Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Haiku Monday Winner: Southeast
After announcing the theme of "southeast," I remembered an I-don’t-think-entirely-apocryphal story from Atlanta back in the 1970s. Chickory may be familiar with this incident. It happened soon enough before I arrived in Atlanta that I don’t think it emerged out of whole cloth. Fleur may know it, too.
In a long-demolished shopping center known as Broadview Plaza near Piedmont and Lindbergh and Buford Highway was an intimate concert venue known as the great southeast music hall. They served buckets of beer -- about the equivalent of four and a half cans — and a glass. And you sat on the floor, as they had padded backstops you could lean up or pass out against. I saw a few very good concerts there. I think.
Back in the mid-70s, before he broke through on Saturday Night Live and elsewhere, Steve Martin did a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall. So few people showed up that he did only a quick set . . . and then took the audience bowling at the lanes nearby. Talk about a brush with fame.
Times have changed. Broadview Plaza is long, long gone. Atlanta has been torn down and rebuilt three times since Sherman finished his own mode of urban renewal. Steve Martin is now very self-consciously high culture.
Times have changed in Southeast Asia, too. With the CIA in the news lately, I wonder what’s going on in the parts of the world we don’t hear about so much anymore. As with any relationship gone south(east), in our national collective mind — and in the national subconscious — do we ever really walk away? In other generation or two, will we be back for another round? The words “Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos” mean little if anything to my children, who are not uninformed yutes. Will those names mean something again to their children?
Consider this little ditty, from 1974 (I hope the author/compiler, who previously checked in on the blog, doesn’t mind): “I took the rock [from Laos] to Lausch Test Labs in Seattle. They assayed this material, and it assayed out at 1.1 ounces of gold per ton. Oh my, that’s a high gold content! More than double anything in Alaska or the rest of the U.S.! Also there was 0.58 ounces of silver, and the rest was iron. When I got that assay report I called Bethlehem Steel and I talked to their exploration department. I said, ‘Would you guys be interested in something like this?’ They said, ‘My God! Where is it?’ I said, ‘I’m sorry but you won’t be able to get to it at this time. Not for at least a quarter of a century.’” Bethlehem Steel might still be waiting. Maybe not. We don’t know.
But your neighbor might. And that’s OK. I wish I had a marketable skill to lead me to a life of intrigue.
Where was I?
Fishy: Nice pieces evoking Florida beach culture. We lived at the beach in FL for two years -- although not a spring break destination. What I used to love in those years was going inland to I-95 to eat at the Waffle House during Bike Week. Great clientele. And Waffle House would issue special Waffle House Bike Week uniforms.
I like “Tops down flirty girls,” on a number of levels. I remember one year when I was still not yet old enough to drive legally (it might even have been right after I fell asleep at the wheel) and Dad Czar rented me a Camaro convertible for use for a week in Miami; I think it was to keep me out of his hair. So, sure, I had a Camaro convertible when I was 16 years old for a week in Miami. Unfortunately it was still me behind the wheel. No get lucky. Wouldn’t even know how to try.
Serendipity one (Alaska): Interesting story. You live a life with which I am unfamiliar. I also have tried to make the point that in these grand disasters that happen in life, not every person who dies is necessarily a saint or didn’t have it coming — although maybe they didn’t go in exactly the way someone imagined.
Moi: That’s just hilarious, as was the video. I must admit that I still get the occasional “pin”/“pen” thing wrong with the czarina. Dad czar says my vowels are all wrong since moving down here. “Rurnt”!
Becca: Great entries. Florida is an odd amalgam — if I might stretch your second one there, too. As a two-year Florida resident, I remember the excitement of receiving in the mail our first fall there an offer for a Florida residents’ pass to all the Disney properties — something like unlimited usage for three months for $99/person. At the time, we had a nine- and a six-year-old. I’m not sure we ever would have gone to Disney otherwise. And there is nothing like an ocean. As Mark Twain said upon his first view of the Atlantic, “It appears to be a success.”
Serendipity two (sunset over your shoulder): Sublime and witty. I see those colors often around here. Quite nicely done.
BlazngScarlet: A lot of past and present Floridians checking in. My heart doesn’t really yearn for anywhere, but there are certain state borders I cross over and think, “Back home.” Two are in the Southeast. I don’t see myself returning north in this lifetime, but I think at this point I’d feel out of place. On the ’Bama thing . . . the czarina grew up in Alabama, and her whole family went there. I need to be careful. Although she’ll pull for Georgia, her alma mater, over Alabama. And I think at this point she’d pull for Virginia over either of them.
Karl: Ever the man who can make as much sense in seventeen syllables as anybody, and with a lilting rhythm, yet.
Chickory: I need a lifeline. I know the Mason-Dixon line, and I know the gnat line. What’s above the gnat line and it’s not so important that it’s below the Mason-Dixon line? What am I missing? Arrggh! Thankfully, for me, we have syllable issues that add to the mystery. But I’m sitting here messing with Venn diagrams.
This week’s winner grabbed me right off, and while I might discount eating up five syllables with one’s own name, when one’s own name captures the moment and the haiku as it does here, I’m not one to quibble.
And you need the visual and the story:
A southeast sunset?
surprise from behind!
It was a delightful surprise for me, too — with an interesting and multifaceted twist to the theme, and a timeless look at a theme that's ever in flux. The win goes to Serendipity. Thanks, all, for another grand time.