Tag Archive | Esse Purse Museum

Rhyme and reason

Busy-ness has kept The Lolly Diaries on the back burner for  a couple of weeks. I could pick back up with more from our trip to New York or the People’s Climate March itself, but instead I want to talk about rhyme and reason.

Much of what goes on in this crazy and volatile world I am helpless to understand, much less explain.

Beheadings? In the 21st century? Staggering. Heartbreakingly staggering. Religion run amok, of any persuasion, has historically caused great cruelty, but shouldn’t the world be past that by now?

The climate mess we’ve gotten ourselves into? Seems obvious we’ve passed the tipping point, but I remain hopeful we can slow down the pace of the tipping.

The reason we let it get to that point?

Greed. Ignorance, too, some of it willful, but greed over green has been the biggest problem in recent years. Living for the now with no care for the future of the earth and all its peoples doesn’t help, but neither does big money and people like the Koch brothers and their boy in Arkansas, Tom Cotton.

But we do what we can, raise a little hell about issues when we can and try to remain sane in a scary world. Everyone has to find his rhyme and reason to persevere.

Otherwise, giving up and giving in would be all too easy.

My primary R&R are my five little ones.

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The other day, out of the blue around dinner time, Jude asked quite seriously what happened to Grandpa Bill. I explained, in fairly technical detail, and his curiosity was satisfied. He was sad, but he’s also sad that he never met my real dad – which he also mentioned. Kids know more than we give them credit for many times.

We watched Mary Poppins with Jude last night. I caught myself off guard by crying during Jane and Michaels’ first song – that movie is so tied to my parents, who took Cathy and me to see it downtown 50  years ago. I played the kid’s version of the songs on the piano, and Daddy played the adult versions. He and Mother loved musicals.

Mr. Banks reminded me of Daddy, spending so much time at work and regretting it later. Sigh. Nostalgia rolled into grief makes the tears flow. We had the lights out, but the last time I teared up (there were a few), Jude did notice – “Hey, your eyes are watering,” is how he questioningly put it.

Speaking of movies, we just came in from Gone Girl. Very nicely done! I’d been waiting since reading the book sometime in 2013. I’d intended to talk some about books in this blog, but it had other ideas.

So that will have to wait. Maybe next time …

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Love her madly

Here's Barbie

After much searching, I finally found “Here’s Barbie” in a misplaced box of books this morning.

From the first time I saw her, which was probably on a commercial during The Mickey Mouse Club, which I watched every day when I was 3, (followed by American Bandstand, which I never missed), I knew I’d love her madly. Had to have her. I was an immediate convert.

Barbie, the teenage model, was my ideal – a sultry (but sweet) beauty who had it all: glamour, limitless possibilities and fabulous clothes. I begged, insisted, had to have her. Mother, who says she thought at the time that a baby doll would have been more appropriate, told me I could have her if I bought her with my own money.

Since Christmas of 1958 was my last as an only grandchild on Mother’s side, I just happened to have the $3 a Barbie cost, and buy her I did. Mother says considering Cathy was born January 27, 1959, and I got my Barbie within weeks of her birth, she’s sure I had my blonde beauty before April.

She’s also almost positive I had a No. 1 Barbie, the Holy Grail of collectors, the Barbie with the holes in her feet that held her up on a tiny stand – the only model made that way before the switch to the wire under-the-armpits stands.

The reason we have to speculate is that my first Barbie was wantonly, deliberately beheaded by a girl who was visiting across the street in late summer of 1961, just before I started first grade. For the early Barbies, heads weren’t readily removable. I don’t know what possessed that girl – or who she was; Mother and I tried and tried to figure that out today, but we can’t remember.

Good thing, or I’d name her here. I think she might have been visiting her grandmother, but whoever she was, she asked to hold my buxom beloved,  then – crack – snapped her head off. I could hear the sound and my heart broke with Barbie’s neck.

I burst into tears and ran crying across the street, my own blonde ponytail flying behind me. “Mooommmmyyyyy!!” We don’t remember if she took any other action, but Mother did take me to the store to buy me a replacement Barbie. Maybe it was too traumatic to go for another blonde, or maybe at almost 6 my preference had just changed, but I got the silky-haired brunette.

Betty Page-raven her hair is. And, though it had gone dull with age, today it’s shiny and sleek again – that’s because last night about 11:30, I shampooed and conditioned her hair.

Let me explain.

