Three weeks earlier, Bjo, Al, Eleanor Turner and Steve Tolliver had seen me
off at the same terminal. My tickets had been bought months earlier, and I had
told everyone of my travel plans -- a weekend in Philadelphia and New York, and
then the bulk of the trip in England and North Ireland. But it wasn't until we
got to the boarding gate that Bjo looked at the flight destination and really
believed me.

     "You're not going to England at all!" she accused. "You're going to spend
the whole time in Philadelphia with Peggy Rae McKnight and make up a phony TAFF
report!" I sighed, reminded her I'd told her a long time before that I was going
to Philly first, kissed her good-bye and whispered, "You're right -- but don't
tell anybody."

     I boarded the plane, my crew of bon-voyagers left the airport, and as always
TWA announced that there would be an hour delay before take-off; so I wandered
around the nearly-deserted terminal building alone until we re-embarked; and
finally, after anticipating the trip since September when Don Ford told me I'd
won TAFF, I was in the air and on my way to England.

     Figuring on a lot of uneventful travel time during the three weeks, I had
brought along Le Sage's Gil Blas, figuring that an episodic eighteenth century
novel ought to keep me in reading matter for a longtime; the first few chapters
brought me sleep, and I woke in Philadelphia.

     Philadelphians are generally in a hurry; it must be an effect of living so
near Manhattan, where people are always in a hurry. I was rushed about the
airport by people until I found myself, with luggage, outside looking for
transportation into the city. A stout, grizzled old man was stamping up and down
before a limousine, wherein sat three timid people.

     "$1.35 to Philadelphia," he spat at me. "If you don't like it, you can take
a cab for $3.50."

     Starting, I realized that staring at him wouldn't get me any nearer town, so
I paid him and loaded my suitcase and self aboard. I tried to get a shot of him.
because he was a fascinating caricature of a man with a hideous scowl spread over
his broad, heavy features, and a great black cigar -- but unfortunately this was
the first time I'd tried to set up Al's camera for a real shot, and by the time
I'd remembered how to arrange filter, speed, focal length and aperture, he had
scared three other people into the limousine and was getting in himself. He
should have been by Dickens.

    When my Barkis deposited me in the center of Philadelphia, I made my way to
the McKnight apartment, where I got a very funny greeting. Peggy Rae had spent
the night there so I wouldn't have to go straight out to the farm, and about two
hours earlier she'd gotten a telegram. Telegrams are always bad news, but this
one said:


     She showed that telegram to everybody we saw that weekend, including her
parents, Terry Carr, Pat and Dick Lupoff, and the Shaws. But besides that, it
was an enjoyable weekend. We spent Saturday in Philly babysitting her nephew
David, and went out to the family farm in Lansdale that night.., Sunday, Buddie
McKnight made her table groan gently under a burden of oriental food for Dinner,
and in the early afternoon Peg and I took a bus to New York.