When it was time to leave Barb’s brothers in Washington, we made our way back to Bill’s home near Parks, AZ. We left the RV Bus there and took our toad to Las Vegas. I flew to San Francisco to see my son Wil, and Barb flew to Bismarck to be with Mom while sister Zona spent about three weeks in Europe. I spent the weekend with Wil, and then flew to Bismarck to join Barb and Mom. Later, Barb flew back to Las Vegas to help her father Cliff celebrate his 93rd birthday.
My son Wil has gotten into wall climbing, and has been very happy with what the new hobby has done for his level of fitness. Unfortunately, he slipped one day and fell onto folks below who should not have been there. Their presence prevented him from executing a momentum-absorbing roll and hence he sustained the “crunch” of two broken bones in his ankle. When I arrived he had just gotten out of a rigid cast and was in a new boot and learning to use a peg leg.
His new condition changed our plans, but we still got out to local coffee shops and one of Wil’s favorite local restaurants in the famous Castro district: Delfina. We have been there on previous visits as well; it continues to be fantastic. Not so good was a more remote restaurant that Wil had been to some time ago: Front Porch. We went back because it features southern cooking and we thought it would be a fun way to recall our eating experiences in Savannah, GA. Alas, not so. The boiled peanuts were saturated in something resembling soy sauce. The fried green tomatoes were overcooked. Even more so the tiny bits of okra so overdone as to be near lumps of charcoal. The mashed potatoes were cold and lumpy. The collard greens were drowning in overpowering vinegar. The fried chicken, instead of having a tender tasty interior, was stringy and dry. Folks, this ain’t southern cooking the way we knew it. To taste the real thing, go to Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House in Savannah, GA.
On one of our excursions we walked past a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Alas I din’t have my camera with me. I had to ask Wil later what we had just seen.
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), also called Order of Perpetual Indulgence (OPI) is a charity, protest, and street performance organization that uses drag and religious imagery to call attention to sexual intolerance and satirizes issues of gender and morality. At their inception in 1979, a small group of gay men in San Francisco began wearing the attire of nuns in visible situations using high camp to draw attention to social conflicts and problems in the Castro District.
A number of Barb’s family gathered in Las Vegas to celebrate her father Cliff’s birthday. They included her brother Mike, her sister Audrey, her son Jeff, Cliff’s brother John and his friend Barbara, and Cliff’s brother Joe and his wife Rita. Cliff was presented with a special gift from a niece: a printed copy of a commissioned painting she had done for a former school mate. Now a successful eye doctor and a world traveller, he requested a painting with multiple scenes from his North Dakota upbringing. The copy, by Theresa Stahl, now graces a wall in Cliff’s apartment.
A few days later, when the birthday celebrants had dispersed, Audrey and Barb joined Jeff for a ride on Lake Mead on his new boat — a boat which bore strong resemblance to the one we owned so long ago in Savannah, GA.
We’ll write about our Bismarck visit in a subsequent post. Here are some pictures from our two visits to Loved Ones: