Imaginary friend list


Noted above are all the girl child’s imaginary friends who live, according to her, “in thin air.”   So many friends! And so many  that are new to me!  Such as, all but two: Mary and Sally. Yeah, so they’re spelled phonetically (better than Phoenicianly! that would be impossible!). If you peer closely you will find Sally and Mary on the second line. More or less.

New to me, also, were their last names! Who knew they had last names? Not me!

“What’s Mary’s last name there, Buttercup?”

“Hockey. She’s Mary Hockey.”

“Right. And Sally? Is her last name Doorknob?”

“No. Her last name is Knob. Her middle name is Door.  Sally. Door. Knob.”


Weekend bonus shot, 08.29.09

Herbert Gettridge, 83, in front of his house in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, in 2006. Photo © David Rae Morris, from his “Lagniappe” series, Katrina at One.  

The man who took this picture is an old friend and partner one of my dearest friends (when I was as yet parentally nameless, she suggested the winner: “Baba,” diminutive for “father” in her Frankfurter dialect). He’s also an inspired (and inspirational) photojournalist.

David was born in England and raised in New York City, but he adopted his father’s homeland for his own in his adult life.  He and Susanne met in Mississippi, and they’d been living in New Orleans (in the Upper Ninth Ward) for about ten years when Katrina hit. They got out of the city with their young child before the hurricane made landfall, but David returned earlier than most — within two weeks, long before local residents were allowed back, thanks to his photojournalist’s credentials.  (His story here.) He documented the devastation in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in the weeks, months, and years following Katrina.  It has been a Herculean task, evident in the depth and emotional presence in every image.

You’ve likely seen some of his images in national newspapers or magazines, but on his website he’s arranged some of the best of his Katrina work. Go see.

Night owl


[Keeping up the stream of non-prosey posts in the last, heady,  pre-K, dog days of summer.]

Guess who’s gunnin’ to be one among that rare, goth set of Kindergartners with bags under her eyes, thanks to staying up late reading?

Okay, well, proto-crypto-pseudo-quasi-reading. Air-quotes reading. The age-appropriate stuff, she breezes through. The within spitting distance of age-appropriate, the coupla years off stuff, she muscles through with support. Other stuff, like this compilation of fairy tales for late-elementary school readers, she engages in something more like a hybrid of Evelyn Wood/free-association.

Before I asked to take her picture — I pretty much never interrupt the nighttime routine with that kind of malarkey, and though the children are exquisite while asleep, photography feels more nakedly soul-stealing at a moment like that — I said, “This is the first time you’re reading in bed with a flashlight, isn’t it Buttercup?”

Read moreNight owl