Wednesday, June 15, 2011

walk on

I don’t remember how I first came across Patrick Leigh Fermor. If I had to place a bet, I think it was when I stumbled across a book, Ill Met by Midnight, in the only English-language bookstore in Chania, Crete. It must have been around 1996, or so. After a little research, I discovered A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water – his two volumes relating his walk across Europe just prior to WWII (and which were impossible to find stateside until about five years ago). I was completely enthralled. I don’t know if it was time and place, being on Crete a lot back in those days, or some strange dream of being an agent of the Empire that caught my attention. Regardless of how it happened, he became a heroic figure for me. And, he was born 50 years, to the day, before I was. He did lots. I just drive to work.

Fermor died this week in England, at 96. I always imagined I’d stumble across him someday in Greece. As if that would happen.

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