Archive for Thursday, August 14, 2003

Summer wraps up and dries out

August 14, 2003

Writing is a solitary occupation. This must be why I tend to procrastinate before finally finding myself at the keyboard writing yet another article, many which have been private musings and of doubtful interest to anyone but myself.
To prove a point, when I read an article by Eudora News reporter Erinn Barcomb or Eudora News editor Elvyn Jones, I say to myself, "now that's a real column, and that's a real writer." Then I venture boldly on writing a piece full of family or my own nostalgia, both of which are considered "no-no's" in the writing trade, but here I go again.
Back to the loneliness of the writer. I am reminded of an author, I believe it is Martha Grimes, who writes British mysteries. She tells a story about one of her characters in one of her many books.
This character, which was also a writer, was so gregarious that she had to be chained to her radiator each day by one of her friends in order to get some writing done. Otherwise, she would be off to the coffee shop located directly under her flat, where all of her friends were gathered having a good time without her. I can relate to that.
Also, I once heard someone say they loved having written but hated writing. This I also understand. What The Eudora News has done for me is really lovely -- having given me a place to air my own personal views. This does carry with it the risk of public scorn, which so far, everyone has been nice enough to hide. So far.
Before this whole column turns to serious navel gazing, which I fear it already has, let's move on to other subjects.
Hometown happenings: I enjoyed the article in The Eudora News recently about or new tearoom in town, "Madame Hatter's."
I stopped by the tea room one day during off hours and was invited in by Johnathon Smith, the son of the owners, Lauren and Thomas Smith, who were nice enough to indulge my curiosity about the place and how they came to be in Eudora.
I found them, as well as their children, to be both charming and well informed on Eudora issues.
Their five-year-old daughter, Julie, was very interested in me. She wanted to know if I had a boyfriend -- seems that boyfriends are of much interest right now -- before she trailed off to try on some of the vintage clothing in the "vault," which is available to anyone who would like to "dress" for tea.
Thomas Smith is very enthusiastic about revitalizing downtown. With his energy, I think he would be a perfect candidate to organize other merchants and building owners into a group to do just that.
There is a lot of history both downtown and in the surrounding neighborhoods. If this area is not revitalized, in years to come there may be a chance of a division of north and south Eudora separated by K-10, much like what happened in Lawrence, with the river being the divisive factor. That would be a loss to all of us.
Good luck to the Smiths, which also includes their nephew Nolan, who is the cook. Let's hope our community supports this attractive new addition to our town by patronizing their restaurant. The menu sounds great, and they are well equipped for pre-scheduled birthday parties and groups as well.
On the broader scene, what shall it be? Politics: There is the not-well-known governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, a Democrat, gearing up to be the next presidential candidate, and the very well-known Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, entering the race for Governor of California, along with about 173 other "crazies."
Both gentlemen have charm and money. Lots of money.
Current news: there is the gay marriage issue which is giving the mainline Christian churches fits (no thanks, no comment).
Fashion: speaking of "navel gazing," I heard a rumor that Britney Spears' navel and all the other little wannabe Britneys' navels may be disappearing this fall season as a fashion statement (Thank God). What's next, demise of the bell bottom jeans? We can only hope.
Movies: Have you seen "Seabiscuit?"
My niece who lives in the Washington, D.C., area said the sophisticated movie-goers both shed a tear and cheered while watching this touching movie of a horse considered a "runt" with no class or composition who goes on to win the hearts of the nation during the Great Depression, when the general populace was also feeling like an underdog.
Seabiscuit became the hero that promised renewal of spirit under tremendous odds and gave a nation hope that it could do as well. In the words of Laura

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