Many years ago when I announced my
move to the wilds of Illinois my mother
queried "Isn't that somewhere to the left?"
In truth I also thought that we might be
attacked upon arrival by some wild and
untamed indigenous species. In truth we
discovered a quite elegant world beyond
the limited confines of the east. And yes,
I can attest that there is civilization west
of Riverdale and it's quite fabulous!
Upon moving to distant Illinois,
we benefitted from a cheaper
real estate market. By simply
traveling a few thousand miles
we were able to move into a
very good hood. Our elderly
neighbors quickly embraced
the new "kids" on the block
and made us feel at home!
There were many characters living within
our insulated oasis. A few polished doors
down resided the aged owner of the local
department store. For as long as we lived
there, her perfectly tended garden waited
for somebody to smell the roses. Striped
terrace awnings were seasonally installed
and removed without anybody enjoying
their shade. I wonder if she ever looked
out at what lay beyond her lace curtains?
Our next door neighbors were
Vivi and Hal. Beyond devoted,
they never had children. Post
retirement they ritualistically
lived a comfortable existence.
Tuesday, Beauty Salon.
Thursday. dinner at the Club.
Every day the same routine!
Across the way were Evelyn and Cornell.
A Rosalind Russell (as Auntie Mame)
look alike, she was over the top! Always
perfectly coiffed, lipstick applied, and
swathed in flowing jewel tone caftans,
Evelyn ruled her Hollywood Regency
roost. In her advanced years she rarely
ventured out. Preferring to sit perched
in her gilded cage adored by her hubby
and pampered by her faithful maid Joetta.
All of our neighbors remembered
prohibition. Therefore they all
adored COCKTAILS! At dusk
our neighborhood grew mellow.
In each abode, gold fish crackers,
celery sticks, and a fully stocked
liquor cabinet were enjoyed. If
anyone questioned whether the
inhabitants were civilized, all
that was required was join them
as they sat and sipped at sunset.