Friday, July 23, 2010

What's New With Y'all?

Roberta’s husband had a stroke and has an aneurysm in his brain that's gotta be seen to. Means a trip to Shands over in Gainsville. Her thyroid’s acting up again. Sondra broke her back turns out. She fell and went to the ER because she knew she’d done something bad to her knee, but the broken back was a surprise. Now the poor woman is in a back brace and a leg cast. Art hasn’t had a binge in a year, but he’s got pain pills now for his back, and who knows where he’ll go with them. He’s done that before, you know. Gone from pills to beer to whiskey.

Business is down ‘cause of the spill. Not that you’d notice right off. You have to know what this place is like in a normal July to ‘preciate how empty the beach is. This is one tourist season when locals aren’t complaining ‘bout the damn traffic. It’s a sneaky thing. Even Debbie and Matt’s plumbing jobs are off. Places ain’t getting rented so there’s a lot less calls from property managers.

One thing though-we’ve had rain. So even if it’s 109 out there ‘cording to the heat index, the yards ain’t turned brown yet. Still green which is something I enjoy. Between the heat and the fleas, the neighborhood dogs are miserable. For dogs, I mean. Can’t get a dog down too bad unless you’re one of those cruel fuckers.

So, what are you gonna do? There’s good stuff, too, that’s for damn sure. Lindy and Mike’s baby was born over 8 lbs. and he’s eating like he wants to double that by the time he’s a month old. Hard on Lindy, though. Breast feeding. Carl’s working on a clean-up crew. Don’t know how they do it. On the beach in those boiler suits in this mess a heat. They say the oil stinks, too. Don’t know ‘cause I’ve stayed the hell away from it. BP station on Front Beach is gonna close, I’ll betchu. Ain’t a soul crying for them. Well. There’s local people owning the place that’ll have to get ‘nother line of business. Good luck to ‘em.

So, I got the word on heart failure. So? Doesn’t mean I’ll keel over tomorrow. Least I’m not out in that sun. House is cool and I got General Hospital, (James Franco’s been on it, you know) Dr. Oz, Ellen and when I need to, I get out. Maybe not like I used to, but what the hell anyway. Ain’t none of us is getting any younger. Dog and cat are doing good. God bless ‘em.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

On a Drawing by Athos Menaboni

The female sparrow hawk, fierce,
glorious, hovers above her mate.
Menaboni sketches her with beak open.
I imagine her call, “killy, killy, killy.”
The male’s wings fold down;
his claws wrap around
the branch of Georgia pine;
his head twists around and up
to fix her with black, marvelous eyes.
His russet back is rounded but not meek.

She is set to hunt, is ready to fly wide and long.
He has just flown in. His belly almost full,
he’s at rest, reflective, quiet.
Perhaps she’ll settle close to her partner
or he’ll leave his perch to join her in fearsome flight.
The hawks will decide in their next quick moments,
but the artist has made his choice, and so does not care.

Nonnie Augustine
July 8, 2010

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Little White House

FDR had a summer home in Warm Springs, Georgia. As one might expect, there are servant’s quarters, a guesthouse, luscious mountain scenery, a fine verandah, and sentry posts that were manned by Marines. Three Marines watched over Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his guests. That’s all. Huh.

The main house has six small rooms, darkly paneled, and humbly furnished. The only piece I coveted was an excellent cook’s table because of its sensible size. The icebox was on a little porch and the pantry displayed mismatched china and silverware. The two-roomed guesthouse is in the same rustic style with more of the gloomy dark pine paneling. The cook had a room over the garage, and so did a married couple who traveled with President Roosevelt.

He had his fatal stroke while posing for a portrait in the “Little White House.” The painter, Elizabeth Shoumatoff, her easel, FDR, and Lucy Page Mercer, who was visiting that day, must have been crowded in that small sitting room. (Eleanor wasn’t there, but then she seldom visited the house in Warm Springs.)

After my tour of the museum and house, I went to the gift shop, of course. I bought two soup mugs for my brother Peter and I. They are printed with acronyms for programs that got started during the New Deal: CCC, FCC, FDIC, FERA, FTC, NLB, NRA (National Recovery Administration, not the rifle NRA) REA, SEC, SSB, TVA, and WPA. Whew! My new mugs have the full titles of the programs listed, too, and let me tell you, it’s an impressive list. Maybe you’d like to read about them. Just Google and they’ll be there. I’ve always thought well of FDR, but after visiting his summerhouse in rural Georgia, I love him.