Sunday, June 23, 2013


criminy - used as a mild oath or to express surprise. probably euphemism for Late Latin Jesu domine Jesus Lord! First Known Use: 1681
Uh, oh. After using that divider I'm having a sudden flashback to Dover Books and their volumes for decoupage and copyright free Victorian illustration. Sigh. I loved those books and always made sure to carry them in bookstores I ran. Most people never knew it, but Dover had their own bookstore - if memory serves it was on 7th Avenue South in New York City, and on a second floor.  Of course I just had to go online and see if Dover still exists, and gloriosky and beJesus they do. They're in Mineola now, poor things Thankfully, they have a website - where one can sign up for free samplers! (I just did, woo-hoo.) Suddenly visions of my younger self slaving over graphics presentations, using fine edge tools to cut stencils for the hand cranked Gestetner float through the air... it's the heat.
Forget what the calendar says. Weather wise, over the last couple of days we jumped from early May right to late July. Well, in their "old school" incarnations anyway. It's cooler outside than it is in my apartment, which is a toasty 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Criminy! My head is full of images of older adults in sweaters, always feeling cold, moving to Florida where it's warm. That stereotype does not fit me, I'm afraid. With each passing year I take the heat with lessening degrees (!) of equanimity. I used to love basting in the sun, but that activity was often accompanied by a cool ocean breeze. Now I find it difficult to work in the garden after 10am. Double Criminy!

My garden is a mess. Back when I lived in Boston, I was lucky enough to get a plot in the community garden in the Fenway. To anyone who lives in Boston, those are the "Victory Gardens". During World War Two public lands, including parklands, were turned into "Victory" gardens. Food was needed for the war effort, for feeding soldiers, for our allies in Europe, and for our home front. Of all the land across the United States given over to such use, the only one left is the Victory Gardens in Boston. After the war, the cranky old Yankees of the Back Bay and the Fenway refused to give them up. When I left Boston to move to Brattleboro in 1995, that was still an ongoing fight. The city has finally stopped trying to get the land back, and the Victory Gardens now have a website! And if you've noticed that they are in the "Fenway" and are wondering, yes the classic home ballpark of the Red Sox is just a block away.


To be continued...


Austan said...

All it takes to get the food-growing bug is to do it once. The only thing I miss about PA is that garden and what I got from it. The volunteer tomatoes still have never been topped in all my life. I do miss having a garden.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Me too, but that's part of the story I'm telling over the next few days, so I shall restrain myself from further comment at this time.

Anonymous said...

Not much of a gardener or canner myself but that Gestetner you THERE are some memories.