My apologies for being late on announcing the winners of the tiny vintage initial stamps
. I have randomly chosen the above winners, except I did choose Acacia specifically because she assisted me with some great feedback to make my business better, so I think she deserves a little prize, no? If you want to hear about my New Your Blackout experience read below (it has been edited down)…*
My heart goes out to the folks in New Jersey and New York. I was in NY during the last black out, at the airport mind you. I remember the lights flickered on and off at the terminal, myself and my fellow travelers had that instant of fear that it was another terrorist attack, it was to everyone’s relief just a black out. The relief quickly passed when we realized we wouldn’t be going anywhere that day. It was one of those incredibly smoldering hot and sweaty NY afternoons, there were no cell phones, computers or any way to get yourself out of the situation and of course air conditioning wasn’t a consideration. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a very eccentrically dressed woman, head-to-toe pomp, topping her skull was a Kentucky Derby appropriate hat, not
a JFK airport appropriate hat. I went outside to catch a cab back to the city, I waited outside 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 and so on. The fancy hat lady, now sweating profusely dabbed at her face with a make-up soaked kerchief, she sidled up to me and said in a heavy perhaps Gypsy? accent, “You will never catch a cab, they closed the tunnel going into the city, no subways, you can’t even pump gas.” I eyed her suspiciously as I had no cell reception and how was she getting this information? Her cell magically rang, she whispered some labored words into the phone and returned her attention to me. “You are going to need a place to sleep, you can’t stay at the airport by yourself.” I considered this fact, but since there was no cabs in sight I didn’t see a solution. “You come home with me,” she demanded. I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually talk to strangers let alone go home with them. I looked back at the airport terminal, my clothes sticky on my body and figured I could perhaps get a ride to Queens where she lived and catch a cab from there or find a hotel. Her friend picked us up, a complete New York caricature, I am sure his name was something like Tony or Johnny, I can’t remember now. The city was chaotic, you could see that from the road, people were actually walking in from Manhattan, walking! Unheard of, apocalyptic looking. I knew there were no hotels to be had and that I was going to have to take this strangely dressed gypsy woman up on her offer to stay at her house. If there was ever a day that I may have never been heard from again it was the day I decided to go home with a Gypsy and her side kick ‘Tony’. It was getting late and we were all hungry and at this point I needed a glass of wine desperately
, Magda, tsked tsked and told me not to worry, she had food at home. I asked if she had wine, I needed
a glass of wine. She enthusiastically nodded her head, “Oh, yes indeed, I have the best wine.” I went home with her, Tony thankfully just dropped us off. I sat on her tapestry covered settee and although it was hard as concrete and scratchy I was happy to be indoors. Magda came out with a glass and a mason jar of what looked like pink pickled something or other. “My friend makes their own wine, I don’t drink but it is supposed to be fantastic.” I looked at the jar, the pulpy fragments swirling around making this ‘wine’ cloudy’, I looked at my surrounds and knew this concrete slab was to be my bed and poured myself a glass. I think in some circles this drink would have been called moonshine. I just needed a few sips to be exported out of the room and into another realm all together. Magda explained her son was getting married and she needed to get to California, we both at that time didn’t know how long the black out would last. I was hoping for her sake (as I no longer felt anything) that it wouldn’t last past the evening so she could make her flight and be there for her son. I asked if she had a t-shirt I could borrow to sleep in and she answered in the affirmative. She came back holding up a floor length black lacy, silky item. I think they were called negligee’s back in the day, I looked like a Sophia Loren character. I don’t think I have ever worn anything as fancy or as sexy in my life. The next morning Tony drove us to the airport, I caught a flight home and Magda made it to the wedding, this is the first time I am recounting this story. My life has been anything but boring.
* At the time it was considered the largest blackout in U.S. history and went all the way up to Toronto!