Saturday, June 18, 2011
Company Is a Coming!
I knew I had an agenda today, but I went out for early tea anyway. When I opened the door, the heat grabbed me by the throat! How could it be so hot so early in the day? But I had tea outside anyway with some peanut butter and crackers before hitting the road.
I went to the farmer’s market on the square and the Vietnamese were there again with a load of bok choy for me. I only bought three bundles and hope they weren’t disappointed. I can only use so much at once. It was only a $1 a bunch! I wonder, could I freeze bok choy like celery? Probably, but it would only be good for soups then I think. I got tiny cucumbers, early tomatoes, teensy new potatoes the size of my little finger’s last joint, and one of the first green mango peppers.
Then after a stop for cheese and delivering the produce at home where it was cool, I returned to the library where Tom Rafiner spoke about his new book Caught Between Three Fires. His delivery was delightful, his story spellbinding, and his manner scholarly. But the sad thing was the audience turn out was low. People really missed a great program this morning! I guess people are just worn, tired and over-committed in our busy area right now. As he spoke, the Humane Society was in the park across the street trying to find homes for tornado dogs and cats as they must be placed soon. I did not DARE go over to even pet those dogs; my heart broke from even seeing out the window!
The book Caught Between Three Fires is the Civil War era history of Cass County, Missouri and the surrounding area. This area came to be called the Burnt District of Missouri after Order #11 which moved everyone out of three and a half counties, followed by burning everything to the ground. The Border War between Kansas and Missouri was so much more bloody and devastating than just the burning of Lawrence, Kansas which in reality was retribution for all the cruelties done in Missouri by Kansas Unionists. The whole issue is too complex to explain totally here, and I am just learning some of the history from the Missouri point of view after growing up with the Kansas one.
Rafiner wanted to understand what happened to the people of this period and has gone to deep and weighty efforts to research the subject, to answer his own questions. He also studied the mannerisms and actions of William Quantrill who he says is a sociopath. He delved into the men following his as well, finding many just boys who had witnessed atrocities to their families and were seeking the understandable justice of revenge. I bought a copy of Rafiner’s thick and ponderous looking book because I think it will make good reading—when I get to it.
Tonight our friends Carl and Dana will come for deck time and dessert. Hopefully, the breeze will still be blowing and cooler night air will sneak in after the sun sets. Dana is in my book club, and we have known each other for probably nearly a quarter of a century. (Makes us sound ancient!) After retiring from teaching school, Dana started managing the Plaza Apartments, a large complex of nice living quarters in Joplin. The tornado took them out and Dana has had her hands full of chores since the F5 moved through town. She needs a break tonight; I am glad we are it.
Happy Father's Day. For those of you with fathers, enjoy them tomorrow. For those without, remember them. I know I miss mine.