I don’t know quite what to say. I am tired, mentally and physically. I had a lovely luncheon at my son and daughter-in-law’s house on Church Hill. This is the neighborhood where my parents grew up, courted each other and were married, seventy-five years ago. While sitting in the dining room of this lovely old (1896) row house, I had the odd feeling I had been there before. So did my sister and brother. We were all three familiar with this neighborhood from 60+ years ago. We flew kites with Dad and our Uncle Ed in the adjacent park, Chimborazo Park, when we were children. It was the odd feeling of being at home in a completely unfamiliar place.
We had a lovely time, talking and eating barbeque, collards, cole slaw. Southern stuff. But we’re Southerners and not merely Southerners, but Virginians, the most annoying Southerners of all.
The memories and anecdotes came to mind. We remembered the stock of family eccentrics, like Merle and Earl, Daddy’s cousins. They were rather affable bootleggers, who made. moonshine, because they knew how and didn’t see why they shouldn’t. They were pursued by the same revenue agents for years, were eventually caught, and did time. They finally got real jobs and went straight. Before they died, they had a reunion, an amicable reunion, with the revenue agents who sent them to jail. That kind of stuff did take place.
I don’t want to make a Civil War post. After seeing the sites, and processing what happened with an adult mind, it is too horrible to talk about The Civil War. The cemeteries filled with unknown dead, old daguerrotypes showing piles of amputated limbs, the stories of privation and loss handed down over not that many generations are the heritage of the Civil War, none of that Gone With The Wind Hollywood crap.
The old Church Hill neighborhood is not completely gentrified. The African -Americans who replaced my parents generation still live in the community. I suspect it’s a pretty nice community, but the trend to gentrification bids the real estate through the roof. We’ve found a pleasant and affordable niche. We’re too comfortable to go anywhere.