We’re launching a super-fab vintage Barbie exhibit at Esse Purse Museum the end of September, so I’ve had Barbie on the brain, between research, talking to Mattel, and sorting through my friend Marsha’s glorious collection of Barbie and friends. That made me decide to face the attic to dig out my Barbie, Midge, Ken, Skipper and my perky mod friend, Francie, Barbie’s younger cousin.

All my dolls had been passed on to Liz, who loved them as much as I did and played with them as much as with her own more modern (but less cool) Barbies.

Excuse Midge's immodesty, but this is their "before" picture. Barbie was actually naked in the box, but her bathing suit was there too.

Excuse Midge’s immodesty, but this is their “before” picture. Barbie was actually naked in the box, but her bathing suit was there too.

I immediately found Barbie, Ken, Midge and – surprise! – Tutti, whom I’d forgotten might still be around. She was an afterthought at the end of my Barbie years, but she was so stinking cute that I got one anyway, even though at about 11 I considered myself much too old for dolls. Lots of Liz’s dolls were there and the fabulous clothes my grandmother made for the girl dolls (and quite a few of Ken’s clothes, which were store-bought and dapper) but no Francie. No vintage Skipper (Liz’s later model is there).

One or more boxes of Barbie paraphernalia is missing. I have torn this house apart – all we can figure out is that years ago, when we had a storage unit broken into, the thief who took Ben’s most valuable baseball cards must have made off with Francie and all her Carnaby Street clothes. Along with Skipper and some of Liz’s Barbie clothes and accessories.

I did find Ken’s case standing alone in the back of the attic. All the others are missing, but at least his survived.

Anyway, back to the late-night shampoo: Years in a dusty attic are not kind to toys in cardboard boxes. A red rubber band had melted into Barbie’s ponytail, and they all were musty and dusty. So what do you do?

You bathe, shampoo and condition. Or, in Midge’s case, bathe, Febreeze and brush like mad. Her curls make washing prohibitive. Barbie lost quite a bit of hair to the red goo, but some menopausal hair loss is normal, and she is 53.

Tutti's little dress had a definite beige tinge before a hand washing. Midge's purple velvet dress, which is lined and in perfect shape, was made by my grandmother over 50 years ago.

Tutti’s little dress had a definite beige tinge before a hand washing. Midge’s purple velvet dress, which is lined and in perfect shape, was made by my grandmother over 50 years ago.

Ken's lost some felt hair over the years, but Ben gave him a head start by adding a racing stripe to Ken's head via my treadmill wheel.

Ken’s lost some felt hair over the years, but Ben gave him a head start by adding a racing stripe via my treadmill wheel.

I had plenty of things I needed to do this weekend, but after spending hours grooming dolls and searching through the house – which was fruitless for missing dolls or accessories but turned up other surprising things – instead I hand washed Barbie clothes (and some Ken shirts), repaired a few things and Febreezed Ken’s suit and tuxedo jacket and vest. (His tuxedo pants, sadly, are missing.)

My hands are dry and pruny, but it was worth it. John was supportive (the shampoo and conditioner was his idea, in fact) and seemed to think seeing his 59-in-one-week-year-old wife playing with dolls was cute.

And I realize once again how masterful Mama, my super young grandmother was. Her sewing puts me – and most others – to shame. We couldn’t afford many store-bought Barbie clothes, but my Barbie and Midge were some of the best dressed in town.

The pink skirt, black skirt, yellow pajama top (missing pants, sigh) and white pants were made by Mattel. The rest were made by Mama, Verna Tackett.

The pink skirt, black skirt, yellow pajama top (missing pants, sigh) and white pants were made by Mattel. The rest were made by Mama, Verna Tackett. The white satin dress is a replica of Mother’s wedding dress, made with scraps from her dress (which my grandmother made, of course). The lace overcoat is with the other missing things, sadly.

 

The pink frayed-collar dress is all that remains of Francie and the little pink dress was the original Skipper's, when she was a little girl. The rest were made by my grandmother. They're way beyond fabulous.

The pink frayed-collar dress is all that remains of Francie and the little pink dress was the original Skipper’s, when she was a little girl. The rest, except the blue-and-white stripe, were made by my grandmother. They’re way beyond fabulous. Now I’m making some clothes for my 3-year-old granddaughters’ Barbies, but they are definitely bush-league in comparison.

One unexpected thing I found today in the mad hunt was this sweet picture of my grandmother and me, taken in 1998 when she came for Liz’s high school graduation. She was 82 and died three years later, perky and living at home until the end.

At one time, my grandmother and I were just about the same height – at 5'4", I was a smidgen taller. We shared green eyes and mutual admiration. She was a doll herself.

