Along with the type of thread required to repair moth damage on my best (only) sweater, the lady provided all the usual talking points that begin with I’m not a racist but… Talking points delivered with the earnest and friendly mien of a Jehovah’s Witness peddling door to door.
Then, she brought up one item I hadn’t heard yet: the next town over. The closest one with a slightly smaller population. And yet – the marvels, the lively streets filled with eager shoppers. All because those people have a mayor who knows what’s what.
Had I been someone else, I would have answered: “ah yes, and under Stalin, bread was cheap and the busses ran on time.” But I’m me, so I ambled toward the door with a phony smile on my face. Must add I had other business calling which involved walking all over town and back. This further led to an early collapse into bed.
However, while walking down the road minding my own business, a former neighbor hailed me on the street and invited me in for a look at his evolving collection of old tannery equipment. The machinery was great. My favorite though was a photo he found (and had enlarged) of the women who worked the industrial sewing machines in the space he’s turned into a private museum. (I’d just written a few lines about one such sweatshop arrangement, thus, a welcome moment of serendipity.)
“Don’t sell the pics to the Russians,” he said when I left. I have no idea what he meant by that.
At any rate, I’m off to Gaillac for some talk about and around documentary films, failing production houses and other related topics. Several characters traveling with me. Yes, the issues are larger than Hautvoir, as one of them says. But whatever specifics need apply must be local.