This morning, I am listening to a football game which began at 9 a.m, this morning as it is broadcast from London. One irony of living in the South for so many years is that my view toward sports hasn’t changed. I still find other stuff to do while my husband watches sports. I like going to an occasional game, but I secretly people watch wondering at some of the couples and their lives. My husband likes to say that I am in the minority about sports, but somehow I don’t quite believe it. Maybe, but I don’t think I will be changing anytime soon. Each country I have visited, I have met them: soccer in Korea, the UAE, and France. I enjoy the grace of basketball remembering our enormous red barn with the basketball hoop as I practiced shooting baskets. Watching basketball is still preferable to other sports for me. I wrote often while I was in the South taking the road less traveled and much quieter than the streets of New York.
Along the road, I met some characters: the man who prided himself on being the unofficial mayor of Bon Secour, the little fishing village, where my father bought a little cabin or what the Southerners referred to as a “shotgun shack.” It was in a wonderful location across from old fishing trawlers and down the road from a Southern mansion which seemed to belong on the set of Gone with the Wind. I adopted a little Siamese kitten and named her Raisa, after Mikhail Gorbachev’s wife. One morning, I was happy to walk to the payphone down the road next to the shrimp hatchery. I called the Credit Card Department at Lord & Taylor to continue payments. He asked for my location and I told him “Bon Secour.” I told him that I was using the pay phone before the walkway off to a pier which led to the Gulf of Mexico. I described the beautiful blue cloudless day, the absolute stillness, and the fishermen pulling up the nets nearby. There was this long silence and then he replied, “I’m in New York City across from a Greek coffee shop and within my sight is apartment buildings. All is concrete around me. “I knew his location because of my part time job at Lord & Taylor in the Children’s Department. I could picture that coffee shop with the big windows, and the hustle around him. Five minutes of creative visualization streamed before my eyes speaking volumes: allegiance to the Deep South, and a reluctance to move farther North than the Mason County Dixie Line. And so I stayed for awhile to enjoy the view before I was again ready to continue my journey.