Monday, December 13, 2010

More Xmas buying at the library's used book store!

I found a rare copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin which I have not seen anywhere for years.  My sisters have been reading a very good bio of Harriet Beecher Stowe who wrote this novel that called attention to the issue of slavery all over the world  and they mentioned her most famous novel.  So I thought I might send it to them.  It was ironic though, a former slave woman who wrote her horrifying story of living in a cramped attic space for seven years hiding out from her owner, asked Mrs Stowe if she could go to England under her wing so as to talk about her book there. Mrs. Stowe declined to be her patron, but said she would take her narrative along and publicize it.  The former slave, needless to say, found another patron who could not have been more kind to her on their trip to England together!
I also bought a book called "Slaves in the Family." I used to look everywhere for histories of slaves and could never find any so I always buy any I see.  I think we all need to know as much as we can about this shameful part of our history, so we can indeed understand how black people came to be in our midst.  It is also good to celebrate how far we have come to have elected a black president who I  think is conducting himself in an intelligent and self contained way that is a credit to the race.
We still have some ways to go, too, in accepting everyone as our equals, black, white, red, yellow, but that is the only way we will all feel confident enough to develop and be good citizens of our country.
I am worried about Too, my neighbor, who is Korean.  She is probably in her late thirties but is going prematurely gray.  She has inexplicably fallen into a deep deep depression and will not talk any more.  She has been losing weight in an alarming fashion.  We are all afraid her depression is going so deep it is going to kill her, and we don't know what to do.  Today, she declined to ride down in the elevator with me where she used to be friendly, always smiling.  She did seem to lack confidence.  For example she tried to go into the pool, but was very nervous and hardly dared walk out into the water at all.  Now we see that her smiling demeanor hid a very fragile grip on normalcy.  I knew she had come in here with mental issues, as once she got upset and caused a flood in her apartment which nearly got her evicted.  But her latest decline is far worse.  We neighbors have been wondering what in the world we can do for her, but so far have not come up with anything that seems to affect her.
I don't see the youngish black guy who was smoking crack quite openly.  Perhaps management has caught up with his defiant illegal drug use and evicted him, as they must have done another young Mexican who pan handled among the residents when he used up all his money for drugs.  If a resident is caught openly doing drugs that is grounds for immediate eviction.
But on the whole I am very happy this Christmas.  Raymond has come back after three years away and has posted a notice on FB he is starting a playwrights' workshop which I would surely love to attend.  There I could workshop my plays that have never even been read!  He is even talking about a theater space!  
Although he might feel considerably poorer as well as older, it is wonderful to have him here without a job so he can try doing some of the things he used to do that were such great fun.  Interviewing him about the theater company he used to have brought back such good memories.
My youngest son Dan called up and said, 'this is your third favorite son.'  I laughed as I knew what he meant.  But Raymond and I worked together in the writer's workshop for many years.  I always attended and went to all the plays, too.  I never missed any!  Course I got free tickets, too!  But if I had it, I paid anyway because they always needed money.
I always wrote protesting letters to the critics, too, if they panned the plays.  I was a promoter then and still am of new playwrights in the theater.

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