There must be a catalogue where you can buy your fiberglass steeple, because there are identical ones all over around here. Just buy one, pop it on your house and call yourself a preacher. That and schisms could account for the more than 300 churches in a town of 9000 souls. This building I call the Chapel of Love.
    You can just see the Goose in the background.
 Can you see the beware of dog sign? There is no dog. This is Randy and Virginia's rent house next door to the Goose. There is no dog, but there are likely raccoons and skunks.
 I liked this guy's perfectly manicured lawn and cherry car in contrast to what looks like a deserted mobile home. He did not know what I was doing when I stopped in front, and came out the door. Without a gun. I explained that I liked the way the red car looked, and he was satisfied. I asked if he wanted me to send a picture. He said no.

This place is not for rent. In fact, nothing is for rent there any more. It is for sale.



 I apologize for not writing in more frequently and also for the extremely unflattering pix of my new/old neighbors. What I want to show in these pictures is their river cabin (or shack, as some term it) just across the road from me in T'ville. It's basically one, big L-shaped room. And being as it's on the river bank, it, too, was wiped out by the flood. It's been totally redone.
   But it is the first time that I've ever had friends living here in T'ville, and it's so fun to have people wandering over to borrow a grater or have a cocktail. When we got together before, one of us always lived a half hour away. Because while Bill, an artist, had owned the place forever—and indeed convinced me to buy here—he never lived here while I was in residence. He only came out to mow the lawn or by special invitation. But he sold the farm (better than buying it!) and moved to Arizona with Carla, and now T'ville is their foothold in the Ozarks. Welcome home!


grand gulf

 This is the Grand Gulp,  I mean, Gulf. The good picture, above, is by Frank Martin. It is supposed to have geological significance, but I don't know what. It is deep enough that it did cause me to gulp when I was standing by the edge, so I edged away. Apparently where that mud puddle at the bottom is, there is a cave with a lake that you used to be able to go in by boat. Doesn't look that appealing right now, thanks to recent heavy rains. Some geologists did an experiment with dye, and apparently water from half the state away emerged here in the gulp.


the beautiful land

Through the windshield, as I go the last mile to Thomasville. As my time here draws shorter—about two week left—I am more drawn to the landscape. Probably affects me more because of growing up in this land—or, as one friend here says, "this country." I kept thinking he was talking about the U.S., but he was not.



This is apparently a thing now. And yes, today is the first day of school. Guess which one is going to be teacher's pet and which one will be trouble? Or maybe both will be teacher's pets. Or maybe both will be trouble. It's a new school year, and more shall be revealed, as my friend Katie says.


water over the bridge

Someone told me they opened up the two culverts under the slab, but however that may be, plenty of water is still going over it.
In other news,
Here are some of Chien Chi's photographs from the Hong Kong protests.
Douglas sent a link to a story about early female LIFE photographers
Expedition leader Russell Brice attended a Sir Edmund Hillary centennial, though they spelled Russell's name wrong.
And Block Island gets some more press, from Vogue. We be in style!


at the neighbors'

The property is full of Randy's derelict vehicles and devoted animals.
 Randy likes to boast that he's of Hatfield descent—his mother was a Hatfield, as in the feud. He grew up in Illinois but has long since lived in the Ozarks, where he fits right in. He's probably the reason why, even in a town with no police, I can leave my doors open without fear of theft!
Self portrait with goose. This guy follows Randy everywhere, but raises the alarm at a stranger.


afternoon delight

This is the time of day when the hummingbirds get busy. It's also the time of day when light brings some interest to the yellow table, and with such a small area to photograph, you have to wait for it.

Decided to try the birds in slo-mo. Otherwise they are too fast to count. Must be a dozen, anyway, sucking down a quart of juice a day. Note crepe myrtle finally blooming.


two rivers run through it


 Two rivers run through the valley next to the Goose. One is the Middle Fork (above), and the other is the Eleven Point. They merge about a quarter of a mile downstream from here. I'm not really sure where they begin. Both were well up to their banks the other day, with rain predicted for a week. They seem to have subsided some.  Nonetheless, there will be another flood one day.

The valley between the rivers.

The Eleven Point creeps closer to the old cannery, where townsfolk took their produce to be processed.


happy bday isaac!

On August 23, it was somebody's sixth birthday. Some of the Family That Ate the World was there, but sadly not Nini. Fortunately, I will host Camilla on her birthday and a belated for Isaac very soon. And I was there at the beginning.


chapel of dogs

The aging emporer
 This is Ceasar (sp?). He has grown accustomed to hanging out in the Chapel of Love as it's being built. I guess that floor is cool and soothing to his old bones. Not that Ceasar (sp?) is neglected. He gets his daily meds and yogurt and food. It's just that he's 15, and getting on. At least he doesn't hang out in the highway like Maggie. Maggie saunters through the outdoor Chapel of Love and then stops to have a good scratch in the middle of the highway. I have watched huge logging trucks swerve around her and just been grateful a) that they didn't run her down and b) that they didn't swerve into my house.
   Anyway, if you think any wedding or other event will prevent these dogs from sauntering through the festivities, you have another think coming. These premises are theirs, til death do them part.
She ain't nothin but a hound dog. But she's our town dog.


another long story

Claudia and Laura, 2019

Wesley, @1969

 It began in college, at Vassar. Laura was my best friend, and Bill was my boyfriend, becoming one of the first males to graduate from the formerly all-female college. As a campus tour guide for prospective students, I took Wesley around. And after a semester abroad in Taiwan, I took up with him, while Bill did alternative service as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war. Bill took up with Cheryl, who later became a friend of mine at People and Life.
   Meanwhile, after graduation, Laura and I worked in New Hampshire and then went to Hawaii together. A year or so later, back home in Illinois, she took up with Bill. Back in NYC and working at People, I took up with Alan and moved into the apartment where he lived with Douglas.

