summer roundup


My sister bought a house on Block Island. Yay! Someone else from my side of the Family That Ate The World! Here it is. Erin is at my house now, overseeing trim rebuild and repaint. In T'ville news, the beer store is for sale, but meanwhile has become an Air BnB here. And now waiting for the fallout from this gathering.



summer's last gasp

The last bbq as Bill and Carla packed up the Caddy to head back to Arizona. They left this morning I have had the heat on for two nights in a row.
The last tomatoes were gathered at Mary's organic farm. She is pulling up the summer plants to make room for kale and broccoli and other fall crops.
The last hummingbirds are nipping at the feeders. Most have already gone. The few that linger have their feathers fluffed up in the 40-some degree mornings. They don't know it, but after they finish up this round, the gravy train is over.


signs of the times?

On one trip to West Plains, I saw this. I find both of these signs unintelligible. As in I have no idea what they are trying to say or how they fit into the authors' worldviews (which would seem to be opposed, but I really can't tell). The one below is deeply offensive, and I know I could catch heat for posting it, but I am showing what is. Also the guy sitting next a public park looks like a serious racist who would be pro-cop, so I really don't get it.



birthday house

This week's New Yorker cover looks just like Hannah and Chris's house as they celebrated Camilla's socially distanced tenth birthday on Sunday. It's like the magazine took a picture of it and then drew it, with the addition of a grill and sans the kids on bikes.

The birthday was a success, and of course I was happy to see the girl dressed in Walmart camo.



hog heaven

They roared through town in a steady stream, fifty or so in a row—I didn't count. Motorcycles, tricycles and some weird-looking things that I have no idea what they are. The loop across northern Arkansas and southern Missouri is well known in motoring circles for it's banked curves, empty highways and welcoming business, including motels, restaurants and even a motorcycle church. The group then forgathered, helmetless and maskless (but of course! they are outlaws, even if most of them will never see 60 again!), at the nearest truck stop in Birch Tree.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the highway in Thomasville, there was a different kind of hogfest going on. Feral hogs have long been a problem in the Ozarks, as well as other parts of the country.The conservation department here traps them and shoots them. A neighbor managed to score quite a few of them, and spent the afternoon gutting and skinning them, which is no easy job. He then cooled them in the river until he could cut them up and smoke or freeze them. I foresee bbq in my future.



weather report

Not making sense. Darkness at noon in Sausalito.

Monday 90 in Santa Fe, today snow.

 Missouri, all well. So far.

Apocalypse soon?


no laboring

No laboring for me anyway. David did the laboring on the oysters, overnighted from Cape Cod, cleaned, popped on the grill and dressed with butter, herbs and garlic. Yum! If it weren't for him, I'd be stuck with nothing but fried catfish. Not that I don't like fried catfish—I do—but I like oysters and seafood a lot more. Fortunately, so does he.
Saucing up the oysters. They were large ones.
Al fresco dining

Remembrance of Oysters Past
Then Bill and Carla and I paid a visit to Mary's organic garden and picked up some produce. Not a labor intensive experience for any of us. And later on Dianne, aka Gunga Din, brought me water from her well.
Mary's garden is transitioning into fall—kale etc. We scored some of the last tomatoes.

THe weekend was topped off with a late afternoon Labor Day tailgating at the Slab.


king john

King John's trucked a motherload of shit out of Thomasville the other day. He paid an emergency visit to Bill's place first, and I figured why not forestall an emergency at the Goose. There had been so much rain here that Bobby (his name is Bobby, not John) was afraid of getting stuck in the yard with a full tank. He almost did, but made it out to the hard road, leaving only some deep ruts. He was so relieved (and me too, now that I can relieve myself without fear!) that he stopped in the middle of the highway for his check. I wonder where he pumps out. I wonder the same thing about the used cooking oil tank truck that drove off from the cafe this ayem.



Actually we were all pretty stuffed, not just Dugan.

My sister-in-law gifted me the beer Aloha shirt.
Have I said this before? I am so pissed that the race-war inciters, the Boogaloo Bois, have stolen my uniform: camo shorts or pants with an Aloha shirt. I have never sported the AK-47, as they do, however. I am not nearly as pissed as Hawaiians, to whom Aloha means hello, goodbye, welcome, peace and love.
  But I am pissed. I now wear camo without an Aloha shirt, or an Aloha shirt without camo. Never the two together.
   At David's the other day, we all sported the shirts. No fucking camo! We had a luncheon of crabs' legs, tuna/potato/green bean/tomato salad and shrimp. I did not get any of it on my white pants.
   Sorry about the pic, guys, in which Dugan looks like he has been stuffed and David and I look like lunatics. Oh well!


block island views

Distance visiting with Edie this spring.

Many of you faithful readers know how fraught the situation on Block Island has been this year.  I hear that things are settling down a bit now, which is good news for the volunteer rescue squad and the medical center people. An ordinary summer is exhausting enough that the island doctor typically doesn't last through many of them before burning out. This year there was quarantine, Covid-19 tracing and a huge number of traffic accidents, some of them fatal.
  Just imagine the island in the old days, with no medical care closer than Newport by fishing boat. My friend Edie Blane lived through it and describes those days in this video. Well worth checking out. And donating.


long distance

There is something about this telephone company building in the middle of a field near a town called Rover that has always appealed to me. It reminds me of the party line we had in Vermont years ago, and of the way people used to call one another early in the morning or after 8 o'clock at night, when long distance rates were cheaper, and talk for less than three minutes. Times have changed, and people have mostly given up land lines (though I still have three for emergencies). But the land and the wires are still there.
      In other news, photographer Donna Ferrato has a piece about a photo shoot being done by another photographer, Martin Schoeller, in New York. I did a story on Schoeller years ago. Funny that he and Donna fetched up together. Both have done a lot of work with the homeless.


the visitors

My most frequent host, who entertains at the Goose or at his house.

My Gunga Din, who brings me drinking water, often!

The in-town crew, who just arrived for a month.
OK, some of them don't like their picture made. Well, maybe none of them do. Tough shit!