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Captain's Bio

Christmas letters sent home to family from Africa give a sense of what life what like there. For many years my nickname was "Sage.".

Christmas Letter 1969

Howdy Folks,
This year's chapter in the life of a typical American family got rolling with another trip by Sage by Land Rover into the Sahara Desert. Remember "Beau Geste?" Or the movies about the French Foreign Legion in their crenellated forts high on top of a sand dune? Well, friends and family, they still exist and Sage even slept and ate in some of them. Of course, the French are gone now and the Moors are in charge. On one stretch of the trip Sage got bleeding saddle sores from bouncing around in the Land Rover because the road was so bad. When he got back he said, "the roads in the Sahara don't just lie there and let you drive over them; they rise up and attack you!" The highlight of his trip was a night spent in the ruins of Aoudaghost, a tributary city of the great empire of Ghana which was destroyed by North African invaders in 1054 A.D. Near the ruins was a cave with paintings depicting men in chariots hunting giraffes.

Sage stole the family limelight again by his role in "The Love of Four Colonels," a three-act play put on by the Dakar Dramatic Society. Sage played the part of a French colonel who experienced a fantasy as an eighteenth-century rake who tried to seduce Sleeping Beauty. He spoke with a French accent and later the wife of the real French colonel who's uniform he wore said that he was the only one she could understand.

While Sage was having all this fun, Gloria was working hard as Treasurer of the International Women's Club of Dakar and Chair of the Cooking Club. In between all that and three children she managed to publish a 50-page International cookbook in English and French.

Naturally, Sage kept on travelling. Besides Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania, his job took him to Mali, Ghana, Cameroun, New York and, of all places, Fernando Po, a beautiful, tropical, volcanic island and former Spanish colony off the coast of Nigeria where he negotiated a contract for CRS, in Spanish, no less.

At last the family's turn came and the whole tribe took off for a week in the Canary Islands. We had an apartment right on the beach at Las Palmas, and while the kids stuffed themselves with hot dogs and potato chips Gloria and Sage gorged themselves on good, thick steaks.

What you people call Fall opened with the excitement of school all the way down to the tiniest King of all. Dion had been waiting for this since last year. Fortunately, he loves it. The water has turned cold, but is very refreshing. A Christmas picnic on the beach has been suggested, but Sage is old-fashioned and insists that we have a turkey on a table in the house, even if the air-conditioner has to be turned on. With that we sign off with a merry wish for a beautiful Christmas and a New Year full of joy.

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Copyright 2002 by Serge King
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