Tuesday, May 2, 2017

high roller

Saturday morning we walked down to the StAndrews farmers market. The name is a joke because, I think, the vegetables come out of the same boxes one sees opened in the produce section of super markets, but it’s fun, and in some season that I’ve not figured out the tomatoes are perfect, not yet, still crispy instead of juicy. But it’s a walk, and the offerings are interesting to browse.

On the way we passed the corner of 12th Street and Beck Avenue, where last week Tan Fannies was demolished, the building knocked down along with the multiple apartment building behind it and the long two story apartment building on the southern line of the same property. I'd forgotten the old StAndrews Post Office had windows on the north side. 

The photograph is my shadow as I look at the exact spot where in my childhood stood not Tan Fannies but Mom’s Cafe. Our fish house was just down 12th Street, and in our growing up years I, and a few years later Walt and I, would sometimes go down to Mom’s Cafe for lunch. Late 1940s early 1950s, with our father’s okay we could take a dollar and a fifty-cent piece out of the cash drawer and for seventy-five cents apiece each have a fried chicken dinner. Maybe it was eventually a dollar each, but I remember a steak dinner was a dollar and a quarter, which was out of the question, besides we were boys and fried chicken was fine. Ice tea, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans. Don’t remember about dessert. When water is free, would you believe some damn fools pay two or three dollars for just the glass of iced tea these days, ayfsm. There inside Mom's Cafe we sat on bar stools at a long serving bar, I don’t remember tables. Mom of Mom’s Cafe resembled my grandmother, herself Mom, who died January 1947, and whom I grieved until I went away to college six years later. Mom’s Cafe. In the same building years later, Tan Fannies blasphemed my childhood memories.  

Besides the cafe, the other buildings that were pulled down into the pile of rubble were, to my memory, put up there in my early years by Red Baum, a local plumber. Red had two cars that I sorely lusted after. One was a 1947 DeSoto Custom Suburban, a limousine length sedan with three rows of seats and a chrome luggage rack on top. Remembered in a blogpost here before, Red had ruined the lovely car by installing a large plumber’s vise into the rear fender. 

An antique car enthusiast, Red Baum had a brass era Rolls Royce touring car, red with leather straps holding the windshield up. It was a magnificent machine, I don’t remember whether it was right or left hand drive, but it was much to be desired. 

I’ve recalled the afternoon he parked it in the dirt street nearly in front of our fish market while he went in to talk with my father. I went out barefoot to admire the Rolls, Mr. Baum saying to me, “Boy, don’t you touch that car.” "Alphabet you, Red Butt," says twelve-or-thirteen-year-old Bubba under-breath. Some years after Red Baum died, his widow Dorothy simultaneously moved up in society and got religion by joining St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

The old buildings were long years an eyesore trashing downtown StAndrews. May something be there that adds to the town. 

Saturday morning we walked on, past today's Shrimp Boat that replaced the original Shrimp Boat that was built about 1950 on what in my memory was a white beach for boys to play and chase fiddler crabs. 

Dredge heading for marina. 201705020542CDT 61° 82% and clear.

CFC Forest Panama 442x69 arriving from Colon to load kraft liner, next port Limon. And yep, from 7H she's just that unkempt looking.


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