Saturday, October 6, 2007


When it comes to race relations, York, Alabama is like a Piggly Wiggly lunch. People live as separate as the fried chicken, yams, and greens on this here plate. But there are areas of real integration where folks coexist in relative harmony, like the Cracklin' Bread with the bacon inside.

This patch of grass was once a public swimming pool. Back in the 70's the town fathers decided that instead of integrating it, they'd rather fill it with dirt. (A conceptual artist added the concrete diving board a few years ago.)

Things change.
This lovely lady I'm standing with is Carolyn Gosa, Mayor of York. The first black female Mayor of York. Now in her second term, Mayor Gosa is a wonderful, wonderful Mayor. She catches her share of hell but everyone respects her. She's really moving York forward. Like most hard-working folks in York, Mayor Gosa wears several hats. She's also the high school nurse and the Preacher's Wife. I met the Preacher too. He is a friendly, down-to-earth fellow. I forgot to ask about his other hats.

I needed a Notary Public. I heard Merilyn (yes. with an E) is one but she's hard to track down. I left messages and put the word out but didn't hear back from her. She's the grande dame in town. Real busy. Keeps a mini cell phone glued to her ear. You can kinda see it there on her right ear. She rides around in her truck checking on all her businesses and properties. With her brothers, she owns Track Side Cafe aka Big Willie's, a ramblin bar/restaurant serving up the best burgers south of Brooklyn. Anyway, I eventually found out that the York bank has a Notary Public as well. So I'm walking down the road to the bank and Merilyn pulls up along side me in her truck. Said she just got my messages and that she'd be able to assist me. I kindly told her that her services would not be needed as the bank could take care of me and that she needn't bother. She insisted that I hop in the truck. I thought we'd be driving to her office across town or something. But, Nah. That truck is her office. She had everything in her glove compartment, notary seal and all. She notarized my document right there. Merilyn is sweet as pie too.

Alice and Tom got Married.
The bride's dad, Beanie, knocked on my door a coupla weeks ago because he was driving by and saw my car parked out back. Said he'd been trying to find a vintage car for his daughter's wedding. Asked if I'd be interested in hiring out Queen Esther for an afternoon. How could I refuse?

I drove the newlyweds from the church to the reception hall (mentally wrestling visions of Morgan Freeman in a certain Academy Award Winning movie). Tom and Alice were so happy and cute. Answered "Yes Sir" and "No sir" to all my questions. Just sweet, decent kids very excited about getting started with the rest of their lives.

Like Merilyn and Mayor Gosa, Alice seemed like a strong young Southern woman too. Had a real solid energy about her. Anyways, I got to hang out at the reception, had a beer, some fondue, and lots of tasty grits, then drove the couple back to the church where they then jumped in their own car, heading for Hawaii.

I finally finished the structural elements of Mr. Bones. Took awhile. My physics were a little rusty.

He'll stand about 9 1/2 feet including the 5" casters.

wood, steel pipe, paper mache, straps, grommets, insulation foam, wire, chip board, clay.