...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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September 14, 2004 || 3:52 am

A lovely weekend, with visits to Perry Lakes forest and park (and RS toilet block which dignifies the act to a sublime degree; see this view from the toilet seat)

(well, they had a $50,000 grant that they had to spend...and given the incredible peace and quiet of this virgin forest, I could certainly imagine happy hours of meditation here!)

...and finally, to pay a long overdue visit to my friend Lucy's wonderful (and prize-winning) porch for Ola Mae - a woman in one of the poorest black parts of Greensboro around Martin Luther King Drive. The porch still looks great, though one of the kids has bust out a bit of the screening, and Ola and her family who live in nearby trailers gave me a great welcome. Actually, they thought I was Lucy until I came up close; when absolutely no white girls ever come to that part of town, two girls with dark hair, headscarves and smiles can easily be mistaken.

But the most exciting bit of the weekend has been that another outreach student and I are going to rent out the Beacon Street Studios space, whose demise was sadly lamented in the Opelika-Auburn news last month. It's pretty awesome that for $150 a month each we can rent 2000 sq ft of space and a large back garden, although after that party it needs a bit of a cleanup...

It's owned by Raymond Stricklin, whose son (born-again drug addict and alcoholic - Dubya, anyone?) is the preacher at a church a few miles out of town. He invited us out there last night for their Sunday evening meeting to finalise arrangements, and who could resist! so we spent an hour in a pew in a huge modern shed of a church listening to the preacher doing karaoke versions of soft-rock hyms and watching a funky black lady and an old, dumpy white woman strut their stuff in the aisles, while various children looked various shades of embarrassed. It was extraordinary to witness first-hand the faith of these people who call upon the Lord and stamp out Satan with as much familiarity as if they were advertising the beneficial effects of ALFA insurance or the dangers of cockroaches. And it was all finished off with hot-dogs, Coke and ice-cream (so our dollars in the collection bucket went to good use!)

I thought taking a photo in church might be inappropriate, so y'all will have to make do with this photo of Stricklin and his four-month old Jack Russell.



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