Gilligan on the AT Revisited: 24-Sep-1993
September 24, 2008
This is a 5-month long series of blog posts that are the entries in my journals written on most evenings as I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1993. The journal entry appears first — indented — and then any additional commentary from my 15-years-removed perspective follows.
9/24/93 – Fri.
I made it into Stratton yesterday by 2:00, got all my errands done, and did a 15-mile day out today.
I’m staying with a couple of flip-floppers who were right behind me down south, so they know all about me even though I’ve never heard of them. That’s kind of a first on that side of the coin for me. They’re pretty excited about finally meeting me, so I guess my entries have been pretty good in the registers.
As I sat in the Stratton Diner this morning, I realized how much I want to settle in a really small town. It was so neat to watch people walk in and greet everyone else in the diner, including the waitress. Maybe that is part of the appeal of E.B. White, what with his fascination with the small-town life in Maine.
I’ve been meaning to document my “gay theory,” which I’ve developed over the past 6-8 months:
Some people are born straight. Some people are born gay. Some people are both/neither. Call it 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. Now, society is geared heterosexually, and thus most people live straight lives (1/3 it’s normal, 1/3 are easily pulled that way, and many of the gays never figure out their “natural” orientation). If society weren’t so geared that way, there would be a much more even balance of gays & straights in the world.
Also, there is the thought that homosexuality is normal as part of the natural order of things. Whatever the controlling influence, be it “God,” “A Force,” or simply the world looking after itself, a high gay population does one very important thing — it slows the world population explosion without forcing people to not have children.
I’ve been writing and talking at the same time, so I don’t think I’ve been very coherent or articulate, but at least I got down the basic ideas.
I also met a group from The Hyde School in Maine (Bath) and got a job offer to do wilderness stuff there. It’s an alternative school of sorts — high parent involvement and encouragement of students to find their own special talents.
Book: Why Men Are the Way They Are. Second time it’s come up on the trail.
Stratton, Maine, was an unmentioned milestone for me. That’s where I had Julie’s engagement ring shipped. I did not remember one way or the other, but, clearly, I decided not to make any mention of the plan I hatched to propose to her in my journal. That was, I think, because I knew I would be finishing up journals and sending them back home, and I was nervous that I would say, “Sure, read my journal,” without realizing that was in it. I decided pretty early on the hike that I would like to propose to her on Mount Katahdin. I talked to my mother about it at the family reunion in Calloway Gardens, and she helped locate a jeweler in Beaumont who would work via a couple of sketches and the telephone to make the ring. He shipped it to Stratton.
September 24th, 2008 at 1:20 pm
I don’t suppose that those kind folks from Bath troubled to inform you that Hyde School is a behavioral modification facility masquerading as a boarding school. Coercion and confrontation pretty much sums up the “character development” aspect of what they practice there. Not a very healthy place. Might screw you up for life, especially when the faculty cross the line into physical assault and “inappropriate familiarity” with the students. I guess that falls under “special talents.”