Back to work

Back to work today. Catching up on meetings and the things I couldn’t do while working from home last week. Some things are virtual, some things you just need to be there. Fortunately, everyone has been understanding and most gracious with my absence last week. Family comes first, and that’s a nice perk.

I’ve worked places where that wasn’t the case.

I’d say this has been a great chance to slow down, except that everything seems to have sped up. But on Friday The Yankee’s mom came to town to see about her daughter and help out. That was a big morale boost. And this weekend she worked through those early days of surgical recovery. She’s also a week-on from the big crash, and so, on balance, she’s starting to move better.

On Sunday afternoon we all even took a walk.

When I got to the office I saw that the Poplars Building, which we’ve been documenting in this space since August, is now all gone.

They took that second half in a week. But you should see all the rubble that’s out of our view there. Maybe we can take a look at that this week.

Also, the leaves have started turning. Something about them seems off this year. Subdued somehow. Maybe I just caught it in poor light at the wrong time of day, and early in the turn.

There will be a few more days of opportunity to poorly demonstrate the leaf turn. I’m sure I’ll try.

I started, oh, almost two weeks ago now, reading Andrew Ritchie‘s Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer. I’m about 20 percent of the way through it now, but the beginning sets the stage. Late-19th century, a young black man rides a bicycle as well as anyone at the peak of American interest in cycling, both as a pastime, but also the sport.

“The fastest humans on earth.” Crazy, but it’s worth reminding ourselves to think in those terms.

Taylor was from Indianapolis, he’d moved with a mentor/employer to Massachusetts, and he’d signed with the League of American Wheelmen, the sport’s governing body of the time. He was 17 or 18 here.

Within the next year he’d be a world champion, and a world record holder.

He was, in fact, the first African-American world champion, of any sport. He died nearly penniless. He’s been all but forgotten outside of his adopted Worcester, Massachusetts, and some vibrant-and-growing cycling groups. Major Taylor will have a renaissance, you can just put your ear to the wind and feel it coming, on your left. His is an intriguing story.

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