Friday, March 9, 2012

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: No Boxers, All Briefs

I'm as much for patriotism as anybody else - however it deflates me a bit when I see a fellow countryman with a Remembrance tattoo, hand drawn half-mast flag above the following:

Ameria United"

That's right. "Ameria." No C - and also permanently embedded within that man's skin.

I think our ountry needs to put more ash into eduation.
At the dark end of the street...
There's a vacated house in our neighborhood. It's slow decay has been barely noticeable over the past few months. The residents moved out in late November - lawn decorations started vanishing close to the New Year. Then, the flowers and plants went away.

A couple weeks ago - a giant mass appeared momentarily in front of the structure - a conglomeration of discarded furniture, moldy boxes, trinkets, and trash.

After the Sanitation Department had admirably performed their weekly duties, all that remained was a single sign, ignored since Halloween - the oblong and warped Styrofoam hanging by a single nail - its faded gray color highlighting the word:


Mellow Yellow, etc., etc.
As a shortcut on a recent walk, I passed through one of the many parking lots in town associated with the local college.

I caught a shimmer of brightness out of the corner of my eye. At first, I thought someone had peppered the windows of all the cars in the lot with advertisements or religious literature - then I took a closer look.

What I saw was a sea of neon colored self-stick note papers - a handwritten message on each. I read one, then two, then three:

"You Deserve A wonderful day!"
"You have a great smile!"
"People Enjoy Your Cheerful Exposition!"

Anonymous affirmations across an army of automobiles. Dozens of cars, possibly a hundred (?), each with it's own message of Post-It Positivity. I didn't have a car in that lot, but walking through surely brightened my day.
Daydream Believer...
If you have followed Escalatorville over the years, then you know that I sometimes pen tales of my random brushes with fame. It was with a bit of sadness that I noted the death of Davy Jones - whom I'd met only briefly, yet who still provided me with a fond memory.

I have been a fan and defender of the Monkees for quite a long time now. In the late 1980's, I was fortunate enough to attend one of their many reunion concerts. Despite the absence of Mike Nesmith (whom was, admittedly, my favorite - although each individual Monkee held their own appeal to my growing musical style) - the concert was a triumph, the crowd was fantastic and thrilled.

I had attended with a friend who held such an adoration for the group as to be in the actual Monkees Fan Club - and she'd gotten some secret info as to where the Monkees were staying during their brief excursion in our town. After the show we rushed to the Jefferson Hotel, the swankiest digs in all of Richmond proper back then - and sequestered ourselves in the lobby, hoping to get a glimpse of Monkee-ness, or even an autograph if we should be so lucky.

A small hubbub as the side door opened - and a small crush of people started moving quickly through the lobby. Taking a chance, I grabbed the LP and pen that I had brought with me, following the crowd toward a waiting elevator. The protectors parted to allow an opening to the elevator - and there in the light was Davy Jones.

He looked just like himself, only shorter. He also looked tired and a bit worn out from having to rush through crowds, show after show. Yet, when I reached beyond the mass of gawkers - holding out a decades-old record album and an iffy pen, he gladly took them from me, and scrawled his signature on the back of the album jacket. I said "thank you," he looked up, and then said the same. The elevator doors closed and whisked him to who knows where (probably the floor his room was on) - and I have always remembered that he seemed as grateful as I that he had highlighted a few seconds of my life.
The Dispatch from Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Star Collector (correspondence from your auntie grizelda)

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