At one time, my grandmother and I were just about the same height – at 5’4″ I was a smidgen taller. We shared green eyes and mutual admiration. She was 39 years old when I was born and a doll herself.

 

Modern love

Cathy, Paul, John and I finally watched Her last weekend – for me a disturbing look at what passes for modern love in the fairly near future.

The movie is excellently crafted and acted. I loved the slightly odd men’s clothing – well, the quiet detail to show a difference, at least; the high-waisted men’s pants were rather hideous but the small button-down collars were just different enough to add to the futuristic feel.

But I found it depressing and sad overall, just as I do the concept of “singularity,” which John and our friend Rich find exciting and fascinating. Just as I did the 2001 movie, A.I. (which I rather despised, despite watching it more than once because it’s creepily, car-wreckish-can’t-look-away).

TLotHAnd a little scary, as I found the Inger Stevens’ episode of The Twilight Zone, “The Lateness of the Hour,” in which she discovered she was a robot. Gave me the creeps as a little girl – and probably nightmares.

The grandkids are all so technologically savvy – they seem to have been born knowing how to work a computer. Silas at 13 months is adept at FaceTime calling.

But I take heart in their appreciation of quiet time and the power of imaginative play and story-telling. Had Sylvia and I not spent a considerable chunk of time Saturday afternoon sitting on the floor quietly playing with a 1977, no frills Fisher Price doll house I bought recently, watching Her that night might have made me feel even ickier.

Humanity prevails, at least for now, and modern love, at least when it comes to grandkids, seems relatively unchanged.

The human touch is still strong in other ways. Sunday I popped into work for a moment (at Esse Purse Museum), and Morgan had gotten me a present and written a sweet note. What a nice surprise! And what a perfect gift.

I’m the queen of sticky notes, and she said when she saw this, she knew I had to have it.

Isn't this cute? Morgan said it had my name on it – and resembled the Anya Sushko bag in our store that I hope to own someday. Thoughtful girl, that Morgan Hill.

Isn’t this cute? Morgan said it had my name on it – and resembled the Anya Sushko bag in our store that I hope to own someday. Thoughtful girl, that Morgan Hill.

Yesterday, my coworker and South Main Vintage Market partner Sandy Griffith brought me a surprise gift, too!

Sandy made me this memory/photo album for mementos from our anniversary trip this year.

Sandy made me this memory/photo album for mementos from our anniversary trip this year. Beautiful, oui?

I’m a lucky gal to be surrounded by great folks at a fun job.

John and I also got a beautiful – in more ways than physical – gift this week, too. For years, John’s mother sent us an amaryllis at Christmas. Now she’s not really aware of holidays, but her gifts continue to make us feel her love.

Two bulbs from two Christmases long ago decided to bloom in tandem this week, reminding us that though life fades away, love goes on.

Two bulbs from two different Christmases long ago decided to bloom in tandem this week, reminding us that though life fades away, love goes on.

A song for you

Enjoying our anniversary outside Kensington Palace, after tea and scones. The day was windy but warm and beautiful.

Enjoying our anniversary outside Kensington Palace, after tea and scones. The day was windy but warm and beautiful.

John and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary – in London, after which we chunnelled to Paris. The trip was quick but pretty perfect. (More on that to come – photos are scattered across two iPhones and a camera.)

Ten years have gone in a blink but it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t together. That’s the dichotomy of love, I suppose.

In addition to the trip, my anniversary present is my fabulous red Anya Sushko London handbag – and John’s is, I guess, the privilege of putting up with me. So, John dear, a bit belatedly, this is my song for you.

My handsome, handsome husband on the stoop of the building on Kilbourne Road in London that he lived in for a few months in 1971.

My handsome, handsome husband on the stoop of the building on Kilbourne Road in London in which he lived for a few months as a college student in 1971.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving my family as much as you love me. (And isn’t it nice that I love your family, too?) Thank you for your patience and gentle spirit.

And thank you for wanting me to have the nicest handbag an old girl could ever have.

So this is me with my bag; Anya Sushko, who hand made it just for me (!); and my step-step-daughter Laura Fischer – Marie-Noelle's little sister with different dad. The Store at ESSE Purse Museum, where I spend much of my time, is the only place in the U.S. that sells Anya's bags. Since we were headed over and planned to meet, I picked mine up at her studio instead of having it shipped over.

So this is my bag; designer/artist Anya Sushko, who handmade it just for me (!); and my step-step-daughter Laura Fischer – Marie-Noelle’s little sister with a different dad.

