My Many Affairs with John Steinbeck

I met John when I was in the ninth grade. He was too old and wise for me.

His Grapes of Wrath was too detailed and wordy. I only liked the “Turtle Chapter.”

Years later, I was so engrossed in the Joads’ struggles that I skipped the turtle.

We met again while I was in college. His Red Pony broke my heart.

The short story “Junius Maltby” made me a more empathetic teacher.

I read The Log from the Sea of Cortez while in graduate school.

I could smell the sea and hear the seagulls.  It was such an adventure.

An older,  fellow biologist sharing his life at sea.

“Travels with Charley” took me places I had never been while in my thirties.

I am traveling with Charley again. I have been to these places now.

My experienced eyes recognize the land and the people.

He has been a great traveling companion over the years.

Now I know, he was not some brilliant, mysterious, older man.

He was just a real person looking closely at life and recording it for the rest of us,

who were too young, inexperienced or busy to notice these things for ourselves.

I still love him,

but now we are just friends.


3 thoughts on “My Many Affairs with John Steinbeck

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