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Vince — This is marvelous to me in so many ways! The poem and the photograph are gifts of discovery and memories.

I read the “Like hoofs my feet / step up the roof tile frame;” just as I would feel sometimes when stepping on to a steep roof… the feet have no purchase on that kind of (clay tile) surface.

And (as I read it) to find that hidden ladder! That someone knew to put it there, that someone would be back and need an easier way to reach the roof’s summit. So very cool.

One of the last jobs I did with my friend (as I told you earlier) was in Croton, New York converting a summer theater into a home. The wall around the roof needed zinc covering much as you’ve shown here but we (my friend and I) couldn’t do it. We found a contractor who could and the work he did was masterful. The care he took in spent cutting into stone to affix the flashing was unreal. The home was along the Croton gorge… which made the looking down all the more interesting. (41° 12' 1.8468" N, 73° 52' 22.2744" W)

This zinc work looks even better.

“Work on the edge, facing the abyss.” A metaphor for almost all creative endeavors. Thank you for taking us there.


I’ve visited Amsterdam just one time. My wife used to work for Trans World Airlines in New York and we (and ten or so of her coworkers) decided to visit the Van Gogh museum for the 100th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death. So, I know I was there on July 28 and 29, 1990. There was an incredible exhibit of his work at the museum at the time. I see that the museum is near Vondelstraat.

We stayed at the Pulitzer Hotel (Prinsengracht) and had the most glorious weekend. These weekend trips of thousands of miles became the story of those years for us with that wonder of an airline pass.

I was so glad to have a chance to see what I’ll now think of as your city. It rained like mad the night of the 28th.

De Dakdokters is fantastic! Sometimes we get smarter and this is proof. Keeping a home dry where the roof is now collecting water is a fantastic challenge.

I’ve been trying to decide which house this is on Vondelstraat and I’ve selected number 51. Not that you should say but I do like a challenge and to determine where we are being taken by a poet is always one I like to pursue.

Gosh I love that hidden ladder.

Please, if you’re ever so inclined, write and photograph more of these! What a trip you’ve taken me on today.

Thank you.


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