About an hour into a many-mile, sold-out, one-day chartered bus excursion, on a drizzly first day of summer, on a Wisconsin highway thick with traffic, David Fischer left seat Number 33 and cautiously hiked to the back of the bus to use the restroom. When he returned and settled in again, Fischer remarked to his wife that he and she seemed perhaps to be the only travelers, other than the driver, wearing seat belts. (He was guessing about the occupants of seats one to thirty-two.) Wont it be ironic, Dave joked, if we are the only ones killed in the crash!
I am reporting this story three days later and can confirm that Fischer is alive and well as of Sunday morning. He and Celeste encountered few ironies on their trip. Dave did, however, on the journey and in the days that followed, recall and reflect upon a number of indiscretions, recklessnesses, yieldings to temptations, and downright stupidities he committed in his youth and beyond. Some involved automobiles and motorcycles, some involved firearms, some involved the ocean, romance, alcohol and weed, parenthood, diet and exercise or lack thereof, fair skin and summer sun. Some involved Fischers soul, if any. One involved a Greyhound ride to a military induction center when Dave was twenty-one.
Fischer told me he is often astonished at various risks he himself takes, and puzzled by the even greater unnecessary dangers to which others subject themselves. He remarked that his father seldom scolded or lectured when he found out Dave or Daves siblings had done something dumb. Most times, Dad would just shake his head in wonderment and sigh. Welllll, Dad would say—and Dad still might say to the present day—I suppose, son, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.