Last night, Susie and I arrived back in Chapel Hill after a long flight from London Heathrow. We had followed our new practice of taking the Eurostar from Gard du Nord to St. Pancras, staying over night at a Heathrow hotel [the Sheraton this time], and then catching the direct non-stop American Airlines flight to Raleigh Durham. At our age, this is a tiring trip no matter how we arrange it, but the Eurostar portion is lovely, and the hotel stay breaks up the trip nicely. Exactly one year ago, faithful readers will recall, I came home, got terribly sick, was told I had terminal lung cancer, underwent every test known to medical science, discovered that no one had a clue what was wrong with me, took some Ibuprofen, and got better.
In two days, I shall be seventy-nine, which means that I shall be entering upon my eightieth year. Being eighty, I have decided, means never having to say you are sorry. Of course, I have not been saying I am sorry since I was about seven, but now I am justified in giving a finger to the world.
Getting up at four this morning [ten Paris time -- it takes me a while to adjust], I launched into an extensive search for my copy of Charles Mills' paper on Tolkein. Since I never throw anything out, I was sure I could find it, but so far it has not surfaced. What I did stumble on is a seventeen page paper called "The Indexing Problem" that I delivered to the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association on March 22, 1985. I had totally forgotten that I had written it, let alone delivered it. I re-read it [old age, I find, is mostly re-reading things you wrote four decades ago], and found that it has some rather interesting things to say about Rawls and Gerald Cohen, among others. If I can manage to scan it onto my computer, I think I will post it in several installments on this blog. There may be some folks out there still interested in Rawls and Cohen [and Sears Roebuck, but you will have to read the paper to find out what that is about.]