September 07, 2011

Entertaining at Serendipity

Labor Day activities, in Ripley, TN, causes a lot of consternation among the populace. While the Black community prepared for a three-day event, including gospel fests, barbeques, a carnival (don't know if it came off this year), and the annual parade, the more ignorant members of the community expressed vile thoughts.

"Coons" was one term used. Someone else opined that the festivities be stopped. This in reference to the execution-style slaying of two men on Sunday night. As if one event was connected to the other. They even dredged up another murder which took place that weekend, in the 70s. Another wanted to know why only Blacks participated in the parade. An innocent question on the surface. And then the remarks about the amount of trash left behind and the fact that their tax dollars paid for the cleanup. But I guess that the trash left behind after the Christmas Parade, largely a "white" affair, is acceptable. More than anything else, this event, which has taken place for years--it is said that W.C. Handy performed at one event--drives home the racial divide in the community. Can't we all get along?

Missy decided that it was too cold for her to even entertain the thought of being outside for more than a few minutes. No parade for her. No participating in the voter registration efforts or anything else. Sent a heartfelt apology to the organizer for not showing to do my part...only to find out that he didn't appear either. Say WHAT?

But Serendipity and her mistress didn't miss out on the tradition altogether. There were more guests in the house that day, socializing and not working, than the house has seen in many a year.

BFF brought her sister over so that we could finally meet. We'd talked long distance and it felt as though we'd known each other forever. Does that make her BFF2? The Rev bopped through right after they arrived and we just chatted our heads off. BFF2 lives in Lancaster but had discovered the blog, by chance, shortly after I moved in, so she knew every renovation by heart.

They returned later, bringing more relatives, and we chatted some more. One of the women, it so happens, had worked for the former owner. To quote BFF, "Unbelievable." She and I laughed over how ugly the kitchen and front bathroom had been. Amazing what a coat of paint can do. She asked about the ramp from the back to the front (one of the first things to go) and noted that the owner had two cars parked in the barn/shed/garage. My interest in the decor wasn't satisfied because the house had been largely emptied of furniture during the time that she worked for Mrs. Savage.

The week before, I had carried through on my promise to Mrs. Savage's friend for a tour when I finished and understand that she had museum-quality pieces and a magnificent crystal chandelier in the foyer. The friend indicated that the other buyer interested in the house had intended to divide it into three apartments. What a horrible thing to do to such a grand old home. She was pleased to see that the changes were minimal. "I have to call Kitty and let her know. She'll be so pleased. We were so worried about what would happen to it." Glad to make your day.

I also learned more about the history of the area from BFF's family. What a great way to spend the day.

So people are winding down, returning home, and awaiting next year's festivities. I'm still waiting for the newest "yard man" to show up to do the lawn. Lawd; Lawd.

Be safe. Be Blessed.

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