Late afternoon when the shadows are long,,,

In the late afternoon when the shadows are long there are two instances of especial notice contrary to what we are accustomed when taking our predominantly morning bicycle rides. First, the declining afternoon sunlight switches its angle to the other side of the Mississippi River which dreamily wends its way through the centre of town directly past the Old Town Hall; and, second, the town is muted by the dark shadows of the lush and verdant summer foliage which everywhere distinguishes the town, specifically the dense cavern along the erstwhile B&O railway line (now a pedestrian and cyclist pathway).

The foliage and late afternoon shadows did not however conceal the remarkable and well-known silhouette of a woman and her faithful Labrador Retriever as they materialized from the emerald shadows. It was my dear friend Jill Carolyn Halliday whom I have known – as she opined when we subsequently conversed with another woman and her dog – since the 1800s. We have as well an historical commercial confederacy. I worked as a lawyer for her and her corporation.

It was but a second following our recognition of one another that we exploded into euphoria. As speedily we touched upon whatever had or had not changed in our lives since the last time we talked. Instantly we reignited the passion and humour which for years has characterized our association, reaffirming that adage about friends and their facility to captivate what may have transpired long ago.

Indeed it was a long time ago that we met. I recall the affair vividly. We were dining with mutual friends.  If I were to take a guess I am going to say somewhere around 1980 – which I suppose by current standards qualifies as close to the 1800s. In any event, whenever it was, we thereafter spent many, many times together including a singularly memorable occasion when Jill shared with me and the others congregated in John Francis Fitchett’s drawing room her personal effervescence for the Cosmopolitan cocktail John had just prepared for her. To be clear, it was while the party of about eight was commencing the preprandial glass of poison that Jill (presumably after her first sip of the Cosmopolitan) suddenly rocketed to the ceiling in a triumphant assertion of its rhapsody! In fairness she never was much of a drinker. I could go on.  Really. There are so many other moments of hilarity.

I should note as well the further event precipitated by the elongated afternoon shadows. It was a collusion with another old friend Kevin Finner and his two exceedingly well-behaved little dogs. Kevin like Jill lives nearby the river and the walkway.