Plumbing the depths

For the last six weeks Martha and Fabian have been working on Chapter Four on the first 30 years of the twentieth century, particularly the years of the dictatorship, based on the experiences of Manuel and Amador.  Both had difficult childhoods, a great desire to learn, and the need to emigrate to Barcelona (Manuel) and France (Amador).  During the Dictatorship Amador began clandestine activities on his return trips to Càlig, circulating anarchist materials and teaching night classes to young men so they could read them.

Although Fabian finished digitizing and organizing by theme the 20 hours of their interviews, it is still difficult to write about them because they repeated their stories and each time added new information.  When writing about one of these stories, Martha has to take one part from one interview and another part from another, weaving the stories together.

Because there is so much information, it is difficult to limit.  Yesterday Martha and Fabian decided to cull Chapter 4 which had become unwieldy.  While we were deleting information, reorganizing information, and moving sentences around–all of which requires tremendous concentration, the plumbers began arriving to find and fix a leak.  At the same time, the shower downstairs was filling up with muddy water.  Another plumber came to clean out the line, cutting the roots of the mulberry trees across the street.  The leak which took two groups of plumbers to find turned out to be in the flower patch on the south side of the house.  The plumbers descended from the roof where they had cleaned out the back up in the basement to dig down several feet to find a broken turn off valve almost separated from its  galvanized pipe.  At the end of the day the pipes were replaced and Chapter 4 shortened by 10 pages.


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