20/20 - The Book

NO PLACE LIKE HOME ALLUSIONS OF GRANDUER CRIB NOTES AT THE HERMITAGE

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“Have you seen Calusa?”  I asked Kate, who was sitting in the foyer, playing with her cat and her Voodoo doll.  The cat was swiping at the doll, and she would pull it away.  Bolt was keeping an eye on them, having apparently herded them into place.  

“She is over at your friend Art’s place.  She wants to get a boat to take her to an Indian village out in the Everglades.”  She looked up at me.  The cat noticed she was not paying attention and grabbed the doll.  Bolt raised his head to watch but didn’t flinch.  

“Why do you guys call Art ‘No-Ha’?”  I suppressed a laugh and then knelt down beside her.  Kids say the darnedest things, I thought to myself.  I got that saying from an old television show – one so old I could not even begin to tell you what it was.

“I think he got that nickname on account of that story in the Bible about the guy who built that really big boat and put a bunch of animals in it before the flood waters came.  Those big boats were called ‘arks’ and the guy’s name was Noah.  Because Art and his dad are so into boats and boat engines, the name sort of stuck.”

“No-Ha is Art?”  

“Yes.  ‘Noah’s Ark’ translates into No-Ha in Creole, apparently.  We call our best Haitian friend ‘Cousteau.’  His real name is Jacques, but because Art is teaching him how to go out into one of the boats and fish for food, we call him Cousteau.”

“Why?”

“That was the name of this famous scientist who went out on the seas in his boat called ‘Calypso’ to explore and do experiments.”  

“Why?”

I could see the conversation was going in circles.  

It happens with kids her age.

“Did you say she is going to visit an Indian village?  How’s come?”

“She’s going to take me there.  She says the time has come for me to go on a vision quest and earn my Indian name.  Maybe it will be ‘Calypso.’”

“Well that is a catchy name.  I’m sure they will come up with something fitting.”

 

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