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Outta Town

This blogger, dear readers, will be out of town at a conference for a few days. So expect fewer posts than normal. But I'll try to drop a few tidbits, like this. Next Friday, May 20, at the Brown Bookstore: an appearance by actress Christina Haag, plugging a new memoir focused on her relationship with Brown alumn John F. Kennedy Jr. An excerpt of her book appeared in Vanity Fair, including a bit about a harrowing kayak ride during an island vacation:

We were going to wreck. No way around it or through it. I was in front. In the bow, my broken limb lay immobile from knee to foot in its shiny blue brace. The boat and my leg were sure to shatter. I closed my eyes and waited, too afraid to cry.

Then there was a whoosh of sand against the canvas bottom. Not rock—sand. Just as we were about to hit, a wave came, just high enough to carry us over the rock. We—and our craft—arrived without a scratch. John hauled the kayak up. I hobbled out with my soggy crutch, the daypack, and the mango. We caught our breath, unable to speak.

I know now we were in shock. I thought it was just me who was terrified, but then I saw John, my captain: John, who was never afraid. Unable to be still, he paced the beach muttering something, his eyes wide and to the ground. “Don’t tell Mummy, don’t tell Mummy,” he repeated like a mantra to no one. Mummy wasn’t there, and he wasn’t talking to me. I could have passed my hand in front of his eyes and he would not have blinked. It was then that the danger we had been in really hit me. John was afraid. I had never seen him like this—not skiing down a run in a whiteout in Jackson Hole or nearly colliding with a gray whale in Baja. There was an exhilaration about him, a high. He was almost smiling. Then he noticed that his hand was shaking. He held it out to show me, and we marveled that it continued to shake for the next 15 minutes.

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