Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Fall Funk

Well - I'm deep into the Fall Funk. I'm off to Northern Uganda and south Sudan at the end of October which should be exciting me but its not. I don't know why. I've wanted to go to Uganda for ages. It must be the fall funk!

I'm getting sick of DC. I love my apartment and friends but there is nothing to tempt me out of my little hidey hole. When I was in Park Slope this weekend, everything was exciting and cool. I loved the bar that i went to with Kevin and Brian - Slavic Soul! A band that plays Musette Accordion music from 30s France! A million different cute restaurants! I don't even walk up 18th Street anymore. I have tried to shake it up by going to Rumba cafe and Bossa but I don't really have anyone to go with. We're all in a rut. This whole damn city is in a rut. I blame it on the Republicans. Under the Democrats, I'm sure we had more exciting bars.

I am headed to South Carolina this weekend which should be fun and relaxing. It will also be bittersweet- Mr. McElveen, my neighbor from when i was growing up just died this past week. He was 93. His wife has Alzheimers now. They were married for 69 years. Noone in this generation will ever be married for that long.

My neighborhood, Warren Court, was notable in the fact that when my family moved there in 1975, we were the youngest family on the block. Everyone was in their 60s with grandchildren. I grew up on a block of maiden aunts and divorced southern women and was watched over by grey haired women who drove cadillacs and wore driving gloves. I would buy their cut glass vases and old church hats at yard sales. They would call my mother when my sister and I would pick the flowers out of their gardens.

Mr. McElveen always had the most beautiful garden. He grew lovely azaleas, wonderful chrysanthemums, delicious tomatos, and sweet pecans. I remember being a young girl and sitting in his garden and smelling the pungent Chrysanthemum smell mixed with the sweet sweet smell of Magnolia seeds ripening in the autumn sun. The McElveens also spurred my parents to get me baptized. They scared Mom and Dad to death by taking us to Crosswell Baptist church on Sundays so my mom and dad sent us off to the Episcopal and Catholic churches so we wouldn't become Southern Baptists. The McElveens were old timey Southern. Mrs. McElveen would call people "colored" and "nigras" but she would also make divinity and fudge and cookies for Christmas every year and deliver them to everyone's house. She was traumatized when the first black family moved into our neighborhood but sure enough, they got the cookies at Christmas time and the polite standing in the yard complaining about the mosquitos conversation in the summer. When Joey,their grandson, got a Springer Spaniel (very popular for hunting in South Carolina), Mr. McElveen had to walk it - and that dog would pull him down the street. However, he always dressed in his shirt and tie and hat to walk around the block.

Here's to you, Mr. McElveen. I hope you found a lovely plot for gardening and that the tomatos are just as sweet as they were on 6 Warren Court.

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