Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Southern Vacation

This weekend was a weekend of discovery.

The first thing I learned this weekend is that white folks in the South weren't afraid to steal land. My mother's family, as well as other African Americans owned land that was taken from them and turned into a spillway. You can find the story behind this
here. (Stanley Riley is, in fact, a distant relative of mine.) My family is among the many that have yet to collect. This is a story that I knew about. What I did not know is that my great-great-grandfather, a Frenchman by the name of Ducongeaux, owned a large plot of land that spanned from Dauphine St. to the Mississippi River. The Ritz Carlton New Orleans marks the start of the property. Upon his death, the deeds were "lost" and his black wife and family driven from their home. Gotta love the US.

"Foxy" aka Grandma is doing much better than she was. She was so excited to see me. I know this is shocking, but I'm the spicy grandchild. She also digs the fact that I call her Foxy. It's well deserved though. Prior to her illness, I wouldn't have put her past 60-65. On top of that, Foxy's wardrobe ain't no joke. I discovered that she's turning 78 soon. Go Granny! I'm so glad that I saw her this weekend and I will call and visit her more.

The second thing I learned is that the time I can spend with my sisters before having to crush the desire to suffocate each and every one of them in their sleep is very, very small. I wanted to smack each of them with a back of "shutdafuckup". I love them dearly and if anyone else were to say such things about them, they would be handily pummelled on site. But to say that absence makes the heart grow fonder is an understatement.

My dad is recovering quite nicely from his cancer treatment and he's going to be starting school in the near future. My step-mother will also be graduating soon with a degree in, uh, something or another. I just know that it was important for her to finish so, go Step-mom!

No trip home is complete without some ignance. Evidently, the wife of the ex is bothered by my existence. There was some hullaballou abou tme being "at her house." This consists of me being parked in front of her house while my 4 year old retrieved a jacket that she should NEVER have been allowed to leave the house without in the first place. When my kids walked out the house, she slammed the door like somebody crazy? What the hell? Simply because I try to do something about my appearance and she looks like a fat man rode her to glory face first, is that my fault? That's DNA. Get mad at ya mama.

I had the opportunity to visit the best spa in the world. Belladonna is, colloquially, what we refer to as "The Shit". I literally fell asleep during my facial. And I don't mean polite sleep either. I mean borderline drool sleep. I mean the drool was "peeking at the door". But a sister is SPARKLING right about now. A sister is "no makeup" sparkling. I'll try not to hurt anybody...but I offer no promises.

I also visited a bonafide hole-in-the-wall juke joint. That shit is hilarious. Little Milton and Koko Taylor all night long. If you go to a juke joint, you can get "right" off $10...$20 will get you straight twisted. However, the men of these places are used to seeing "women" as opposed to "ladies". Therefore, me and my girls were looking like movie stars when compared to the sister whose back looked like a busted pack of store brand biscuits. The open face gold teeth and jheri curls were in full effect. Then they had a bunch of brothers that looked like they had just bought all of their outfits off the back of a truck that very evening. The entire night was a study in comedy, however, when the man walked in looking like a pimp Uncle Ben, we knew it was time to bounce.

I considered driving past my old home to see what things looked like, but I really had no stomach for it. Though the city is not desolate, there is still ample evidence of what Katrina did. Traffic signs are turned around, stop signs are completely gone, there's pile after pile of bricks from buildings that crumbled, and this is what I saw in populated areas. I couldn't bring myself to see what my hood looked like.

I guess it can be said that I feel like Maryland is my "home" now. By Monday, I was ready to be in my own bed with my, ahem, electronic device. I'm starting to feel like this move was a great idea.

1 comment:

Amadeo said...

Landgrabbers! I hope you can get something out of that. I'm trying to trace my native american roots so I can get that check from uncle sammy...he owes me.

I was thinking the other day it would be cool if I could trace myself back to a slave who worked for a family that started, say a big tobacco company or something and then sue them for a stock percentage or something.