The Store at ESSE Purse Museum, where I spend much of my time, is the only place in the U.S. that sells Anya Sushko’s bags. I’d been flirting with the fabulous pink purse in our store, but for long-term commitment, I always go red and placed a special order with Anya. Since we were headed to London and had planned to meet her anyway, I picked up my bag at Anya’s studio instead of having it shipped over to the store.

Anya’s a wonder and a delight. My bag is a future family heirloom.

Marie-Noelle’s little sister Laura (same mom, different dad)  attends Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London (where Anya did her foundation year), so we got to spend time with little Laura, which was another delight of the trip. People thought we were her parents – funny how we all look alike.

In the week we were gone, Silas went from toddling to flat-out walking and talking a little bit. Time marches on.

And John and I keep marching together. Here’s to our next 10. I love you.

Smiling at the hubby in Montmartre.

Smiling at the hubby in Montmartre.

Who are you?

In a few weeks, my sister, brother-in-law, husband and I will be a bit more equipped to explain who we are – part of our quiet, at-home New Year’s Eve celebration was ordering our 23andMe personal genome kits, which promise to help you “discover your ancestral origins and lineage with a personalized analysis of your DNA.”

23andme

They arrived yesterday – I did mine today and will mail it in tomorrow.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while – but here’s what led up to it actually happening.

Shortly before Christmas, I popped in to beautiful Curran Hall, a restored antebellum home that serves as Little Rock’s official visitor’s center, to check out our ESSE Purse Museum display and visit with my friend Shalah. The weather was horrid, cold and sleety, but Shalah and I had a lovely time, actually sitting in the  armchairs and talking like proper ladies.

Our conversation quickly turned to books – I told her about just finishing Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation, which Shalah now wants to read, and she told me about a book she’d read about assassinated president James Garfield. (I held out for a while but have ordered a used copy from a Goodwill.)

Turns out we’d both developed a very retroactive semi-crush on old Garfield, who was not only an obsessive reader himself, but an unabashed Jane Austen fan in the days of manly men and rough-riders. Go figure.

Anyway, as the conversation meandereed, Shalah told me a fascinating story about a group of people she’d seen a PBS show about, the Melungeons (“rhymes with dungeon,” she said) of Appalachia – “tri-racial isolates” (as in a mixture of white, black and Native American) who were pushed into the hills and not allowed to marry outside their race OR multi-racial people who preceded the settling of Jamestown and have possible Portuguese, Moorish or Turkish ancestry.

Some of them have six fingers on one or both hands and occasionally an extra toe.

I know this because I’ve developed a mild obsession with Melungeons and have spent too much time on Internet research – and read Lisa Alther’s interesting, informative and, at times, hysterical, account of her own quest to uncover her family’s Melungeon heritage.

Alther is a writer par exellence – she’s written many novels, but Kinfolks, her first nonfiction book, would be hard to beat. kinfolks

(I’ve also ordered a used copy of her first novel, Kinflicks, from a charitable organization – I try to do good while feeding my habit when I can. I’ll let  you know but expect it to be fab.)

You can find lots of books about Melungeons, but I highly recommend this one, if you’re interested.

I’d been telling my friend Julia, who has read Kinflicks, about Kinfolks – and cracking John up by laughing until I cried while reading it (an inherited trait I got mostly from Daddy, though Mother does it too).

By the way, obsessive research is an inherited trait in my family, too – both my kids got it, Liz probably worse than Ben, and I suspect, had he not died before the Internet came about, Daddy would have shared it as well. We also notice coincidences – I think that comes more from Mother.

Anyway, the coincidences that came up while I was reading the book are too many to list – as in having a conversation during the day and reading something about it that evening.

And discovering that “Black Dutch,” a phrase my kids’ paternal grandmother used in reference to her family is sometimes another term for Melungeon.

And reading that Elvis possibly had Melungeon blood – we’re definitely related to the King through the Tackett (Mother’s) side, and the Tacketts descended from an indentured servant from France who landed in Appalachia after working off his indenture.

I could go on and on but I’ll stop. Except for this: The Saturday after Christmas, as we were spending the evening with Julia and Rich, we discussed Melungeons and the likelihood that Cathy and I could be part Melungeon – and Rich told us he’d just gotten back his 23andMe results.

Rich is an extremely bright, technologically savvy guy (even if his results show he is 3 percent Neanderthal – kidding, because how cool is that??), and if he trusts the results, that’s good enough for me.

