• James Eric Fristad


Guessing you remember those kid-books with the preposterously detailed line drawings of figures crowded into a particular place and time, interacting in a cartoonish way and amongst whom, somewhere, was Waldo. Your assignment, Mr Phelps, should you care to accept, is to ... find W. And if you weren't fascinated with this as you sat next to your kids leafing through these pages, then those kids must have been, and you pretended for their sake. Or nephews/nieces. Siblings. Grandchildren.

A fun needle-in-haystack kind of thing to do.

So I have ushered a flock of button-links onto the website, one on each page. Not the ordinary and practical navigational kinds of connections to take you to the next place/event; but to take you into the adventure, if you should be curious. Sort of a "wonder what you'd have to consider and then do, to find a base of operations in such a thing?" kind of endeavor.

As many friends are aware, some of the purpose of www.theyregoingagain.com is altruism. Wanting to make it possible for ones dear to us to go along from armchairs (iPhones and tablets), who else might never because of set-in-stone commitments, health, budget, or maybe not enduring a hyper-ration of the reckless bravado needed. Other excuses for my putting time and energy into this ... include cultivating an outlet for creative urges to fill otherwise ho-hum moments; and encouraging friends to drop everything and just go for it. Because until Eternity actually begins, we're not going to shuffle on this mortal coil longer than our allotted four score or whatever ration of years. Fractured Shakespeare, ahem.

And so, since I am actually in a 'fessing up mood, the thread that runs through all this polishing and adding and morphing of times and places and expectations online, is shameless recruitment: peeps we love and would like to experience a little of this with. Not with the idea that "gee, unless we have Americans to talk to, it will be an empty bunch of days," either. No, it has to do more with experiencing something with others you know and care about, who are at those moments having their own responses. This was borne out during our last year's trek to San Diego. Yeah, we could have taken the Broadway ferry over to Coronado Island by ourselves, and would have. And would have enjoyed it. But how much more vivid the memories and gladness of it now, to have the added dimensions of Patti driving all the way down from Riverside and parking near the ticket kiosk, to spend that time with us? And the three of us then to endure that preposterously long walk over to the Hotel Del C? With an ice-cream summons on the way? Whoa. And don't get me started about how much better Oceanside was with Kathy and Becky likewise, than otherwise we would now retain in our cozy-memory stash!

So back to the Waldo items. They are little search-for-em buttons which link you to avenues of adventure, if I may describe an AirBnB page as such, or a cruise ship. Buttons saying "RESERVE" -- not unlike the eat me cookies in Alice in Wonderland/Looking Glass books, or little bottles of liqueur labeled drink me. Hahahaha.

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