It rarely gets cold enough here in Seattle to keep me from getting out on the water, so I’ve been getting year-round exercise and recreation paddling my Struer K-1 trainer on the canal that connects Puget Sound to Lake Union. The launch ramp is only 1-1/2 miles from my home and I’ve made this outing hundreds of times, so often that it has become an efficient routine that takes well under two hours from the time I decide to take a break from work to being back at my desk, rejuvenated and clear-headed.

This dock, at the ramp just 1-1/2 miles from home, is where I've launched the Struer kayak many hundreds of times to go paddling on Seattle's inland waterways.

When there was a break in the wind and rain on the last Sunday of last November, I changed into my paddling wet suit, loaded the kayak on the roof racks, and headed for the ramp. The news being what it was in 2020, I usually didn’t listen to the radio, and instead put the seven-minute drive to good use, often doing memory exercises. On this particular Sunday, I was trying to remember cast members from the movie Young Frankenstein. Gene Wilder was easy and I could picture Peter Boyle, both as the monster and as himself; his name wasn’t long in coming to mind. I knew that the name of the actress who played the ingénue laboratory assistant was one I’d be able to recall, but I got stuck on the similar-sounding name of Vikki Carr and it took me a while to come up with Teri Garr. Later in the drive, out of the blue, the face of a neighbor I hadn’t seen in over a decade came to mind, and his first name dawned on me in a few seconds: Craig. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to come up with his last name, but a half minute later, after I’d given up trying, it too popped into my head.

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