from washington, i aimed for chapel hill, north carolina. north carolina is a rogue state, experiencing a civil war that is as heated as jennifer aniston and angelina jolie at a dave’s bridal shop sale. it’s between two cousins as the york lancaster or the hatfield and mccoy families. (both of them lower class as all get out!)
lexington and eastern. two strands of how to do that bbq. lexington (piedmont style–mostly in the west part of the state) barbecue is ketchup, vinegar, pepper. with sweetening that makes your mouth feel like a snake’s parotid glands vibrate because there’s a mouse in the cage. this style only uses the pork shoulder. eastern style is taking every part of the pig except the squeal and only uses a dry vinegar and pepper marinade. there have been bills in the north carolina statehouse over the issue of which is the best of north carolina and some lawsuits between competing barbecue festivals and restaurants. me? i’ll take it all.
i headed immediately for mama dips.
chapel hill is part of the raleigh durham chapel hill triangle. eastern barbecue country. although there’s some barbecue skirmishes about whether mustard seeds and flavoring can be part of an eastern barbecue. it’s almost like crips and bloods.
so here’s a little bit of food porn from lunch with my sistahs!
there is nothing in life that can’t be solved with fried chicken, black eyed peas, collard greens, sweetened ice tea. if tupac and biggie had shared this meal, there would be peace on earth and good will towards east coast west coast represent! me, i’ve been so scared for so long i am happy to get this piece of heaven! this is what a girl wants!
i took piano lessons from miss violet who slapped my hands when i misplaced them on the keyboard. one time, i was practicing and the vibrations from the standup piano knocked a china cup display from the wall. rather than applauding my bravado with gilbert and sullivan, my adoptive mom mrs. patrick sent me to the basement. and once, in a car, i sang the flintstones theme song and a gentleman to whom i was matrimonially related told me i was the most offkey singer he had ever aurally encountered. in better terms, i’m not musical but damn i admire it!!!
my two sons have genetically inherited musical talent from a family they are not genetically related to. the eastmans are very musical and they don’t need an ipod or an mp3 player to entertain themselves. i was stunned when julie eastman (f2fb #97) and her beloved groom mike sollins (f2fb #98) forswore sheet music to play the richmond cotillion. at the end of the civil war, many secessionist (southern) households would host “hardship parties” where no food or drink would be offered but there would be music and merrimaking. when i was running in the woods i realized i was in territory that young men stood thinking i am protecting my mother, my wife, my children. the trees are that old that they once shielded those men. . . who would have danced with their sweethearts. . . . .
julie and mike met in boston. they live next to f2fb #96 susan who is julie’s twin. aren’t they sweet? there is something in us that does this connecting thing. jeez, i thought they were just going out. some years have passed. .. .
chapel hill is a wonderful paradise. they talk about aging in place which, well, i’m on it. all i need to do is move into the shack behind the two eastman sister houses (please mike could you put in electricity? and a blanket?) the eastman daughters and mike even provided me a tornado. but i have to move on. . …. .
i’d always like to believe i’m more competent than i am, but there are limits. i have a car with a dead battery in the knauz dealership hospital. i have a flip camera that is acting quite temperamental. i have a phone that keeps telling me that i have a sm card problem.
but here’s the thing: i made a new year’s resolution to meet and spend time with every one of my facebook friends. i am acting on that resolution every day–i am writing from chapel hill where i am with the eastman daughters julie and susan as well as julie’s husband mike.
the eastman family is very special to me. i ran away from home when i was fifteen and i ended up in some unsavory circumstances. but when i came out of that hellishness, i ended up going to north central college in naperville. i met dick eastman, who was chairman of the english department, and his wife vivian. the couple invited me into their lives as friends. it was a friendship that only ended a few years ago with their deaths. their daughters have been kind enough to open their lives to me as sisters.
i have been awake for nineteen hours. i’m tired. i feel like a failure because there’s no video to share, no pictures i can post. but i did what i was supposed to do, which is i got on the plane, i got off the plane, i made it to chapel hill. i have come very far since i made the resolution–and i have a very long way to go!
and one last time–happy birthday to my son and facebook friend eastman!