"Good Fortune - Bad Taste"
In the fourth chapter... and I do not like writing in this format... the end of the tale is first introduced. Helen presents the characters “Daddy”, “Mama”, “Aunt Winnie” and Helen’s children. She continues by including these ‘family’ as determining her views of good and bad taste within the Savage estate.
Exposing Aunt Winnie through photographic portrait, Helen spikes home the inter-estate good and bad taste determinants through a very cavalier sale to me of a Steuben Glass olive dish. Few antiquarian dealers will ever ...share... a similar purchase format so it should NOT be a ‘down played’ sequence of action. This sequence is founded on the notion ...by Helen... of ‘who cares’ (Parts Fourteen [A-B]). Here is that wording’s first appearance in this tale. It’s usage appears through Helen’s observations of taste and aesthetic comprehension by her children... who have purchased Helen a ...cell phone. Helen also tags the ‘her bank’ as a mustered-into-action ‘who cares’. They care about the estate’s content? Or it’s asset value? Throughout this ...actually deep within the wholeness of the Savage Estate... action packed... and seemingly flippant ‘she’s driving’* ...estate management hubbub... I scramble with folded twenty dollar bills and the purpose-of-visit (role) as being to ‘suggest’.
Actually... what this chapter is... IS the ‘pitched’ and ‘turned up side down’ of the Savage estate... already in progress.
Is Aunt Winnie a culprit? She and her shopping?
Are Helen’s children doing something OTHER than acting out their own historical destiny within the estate?
Is there an inkling ...by Helen... of there being ‘something more’ to this ...houseful of old dead peoples’ stuff layered in room... after room?
When I did eventually ‘get into’ Aunt Winnie’s room... I found a room that was... AT THE BOTTOM LAYER... “just as” Aunt Winnie had ‘left it’, ‘kept it’ and had WANTED IT TO BE... inclusive of having NO PREVIOUS Savage family ANYTHING in that room... because, evidently, SHE took ‘any of that’ OUT. Between the time of her death and my admittance into her room... the room had become... a three (?) generation STORAGE ROOM ‘layered’... in three (?) generations UPON Aunt Winnie’s ‘stuff’ ‘undisturbed’. THAT status, alone... to I... qualified the room as ‘time capsule’ status within the Savage estate EVEN THOUGH THAT ROOM’S CONTENTS... ‘isn’t really that old’.
Do I ‘suggest’ this? To anyone?
Does anyone ever... ‘who cares’?
And again...: Is Aunt Winnie... and the ‘her room’... therefore... a culprit?
In the ‘pitching’ and ‘turning up side down... of
The fifth chapter answers these queries. Helen tells... rather well... her family saga; the story of the Savage fortune. If one remembers that saga told clearly, then fine. If not... one should review it. I make here and now two additions to the saga. Helen, at the time of her pontification, included the curt (and obviously recited from oral history memory) utterance that “THE SAVAGES... WERE ALL... temperance men and abolitionists”. And: “They TOLERATED church going”. Curt, breezy and short this recital...; it is NOT primary to the Savage fortune saga. It means... roughly... One John and family believed and supported ‘temperance’ but... drank whenever they felt like it including that the current heir (Helen) “does too”. It means that they were against slavery and for freedom of the black man but... had maybe seen a half dozen black men in Maine over a forty year period, probably never talked to one, had never seen a slave... except perhaps off in the ‘safe’ distance ‘on shore’ from the deck of a boat ‘once’ ‘when’ they ‘were younger’. Helen’s ‘a black man’ actual contact heritage / history follows this course including ‘safe distance’ in her own exotic harbors (Florida). “Tolerated church going” means they never went to church ever and any contact with a ‘church man’ was on the equality of an eye for an eye with this well understood by both parties. Helen... ‘follows family’.
What this addition means... combined with the Savage fortune saga... is that... culturally, intellectually, artistically, philanthropically, philosophically and... et al... the Savage estate is... ‘probably’ ‘dry’ from
As an antiquarian and rare book man.
WE... will ‘see’ won’t we.
This tale is about the
ON THE OTHER HAND... and one may actually look at one’s hands... the hand with ‘this’ (the ‘dry’) is OFF SET FULLY, fundamentally and fabulously by Helen’s expressed clear understanding that “THIS IS REAL”. This is my second addition to the Savage saga. The Savage estate ‘cannot be faked’ or purchased as decor. And this is again spiked home with Helen’s “It’s over”. Helen, because she actually LIVES (she is still alive) THIS... she fully understands ...although currently as the tale is being told... has yet to articulate or act on it...; that ‘this’ (the Savage estate in total) is not about money and ‘antiques’ (‘the THINGS we have’). In the “vicious swipe of the dragon’s tail” (Part One)... of this tale... the Savage estate IS a dragon.
