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[at-l] A Correction

    I've had a lotta fun the last few days reading folks' thoughts on the
Gathering in West Virginia; felt the need to make one small correction in
somebody's post.

    In speaking about Twilight's announcement of the impending arrival of
the most prominent member of the Thru-hiking Class of 2022, somebody
referred to her as Kampfire's "wife."  In case some of you people thought
they'd missed out on the nuptials, just wanted to point out that at present,
these wonderful people are not yet constrained by the bonds of actual
matrimony.   In pointing this out, by the way, this is NOT moralizing on my
part; far from it.   Nobody is happier about their anouncement than I am,
as I was the guy who introduced these folks to each other several years back
at Tabard House in Hanover of all places.  I merely make the correction in
the interest of accuracy.

    Needless to say, all of us who know these guys are pretty thrilled at
this news, and nobody more than me.  Am looking forward to perhaps
restraining some of the excesses of my lifestyle so I stick around long
enough to see what kinda hiker this child turns out to be; am looking
forward very much to becoming the favorite uncle, assuming of course that
the doting mother lets me within 200 miles of the kid.   Am looking forward
very much to performing such vital and varied duties as instructing the
youngster in the intricacies of draw poker; the importance of selecting the
correct single malt scotch; the neccessity of despising the New York
Yankees; where to find the best Orbison and Springsteen bootlegs; why one
should never take advice on water sources from Southbounders; where one
should drink if forced to spend the night in Gatlinburg; how to cook lasagna
for 65 people too potted to appreciate your efforts; how to make Miss Janet
laugh so hard she wets her pants; why it's so important to stay at Kincora;
how to do 1400 miles on a broken leg; how to get your 7 bucks worth at a
Chinese buffet; how to score your thru-hike a corporate sponsorship from the
R.J. Reynolds people; why John McCain is the only man in America worth
electing to higher office; why it's important to always lock your tent at
Trail Days; why you should never let someone take your photograph if you're
anywhere near an inflatable animal; why you should avoid certain places in
Erwin (hah!); how to make 7 ounces of Jim Beam last 180 trail miles (this is
a tough one); how to render yourself utterly irresistable to attractive
people half your age; how to win at Jeopardy, even when the category is
"Show Tunes!"; why Bill Bryson is a candy-ass; how to fracture the wrist of
an unwanted suitor without getting outta your chair; how to tell filthy
jokes in Latin so as not to dis-please your mother; how to hit a hanging
curveball off a left-handed short reliever; why Sam Peckinpah was the
greatest director of all time; how the South coulda won at Gettysburg; why
England can never be forgiven for what it did in Ireland; how to finish the
Times crossword in ten minutes without cheating; why Ernest Shackleton
should be your childhood hero; why it's OK to still have a crush on Uma
Thurmman even tho she's married; why you shouldn't take a first date to
"Braveheart"; how to get your bartender to over-pour each and every
time.....well, you get the picture.  SOMEBODY has to pass on this essential
knowledge to the next generation, and I'm not sure if Kampfire is up to the
task.  Time to call in expert outside assistance.  I can't wait.

As for giving advice on how to walk from Georgia to Maine, or how to be the
best damned Trail angel that ever lived----well, THESE matters I'll leave to
the parents, who are eminently qualified to speak on these matters.

    In any case, I'm sure I speak for everyone here in wishing these guys
nothing but good wishes, and we'll find 'em a quiet campsite in Damascus
next May.  Failing that, we'll see 'em in Hanover in a year.   By then, the
kid should be ready to hike.

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