The Title Within the Stone
On Living with the Loss of a Son in Wartime.
My identify, “Gerard Van der Leun,” is an unusual one. So unusual, I’ve by no means met anyone else with the same identify. I know about one different man with my name, but we’ve by no means met. I’ve seen his identify in an unusual place. That is the story of how that occurred.
It was an August Sunday in New York City in 1975. I’d decided to bicycle from my apartment on East 86th and York to Battery Park at the southern tip of the island. I’d nothing else to do and, since I hadn’t been to the park since transferring to town in 1974, it appeared like a destination that can be interesting. Just how attention-grabbing, I had no manner of realizing after i left.
August Sundays in New York will be one of the best times for the city. The psychotherapists are all on trip — as are their purchasers and most of the opposite skilled lessons. Town appears almost deserted, the traffic mild and, as you move down into Wall Road and the encircling areas, it turns into virtually non-existent. On a bicycle you own the streets that type the underside of the slender canyons of buildings the place, even at mid-day, it is still cool with shade. You then emerge from the streets into the bright open space at Battery Park.
Tourists are lining up for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. A couple of persons are coming and infant stone island tracksuit going from the Staten Island Ferry terminal. There are some scattered clots of individuals on the lawns of Battery Park. Every part is lazy and unhurried.
I’d coasted most of the way in which down to the Battery that day since, although it appears to be flat, there’s a really slight north to south slope in Manhattan. I arrived only a bit hungry and thirsty and bought one infant stone island tracksuit of many dubious Sabaretts scorching canine and a chilled coke from the one vendor working the park.
We have been in the midst of what now could be seen as “The Long Peace.”
The twin towers loomed over all the pieces, considered, in the event that they were considered at all, as an irritation in that they blocked off so much of the sky. It was 1975 and, Vietnam not withstanding, America was nearly at the midway point between two world wars. Of course, we didn’t know that at the time. The only war we knew of was the Second World Warfare and the background humm of the Cold Struggle. It was a summer Sunday and we had been in the midst of what now could be seen as “The Lengthy Peace.”