alabama kinfolk


real estate

As almost her last act, CBA checked into a lovely block building in Rover. If that didn't cure her of a yen for the Ozarks, I don't know what would.
This house has a number of sibling/ownership issues that would take quite a while to sort out. Bear helped out as interpreter.
I am now in Alabama and expecting to be in NYC in a week. Fried.


up on the roof

view from the new roof


later still

A couple last evenings at the Goose. Heading out momentarily.


find the flowers

last year


In styling the Goose for photographs, a single vase of an amaryllis known as Naked Ladies has been traveling around the place. They are a beautiful pink with lavender detailing. You have seen them before, and you will have the opportunity to see them again. Does anyone know why they are called naked ladies? And does anyone think that if I titled this post naked ladies I would get more hits?


end of june

Not only is it the end of this June bug, it's almost the end of July, too. Systems on Block Island are breaking down (door screens, telephone), the car rental place wants to see my face, pregnant daughter needs a load of gravel—it's almost time to head nawth.
I am waiting on the roof to be finished so as to close up the Goose and head out down into Arkansas, Tennessee, to Sweet Home Alabama. It's a flat roof. The plywood is laid, the rubber membrane is down, but it is not yet glued. Pity the poor roofers, Veni and his Khazak relatives. It has been so hot. Can August be worse?





Truthfully, I never really believed the tube business or the I Ching reading business would take off here in T'ville, Missouri. I do think that it would be possible to find Special People to rent the Goose for $300 a week. OK, $250. The new roof is going on and will be done this week, making it possible to install a new ceiling and trim (other than the duct tape!). The privacy hedges are planted and will be grown by next year. If Bear doesn't mow them down unknowing. The water pressure—so, the water sucks, but the toilet flushes and you can kind of take a shower.
Craigslist, here we come.


day of rest

So we went down to the river. . .
with our friends, the new you tube, the shampoo/beer caddy, the boogie board, etc. and a fine time was had by all though no rents were collected.


business goes bust

Opening day went sadly flat at B & C's Tube Rental. At one point we thought we had a live one when an older gentleman knocked on the door. But it turned out that he was canvasing for his son, who is running for state rep. I told him that I didn't vote here, but he gave me the literature anyway. "To tell you the truth, when he said he wanted to run for office I thought he'd gone crazy," said the father. And after reading the slate (above), I thought so too. So, nary a customer.
And then the blow fell. B appeared at the door holding an unrecognizable shred of rubber. "Our cash cow," she wailed, weeping real tears. You Tube had exploded in the heat. We didn't even hear the shot, but we felt it in the heart. Poor Bear, who was being groomed to take over as manager, felt it exceedingly. We hardly know what the next order of business should be. . .


b & c's tube city

It was a long time in the works—conceptualizing, drawing up a marketing plan, redoing the storefront, buying stock, preparing signage and attempting to hire help. The PayPal account had to be readied, the cash register, etc. But finally all was in place for the Grand Opening!


scenic ozarks

Here are some nearby beauty spots which could be made more enjoyable with the help of items rented from our new emporium. Opening today!



The White Trash Veranda got a facelift from the House Guest. Then we did Having Dianne to Dinner and enjoyed the new tiki torches (in automobile rim). We have kind of a tire motif going on, actually. Can you guess what it yet to be revealed?


return of the plaintive

It took a while to explain, and the tank had to be returned to the manager at the garden center, while the (assembled) grill had to be returned in the main store.
But it was finally done, and now I am once again grill-less.
But we have a lot of wonderful new items which will be revealed anon. . .


ozark breakfast

As you can see, the Ozarks have already had a deleterious effect on someone. . .

My House Guest and new Ozark Correspondent, CBA tried to post the following as a comment, but she was so intoxicated she made it too long and lost it. Herewith:

It's 8 a.m., and I am getting in character for returning my hostess's gas grill and propane tank to Walmart. The day before yesterday she was doing one of the two things she does best: Having Friends to Dinner.

The other thing is, obviously: Having House Guests. In this case me, The Sometimes Helpful Guest.

Why, I wondered, when I arrived last night, was she so distressed at the thought of taking something back to the store?

This morning, over a beer or two, she spilled the beans. And the coffee, of course.

I Reckon We're Retarded, but here's the way it was:

In preparation for "The Dinner", in this case grilled steak, pork chops, and fresh vegetables, my Hostess went to Walmart to buy a gas grill, a tank of propane, a bottle of wine, and a cartload of other necessary items. All painstakingly chosen over the course of nearly two hours.

Now in some parts of the country, you can load all these items into your cart, and proceed to checkout. But here, in West Plains, you have to buy the wine in one area, the gas outside somewhere, and everything else at the front of the store.

Well, she didn't know this.

So not only was she chastised by the Walmart staff for having a propane tank in the store and alcohol in the grocery aisle, she lost her cart altogether when she left it to look for Barkeepers Friend in the hardware department.

An eager Walmart summer employee swept up what they assumed to be an abandoned cart, and returned all her items to the shelves.

