An envisioning . . . 2017 and an afternoon to while away up in the cupola.

Oh to be here.

Afternoon to while away into evening up at the top of Auntie Agnes’s house in Knoxville. Cupola way up at the top with views to die for. Four flights of stairs to die for too but then no one able to follow up either. Their legs too short or too tired. Like being in a space capsule blasted sideways across the trees staring straight through the tree tops and watch the birds dance.

Mother having talked about spending entire afternoons up at the top of the house with a book and glass of water. Just as hot as anyone had ever said and the window sills just as covered with dead flies. But the windows forced open over who knows how many coats of paint and the flies swept out with an old newspaper into the world. Ice in the water bottle and the magazine from the Sunday paper to look through till dusk.

The magazine finished, and a run down to the box room and back up again. A calico covered box, completely stuffed. Auntie not wanting it looked at but all the way down on the front porch with that penetrating stare of hers but no way to see through tree branches, wood, and brick.

One old postcard and then more. Enough for three tables worth of people playing bridge if they were cards. Most of the synagogue where auntie’s parents got married but some others from when they held the Appalachian Exposition that time.

An American Indian girl posed against a studio mountain and a fountain. People weaving coverlets and others showing quilts.

But another at the very bottom. One of those places like they had in Asheville that time where you could rent a boat and paddle around. Fun it must have been  and a relief from the heat.

Much coming but not there yet. Great uncle marrying auntie and that not having turned out too well except for the house. But to be courted in a boat . . . .heavenly. . . a boat, beau and a bunch of flowers. . . .all one needs and never needing more.

Chilhowee Park Boat House. 1910. Postcard.
Chilhowee Park Boat House. 1910. Postcard. S. H. Kress and Company, publisher. C.M. McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library. Fair use license. via

Leave a Reply