Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper and Phyllis visited their previous haunts in Mazomanie to find that a traffic light now makes things easier where the keeper once spent long moments waiting to cross Highway 14 to get to such places as the “Base Camp” restaurant, where Mary Beth’s revised management style is: “I just open when I feel like it, which might be a few hours several days a week.”
Mary Beth “felt like it” on this day, and produced a delicious and scenic salmon plate, with the keeper and Phyllis being her only in house customers, a fact that Mary Beth found acceptable since it did not stress her as a total staff of one; and it allowed time for proprietor—customer socializing.
It was five years ago to the day when the keeper took his harrowing involuntary ride down the ice-covered mountain-road driveway of the Mazo house where he then lived a solitary existence. He remembers thinking that there had been seconds when survival seemed doubtful.
It is the keeper’s thought that visiting old haunts is good for the psyche: it may create an opportunity for a mundane Facebook posting about food, and it revives memories of past close calls, like the one that might have gone the other way in bringing the keeper and Phyllis together: If not for his dumb luck, the keeper could still be waiting for love on the other side of a symbolic Highway 14.