It is... ‘old New England traits.
This includes the ‘old New England’ word; ‘dry’.
‘Dry’ is ‘pitched’ by Aunt Winnie... way back when. Or was that seed bed planted earlier... as an inner family dynamic that Aunt Winnie is the first to act out?. Too much money and too little culture resulted in ...bad taste... at the expense of ‘old New England traits... These old traits... were suppressed behind closed, locked, dark, Victorian drape dropped rooms that dominate the interior of the estate. Their suppression was supported by the modern taste makeover of the personal space; the ‘their room’, of the younger Savage generations. This was made possible with ‘money’. That made ‘shopping’ possible. Space, throughout the estate, allowed for the old new England traits to be ‘put somewhere’... even if it was in a mound along the floor under a table in a room that one walked through ‘all day long.’ In the Savage estate... an object put down in a room by one generation... most often remained there ...until I handled it. This included later generation objects and ‘bad taste’ objects. Modern ‘bad taste’ contributed at least a quarter and possibly a third to the contents of the first floor of ‘the mansion’. And again, this ‘modern bad taste’ was set down upon – on top of - the earlier objects that TOO, were ‘set down’.
That is quite a few chapters ahead (Part Seventeen) of this; my current counting of chapters on my fingers in review...: I am in that February barn where I ...pontificate... on
“I study... The Enigma.
“As one ages, one confronts a new enigma. ‘Setting’... ‘there’ ‘so it will not get lost’... turns to enigma for one ...aging... as...: “Does ‘it’ ever become something OTHER than a ‘never getting it... again’?”. Old barns... especially the very old barns... are the repositories of this enigma’s ‘turned out to be’. They are ...wholly... a keeping ground of that enigma; the ‘setting there’ and the ...never getting it again. The scathing real of this enigma only becomes to one with self experience... as one, oneself, finds oneself... the ‘setting there’ and ‘...never getting it again’ of one’s own life. The old New England barn is the keeper of this ...generation after generation... embraced and expressed... enigma.”
At the end of this... (Part [D] of Part Eighteen [A-D]) chapter SET ... within the February barn...I ...noticing an old Coke machine and its ‘setting down’ or ‘pitched’ within the barn ...and that notice is found within the tale’s telling of... incursions upon the this; the ...‘it’ of the Coke machine and the... ‘it’ of the barn, the ‘I’ in the barn, the ‘them’ in the barn and... the barn as a ‘big box’ whole of ‘setting down’ and ‘never getting’:
“....The old New England Coke machine... in the old New England barn... is nothing at all but a vanity; an ornament, by itself. Found mired in old New England humanity... with humility... inside an old New England barn door... it is a precious blossom of classic (and rare survival) New England; a pure strain ‘unspoken’. It is ‘a desperate need’ to ‘notice this’
“...RIGHT HERE I do also say that this tale ‘reaches bottom’; I AM at the dark, cold spot within I NEED TO BE AT. .... I am turned back into the Savage estate... WITH NEW UNDERSTANDING that what was formerly ‘pitched’ and turned up side down New England has been PROVEN to be ... in fact... New England right side up (Part Six [A]). This, too, means I am not done with congested New England and their white SUV’s (Part Six [D]) or Helen’s BLUNT verbiage of “THEY SENT ELIEEN FISHER UP HERE TO APPRAISE ME!”. I have the tools at hand to save the Savage estate? But:
Is this ‘dull’?
Dull... is different from ‘dry’. Dull is it to one IF one is IN their white SUV... driving right on my rear bumper...; chasing I... with their bad taste of congested New England? “JUST ‘clean’ the place out and be done with it”.
“Let us know if you find something good”.
“How much is that worth?”
Then... that being so; that there IS NO POT OF GOLD... PASS ME
On the first open space of road ...with one’s premium acceleration of BAD TASTE... so that I may with a fleeting second... SEE
One’s local (license) plate number, one’s landfill access sticker. One registration expiring... at the EXACT same rate as one ‘distances’ me ‘in rearview’.
And then I am alone again.
And it is not dull.
As I watch her hand turn the key that was in the door’s lock
Of this door closed tight
In a dark hallway closed at both ends’
“SHOWING YOU THIS ROOM TODAY”
“BECAUSE I THINK I’D BETTER”
Helen said to me as she
Turns the old key
In the old lock
In the dark.
“The door STICKS TOO.” she said.
* Part Six [D] where the context of that wording’s first introduction appears as the ‘congested New England’ white SUV driver driving as a... destroyer of... old New England