November. Hooray! For frosty mornings; cool, bright, sunny days with breezes to make leaves fall!
I had been looking for a pharmacy lamp for at least a month. Those in furniture stores and catalogs were too expensive (over $200). Saturday I walked through a store downtown. There was a display of several table lamps with one pharmacy lamp, all marked for half price. I took the pharmacy lamp to pay the $25 price and found that the $25 was the marked price, not the half-off price. Good deal!
As a friend says when we’re together, “We must be doing something right, Captain, ’cause good things keep happening to us.”
At Nahunta Pork Center in Pikeville, NC, we beheld pig’s feet, souse, Italian sausage, tenderloin, all kinds of roasts, country sausage (fresh or partly dried, regular or hot, in links or patties), fatback, hot dogs, hams, lard, pork skins.
As a friend and I were browsing, we turned a corner, and I smelled a scent that took me back to childhood and adolescence, the smell of salt-cured hams hanging from racks. My father generally kept two in our attic, suspended from rafters. I had not experienced the salty, sweetish rusty smell in decades. Around the next corner were small buckets of lard for sale. Mom kept a large tub of it on the attic steps for cooking. Country pork smells, “take me home.”
Now I’ve Done It.
A well-read friend recommended Gone with the Wind. I told her that since I did not like the movie, I had never thought to read it.
I took a copy from a book store shelf, found a chair, opened the novel to four different places, and read two or three pages in each place. I recognized good writing. I saw that the introduction was an endorsement by Pat Conroy. I bought it.
All right: I have done it. It will be holiday reading, after I read Paul Theroux’s Deep South. And so: doo DOO Doo doo (theme music from the movie).
Notes on Reading. Fiction. Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory (1940). Signet, 1968.
Set in Mexico in the 1930’s during the governmental persecution of the church, this novel is the story of a bad priest on the lam. The priest fully acknowledges his flaws, including alcoholism and the fathering of an illegitimate child. Suspense is high, well-controlled by the author, as the priest is pursued by the atheist lieutenant.
Even though he knows he is being betrayed, the priest accepts the call of a dying man who needs last rites. At his arrest, he is unable to have a priest absolve him of his sins, and his final night is a final, harrowing soul-search, acknowledging his failure in life.
After his execution, however, there is an action of the part of a boy of the village that indicates faith may survive.
It is a bleak, moving novel, set in a land beset with poverty, military control, starvation, disease. Greene is a master of plot, characterization, and setting.
Thank you for reading. I hope you and yours will have a happy Thanksgiving celebration.