New Blog Post:
I returned to Sweet Briar College a couple of weeks ago for what I feared was the last time. I had not been there since 1981.
My last visit there, 34 years ago, was populated by ghosts and anxiety. I was part of the Class of 1981 at Washington and Lee University. Most of my friends were from the class of 1980. When I went to Spring Weekend there, in 1981, we were already beginning to deal with the past.
I was there with one of my best friends, my first close friend at W&L, who had lost the love of his life to another man while his Sweet Briar girl was on Junior Year Abroad. Thus it was poignant to begin with.
But more importantly, the Class of 1980 was gone. Those had been our friends and our link to Sweet Briar. The Sweet Briar Girls we came to see that weekend felt the loss just as we did…Our friends who had made our college years so special had graduated. It was not the same…..
After that weekend, I never thought I would be at Sweet Briar again. I thought it was time to move on and put it all in the past.
As a History major, I should have known better. Our past, collectively and individually, is a part of us and only time can show us how much a part of us it really is….
More: My Southern Gothic Life | When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter. (Mark Twain).
New Blog Post up on my other blog….
And now, a trip back in time to Gay life in Peyton Place….
“I found me a hot lover friend!” My friend Gary screamed this out one night as we passed him on “The Block” in front of the Church on Main Street. He had ridden his bicycle down there and it was stashed, hanging partially out of the trunk of a Mercedes sedan. It was one o’clock in the morning and he was leaning out of the passenger window as he smiled and waived at his friends as he left “The Block”. We thought he must have been picked up by an “out of towner” that night or he would never have been allowed to be so obvious.
But strange things could happen on “The Block.” His new Lover Friend could have just been an infrequent visitor to the Block whose wife was out of town. The guy may have just had too much liquid courage to be cautious. Gary was justifiably proud of his achievement. It wasn’t often a boy of 18 like, like Gary, ended up in a Mercedes. Well, on second thought, it did happen more often than one might suppose.
MORE: Chapter 70: Lover Friends | My Southern Gothic Life.
There is a new post up on my other blog, MySouthernGothicLife.com….
Here is an excerpt and a link to the full post:
I firmly believe in the Right Stuff.
By that, I mean the real thing- the right things-no imitations, no cutting corners and playing by the entertainment rules. And, goddammit, there are rules!
I can’t help it. I’m from Virginia and I was raised that way. And I’m Gay so that means I have to take it even further…
I want every party to be like the one Audrey Hepburn attended at the Larrabee’s in “Sabrina”. I will always want to make my entrance with an orchestra playing “Isn’t It Romantic” in the background. I know that’s not a realistic expectation, but, who cares?
via Chapter 65: The Right Stuff | My Southern Gothic Life.
There is a new post up on my other blog:
I just got home from home…
First of all, you have to understand that home is a complex term for me. It’s more a feeling than a place….
I just spent the weekend in Lexington, Virginia where I went to school at Washington and Lee University.
I just realized it was also my first home…
More: Chapter 63: A Sense of Place | My Southern Gothic Life.
New post up on my other blog…
I’ve been playing with writing a novel and here is a very rough draft of part of the first chapter….
Click the link if you want to read more:
I was living in a dying town. It was official. I had seen the story listing the “official” government lists of dying cities and my town was on the list. It was in the Washington Post, so it must be true.
The funny thing was, I had come back here to get away from the dying.
But both death and time do have a way of catching up with you.
I wondered how the town would react if I reprinted the story in our local newspaper. They would probably just ignore it. Or some of our stalwart citizens would angrily condemn it in angry letters to the editor. Either way, it was probably best to just ignore it. That’s what people generally did with bad news from outside here in Southside Virginia.
It had always been an insular, closed off little town, but it was even more so now. The cotton mills were gone and tobacco was now widely thought to be worse than opium. But, people couldn’t let go of the past. People here were still fighting the Civil War and referring to it as the “War of Northern Aggression” on the local blogs and on Facebook pages.
It was not a good place to be young, smart or interested in new thoughts and things outside of the town or a good place to live if you asked too many questions or challenged the status quo. Never had been.
Those were the thoughts I was having as I sat on the old glider of my Grandmother’s house in the mill village and nursed a Virginia Gentleman and water. Things always stayed the same here. Or people tried like hell to make them do so.
That’s why I was so surprised to see a new Volvo come down the hill and pull in behind my Lexus in the gravel drive way beside the house. I didn’t often have visitors. However, I was only slightly surprised to see Peyton Chandler McManus get out of the Volvo and walk up to the porch. She had been gone for years, but I had heard she was back in town.
More: The Novel Has Begun…. | My Southern Gothic Life.
There is a photo spread in this month’s “Virginia Living” magazine called “Forever Prep.”
For those who don’t know, the Virginia college circuit is the epicenter of Prep in Virginia and the South.
There is an article in the “paper” magazine also that talks about the Virginia Prep lifestyle of the 1980’s that I and many of my friends were part of at Sweet Briar, Washington and Lee, Mary Baldwin, Hollins, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and UVa….and how it translates to today’s world.
It’s also a reference to “True Prep” that came out late last year and the 30th Anniversary of the “Official Preppy Handbook”.
The photo’s were shot at Sweet Briar College and Hampden-Sydney…
Sweet Briar makes perfect sense, but Hampden Sydney???
This Washington and Lee Man may have to cancel his subscription….
And I do have a subscription…
It’s a sickness…
Here is the Link: http://www.virginialiving.com/downloads/slideshows/274/slides/0/index.html