Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lunch at Rita's

Best ever!

New Orleans in August is a muggy and slow month.  Walking down the French Quarter at noon left us queasy, all 6 of us.  Well, make it 6 ½ if one counts an 8 month little girl named Lily.

The heat was too much for us, so we ducked into a old, beaten-up restaurant called “Rita’s”.  It boasted air conditioning, and we didn’t even look at the menu posted in the window. 

As we walked into the boisterous dining room, full of laughter and bad jokes, the atmosphere changed, abruptly; everything went silent.  We were the only white folk in an all- black eating establishment.  The menus were slapped on the table and chipped glasses with tepid water were slid across the table.

What should we do?  What will we do?  What… were the words in our combined minds. But one thing, one event only, broke the thick air in a hostile room.

Daddy and Lily, who is about 18 months here

Lily started laughing and waving at the ones whose eyes looked at her.  “’lo..hello..” she cast around the restaurant like fairy dust.

Smiles, and “How old is she…what’s her name…?”  Conversation opened up as if we were old friends, laughter and stories.

Man, that food was unbelievable, pure New Orleans.  Forget about the famed chefs who had their own cookbooks.  This was good food.

We paid and left, saying good-bye, and Lily waving at all, “g’bye!”

Someday, if and when we return to New Orleans, we will stop at Rita’s.  Good food, good people.
A composite photo, a year after Rita's

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Man who Killed Liberty Valance...

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
Certainly this week has again brought home how quickly violence, related mental illness, and carnage collide.  In Oregon, a young man loaded up with guns and bullets, brought horror and death to a small college community.

Not much else needs to be said about this horror, since the media are sucking this massacre to the bone.

This sentence will surely seem unrelated, but has anyone seen “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance”?
Do you remember John Wayne in the role of Tom Doniphon and Jimmy Stewart in the role of Ransom Stoddard?  Lee Marvin as Liberty Valance?

Do you recall the conflict of justice through the law and justice through immediate confrontation of evil and good?

This is an excellent movie, filmed in 1962, directed by John Ford.

In an article by Michael Shermer quoting Steven Pinker cites this as: 

“…the (fictional town of) Shinbone embodies any small community in transition from an informal (law code/cowboy code) to a formal moral code and system of justice.  When everyone takes the law into their own hands there is no law…”

Basically, what I want to say is that this tragedy in Oregon (Sandy Hood, Columbine…) is not a gun issueIt is a moral issue. The idea of more gun control laws, and more and more will not be the solution.

The solution is in the enforcement of moral right vs. wrong in the home by the parent(s), and then reinforced in churches and schools. Only then will mental illness, sociopathic behavior, and obsessive devotion to broken ideology  be recognized early and intervention taken. 

If that doesn’t happen, guns can be sucked up by a big vacuum and yet nothing will change. 

Absolutely nothing.

Question:  If I were trained is in firearms, had a gun, and was confronted by such a person, would I shoot to kill.  Yes. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

WedWords: Ultimately

Big Fish
Add caption
Don had always been a big fish in a small pond.  As a respected and experienced builder, Don employed most of the men in the community, holding many contracts for town, school, and church boards. 

His now-grown children had attended school in the town. Don and Lena went to the local Methodist church, and Don was active city council meetings.  Life was good.

His wife Lena experienced an inexplicable fall during the church bazaar, dropping a plate full of cupcakes.  The local GP, Dr. Bill Nelson, referred her to the University Hospital, where Lena and Don learned she had Stage 4 brain cancer.

Ultimately, Don and Lena moved to be close to the Cancer Treatment Center in Arizona.

From the back yard of their new home, Don stared across the desert at the glorious sunset.  The land line connecting him to his life now lay in a hospital bed, hooked up to monitors. Oh, Lena…. He sighed and returned to his empty house.

My brother Robert lived in our small town and life changed for all when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.  That feeling of emptiness comes through in this short story.

I really don't know who supplied this week's words and they are excellent!  Starting this month, Elephant's Child will providing words until the beginning of November when Delores at Under the Porch Light will take over.  Phew, I hope I have that right!