Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Matchmaker, Make Me a Match

Now I'm a matchmaker. One night at a TCU dinner, my neighbor and a prof from school crossed paths and later expressed interest. I didn't know he was single and was a bit alarmed until he told he he's recently divorced. Then they crossed paths--from a distance--at a bar or music club or something. So I decided it was time to get them together and invited both to wine and cheese on the porch tonight. It was funny to me to watch two people in their early forties both nervous, but they were. Still, it was a pleasant amiable evening. I have no idea what if anything will come of it.
At the last minute I'm adding two chefs to my book, because otherwise we'll have extra pages which would look awful. And in the process I learned a new word: minardise. It's the funny little something sweet that a chef serves at the end of a multi-course meal--maybe a mini tart shell filled with choclate mousse or something like that.
And my Scottish Texans project got new energy the other day when I had lunch with an English faculty member. Someone had told me she grew up in a Scottish community--her name's Blackwell--and I envisioned a small town where most everyone was Scottish. Maybe I was thinking of Brigadoon? She grew up in Amarillo, but she said there was a community of Scots, several organizations, etc., and they followed some but not all of the old customs, ate some of the food, etc. She remember some songs and having to recite Robert Burns, but she didn't remember much of the language. The funniest thing she said was that the Scots were lumped with the Mexicans, because they were the only ones who ate organ meat--she solved that by becoming a vegetarian! She drew me a careful genealogy of her family. I've tucked my notes away and will call her to repeat and enlarge when I get back to that project, but she gave me hope I really can find the stories of everyday people, not just the heroes of Alamo.
Started reading a new book, The Red Leather Diary. A young, maybe apprentice reporter for the New York Times found in a dumpster an old red leather diary that chronicled five years in a young girls life, beginning in 1929 I think--from the ages of 14 to 19. Then she found the owner of the diary, now in her nineties and living in Florida. With a diary as her guide, the editor/author reconstructed not only the life but the ambience and atmosphere of the times. It's really good reading, and I'm enjoying it, but I'm surprised at the sophistication of this fourteen-year-old who wanders about Manhatter by herself, talks about literature (Dorian Gray among others), attends the theater, and refers to necking and open-mouthed kisses. It would seem unduly sophisticated, to me, in a girl that age today, but maybe it's true that I'm a dinosaur

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