So I was talking with a friend, back in April or so, who was going on a trip in early/mid June. The itinerary was London, to Paris, to Rome/Vatican, Naples/Pompeii/Capri. The National Gallery in London was one of the planned stops. I jokingly suggested it would be cool to have a photo taken of Tobit’s Dog in front of the Gallery, considering its relevance to Francis “Crafty” Forgeron in Tobit’s Dog. We bantered about that the way friends do (or at least the way my friends and I do) for awhile, and then I forgot all about it. . . until I got a call from Rick a few days before his departure telling me he was in fact taking a copy of the book with him.
As it turned out, the National Gallery was removed from the itinerary, but while he was in London he did take a photo of Tobit’s Dog from the top of the London Eye, that giant Ferris wheel. I saw it on his phone, but he forgot to load it onto the flash drive of photos he gave to me. Still, London was not wasted. Knowing my love for classic cars, especially British and European classic cars, he did include this:
Then it was off to Paris, where Rick and his wife, Brenda showed Tobit’s Dog the sights:
Tobit’s Dog got to go to Notre Dame:
It even got to go into the cathedral:
Then it was off to Italy, where Tobit’s Dog seemed especially excited about going to the Vatican. . . while Rick is best described as looking, errr, determined.
So in to the Vatican:
Rick said he kept seeing statues similar to these in both the Louvre and the Vatican. He thought it would be a great idea to pose Tobit’s Dog in their hands or whatever. Unfortunately, he decided that ropes, glass, metal grates, rails, security guards and probably Brenda, made it impractical:
We like to think that this seagull is the same one who was sitting on the chimney of the Sistine Chapel during the election of Pope Francis:
With the tour of the Vatican done, it was on to Pompeii. By this time Tobit’s Dog was a bit travel weary, so it skipped the ruins. However, the hard travelling. hardworking hardback was treated to day of rest and relaxation on Capri:
When Rick returned to the USofA, he brought the copy Tobit’s Dog to me as a gift, complete with stamps, stickers and stuff it had accrued during its travels. It had even been taken into the Vatican to be blessed. Rick said a stranger, with an American accent, said he wanted to read that book, but that it was difficult to get American books in Italy. Rick pointed out the publishers name and told him it should easily be had online at Ignatius Press or Amazon, even in Italy.
It seems to me that a man can easily have to many acquaintances, but never too many good friends. Another, late, friend of mine, Stephen Carter (still luv’ya and miss ya, man), loved this quote:
“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”
― Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat
If so, I have been very lucky indeed.