Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Eighty-Eighth...

Number Eighty-Eight:

Perly's Delicatessen Restaurant, Lunch, Brunswick Stew Platter

We spent the morning in Hollywood Cemetery, mainly doing some research for a story, but enjoying the fresh air and history. The great thing about Hollywood is that you always can find something you never noticed before. Lots of interesting graves as well as some sort of construction around the Monroe and Tyler sites. I also recalled when I got arrested for trespassing there, by the Oregon Hill side near the railroad tracks. Well, written a summons to appear in court.

Years ago, hanging out at a friend's house on Harrison after Sociology Class at VCU, we came up with the idea. Who doesn't think about creeping around there when you are young and adventurous like that. We partied till the wee hours, then headed over to where the hole in the fence was supposed to be. Unfortunately, the hole had been boarded up when we got there, so we decided to bail on the idea and walk the railroad tracks instead. We enjoyed the river sounds a while, then headed back up the direction we came where there was a cop at the top of the hill shining his light, looking for us and calling out. We took off, of course, heading back down the tracks toward Virginia War Memorial. Well, the cops were obviously keen to this mode of escape because his partner was there catching us in his light, waiting. Busted. Anyway, they claimed they saw us in Hollywood Cemetery, which wasn't true, and he wrote us all up for it. Damn.

So as the court date neared one of my friends was not worried at all about it since we didn't technically trespass, which is what was written on our summons, but I was dubious and saved my money in case we had to pay our fine. His confidence allowed him to spend money on the Living Color show at the Boathouse in Norfolk where I saved my money and worried instead.

Turns out at our hearing, we just had to ask the cop the question, "Did you actually SEE us in Hollywood Cemetery?" He replied "No." Now, had the cop written the trespass for the Railroad, that might have been a different story... The Judge dismissed the case and we got off. Damn. I could have gone to the show!

Lisa and I had a great walk; the fresh air, a swell view of the city, the gravestones and crypts -beautiful, odd and interesting, sometimes even creepy. We also talked about how our sensibilities about death, dying and graveyards are much different than our history. People were much closer to death in their lives in older eras, keeping death photo books, picnics in cemeteries, etcetera. In our time, death is often taken out of the equation of life; homogenized, which is perhaps weirder than say, keeping grandma in a casket in your living room for viewings.

Anyway, Perly's was the natural choice afterward.


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