August 22, 2008 by Jo
I bought art last night from a Huntsville newcomer. You can see her work here. I bought three of the small square wood paintings; pictures forthcoming. A Fleur de lis (otherwise known as JO’S FAVORITE SYMBOL OF ALL TIME) is included.
Everybody knows the fleur is a royal symbol and I’m all about crowns with lots of jewels so it just FITS.
POINT NUMBER TWO
La Cage aux Folles is easily one of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen; gorgeous costumes, enchanting music…I love it. Come see come SEE! Opens tonight and tickets are almost gone for the entire run! 256.536.3117 or www.renaissancetheatre.net for info.
I went to Starkville last Saturday to visit my sister, Lyndsay, and see her paint-your-own-pottery shop Dandy Doodlez. It was an awesome visit even though I was dealing with a head-splitting-ache all day. It finally vacated after lunch and I felt much better. Painted a gift for Jeff and a cross for Lyndsay’s wall at their new house.
See, Jeff travels all over the South in August each year to shoot Bid Days at the major universities. Most of the time, I go with him; this was one of those times EXCEPT in Starkville I didn’t work so I could hang with Lynds.
On Sunday, however, I witnessed It. The 1960’s all over again.
We were at another, ahem, LARGE and WELL-KNOWN school on Sunday to shoot. We arrived on-site at sorority row earrrrly and there was not a girl in sight (plenty of maids and servers, though). Jeff set up his gear, preparing to shoot one house and then move across the street and shoot the second.
After a while the girls started to show up. A couple drifted in, dropped off in luxury SUV’s still wearing last night’s clothes. Some walked up with rollers in their hair and bright t-shirts declaring just how Greek they were.
Eventually, all of the girls and their extended families had gathered on the row. I climbed up on to a chair to survey my surroundings (since my view on the ground was mostly barred by giant frat boys in button down shirts, khakis, sunglasses and ball caps) and it hit me.
It was a vanilla Bourbon Street.
Not one non-Caucasian person in sight.
NOT ONE. Out of THOUSANDS. NOT ONE that I could spot.
I climbed off the chair and started to wander, really taking in what was going on. I spotted one girl in jeans and a t-shirt (in other words, definitely not Greek) who was possibly of mixed races. There was a Middle Eastern frat boy and one African-American one, but among the girls it was nothing but sheer white(leaving the spray on tans aside)ness.
To be honest, this REALLY freaked me out. Everyone seemed totally content this way. It didn’t seem to phase each beautiful girl as they glanced around at their housemates. The parents probably hadn’t even thought about it.
So I asked Jeff and was given the answer that there are separate Greek organizations for other races. Do they celebrate Bid Day? Nope. Do they have houses on sorority row? Nope. Were they ever invited to take part in the festivities? He doubted it.
I was so shocked by all of this that it is still TOTALLY pissing me off now as I write about it. On the campus of a public university, where the first founded and oldest sorority in Alabama operates, where a stand-off for equality once occurred, there is still a level of segregation. In fact, to be blunt, the only black people I saw all day were the ladies serving the houses their brunch. And as I thought about the games and other functions there that I’d attended the same thought applied; the security guards, the waiters, the service industry in general…all of different races than ours.
I’m sure I’ll get in trouble from someone for writing all this…but it really made me think…made me want to stand up and shake the boat about it.
Even if I might fall in.