Mobile and Savannah are twin cities! Perhaps Savannah is a little more humid and for sure it has more sand gnats, but a lot of things are similar. I spent the night with the Walkers (thanks, Sue and Ron) last Thursday night. All over the south those folks spoiled by temperate weather year round were whining about the cold. (Ivodean found an icicle at Melbourne Beach. Do tell. See this, girlfriend. It's the world's tiniest fiddle playing for you, poor baby, having to live in such a place!!LOL) But green, green, and more green was a telltale sign that Mobile had not been as cold as Birmingham. Can you spell spring? The Tulip Trees and Bradford Pears think it's spring already. As do my frilly daffodils.
Ah, Mobile. What a lovely audience for myAlabama Humanities Road Scholar gig "Nine Bean Rows: Planting the Divine Detail" workshop! Polly Pope guessed about 30-35 writers were there. I agree. And everybody was so willing to participate! Heartwarming, too. Joyce Scarbrough was a dear to arrange that meeting for me.
It was a little like old home week because these same folks were in the Christmas short story anthology which made a few waves in the Alabama literary scene in December. A bunch of them came up here for a signing I arranged at Jonathan Benton Bookseller.
The drive both on Thursday and Friday was gorgeous. Sunny, springlike. Coming back I stopped off at the library in Prattville where I'll have a reading in April. Even the library has changed drastically in the 18 years since we moved back to Savannah from our decade there. The reading room is now a lovely children's room. Downtown, too, is totally different. Hope' is gone and replaced with an upscale gift shop. Carol Brooks. The couple retired from FL to be close to children who live in Selma. Betty Clapper and I had lunch at Marchelle's ( a far cry from Quincy's--that and Jim's were the only two choices in 1990) or Betty did. I had vowed if I ever ate there again I would have dessert only. I had a chocolate/caramel pie that was huge and yummy. Prattville Drug is no more. It was there that I bought Nicorette Gum, lots and lots of it, and also wedding gifts. My personal card was kept on file there. As was the other Mrs. Tommy Thompson's, so our bills sometimes got mixed up. I bought a footed crystal punch bowl and cups there which I still use. A couple from our church, Julie and Don Edgeworth, have transformed one of the old corner buildings to sell and eclectic collection of antiques. We parked in back of a darling school supply store opened by Nancy Hefner. The name escapes me, but I bought Henny Penny for Victoria. I remembered the sky is falling story, but I hadn't seen that book for years.
Our neighborhood, Hunting Ridge, so swank-seeming in the 1980's seems a little overgrown, a little gone-to-seed now alongside all the newer, larger, more-modern houses further up and over the hill. Our two cherry trees in front are huge. All the azaleas which were big then are in terrible need of pruning, it seems to me. Too much foliage for the house.
As go houses, so go our peers. The sixties seem to be the door into a certain seediness. But I'm not going there. Not tonight.