I’m alone on pad 1 waiting for liftoff. This is the dullest place I have ever been.
All hail Jefferson for the patience and persistence he showed in vindicating the American experiment, and letting Napoleon suggest the purchase as a way of solving some of his own pressing problems. Jefferson could not have done what I am doing. He was too civilized. I wonder how often he bathed? We know he had severe digestive problems. That had to be a mess in an age before toilets and ready hot water. You want to have robust pipes for a journey like this.
Sundays always remind me of my father Charles Everett Jenkinson. He has been dead for a quarter of a century now, but on Sundays I often miss him acutely. But he would never come on such a trip, not for all the money in the world. He thought camping was very silly: why jettison ten thousand years of improvements in comfort to sleep under a tree?
When I stepped out, all I saw was a billion stars above the pine trees. That alone made the trip satisfying. There are few sounds more satisfying than a breeze in pine trees. It is a different sound from breeze in cottonwoods. They thwattle and click, because the dance of the leaves makes them bump into each other.
"Every letter has a basis and a purpose … I spent an enormous amount of time thinking about the recipient."
— Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by Clay S. Jenkinson
We speak this week with President Jefferson about the art of letter writing. Prompted by a letter from a listener, Jefferson shares his insights on the process. The exact number of letters Jefferson wrote is not known, but it is safe to say he wrote in excess of 20,000.