Flying Back

There will be plenty of East Coast trip postscripts to come, but for now: We’re sitting in a terminal at Kennedy airport; outside, it’s about 100, and even people who have been working inside all day are complainng about the heat. Outside, one big difference between city dwellers and suburban folk shows itself. The urban types are out on the streets, walking to the subway, shopping, whatever they have to do. It’s not like the sidewalks were packed in my brother’s neighborhood, but people were out and about, even if lots of us looked a little wilted. Out in the suburbs: No one on the street, anywere; people out there — and "out there" is probably any suburb you can think of — live strictly a doorway to doorway existence during the worst weather. Glad the power grid is holding up for everyone so far.

This morning, getting ready to leave John and Dawn’s place, we were talking about the latest bicycle fatality in the Oakland Hills. A guy out for a ride was hit head on up there on Skyline Boulevard, within a half mile or so of where I crashed in June, by a motorcyclist; the cyclist died of his injuries, the motorcyclist apparently walked away from the wreck. Not to place blame without knowing what really happened, but one of the risks bicyclists take riding up in the hills, a risk that’s increased a lot in the last 20 years, is that we share the road with motorcycle riders and motorists who treat the twisting roads like a raceway challenge. I’ve often worried about getting hit up there.

Anyway. At one point, John said, "Hey, did you hear about that Wired editor who died during the marathon?" I hadn’t. I looked up "wired editor marathon" onlne, and found a story on Wired News. The editor who died during the marathon was a guy named Bill Goggins. I knew him from my stint at the magazine in 1998 and from my days freelancing for the magazine. Bill was 43, and the news accounts say that he collapsed at mile 24 of the San Francisco Marathon last weekend and couldn’t be revived. A friend who saw him at mile 21 said he was smiling and running strong, and a mutual friend had seen him twice in recent days and said he seemed fine. The thing about Bill, whom I never got to know well enough, was that he was brilliant and funny and charming and had a big heart that was right there for anyone to see. Forty-three. Hard to believe. See you, Bill, wherever you are.


One Reply to “Flying Back”

  1. Yes…I’d stay off that stretch of road. It seems to have a lot bad luck attached to it.
    Great to see you in Brooklyn. We’ll do it again soon.

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