While in Portsmouth, I had tried several times to call Steve Weinstein in New York City. I was dialing a 602 area code and the last four digits of his telephone number were "1848." I tried once again and someone answered. I recognized the voice as Dr. Weinstein (Weinstein's father). Somehow I must have dialed Weinstein's parents number by mistake. But I didn't see how that could have happened. I had dialed the same number several times before and each time a recording from Weinstein's answering machine in his apartment in New York City had answered. How had I now reached his parents home in Portsmouth?
Although it was only about eleven o'clock Dr. Weinstein sounded as if he had been sleeping. I thought for a moment about hanging up without identifying myself, but instead told him who I was and asked if I had awakened him. He mumbled about having just gone to bed. I apologized and tried to explain how I had been trying to call Weinstein in New York. I had already dialed his number several times and each time I had reached Weinstein's answering machine.
It began to occur to me that the area code of New York City was actually 212. I didn't know how I had reached Weinstein before if I had dialed a 602 area code. However, 602 wasn't the area code for Portsmouth either. But since I was in Portsmouth maybe it didn't matter that I had dialed the wrong area code. Dr. Weinstein seemed a bit confused by it all and finally gave the phone to his wife, Mrs. Weinstein.
I spoke to her and tried to sound up-beat. She seemed friendly and we agreed I should come immediately to their house. There seemed to be a bit of urgency in the rendezvous.
We hung up and suddenly Weinstein walked in. I began trying to explain to him what had just occurred. He said when he had moved to New York he had liked his old number so much he had taken it with him. That at least helped to explain how I had reached his parents: apparently they still had the same phone number but at a different area code. I hadn't realized a person had a priority right to obtain his old number if he moved to a new place with a different code.
I explained to Weinstein that I had told his parents I would come immediately to see them. Some other people were with Weinstein and he didn't seem interested in accompanying me. I tried to explain to him the importance of the visit now that I had committed myself. However he simply didn't want to go.
So setting out walking alone I traveled a path through a pine forest and soon came across some uniformed men apparently searching for someone. They had found a large hole in the ground and one of the men, a Negro, lay down next to the hole and began shining a flashlight in it. It looked as if something black were in the hole and suddenly, with a fierce growl, a huge black bear roared out and grabbed the Negro.
I ran off and soon found another man standing beside a second tranquilized black bear, which after hearing the roar of the first black bear was beginning to revive. However the man with the bear pulled out a long knife, slid it across the top of the bear's nose, and blood began trickling from the slash. The bear succumbed and became docile again. Apparently the man knew how to handle the bear.
I continued along the path until I reached the Weinstein's. Someone let me in and led me to a downstairs bedroom which had a large sliding glass door which gave out onto the back yard. A man was sitting in the room in a wheel chair trying to communicate with another man in the room. But the man in the wheelchair could only speak German and the other person didn't understand him.
The man in the wheelchair was probably in his 80s although he appeared to not be more than 40. He was slender and appeared fairly strong. Someone explained to me that he was a relative of the Weinsteins who had come from Germany to visit them. The man in the wheelchair and I were left alone, I walked closer to him and said, "Ich kann deutsch sprechen."
He didn't seem to understand me at first but then responded. I said, "Ich bin drei Monaten in Deutschland gewohnt."
He very quickly spoke to me in German, I asked him to repeat what he had said and the second time I understood him. We continued conversing in German. Apparently he hadn't been able to talk with anyone since he had arrived here and was relieved to find someone who could speak with him.
He almost seemed childlike. He told me he had been in a wheelchair for over 50 years. He was also unable to either read or write.
I asked him if he would like to go outside. He said he would and we went out onto a verandah. A long concrete walk there led to the edge of the forest. I sat down in a swing on the porch and he pulled up close to me. We continued our conversation.