Willie Bowser

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There’s an expression in politics — I think it was Marshal Cobleigh who told me about it — where you “walk around the corner and meet yourself.” He and I were working for the president of the New Hampshire Senate at the time, and he was referring to a situation where a senator needs the support of another senator, whom he or she has thwarted or mocked or insulted in some other controversy.

Today I walked around the corner and met myself in quite another sense. I have been poking about in the journals of my friend, the late Bob Hay, with whom I shared a house in Vermont back in the 1980s. I guess I’m kind of a self-appointed literary executor.

I came upon a portrait of my dog Willie Bowser whom I adopted from the New Haven dog pound fifty years ago. 

Willie was best known as a phenomenal frisbie catcher. I remember one night in the Boston Public Gardens flinging a frisbie far off into the darkness, waiting, and hearing that distinctive “kotch!” that meant a successful catch, easily distinguished from the “thunk” indicating a miss.

But Willie was an all-around clever dog. Adept at scootching into a restaurant and hiding under the table or roaming the Yale campus with his pal Larry, a distinguished looking white dog with a black patch over his right eye.

My grandmother, Esther Kimball Hartshorne Megargee, was very fond of Willie because of his impeccable manners and because she once saw him tiptoeing up the stairs to keep from waking the household. 

Once my mother was explaining to me why I couldn’t bring Willie on our visit to Essie’s house in Edgartown when the phone rang. It was Essie telling us to be sure to bring Willie!

On the following page of Bob’s journal was a portrait of yours truly. Talk about walking around the corner and meeting yourself!