The more Fairhope changes, the more I wonder how much more it can change. But somehow, after Tuesday's election, there is a perceptible change in the air everywhere. Even my front yard is changing, and I'm having that done myself.
These days you have to have a professional landscape job done, unless you like to potter around in the dirt, which I don't. And the elderly azalea bushes in front of the house were leggy and unkempt. They had probably been planted some 50 years ago, in a kind of semicircle leading to the house from the street. There is a large front yard and the house is rather small by today's standards. Even I, who live in the past, could see the need for updating. But I've been waiting for the coffers to fill up from somewhere after the remodel of the bathroom. I was flabbergasted at how much a professional landscaper charges, but have found the money, with a little help from my stockbroker and the bank. As Ernest Hemingway once said -- in a very different context -- the earth is being moved.
In the past, all we of Fairhope and fair hope did was complain about the new library, but now the unwieldy structure is being extolled by Mobile Press-Register book editor John Sledge as "magnificent." I guess I'll have to reserve my criticism at least until I've seen its magnificent interior. The project is just, as Mama used to say, too much sugar for a dime. Those of you not from the South may have to chew on that for a while, but I think you'll know what I mean.
I mentioned weeks ago about an upcoming visit to Fairhope of the late author and avant garde writer Gertrude Stein. Now I think I'll explain. Gertrude Stein, played by me, will be here in a little production of a delightful play called Gertrude Stein and a Companion, with my friend Edith as Alice B. Toklas. Date and location to be announced, but we have done a couple of readings of the play and those who heard us were very encouraging. The show will not be produced until after the first of the year, and it may be so good that we'll just take it on the road. So I'm changing too -- not in sexual orientation, but from writer to actress! It's only a play! Make no mistake about it, Gertrude Stein is a delightful character in many ways. I'll have to get a lot uglier, but at my age that isn't difficult. And she had a very handsome ugliness at that.
The election itself was a welcome wind of fresh air. The breeze has yet to blow, but its time had come, and, even though my state has kept most of the stale air in place, the overall mood of change is perceptible all around us. I have experienced such shifts before, and know that real change comes slowly, but it does come, and I have a fair hope that this one will be for the good.
I heard on the news that Nancy Pelosi is having lunch today with George W. Bush. That little picture gives me a jolt of old-fashioned joy. Wonder what's on the menu.