We visited Mr. Scarbrough on Saturday. We ate at China Palace on Melton Lake Marina in Oak Ridge, where he lives. Then, we talked near the water, near the geese and the lone coot. Really, he and David’s parents talked, and David and I just listened and watched the lake. Neither of us is a great conversationalist, especially when other people prefer to do the talking. I zoned the conversation out every so often, hearing the water rush against the bank with the wake of speedboats and waverunners.
We went to Mr. Scarbrough’s brother’s grave on the way back. A skunk crossed our path as we entered the cemetery, skinny with a ragged tail, black and white to contrast with the artificial flowers that stretched on in all directions.
At his house, Mr. Scarbrough had set aside books for all of us, from his very large and consuming collection. He wants them to pass to people he knows will like them. He told David and I that we were aesthetes, like him, and in addition to an autographed copy of Tellico Blue, gave us these books:
Noble Savage by Lawrence and Elisabeth Hanson, a story of Gauguin’s life
Robert Frost Country by Betsy and Tom Melvin, a Vermont picture book with excerpts from Frost’s poems
The Vienna Treasures, a picture book from an art exhibition
Miro by Janis Mink, a book about the life and work of Joan Miro
I took the above picture on the trip we took to Polk County with Mr. Scarbrough a few weeks ago, at his old family church and graveyard. We gave it to him on Saturday and he seems to like it. I like the word friendship.