Mother always said we were “Heinz 57” on her side – too many backgrounds to know – or a “Duke’s Mixture.” Until today, I never knew what the second term meant, but turns out it was a cheap mix of tobacco scraps sold by, wait for it, an Appalachian farmer after the Civil War.

The hardest part about the test was mustering up enough spit to fill the test tube – nice Southern girls are taught not to spit, and it took me more than the five minutes the kit said it might take. Finally John suggested sniffing chocolate to get the juices flowing, and a dark chocolate truffle (which I promptly ate after hitting the spit fill line) did help a bit.

Now we mail our kits tomorrow (John’s doing his in the morning) and wait. That will actually be the hardest part. It always is.

I’ll let you know, of course.

Little child runnin’ wild

As Jude would have said about five years ago, “Lawsy, mercy!” I have felt like a little child runnin’ wild myself the past few weeks, then Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning were little-child immersion.

Liz and Brent took Silas with them for a much-needed parental getaway, and I kept Sylvia and Jude at their house. Friday morning, when Jude was at school, Annabelle and Luke joined Sylvie and me until just after noon – and Grammy came over for a major baby fix.

Thursday morning Sylvia went with me to a meeting at work (at Esse Purse Museum) – she was friendly, quiet, well-behaved and sat at the meeting table like a big girl. I wish I’d taken a camera – having a scratched-up iPhone lens really cramps my style – it was beyond cute.

Sylvia washes up after lunch. "I can do it" is a 2-year-old's refrain.

Sylvia washes up after lunch. “I can do it” is a 2-year-old’s refrain.

The little lady who attended the meeting. She was calm and collected.

The little lady who attended the meeting. She was calm and collected.

But enough of that – it's time to ride ’em, peanut!

But enough of that – it’s time to ride ’em, peanut!

Then we hung out until time to pick Jude up at school.

Jude and Fancy - who loves to stay in when her Lolly is over.

Jude and Fancy – who loves to stay in when her Lolly is over.

Jude and Fancy make the same face. On purpose, on Jude's part at least.

Jude and Fancy make the same face. On purpose, on Jude’s part at least.

Friday morning she and Annabelle were thrilled to see each other, as always, though they alternated playing nicely, running wild together and laughing with screaming, slapping and a bit of hair-pulling – as always. They’re going to grow up as close as sisters.

The girls play quietly and lovingly – when they're not running and screaming or fighting. Moods swing swiftly with toddlers!

The girls play quietly and lovingly – when they’re not running and screaming or fighting. Moods swing swiftly with toddlers!

Annabelle told me ever so seriously that her new house (they’ll move soon) would be nice because “Syvvie can come with me.”

I taught them some dance steps and we all danced, sang and acted like lunatics when Luke was napping.

The girls wanted to take silly photos. Annabelle is obviously related to my son. I've seen this pose many times.

The girls wanted to take “silly” photos. Annabelle is obviously related to my son. I’ve seen this pose many times.

Syl's silly photo. They were quite serious about getting the silliness just right.

Syl’s silly photo. They were quite serious about getting the silliness just right. Where do 2-year-olds get these ideas??

Luke’s such a big boy now that he sat on the couch with the girls and ate a graham cracker just like them. Crazy how they just keep growing up. Right before our eyes.

Luke in his usual sweet mood. He's creeping and just about to crawl. And obviously a baby doll.

Luke in his usual sweet mood. He’s creeping and just about to crawl. And obviously a baby doll.

Friday evening Pop came over for a visit – the kids had been asking for him.  Jude and Pop made Dr. Dreadful Alien Slime drink while I gave Syl her bath. Syl, who’s turning into quite a jokester, called John “Popsicle,” which isn’t bad for 2.

Saturday morning, Papa, Brent’s dad, Bob, came to fetch the kids so John and I could go to Garvan Gardens for not-really-related-but-family Jon Gwatney’s wedding. He made Amanda Parker his bride in a lovely ceremony.

Lots of love the last few days.

The Lolly Diaries will probably be dark for the next few days. Mother and I depart Wednesday for our third major mother-daughter trip in recent years, this time to Seattle, Victoria and Yakima to visit with Kitty (and Norm, of course) and John’s mother. And to meet the new puppy, Farmboy Westley, the goldendoodle who just joined the family.

We’ve done New York for the Christmas lights and San Francisco for Mother’s 75th birthday three years ago. This will be our longest trip yet. We travel well together.

I wish her health were better, but you take what you can get.

Sylvia took this shot of Grammy – she insisted, and Grammy never noticed.

