My friends, I don’t know if you’ll recognize me or not the next time we meet. I have been to the opera and my cultural battery (which was on low ebb) has been recharged. I am fully me once again. I don’t know how the word got out that I was attending that night, but it did.
It started in the parking lot at the Santa Fe Opera House, where our car was singled out for special treatment. All of the vehicles in front of ours were shunted to the side, some actually into ditches to make room for us. We were directed by people in uniform saluting as we passed until we were parked at the point closest to the performance hall. Several of these attendants fought one another to open our car doors for us and walked alongside us as we went through the gates . Since the evening was uncomfortably warm, they carried large fans to waft us along.
At some point we were encouraged to accept a ride in the sedan chairs which were offered, that our heels may not be bruised on the rough pavement. Out of modesty I refused at first, but soon relented when I realized that each chair came with a complimentary bag of jalapeño-flavored Cheetos.
The performance of Falstaff was exciting, the costumes inventive, and the voices were uniformly excellent, especially the young soprano who had the role of Nannetta. Her name is Elena Villalon.
It is of no matter that she was young enough to be a grand-daughter (perhaps a great grand-daughter). She warbled her way into the part of my heart that doesn’t acknowledge age at all. Both Robin and I were smitten by her.
While we’re on the subject of smiting, I must relate the tale of Robin and the waiter. Our journey from Paradise to Santa Fe went like this. First we drove to Durango and picked up grandson Aiden. The four hour drive from there passed through country that was uniformly and constantly beautiful. Through towns with names like Abiquiu, Española, Cebolla, Tierra Amarilla, and Chama. Looking out the window of the car was like watching a travelogue where only the very best scenes had been saved in the editing.
We stopped for lunch in the nearly dried-up village of Chama, to take our chances at the Boxcar Cafe. You never know. But the food turned out to be good diner food, with some kitchen creativity. For instance, there were the french fries cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with cayenne pepper. On the menu they were listed as Duck Fat/Togarashi. Interesting.
But it was our waiter, a slender man of about eighteen years who was topped with a pile of unruly curly hair, who had Robin’s full attention from the get-go. I think that if he had recommended the dustmop with a side of cactus thorns she might have ordered a double helping. When our meal was over and we were driving away from the restaurant, Robin was on her knees on the rear seat and gazing longingly out the rear window as the Boxcar Restaurant faded from view. Plucky girl that she is though, an hour later she had fully composed herself and was looking forward to the rest of the day.
Aaahhhhh, such is life … there are times when loves come and go with so little ceremony.
I thought that although the January 6 hearings have been going on for quite a while, so many of the characters are only names, and we don’t have pictures to go with them. Why, a person could bump into Josh Hawley on the street, have a perfectly good opportunity to give him a piece of your mind, but miss the opportunity because you had no idea what this particular toady looked like.
Therefore I offer this modest gallery of some of the players on the Republican side of things.
Marjorie Taylor Greene
Lindsey Graham (I include him here even though he is really not a proper Fascist at all, but only a minor bootlick without any obvious character, backbone, or principle.)
Although he’s been dead for 77 years, I have included Benito Mussolini’s photograph here because … perhaps it’s just me … but there is more than a passing resemblance between him and some of our present-day players.
The French have a phrase for all of this in plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (the more things change, the more they are the same).
The Americans have a couple of phrases for all of this as well, at least to Woody Guthrie’s way of thinking.