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Tuesday morning, 23 September 2008

Good morning,

After a long night, the internet connection is still running a fever, so I’m going to make this quick. We finished the foundation walls Saturday and started excavating the dirt from the interior of the walls today.


I thought I’d bring you up to date on the poles, and then let you see what happened Monday. I hope you week is going as well as ours, if not as dirty. Here goes.





Off to meet with the architect and see an Italian dermatologist.


A presto,




  1. Chris says

    Ok, I’ll bite. Why the Italian dermatologist? Or maybe, embarrassingly, I’ve forgotten some very obvious thing.

    Damn, I’m suddenly finding my back aching, just sitting here, looking into the photos on this computer screen. That’s alot of rock to dig and haul.

  2. david says


    This particular Italian dermatologist is the same one who quoted Dante while I was sitting without a stitch on in his exam room for about half an hour while he looked for irregularities on my surface layer, skin cancer and the like, about a year ago.. Today I have some kind of disturbance on my shoulder/back, a boil or some such. But I didn’t get to see him, he was called to surgery, and I found out, he’s a plastic guy, not a dermatologist, but close enough in these parts.

    My back hurts from sleeping on the wrong kind of bed, let alone this sort of activity. But I’m counteracting that with pretty regular sun salutations, and oddly enough, when I pick up a shovel or pick axe and forget myself for a while, my back forgets to complain for a while.

    When are you and Debi launching out, or have I missed the champagne bottle broken on the prow?


  3. Pat Gustorf says

    Wow Dave! I am so impressed with the progress. Thinking good thoughts for you and your Italian doctor appt. Back to correcting papers!

  4. Chris says

    Pat, I’m making my own sun salutations to you right now as you correct those papers. As our confrere Dave might chime in, the three of us have put in enough time with that correcting to ward off a few Dantean purgatorial years.

    And David, though on a different continent and bodily frame, that archetypal butt-crack reminds me of one of our erstwhile coaching friends. What an image to be memorialized by, I tell myself…

    To get Debi’s and my itinerary, I’m going to still coerce you into re-entering the nether realm of that “on-line salon” I’ve been badgering you about.

  5. Peggy says

    David — Be careful of your back. Just because you are working along side those amazing Kenyan backs doesn’t mean that you have one too. The work those men do indicates that their backs work like those of Joyce and the other women tilling the soil.

    What a sight those foundation walls are as the dirt is cleared away!

    As always, your photos and comments tell such a story.

  6. martin says

    tell that cat to put his shirt back on. i can see right down his malebolge.


  7. Chris says

    Martin, that was brilliant…

  8. david says

    Hi Pat,

    Your good thoughts keep us afloat. Never got to see the doc. All seems well.

    Love to Jon and the kids.


  9. david says


    I remember acting as a Japanese screen during timeouts to preserve what we could of modesty.

    A more lovable full moon…I can’t think of one.

  10. david says

    My dear Martin,

    Five or six times today, at least, I’ve laughed out loud after reading your comment. And I think of the pilgrim and his guide and, and what seems now more than ever to me, their raw courage at certain junctures. How did they do it???

    Unfortunately, I have solid proof, but not the will to post it, that re-shirting himself was not the remedy, at least not with a cropped tank top.

    With averted eyes,


  11. david says


    I have so many internal reminders that my back was made in the USA, a long time ago, that forgetting is, regrettably, impossible. But being around so many that weren’t, it’s tempting to reframe things. But without any real success so far.

    I love the empty chambers too.


  12. Ed Richardson says


    Great job with the work you’ve accomplished! But why are you digging down after laying foundation and walls? Isn’t it easier to build walls up?

    I know there must be an easy explanation. Frost line?

    Let me know in case anyone asks me and keep on with the great work.

    Ed Richardson

  13. david says

    HI Ed,

    I know it seems nutty, but after laying the footings and building the foundation walls, we have to excavate all the black cotton soil in the middle. Otherwise the expansion and contraction of the black soil will crack the walls and the 4′ slab which, by the grace of God, we hope to pour later this week. This black soil is like a sub(terranean) prime loan.

    Good question. Good mind. Love to Dottie.



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