Native Writes: HED: Summertime and memories prevail


Summer is officially here, along with all the fun to be had here at home.

Copious rainfall has given birth to weeds of all kinds. I’m letting some near the fence grow because the bees are enjoying the flowers, just as the squirrels and birds are enjoying the dried buds from the lilac bush.

I plan to put in some rose bushes in the hope of harvesting rose hips (champé) for tea and preserves.

Now, I need to find the time. Did someone say there is supposed to be a day of rest at some point?

It may be for persons who want to watch television. Or should I say, for persons who can stand to watch television?

With aging eyesight, reading a book has become a chore, so I’m working on a book that probably won’t become a best-seller.

Digging in some old boxes recently, I found inspiration in some old letters and newspapers.

Having received my full-time baptism in journalism subbing for the “society editor,” I was amazed that the old papers reported what went on in minute detail, up to and including what a “favorite hostess” served up on her “delightful refreshment table” after an afternoon of bridge.

I wanted to know who emerged the winner.

Every lacy detail was described in detail as someone wrote about a wedding. The bride was “resplendent.”

The groom wore a suit.

Equality had not yet reached the society pages, which are long since gone, becoming part of history.

One afternoon, I received a phone call from a fellow who asked if we “reported on divorce.”

I had no idea, so I asked him a few questions.

Was he planning a party?

“Grunt.”

Did he want to run a photo?

“Hell, no.  Just write what I say. “I will no longer be responsible for debts incurred by my wife.”

I transferred him to the classified ads department.

So much for modernizing the society page.

One woman was upset because I asked for her first name in a report about a tea party. She was “Mrs. Joe Doe.”

“Why?”

I told her she was the hostess and deserved the honors for putting together such an event.

“That’s true. It was lovely, but his money paid for it.”

Okay.

The society page long ago became part of history, likely because people became more private.

One page I saved, not from any local paper, had an elaborate report about the joy a mom and dad felt when they discovered that their daughter had eloped to another state, as well as the beautiful wedding they arranged to share their happiness with the community.

They served nice finger sandwiches, punch and a sheet cake.

At the bottom of the page was an advertisement for “beautiful maternity wedding dresses at a reasonable price.”

Sometimes irony rides bareback on the wild horse of karma.

Personal communications are not what they once were, handwritten letters on nice stationery in pretty envelopes. The last personal letter I received was online with emojis, little faces supposed to express emotions.

It was from a nephew who spent what seems like a lifetime in the Navy and thanked me for a couple of fractal images he had transposed onto homemade candles. He sent me one, sent without scent unless one likes the odor of melting wax.

He explained later that his wife, also career Navy, was planning to help him put fragrance in the next batch.

They’re retired. He makes candles and canvas prints and she does stained glass.

He writes memories of his career and she supports him in all he does.

Change doesn’t need to be boring.

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