Bill and Laura, August 21, 1976
Bill and Laura got married 43 years ago yesterday. Alan and I went to their wedding, and immediately thereafter broke up, probably due to comparing their happiness with ours!

Laura at her wedding with best friends from grade school, college and high school.
Meanwhile, Wesley took up with Marla, and I moved back to New York and took up with a friend of Cheryl's and then Douglas, Alan's former roommate. Are you following me?  In the words of Cheryl's friend and mine, "One thing you can say about our friends, they don't sleep with strangers."
    This all came up when a documentary film crew came asking me questions about the coeducation of Vassar College, 50 years ago this spring. That same week Bill and Laura visited New York (and the apartment I moved into when I took up with Douglas).
    Wes and Marla have lived happily ever after, as have Laura and Bill.
    Me? It seems I'm not the marrying kind.
Wesley and Marla, 2018

Bill and Laura, 2019


bring your own bedroom

The truck avec Chuck

 They already have an Airstream, but sometimes it's just too unwieldy for the places they plan to go. So they got Chuck. They tend to roll into the Goose once a year and spend a few days entertaining me. This year they are en route to Labrador, fleeing their homestead, arduously restored after a lightening strike caused a flood. They brought figs, fun and food prep to die for. And, yes, we went to the slab.


woodstock, again

I'm not sure I can improve on the stuff I've already written about Woodstock. In fact, seeing as 50  years have gone by, my earlier reminiscences are probably better. I'm still the same old hippie.
So here you go again, with this link.



In what world does it make sense to put up curtains and hold weddings right by a highway? I know how dusty it gets inside my house. How much more en plein air? But logging trucks and all, the folks across the street are proceeding with their dream. Bill said it looked like the Klan was hanging up  laundry. I prefer to think of it as bridal veils.



 This little design playhouse of mine, all 350 square feet of it per floor, has kept me amused now for ten years. It would be better if the AC wasn't leaking all over the floor, but whatever, compared to the flood this is nothing.
  It is easier to be amused  by waving a wand, however, I find. With cheap but good labor I was able to say, "Powerwash. Paint." And it was done.  And I am finally getting the bathroom painted blindingly white, the remaining portion of the downstairs.


entertainments with fish

The new deck through David's eyes.

The new deck. Trim too virulent for me. Will add more blue.

The oyster and Champagne course done, now with the Otoriko tomatoes.
It always strikes me as amusing that David buys fish, at great expense, from Citarella's, a store just blocks from me in New York, and has it flown out. But I can't deny that eating something other than catfish and trout out here is a treat. And boy did David treat me this weekend!
   It began at the Goose. He arrived with wines, oyster plates, oysters he had opened at home, lemon, pompano, chopped garlic, etc—everything, in short, to provide a sit-down multicourse fish feast.
  And then he did it again the next day at his house, with oysters two ways, gazpacho, halibut cheeks with some kind of heavenly sauce, etc. So you are welcome to fly me in an ocean any time, David! Compliments to the chef!

Not only does he have the oyster plates, he has an oyster-roasting pan. I never met a cooked oyster I liked. Until now. Prepared with butter, garlic, parsley, and a bit of parmesan. Compliments to the chef!
Not the yellow table. A rather better presentation. First, the raw oysters.


hummingbird tv

I'm not sure why they call it a "charm" of hummingbirds. "Harm" would be more accurate. They are like little harrier jets, attacking each other (and you, if you don't feed them properly!) and driving one another away from the feeders. I put out new food, and the whole harm went nutz. You can only see one feeder in this video, but they were doing figure eights and attacks between them as well. If I had a cat, the thing would be crazed.
Lynn investigates the neighborhood after a rain.
My sister in law Lynn left yesterday after a bit of excitement. She left to drive to Santa Fe at about 7:30. At about 7:40 I found her phone. Oh shit. Driving alone for two days without communication. Not good. Couldn't call her to say she'd forgot phone! I scrambled into my clothes and drove at 80 mph to Lucky's, the gas station where I had told her to get ice. It's about a half hour away, and I didn't know if I would catch her, pass her coming back for her phone or get caught for speeding by the cops. But there really are no cops here, and I made it as she was arranging the ice in her cooler. Phew!


what we're dealing with

It's not all swimming holes and friendly people here. It's also bad food and bad politics. I have spoken about this before. However, I have not spoken about bad pie. Frank had two pieces at lunch. One was purportedly peach/pecan. but seemed to have been laced with vinegar.  The other one was some strawberry mush, which he said was slightly better: "It was honestly bad. The other was bad because the good was absent from it. It was possible to pick the good out of the strawberry pie. There was no good to pick from the other." However, he ate all of both. 

photo by Lynn Osborne


blue spring redux

 Another sterling afternoon at Blue Spring with belle seour Lynn Osborne—that's her in the tube on the far right. And then home for leftovers and more tomatoes and watermelon. Manana a real float on the Current River.


art imitates goose

 I thought this was pretty funny. The cover of the fairly snooty Architectural Digest looking an awful lot like the Goose, right down to the alternating aqua and yellow chairs.


fragile infras

So Block Island was in a mess. Verizon DSL internet wasn't working nor were cell phones. Service is always marginal, but this was just plain not happening. Credit cards couldn't be processed, people couldn't work, tenants were calling me wondering if I'd changed my password. A mess. You can hear about that here.
  It was a desert island. No communication except by boat. We were reminded of the island's dependence on a very few monopolies.
  Douglas went on a riff. I believed him at first.
 If Interstate wasn't running the ferry service, we would be, um, dead in the water. There would be no mail and nothing in the grocery store. And speaking of the only grocery store on the island, run by Mary Jane, we are dependent on that too.