That evening, we sit about a table up on the fifteenth floor (again) for a dinner with just the governors and their partners. The topic of conversation turns to some protests by a group of women in Canada. According to Ron (or was it Elaine?) these women actually burned down their houses in protest, then stripped naked in front of the judge when they were hauled into court. Canada must be a lot more interesting place than I had thought. Ron gets excited telling this story (perhaps he is thinking of the naked ladies in the courtroom) and turns an entire carafe of wine over onto my left leg. My wool trousers are soaked with fine, red wine, but (fortunately) the red stuff missed my last, clean white shirt. The wine runs down my leg and into my shoe, so not only am I wet, but my left shoe squishes loudly when I get up from the table. I wash out my trousers and hang them up to dry over the bathtub, that night. My shoe remains damp and smells like a winery in the morning. I figure it kills other odors which have sprung up, so there are some compensations.
Actually, I don’t start writing about some of the things that happen the last evening in Anchorage until I’m back in the airport in Seattle. Part of the reason for this is that I didn’t have time the night of our grand occasion, and part of it is that I was too overcome with emotions that night. This “grand occasion” was our formal introduction as the new governor nominees, approved, inspected, stamped, and processed.
On our way out to the airport in Anchorage, I engage the cab driver in a conversation. The cab driver talks about her children in California ( I gathered that they lived somewhere between Los Angeles and San Diego). She’s been driving a cab in Anchorage for eighteen years and thinks she might want to move back to California. She says she originally moved up here because, as a woman, she couldn’t find a job back in California.
We turn onto the departure ramp and she points out a glowing summit of ice and rock rising above the far away horizon. “That’s Mt. McKinley,” she says. “It’s over three hundred miles away.”
The young woman at the America West counter tells me, “When I was a baby, my Mother says that I crawled backwards for three years.”
The flight from Anchorage to Seattle was a lot less interesting than the conversations in the airport, I think.