This has been a large week. The Conservative Hippy has only published 100 words. I just asked myself what kind of writer does that. What kind of writer has a large week and publishes 100 words based on someone else’s prompt?
In a museum less than an hour away is a vertebrae of a mastodon. How huge this bone is. It is a small bone compared to the rest of the skeleton. I only see one vertebrae and some remnants of a tusk. This huge animal, and presumably a herd of it’s closest relatives, whether they can stand one another or not, once roamed that entire area. Cavemen ( I Know that’s a racist term, sorry) hunted them too. A few dozen feet from that bone are the archeological remains of another herd, the 50’s and 60’s era remains of the New Smyrna Beach Surf Club. A mannequin wears an early wetsuit and some board shorts, called “baggies” made of parachute nylon- I think.
The curator who shows me these artifacts tells me she was a kindergarten teacher for as long as I have been alive, but that was over longer than I’ve been alive. By the way, the first schoolhouse in the area was built with donated labor and $42. Somewhere in between the mastodon vertebrae and the custom-made long-boards are hand stitched tapestries which portray the heritage and history of the area. The Seminole Wars, The Civil War, The Second World War, and the rich indigo production are all sewn into the fabric of the museum. According to the curator, the tapestries were created at the behest of the President Who Would be King, FDR. HE felt that women in the country should have something to do. He declared that they ought to sew and make tapestries. This is what she tells me with a grin. Than she shows the giant iron school bell to the next generation of Conservative Hippyism, and he bullshits a, “WOW.” Makes me so proud.
The drug store nearby has a lunch counter. They still turn away blacks just to keep that old small-town down-south charm. No they don’t. It does have a lot of penny candy and a scale that gives you your fortune. It did a few decades ago I’m sure. Now it just takes pennies.
The printer and copy center has a window full of typewriters. Typewriters.
Old, black lacquered and handsome, with bony fingers begging to be pushed, responding in turn by giving you just one letter with a resounding and confident, “plick.” There are no programs. There is no compatibility requirement. Some have a handle. Most can be operated as you sit, with or without a table. The Crandall and the Underwood, Woodstock, The Hammond No. 1, the New Franklin…all in their resting home.
The shore line extends in a gradual non-committal way into the see a hundred yards or more before a grown-up has to tread water. If you go out that far on the public beach the lifeguard gives you a long and two short blasts on the whistle, and points at you with his runway airplane director flags. Two decades of simmering at low temperatures in the Gulf had given me amnesia. The Atlantic is a bit colder. So be it. We tackle waves and drip castles made of sand, which fall into the sea, eventually.
You know, if you are going to have an Italian deli and import store at the beach, make it an Italian deli and import store first, the beach will take care of itself. The sandwiches are big. The antepast is a salad called “antipasta” and is full of penne and chopped meats and cheeses and peperoncini.
I began to inquire if the misspelling was to ensure that pronunciation was correct, even though it rhymes anyway. All I got out was, “Did you spe…” and I said fuck it. Eat some Anti-Pasta (whatever) and your Big Lebowski sandwich. Yeah I know, the surfers behind the counter don’t care if the dude abides, just eat your lunch, mister.
The shuffle board courts are in session and many judges and barristers are contemplating and arguing their position. One sign is clear: No Skateboarding on Courts. The sign is mostly clear because a classic “Skateboarding Is Not A Crime” sticker is pasted on it.
Touche. The clouds sneak in, trading shade for dry air.
I have never been to NewSmyrnaBeach without getting ice cream at the Frozen Gold on the way out. Today was great. A young girl in an inappropriate bikini was yelling F-You at a boy at the window of the parlor, she was stomping barefooted down the highway. He just looked at her and ordered her into the truck. She said F-YOU. He said: Mom, go get her before she drives me nuts. The lady to his left did just that. We went inside and had mint chocolate chip and moose tracks. The show outside kept everyone entertained. Once the calamity was contained in the pick up truck, it wouldn’t start. The truck made some clicks. The ol’ Boys inside kept commenting on how bypassing something with a screwdriver wasn’t gonna work that way. When we left, the two ladies in bathing suits and bare feet were pushing the truck out of the parking lot. The male was steering. Awesome. You won’t find that in a museum.