is to the left politically, as is Alys. However, sometimes his views of women seem to be a bit skewed. Alys feels it’s her job to remind him of the importance of women’s rights.

She knows that if she is to write Christopher that she’ll have to do this soon because otherwise this will become less of a priority. She as always has a lot going on, but she’ll make time for this.

Next: 259. 9/19/20: Ruth, Bader, and Ginsberg

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