Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bits & Pieces

With no specific thought in mind, nothing that has commanded my thoughts today, I decided to post some bits and pieces together on the same sheet of paper and call them scriblets.


There’s a new form of litter in town. I can’t say when exactly it was that beach gazebo-cabanas became so popular, so ubiquitous at the beach, but these days they’re more popular than iPods. On weekends at this time of summer, the beach in both directions is a long ribbon of flapping canvas, a wavering line of beach gazebos. It’s easy to see the attraction for many people on holiday, spending tourist dollars, but there’s one thing they don’t print on the box. It’s almost guaranteed to be good for just one vacation. Poorly made of cheap materials, and subject to a heavy lashing of wind and salt air—That’s the average $50 gazebo most vacationers are buying today. And right here is born that new form of litter. With the daily stress of wind and salt, the joints and hinges get 'mechanical arthritis’ and won’t cooperate in being folded and put away. So people just abandon the naked skeleton of a wind-bent gazebo on the beach and return home to Pleasantville. There it stays for a week or two until the beach maintenance team hauls it away.


In December of 1979 Mandala Books in Daytona opened, a huge rambling space crammed with used books, in all categories, including signed first editions. I have enjoyed many hours of quiet browsing at Mandala, so am hugely disappointed that today was their final day of business. Mandala Books closed its doors for the last time today. It will be missed.


Bayou Teche is a long and culturally important waterway curling through a part of southern Louisiana. The name ‘teche’ is an Indian word meaning ‘snake.’ Naturally, the Indians long ago looked at the bayou’s twists and curls and thought of a snake. An ancient story tells of a big snake that attacked their villages. It required many years and the lives of many warriors to finally kill the snake. They left the huge carcass where it died, and there is decomposed. Rain eventually filled the snaked-shaped depression left behind and became Bayou Teche.

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding reading today! I share with you the death of that wonderful bookstore. What will happen to all of the books? I am sure you talked with the owner about this. Maybe in a future story you'll tell us. Don't keep us in suspense. Sad about beach people thinking so little of the environment that they leave trash such as your picture showed for the beach clean up crew. Maybe those who come to rent should be taxed to pay for the clean up. Of course, the Bayou Teche was fascinating and I loved the history of it's name.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America