Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Sound and the Fury or Billy Joe McAllister
I'm not sure why I wanted to see Rowan Oak! Ole Miss sure does not make it easy to find! eAnd, to my knowledge I've never read Faulkner ( or Falkner, as his mother spelled it--actually, as he did 'til 1917 ish )! As a matter of fact, to my great embarrassment, I thought he wrote Of Mice and Men, which I did read! ( Sorry, Mr Steinbeck!) I guess it was because I remember seeing a black and white photo of him among the trees in front of the imposing facade of his Mississippi home and I wanted to stand there, too. And so I have, but not after much searching for a place which is on a back street and then in the woods and to which there is but one very tiny sign that you would not see unless you went down the equally small back street that leads to his. But having missed it the first time by we were able to see the Ole Miss campus and what a lovely place it is--a circular common surrounded by large, old and beautiful buildings, including the Lyceum which would be recognizable to anyone old enough to remember the civil rights movement of the '60's. What ever happened to James Meredith? Bill said he hopes he worked harder in school than Bill did--somehow, I'm sure he did! Finally, we did unearth Rowan Oak and it is lovely. As we wandered the grounds I discovered the lovely resurrection fern clinging to the oaks--nicely green with all the rain. It dries up like dead moss in drought but as soon as any moisture appears it perks up lovely as ever! I was also astounded to see daylight through the trunk of one of the beautiful trees lining the walk and yet the canopy was full and healthy. The magnolia that Faulkner used as the burial marker of the disconsolate lady is the tree beneath which the young man stands --it is huge, full and lovely. We left town by way of the Square and one of the residential streets that branch out from it. Almost as in Mass,Ct, RI college town fashion the houses are elegant and huge. And then we were on our way to Corinth where we did much Civil War research two years ago..As we left New Albany we crossed the Tallahatchie and a bridge--the one from which Billy Jo jumped???? Actually, no, that one was in Greenwood, which was the next town over from Grenada. That bridge collapsed in 1972, probably to the relief of the local constabulary! LOL We also climbed a very high and narrow ridge and passed through a town called Kossuth--founded in 1840 as New Hope, it was renamed in 1852 for a Hungarian revolutionary, who apparently cut quite a swath through American Establishment of the time and who supposedly seems to have been paraphrased by Lincoln's For the People, By the People etc at Gettysburg. Who knew??? So here we are in another lovely suite after a Ruby Tuesday typical meal--neither great nor terrible! We have not paid for a room since we stayed in Odessa, Texas and in most instances have been given upgrades to suites. I cannot praise the Choice Privileges system enough! But those who have traveled with us before know how much I love the perks of membership. So now back to the Crimsom Rose--not Faulkner nor Steinbeck but much easier on a tired mind! Good night all--until tomorrow from somewhere in Tennessee. PS Bill admitted over coffee this morning that we probably could have gone to Arizona but he was afraid we'd run out of money and he hadn't taken into consideration the number of free nights I kept telling him I'd accrued. I could SPIT!!!