"The Tech Rep" By James Michener; Continued:
"Why, in my travels, did I go out of my way to see Harvey Holt? Why, of all the tech reps I worked with, was he the one who captivated my interest?
The reason was bizarre. I first met Holt, as I have said, at Yesilkoy in 1954, just after his wife had stormed out of Turkey. Since his quarters were empty, he offered me a bedroom while I peddled World Mutual to other technicians in the Constantinople area; and one day when I was about to shower, I ran into Holt leaving the bathroom with a towel about his middle. Across his chest I saw a vivid scar. It looked as if a jagged piece of lighting had struck and sheared itself into position. Normally one ignores the wounds of others, uncertain as how the wounded will react to questioning, but this was so conspicuous, so fearsome you might say, that I had to speak.
YOU GET IT IN KOREA?
NOPE. PAMPLONA. LAST YEAR.
That stopped me, and Holt obviously intended saying nothing more, but then a flash of memory came to my assistance. ISN'T THAT THE TOWN IN NOTHERN SPAIN THAT HEMINGWAY WROTE ABOUT?
YOU MEAN A BULL DID THAT?
YEP. And that was all he said that day, but a couple of evenings later, when a friend had some Spanish records he wanted transferred to tape, and when the garish trumpets and flourishes had died away, Holt said, WE WERE PUTTING IN A BIG RALLY III AT PORTELA, AND IN LATE JUNE SOME OF THE MEN WHO HAD BEEN IN PORTUGAL FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS ASKED ME IF I WAS GOING UP TO PAMPLONA FOR THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS. I'D NEVER HEARD OF THE PLACE, BUT THEY MADE IT SOUND SO INTERESTING THAT I SAID I'D LIKE TO GO ALONG, BUT I DIDEN'T WANT ANY PART OF RUNNING IN FRONT OF THE BULLS. HELL, they said, WE NEVER TOUCH THE BULLS. WE CHECK IN AT BAR VASCA AND STAY DRUNK FOR EIGHT DAYS AND LISTEN TO MUSIC AND WATCH OTHER DAMNED FOOLS RUN WITH THE BULLS. THAT'S FOR IDIOTS."
To be continued:
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