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Subject: OT: A postcard from Columbus, Ohio
From: Christopher Purdy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Christopher Purdy <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 17 Nov 2006 12:17:27 -0500
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Dear Friends and Others:

Greetings from Columbus Ohio, fast becoming an angry Democratic
bastion (so I'm at home on both counts) and a rainy and cold city now
in lock down because of the impending Michigan Game (caps
deliberate). One never says the M word. One refers always to "that
place up north". The local quotidian advises urgently that visitors
not drive in cars with Mich-er I mean M word plates; dumpsters
throughout the city are being emptied every 2 hours; merchants along
High Street, our main drag through the OSU campus have agreed
universally not to sell anything in glass bottles. What does that
mean? Boxed beer? Also,  you are asked not to put a couch on your
front porch. But this being the Midwest,  where politesse is all, you
are further told if you must put a couch on your front porch, please
do not set it on fire. No kidding, win or lose by tomorrow night
riots are expected. Yum. The town is tense now; thirty six hours from
the august kickoff between numbers one and two. Here on all classical
music radio we mix up the Sibelius and Shostakovitch with all manner
of fight songs and prayerful, tearful invocations to the late Woody
Hayes, head Papa of full,  half and quarterbacks. It is also
customary to parade around dressed as Buckeyes, complete with a
headpiece that would have shamed Marie Antoinette. A Buckeye, for
those of you who don't know, is a nut. When I first came here and saw
all the leafy drawings I thought well now, they may not have Chinese
food (they do) but they sure as hell have a lotta weed in this town.
My sixties Harvard Square roots betray me. A nut is a nut and a
Buckeye is the holy grail.

A recount ordained by the elections last week for the 15th
congressional seat in Ohio-my district- has been POSTPONED BECAUSE OF
THE GAME! We aren't missing much since Republican incumbent Deborah
Pryce, is ahead we think by about 500 votes of the democratic
challenger, Mary Jo Kilroy. (Inner city children go hungry and have
50 yr old textbooks)  In my day, Cardinal Cushing and James Michael
Curley practiced graft with a great deal more style, skill and
panache.   So no final count until after the game, because the
secretary of state-not the gleefully trounced crook and manipulator
of voting machines Ken Blackwell, decrees that government workers are
far too distracted this week with their $2000 game tickets and
parking passes. Would you want to be represented by someone called
Debbie? I ask you!
I'd vote for Leontyne Price or maybe Margaret Price but I'd never
vote for a Debbie Price. The recount will be done by six church
ladies laden with brownies to sell. "Helen, how many do YOU have?
One...two..etc."
My polling place, a neighborhood church- enjoyed a rigorous bake
sale, of which I partook after writing in Carlo Bergonzi instead of
voting for Mary Jo Kilroy. Then a woman came in screaming that a
church bake sale refutes her first amendment rights. I gave her a
cookie. I love it here.

Meanwhile down the road next to the stadium, where 140,000 people are
expected tomorrow which is 35,000 over capacity-I'm directing
Puccini's one act opera Suor Angelica. It's for my doctorate. So I'm
rehearsing little girls and trying to get them to sing in tune, walk
from left to right and act like nuns, or as I say: "Could you goddamn
kids for chrissake remember that you s'posed to me frigging brides of
Christ!" So we're rehearsing the nuns the day before The Game 100
yards from The Stadium waiting for The Recount and taking down the
convent crucifix on the altar part of the set and replacing it with
pictures of Buckeyes-the nut that looks like marijuana and Woody
Hayes. You think I'm the only one in rehearsal? Down the hall from
Puccini's opera in another rehearsal space, they are preparing HAIR.
For those of you under fifty or generally clueless, HAIR was the 60s
love tribal rock musical (do people still say 'rock' in referring to
music?) By the time THESE kids were born HAIR was long passe, but
still fun. So in room 3 we hear Puccini and Salve Regina, Mater
Misericordia, and in room 5 its the dawning, boys and girls of the
Age of Aquarius. The cacophony between  a minor and hymns of the F
word, love beads and nudity along with the band practicing outside is
otherworldly, Charles Ives-ian and enough to make me go refill the
Zoloft after a one year break. And YOU all thought I lived in the
middle of nowhere.

Tomorrow? I'm spending the day in bed watching the fourth season of
SIX FEET UNDER on DVD. What with the dead bodies, fluids, funeral
home, nympho sixty year old mother, crack whore daughter, a dead
father who keeps appearing  and gay cops kissing each other, it will
be a lot like the old days.

Greetings and GO BUCKS! to you all

CP


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