Sylvia took this shot of Grammy – she insisted, and Grammy never noticed.

Mother wasn't up too speed healthwise, but she was plenty perky in spirit on our last trip three years ago.

Mother wasn’t up to speed healthwise, but she was plenty perky in spirit on our last trip three years ago.

And get while the getting’s good. Life is short, especially when you’re always running wild.

Time warp

I’m not sure what’s going on with the cosmos, but lately I’ve been caught in some kind of odd time warp. I mentioned that a couple recently recognized me from my old column in the newspaper – one that was abruptly cancelled 9 1/2 years ago but that they thought they’d just read recently.

Turns out that was just the first of five or six times in about 10 days that someone recognized me and said they’d been seeing my work – or that they missed it.

Then at ArtWalk, I ran into a reader who became an acquaintance many years ago after introducing himself to me at Barnes & Noble (as he reminded me).  We ran into each other constantly for years, but I hadn’t seen him in maybe five years until Friday night – and the first thing he said was, “I was just thinking about you,” which was odd enough.

“I was reading the paper the other day and thinking, ‘It’s just not right,'” he went on.

Weird.

Sunday I pulled out what I thought was an empty manila envelope because I needed something to hold some documents, and it contained clips of a few articles I’d written – very yellowed with time and an absolute surprise.

Not sure what’s up with all that.

For much of my adult life, when I wasn’t working at the statewide newspaper, I taught high school, journalism, desktop publishing, newspaper staff, creative writing and, briefly in the mid-1980s, English. (And I served as girls soccer coach for three years, which was a blast.)

I loved my students, even most of the ones I could hardly stand.

But I always had a special bond with my creative writing students. So that made Sunday even more special.

My current writing gigs are for The Bernice Garden, the Arkansas Cornbread Festival and Esse Purse Museum, all extremely fun things to be involved with and right in our neighborhood.

I’d thought maybe I knew one of our 2013 sculpture contest winners at the garden this year (for the community project sculpture to be named “Wish Locks”) – the name Erika Droke was so familiar that I expected to recognize her when I got to the garden to talk to her and husband John Van Horn and take pictures of people painting locks Sunday during The Bernice Garden Farmers’ Market.

The very cool sculpture

The very cool sculpture “Wish Locks” will be decorated with locks painted by members of the community.

But I didn’t expect her to be one of my creative writing students from the early ’90s, though we recognized each other instantly! Crazy.What an excellent surprise.

John Van Horn and my former student Erika Droke came up with the creative

John Van Horn and my former student Erika Droke came up with the creative “Wish Locks” idea. Yes, I’m very proud!

We had a brief catch-up session and plan to do more. I’m going to take Jude to paint locks one Sunday – he’s quite the artist and we’ll each do one.

Speaking of Jude, in other time weirdness, I was putting something on a high shelf this weekend when I came across a little “Yellow Submarine” Beatles figures set I’d gotten him for Christmas and hidden too well, evidently.

When I mentioned that to Liz yesterday, she said, “Oh, yeah, I was just thinking about that. I wondered what happened to it.” That would be a flash of clairvoyance, according to Judith Orloff, who wrote Second Sight.

This was a perfect time to find it, though, because he started a summer art class at Arkansas Extended Learning Center (owned and run by my friend, Dana Venhaus, unbeknownst to Liz, in another small synchronistic touch) and was feeling shy. I told him I had a surprise for him if he went with an open mind and was brave

He did, he was, and the Yellow Submarine set was his reward.

One last “coincidence (?)” – the other day I had a missed call from a friend I haven’t talked to in ages. Since I’m not a big phone talker, I don’t call back if people don’t leave messages, assuming missed calls are pocket calls. (Unless it’s my kids/son-in-law or my mother.) So I didn’t call back. But I did run into her yesterday at Target.

It was indeed a pocket call, but we had a quick and fun catch up visit in the aisle, and now she wants to read Second Sight, too. Synchronicity at work or coincidence?

Hmmm.

Well, I lied. One last last thing. As I was leaving Lakewood in North Little Rock tonight, I had a flashback to the early ’90s when Liz and I were in a guitar shop on JFK Boulevard. She was in junior high and dabbling with guitar, and I was teaching at NLRHS. A young woman who worked at the shop came smiling up to us with her arms extended.

“You was my English teacher!” she said, introducing herself, though I remembered her pretty well. (I still know her first name, which I’ll withhold.)

“Nice work, Mom,” Liz leaned into my ear and said. I had to stifle a laugh.