Saturday, June 02, 2007

AuthorBabe Tag Sale

There is so much to write about at this time of year that it's difficult to know where to begin. On Wednesday the GHS choral groups gave their spring Pops Concert, which of course deserves a post to itself. Last evening was "Hack" Night at Richards, which is also worthy of a separate post. Tonight is the showdown at the Christ Church corral in which duelling organs will duke it out for musical supremacy. It promises to be a noteworthy event. Meanwhile, it's a gorgeous high-summer day here in Town, as hazy and hot and humid as you could wish, considering that the solstice is still three weeks away. A perfect day, in other words, to veg out and go tag-saling.

The Local Rag classified section mentioned a sale on Riversville Road, but gave no address. The AuthorBabe's blog, saraclaradara, mentioned a tag sale but gave no date. However, your intrepid scribe, never one to shirk a mental challenge, added two and two together and came up with 514, which turned out to be the correct answer.

It's a good thing your roving reporter knew where he was going, because there were no signs at all to help guide the curious. Only a small placard above the AB's mailbox confirmed the exactitude of his arithmetic. So, for one last time, your scribe turned his wheels into the AB's driveway and proceeded up the hill to the ex-marital manse.

Quantum mutatus ab illo Hectore, Vergil exclaimed in Book II of the Aeneid when he saw the shade of Hector in a dream as he appeared after having been slain and dragged around the walls of Troy by Achilles. And quantum mutatus was the no-longer-marital McMansion. Bare of furniture, the rooms looked smaller, depersonalized, a shadow of their former selves. Your scribe gave himself a self-guided tour of the premises, listening for the ghosts of past revels and AuthorBabial, salons...oh, heck, let's tell it like it was: they were boisterous, roisterous saloons, dear reader, in which great and jolly good times were had by all.

There were a few surviving traces of the aura of the AB and her children. One was a label taped above a computer screen: "I LOVE MUMMY! I LOVE MUMMY!" Eerily enough, the next time your scribe looked at the screen, the label has disappeared, or so it seemed; in actuality, it had somehow managed to wrap itself around his left index finger. Bemused but not overly disconcerted by this strange phenomenon, your scribe continued on his tour.

In a corner of Mini-Me's bedroom was a bright shiny penny dated 2003. On one side was the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, and on the other a portcullis. Deciding that this coin of the realm was not meant to be part of the new owner's property, but instead constituted treasure trove, your scribe reached down and appropriated it for some future, as yet unknown, purpose. Perhaps Mini-Me will notice its absence as she unpacks in her new house, and will be rescued from the throes of depression by its timely reappearance in the scribal hand. No doubt this small coin has many stories to tell, and will have many more to tell in the future.

Speaking of Queen Elizabeth, there was a stunning portrait of what at first glimpse seemed to be Her Majesty Herself in the back hallway. Painted in 1960, it was clearly reminiscent of the Queen's famous portrait painted some eight years earlier upon her accession. (By the way, today marks the 54th anniversary of her coronation in Westminster Abbey, filmed in glorious Technicolor and sent out to the cinemas of the world. It was upon seeing this film that your young scribe developed a strong crush on a woman three times his age. Today, of course, his gaze tends to linger on those one-third his age, but that's another story....)

It developed that the portrait was of the AB's mother, and sure enough, the facial features were recognizable. The eye color was different, and the hair color, but the cheekbones proved the relationship. "Make an offer," said the woman who was running the tag sale; but the only reason to do so would have been to give the painting back to the AB. Instead, your scribe told the woman to relay a message to the AB that she should hang on to it herself, and perhaps hand it on to her daughter at the appropriate time. Let's hope, dear reader, that this turns out to be the case.

And then it was back out into the dust and heat of the day. It's great beach weather, and would be fabulous ferry weather, if only this Town could get its act together and start the ferry service to the islands on Memorial Day weekend instead of the second weekend in June. If and when your scribe ever becomes First Selectman, dear reader, his first official act will be to extend the ferry schedule from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend. And if that's the only thing he ever accomplishes during his time in office, it will be more than enough for hundreds of grateful Townspeople to erect a statute in his honor down in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, in that grassy corner near the harbor where the fishermen like to sit on the wall and dangle their lines. Let's hope the sculptor gets the dress code right: polo shirt, khaki shorts, and Topsiders - your scribe's summer uniform. And what's that in his right hand? Oh, of course - it's the schedule for the Islander II, which runs out to Great Captain's Island when the tide is right - an indispensable part of any knowledgeable ferry rider's beach kit. Only one week to go...!


Blogger Sarah Darer Littman said...

My mother will be extremely flattered to know that you mistook her for a young QEII. An older QEII she'd be upset about - particularly about HM's dress sense...or lack thereof.

I found it really weird to be at the house with the empty rooms, hearing my voice echoing as I spoke.

This morning I sat for a while on the window seat in the study and pondered. I thought about hopeful I was when we moved into the house. Alas.

But as Edith Piaf would warble, "Non, je ne regrette rein."

We did have some pretty good saloons at AuthorBabe Mansion.

June 04, 2007 5:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Good times indeed...and we all look forward to a jolly roof-raising at the new authorial abode to warm it up once the boxes are unpacked!

June 04, 2007 5:14 PM  

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