17.8.07

Soul Candy

Remember when you'd stop at the milk bar on the way home from school, rummage through the linty coins in your uniform pocket and hand them over to the shopkeeper behind the glass-fronted counter that held all the lollies?
And the very drawn out and considered ritual called: "How much do I have left"?
Since most of the items cost around 2 cents each (back in the day when we had 2 cent pieces), this could and usually did, take quite some time. You'd select, say 3 cobbers (my favourite) then ask the shopkeer:

"How much do I have left"?

Then another agony of decision in which you'd opt for say, four milkbottles, followed by:

"How much do I have left"?

Then two honey bears, and so on and so on, with the shopkeeper keeping a patient tally until your 20 or so cents were all used up. Then you'd get handed a small white square paper bag that was sealed with a
deft flick of the bag, twisting it at the corners ( a pretty smooth move I used to practice a lot at home with any bag I could get my hands on. I liked to call it the Grocer's Flick). It may have been hell on the teeth but it was quite good for the mental arithmetic.

Very early this morning I was conducting a similar transaction via phone and email with a lovely old guy called Roman (who I shall probably never meet, but who I will always be indebted to) working out of a warehouse somewhere in Illinois.

Except I was trying to sleuth out some obscure and out-of-stock architectural model parts instead of cobbers and honey bears.

What is it about people in the mid west? When I was there in 2005 everyone I met went out of their way to be polite and helpful. Perhaps the fact that I find that noteworthy says more about life in
Sydney.

Of course Illinois has more to offer than politeness and model parts.

Mies'
Farnsworth House in Plano for example. I have this vague recollection of seeing, when I was still in school, a black and white photo of it which infatuated me. Flash forward twenty or so years later and I find myself in Plano walking through blossoming woodlands, crossing babbling brooks, smelling cedar chips in the air - half expecting Bambi to come scampering through the scene- when suddenly I catch a glimpse of the House through the trees which takes my breath away.

This very deliberate, directed, slow revelation of the house reminded me strongly of the Buddhist temples I'd visited in Vietnam and China that were sited similarly.

So thanks Roman, not just for the help, but also for prompting me, in a very roundabout way, to finally upload some of my Farnsworth pilgrimage.









3 Comments:

Blogger Rose Red said...

Oh, the memory of a bulging 20cent bag of lollies. How I miss that!

A sense of mystery or adventure can highlight the beauty of a garden or house/garden - doesn't need to be flashy or brash to be beautiful.

20 August 2007 at 8:52 am  
Blogger sooz said...

Clearly I am much more of an old bag than you. Milk bottles were 2 for 1c in my olden days. We used to fight over who would run to the milk bar to return the milk bottles for the 5c deposit. These days you wouldn't bother bending down for 5c...I know I know. I sound like your grandmother.

22 August 2007 at 8:31 pm  
Blogger amisha said...

oh for a 20 cent bag of mixed candies... that sounds quite nice right about now.
i too love that slow presentation, the entering of the space bit by bit, the first glimpses unveiling the final object.
xo

31 August 2007 at 1:22 am  

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