As if this wasn't bad enough, she got home with little time to spare before her dinner guests arrived to find the gas tank she purchased did not fit the gas grill.

Do all roads lead to Walmart? I mean, if God wants us to be Creatures of Spirit, and rise above the flesh, why did He give us bodies that have to clothed, fed, and cooked on things made in China?

Guess I'll take the grill and the ill-fitting propane tank back today, and see what His Will for me is.


bear tracked

Old Carl passed the word that I was looking for him, so Bear came by. He's been living at his sister's since Christmas doing odd jobs. (Read: Has no money.) Says he might need to find work. He quit drinking.
He went out to his old red truck and brought in his arrowheads to show me. He finds them along the river. Once he was cleaning up beer cans some kids left down there and "damn near poured beer on one."
He holds his favorite—some kind of club or hammer that gives him deja vu. "When I see this rock it's almost like I've seen it before," he says. "Like I've picked it up before. Maybe in a dream."



The Back Home Cafe is really open now.
Better captions, oh my readers?


a year later

I spent New Year's Eve, 1999, and the dawn of the new millenium about 15 miles from here with a guy who calls himself a Christian patriot. By that he means a white supremacist who believes that the U.N. is in league with the devil and U.S. presidents to put us all in concentration camps and take our land away and return it to the wild. He thought that this movement would begin on Y2k. I told him I didn't believe anything would happen, and I would spend the moment with him to prove it.
He sat with an AK-47 leaning up against his chair as we watched TV. We saw the ball drop in Times Square when it was still 11:00 in Missouri. My friends covering the event for Time called me from Times Square. Nothing was happening.
In disbelief, he got on the phone, calling people around the U.S. Any roads closing? power grids shut down? troop movements? police actions? black helicopters? Nothing.
To his credit, he claimed to be happy.
To my credit, I didn't say I told you so.
He didn't like the story I wrote about him at all, and the last time I called him he said he wasn't ready to see me.
If he knew I had bought a place in the next town a decade later, he would faint. Assuming he hasn't had his land taken away by the U.N.


good young boys

The cowboys show up at the cafe across the street for lunch every weekday it's open—Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. They have spurs and everything. They probably miss Hannah's morning jogs through the big cattle ranch where they work nearby. These guys are not cowboys—just kids who showed up for dinner on Saturday night with their parents. But they look like they might make cowboys some day.


why missouri?

Bath day is one reason. Yeah, yeah, Dr Bronner's, I know.



Four Years Ago


People have their dreams, and some dream of opening a gas station. The only gas station in town was closed last time I was here, but now it's showing signs of life. Note ice machine, which has ice in it. Note, sadly, the absence of bench and the old guys who used to play pinochle there. There are a few bottles of soda inside arrayed so as to make the shelves appear full. There are flowers which got a much-needed watering last night (as did my bedroom floor, which did not need it, thanks to this damn roof). There is not yet, however, any gas. Gas costs a fair amount to buy in quantity or else good credit, which this outfit apparently does not have. And won't, if they can't sell any gas.


pretty picture

. . .and no posting til Monday.

the butterfly effect

This butterfly wouldn't let Bill alone, sitting on his hat, his hand. Bill and Carla came over to the Goose last night, as did Frank and his cousin Ralph and Dianne, and Dianne took us all out to dinner at the River's Edge cafe across the street ("they come from miles around"). Dinner can set you back a whopping $4, including hush puppies.
The butterfly didn't attend.


where is bear?

When the restaurant to the left of Bear's house bought the house to the right of Bear's house and tore it down for a parking lot, my bet is that he felt pretty exposed. The outhouse and pump are in the back, but they had to move his mailbox, his laundry line and I guess his driveway. They got finished burning (see scorched tree) and bulldozing last week. Where is he hiding out?

PS The before pic was taken in happier days when the mallard of the duck/basset pair was alive. I have not seen the old basset hound, who mourned his waddling friend quite vocally, either this year. Yoyo, the stray bitch, is, however, alive and well. She grinned and wiggled all over she was so happy to see me. Hoping I had her friend Ruca in tow.



Pulled into the Goose yesterday afternoon. No cell reception. No Internet. No Bear. No house next door to Bear's. And the beer store has shut down. The universe is trying to tell me something.


what's in the truck?

And why is it feeding at the enemy pump?
Hint: yes we have no bananas


loading up

Heading out to Missouri today with a load of substandard chairs, hoping for ripe tomatoes.



Independence Day arrives with a vengeance.


new york

The Subway Singer likes the new scene at the 79th Street station. There is now a sign that tells you how long it will be until the next train comes in, so she can plan a mini performance. 11 minutes--2 songs. 2 minutes--1 verse. etc. end with a flourish.
The subway riders like it too. They can stop agonizing about how late they will be to work and just relax and enjoy.
It has been difficult writing this post because the Subway Singer will not hush up.


kitty can has baff?

You should see the dog sulking in the way back of the car now that the baby seat has pride of place.