|45-year-old photo of me (Luke) and 'Perfid Sam'|
... was also a Sunday. And Sunday April 7th, 1968 was a beautiful warm spring day in central Pennsylvania. I had spent all night partying and then working on my 'epic' poem about 'the future of man' that would eventually become the novel 'Eden's Womb'. So I had already been up for nearly 24 hours when my good friend 'Perfid Sam' convinced me that we should seize the day and head out for a hike. It turned out to be a 25 miler, lasting all day. Neither of us had a car back then, so we left the campus of Penn State University on foot and eventually found ourselves trekking north along railroad tracks somewhere near Bellefonte, PA.
And there, up in the woods, far from any signs of civilization (except for the track) we came upon a girl wending her way up a hillside. We never got close enough to speak with her or even to get a good look at her. And I don't think she even noticed us. Yet I'll never forget that moment because Sam, with his usual off-beat wit, dubbed her 'Wendy', and we began to concoct outrageous stories about how she came to be there and where she was going -- surely a wood sprite, I thought. Surely not a mortal, Sam agreed.
After all these years this little incident has stuck in my mind. And Wendy has wended her way into my novel. She is introduced as an old woman, her travels now long past, in the early part of Book II.
Perfid Sam, of course, is also in 'Eden's Womb' as Adam's noble side-kick.
There are very few other characters in 'Eden's Womb' that are consciously based on real people. So this 'crop' drawn from a walk in the woods so long ago seems worthy of special mention on its anniversary.
I'm posting more chapters of 'Eden's Womb' here all the time. I hope you'll find the time to read them. Meanwhile spring weather is finally coming to the eastern US, so get out there and take a walk. Wend your way through the woods for a few hours--there's no telling what mythical beings you might run across.
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