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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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Swimming the Bosphorus.

She was vivacious and full of adventure:
This was Betsy Harrell, the wife of Bryant, my new boss in Turkey,
(Now to be called Turkia, as an act of Turkish Parliament).
He was Dean of the School of Science, at Robert College, now Bogazici Universitesi
I met them in Nantucket, while carrying out my Cornell field work.
I graduated from grad school and was seeking a job--
Times were tough finding work at that time,
I was hired and off to Istanbul, Turkey, for a life's adventure!

At once, Betsy challenged me to a swim across the Bosphorus!
In Turkish it is named the Bogazici (Bo az e chi) 'The Neck',
Connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara, having swift currents between.
Of course I said yes and arrangements were made.
Bedros, the vibrant Armenian University carpenter from Bebek,,
Manned the rowboat to accompany us.
We pushed off in Bebek and managed the currents as we were swept south.
As we crossed, a Russian ship loomed to the north above us.
Our efforts increased as we swam eastward towards Anatolia.
It loomed past us to the west and we made strokes onward.
Soon the traditional wooden houses came into focus shoreward.
And then our destination, now far to the south, the historic palace
Where Florence Nightingale had managed a Crimean War hospital
And then our hauling out in good health on the rocky shore.
Tired, but in good spirits, we rowed back with Bedros
And on to many Turkish adventures thereafter.

Frank Maurer 6 February 2923 1645 Hours.

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