Monday, October 09, 2006


The October 2 New Yorker has a wonderful piece about the trade in gemstones in Madagascar ("The Path of Stones," byline Burkhard Bilger, page 66). Madagascar, along with Ceylon as it was then, were two of my favorite places when I was a kid. I love the Flashman novel set in Madagascar, with Queen Ranavalona. Madagascar always issued handsome stamps back in the days when there were little ten-cent and quarter glassine packets of stamps for sale in Woolworth's. Ceylon stamps often pictured the Temple of the Tooth. Of Leonard Woolf's memoirs, the part recounting his years as a colonial administrator in Ceylon is my favorite. Anyhow, the New Yorker piece inspired us to recall all our visits to old mining claims in New Mexico down between Atarque and Fence Lake and the Gila Wilderness and also back along the old rail line behind Ramah and Tinaja, etc. Some of these places are now, apparently, artsy.


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