Three Engineers Named Rounthwaite

19 Apr

engineer

The Engineer's Case

samplex

Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 11:56:21

I apologize for the intrusion, but after stumbling across the name, I was wondering whether you are the George Rounthwaite, formerly of Houston, TX, a surveyor (engineer), or are you perhaps his son, Robert, whom I knew to be living and working in the Redmond area?

I am the former Richard Nix, now Gabriel Thy, living in Washington, DC, but I won't bore you with sentiments except to wish you good health and fine purpose. If you are not this Rounthwaite clan, I apologize again.

Part Two...

Yes, that is the same Robert I knew as a young boy of 8-9 way back in the late 70s. His father, George, whom I consider one of three post-parental mentors of my early 20s had a debilitating stroke about five years ago, and from what I gather over a couple of very awkward phone conversations and a short jumbled letter he is still reluctantly estranged from the family he loves very much. When I saw your name on one of the Internet Registers (I forget which, already, sorry), I was hoping on a long shot that George had relocated to Washington in the care of his son Robert, who does indeed work for Mister Bill, and had embraced the Net. It's been about eighteen months since I last talked to him. My sin. I'm afraid I have few comforting words in my vocabulary. Thanks for your offer of locating Robert's phone number, but I think I must decline your generosity. I have not seen Robert, or George for that matter, since 1980, and frankly I would find a cold call to him rather unnerving, not to mention how he might feel. I am much more comfortable with E-mail in certain, well no, MOST situations, and realizing the Rounthwaite family unit as somewhat in ill-repair, I hesitate to step in.

Actually the whole tale goes on for some twenty or so pages in an unpublished novel sitting on my harddrive, as secretly as if it had never been written, because naturally, being of sound mind and not merely out for kicks, there were contributing facts both prior to and after the utterances and the writing of the name, as you might imagine, but since I hardly dare bore you with those details at this point in our communication, I’ll just say thanks for asking…
It was astonishingly difficult even talking to George. Fourteen years had passed before I called him out of the blue back in 1995. You see, old friend George is a hardcore Christian fundamentalist, a very bright, very well-educated man who sought to please God more than the most stringent theology can ever permit. The very passion of health and fitness, George suffered his stroke rather prematurely while still in his early to mid-fifties. It is my perception, not without hints of validation, that his intensity for religion finally cracked both his family ties and his physical well-being. It's a very sad tale of which I was hoping a reunion had overcome...

As for the name change operation, it's quite a long story, but the short version is that after a period of twenty months or so of uttering on a whim to strangers in Corpus Christi TX whenever I was being introduced that"...my name is Richard Spalding Nix, but I'm in the process of a name change operation," the deed was finally accomplished on November 13, 1983 in Atlanta when I wrote the line in a poem that "I took the name Gabriel Thy...", a day that also happened to be my mother's birthday, whatever that has to do with anything. It was only three days later, after going back to edit the poem that I actually noticed the line for the first time. "Eureka!" I shouted, and the rest is history. Actually the whole tale goes on for some twenty or so pages in an unpublished novel sitting on my harddrive, as secretly as if it had never been written, because naturally, being of sound mind and not merely out for kicks, there were contributing facts both prior to and after the utterances and the writing of the name, as you might imagine, but since I hardly dare bore you with those details at this point in our communication, I'll just say thanks for asking...

Yes, Gabriel Thy is my legal name now, since 1984. Being the creative sort who tries to live by the strength of his words (failing miserably of course), while sporting this nasty habit of trying to coerce others to live up to their own, I took the plunge and made it official. But life goes on, under any name, and any banner, and it's a damned shame God is such a mysterious force in the histories of man, offering much consolation and pomposity to so many and so much pain, so much confusion to so many others without rhyme or reason to sift out the differences...

GT

© 1997 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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