Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Adored By Decorators
Yesterday evening I had a reunion with my Aunt Mary, who is visiting London with her second husband as part of a two-month trip through Europe. They cruised over the Atlantic to Amsterdam, went through most of Western Europe and now, after experiencing London in all its raininess, they're about to head home.
Aunt Mary surprised me by bringing along this letter, which I wrote to her in 1978, when I was 11. The funny thing is, I remember writing it -- cutting the pictures out of the J.C. Penney catalog and dreaming about buying all those items for my room. I was especially obsessed by the big dramatic dry grass fronds ("adored by decorators"). I think that ad came from the back of Southern Living magazine, if I remember correctly.
I suppose I was pretty much advertising my gayness with my enthusiasm for interior design. It cracks me up that she saved that letter all these years! (The backstory: I was supposed to go on a Boy Scout trip to Arizona, and I had raised money to pay for my share. But I dreaded it, because I was relentlessly bullied by some of the other boys in the group. The scoutmasters had a very "boys will be boys" attitude about it, and finally my parents said I didn't have to go. I was relieved!)
Anyway, yesterday evening, I walked Olga up to the hotel in Golders Green where Aunt Mary and her husband Randy were staying with their tour group. (Coincidentally, very close to where we live -- basically just the other side of Hampstead Cemetery, where I walk the dog all the time.) We got a cab back to our house, and they came in for a chat and to meet Dave before we all went to dinner at the Black Lion, our local pub. I got caught up on the lives and activities of my cousins, and we had a fun time.
At about 9 p.m. we bundled them into a cab for the trip back to their hotel, and the driver seemed perplexed about how he was supposed to get them there. (For some reason he was befuddled by the fact that they were staying on a divided highway and he couldn't cross the median. I have no idea why this was an issue.) Anyway, hopefully they made it!
Finally, the photo at left is my long-promised tie-dye portrait, part of the group photo of me and my fellow librarians. I don't want to post the entire picture because I'm not sure how they'd feel about being on my blog, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I show you their shirts:
Fun, right? And you can see the '60s themed books we held for the photo. I especially like my coworker Joanna flashing her peace sign!