Letter to my grandson in Hawaii

Hey Maverick, it’s BP!

Thinking of you. We’re just back from St. Pete’s where your cousins were playing violin and cello in a Suzuki summer music camp at the Hotel Hilton. Do you remember the beach at St. Pete’s where we would go in summers past, all of us, for a late ocean swim and then tacos at the local Mexican restaurant? Anyway, today is your birthday, and here I’m giving you a couple of my thoughts of the day.

But you’re not yet 21, right? Maybe a year from now you’ll be ready in so many ways for that very special birthday, when one is 21 years old, that day being like the start of the rest of your life. Then we’ll surely have something for your birthday, a bit more special than the thoughts of your grandfather. bugatti chiron—A Bugatti Chiron maybe? Do you like cars, like Uncle Alex, Nat, and Gus?

Or a horse? How about that?

Who in the family likes horses?  You, maybe? If one year from now, June 16, 2018, and you’re still in Hawaii, riding horses, maybe, and surfing with your Uncle Nat, we’ll come and see you and you’ll show us the islands that BM and I don’t know at all —how many islands are there?

Why the Bugatti? You’ve never known me to like cars. Also unlike Alex and your other uncles I know nothing about cars, and especially old cars. But you also know that I’m always reading online, surfing, googling and yesterday I happened to read this,

— that on 10 July 2009, a 1925 Bugatti Brescia, which had lain at the bottom of Lake Maggiore on the border of Switzerland and Italy for 75 years, was recovered from the lake, and that the Mullin Museum in Oxnard, California bought it at auction for $351,343 at Bonham’s Rétromobile sale in Paris in 2010.

Well, here’s that Bugatti, and this is what it looked like when dragged from the lake:       lake bugatti

Well, that’s something, isn’t it, 75 years under water.  Still looks pretty good doesn’t it.  How many of us could survive 75 years under water. I know I couldn’t have, although I have survived a little longer, almost 85 years, up in the air (with only an occasional few minutes under water).

That sale, when someone paid $350K for that underwater wreck, was in Paris! Paris!! You know Paris, and I of course have been writing this blog from Tampa and from Paris, my Paris Tampa Blog. But that’s now over. Now I’m in my eighties. And almost no more Paris. But I have news from Paris. Your Aunt and Uncle have been there the last few weeks, redoing the Paris apartment that we’ve hardly touched other than to live there, usually days and a few weeks at a time, during the past nearly 40 years. It needs to be retouched. No, more than that. It needs to be completely redone. And that’s what your uncle and aunt have been doing. You probably won’t recognize it. I know we won’t.

When you go there yourself, perhaps next year for your 21st birthday, there will be nothing left inside the apartment from your earlier times there with us. And there’ll certainly be no room in Paris for the Bugatti and even less room for the horse. In short there will be nothing remaining of the old.  All of our personal stuff including books (Shakespeare and Co. came and bought all of them) clothes, bed linens, tools, dishes, kitchen stuff etc. were all either tossed, of given away to friends and family. When you get there you’ll find everything done up all new and perfect like a show room but probably without a personality.
There’ll be for the the first time in my own Paris experience windows that open with screens, heaters that warm, plenty of electric wall outlets, and of course WiFi alive and providing what is now an essential service, a 24 hour access to the whole world. The bunk beds will be gone and all the sleeping will be done on the one floor level. Only the location won’t have changed, still within walking distance of the River and Notre Dame, of the Faculty of Science across the street, and the Centre Arabe at the end of the street on the Seine.
But Airbnb will now be in charge. The new owners, your uncle and aunts will have made them the manager so we’ll have to get in line ourselves to use the apartment when we would visit Paris. In 2024 it now seems that Paris will be staging the Summer Olympics and you may want to reserve the apartment for that time. Tell your Mom, who is one of the four owners, that you want to reserve space for the Games. How old will you be in 2024, 27 right? And BM and I will be  respectively, 91 and 92.
Maybe we’ll go together in our nineties with you to Paris. Wouldn’t that be something!!!! So promise me you’ll be there! Happy Birthday, mon beau garçon.

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