Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

February 28, 2009

Travel to Anchorage

The morning of October 2, I follow suggestions from the tourist information center behind the hotel and stroll over to the 4th Street Theater. There, I walk around on the restored stage which has some of the sets of the previous play still leaning about on some boxes. It looks like an interior design for a production of “Mouse Trap”. The red velvet upholstery is shiny, the carpet replaced in patches, but there is a pleasant air of artistic vigor about the place. I assume that when they get the heating system working the attendance will rise.

Far more interesting, next door, is a “restored” Woolworth’s. As I enter, I can smell gravy and mashed potatoes, as advertized on the lunch menu. There are some mashed green peas on the counter. In the basement I browse through shelves stuffed with archives of icons, especially GI Joe, which seems to occupy, complete with accessories of assorted daggers, rifles, grenades, bayonets, helmets, and backpacks, at least fifty feet of shelf space. Where is Barbie, Army Nurse? In the corner, hockey poles are mixed in with a display of women’s panties and bras. Is there some order to this? Men’s jockey shorts are on the same aisle as crochet thread, fuzzy dice for read view mirrors, and hand cleaner.

Back at the hotel, the lunch is uneventful, though Mike entertains us with his “to make a buck you have to get off your butt” speech. I find a dollar bill and a greeting card taped to the underside of my chair. We all wander about the room trying to find the person whose name is on the card. It’s a good way to meet people.

I have a meeting with about thirty women at two P.M. I’m only the second male spouse in the population of governor’s spouses in this Zone, so Lloyd presents his title of “Rooster” to me. The ladies think this is funny; I consider it quite brave.

About charles frenzel

I've been writing all my life. I've also painted, composed, sculpted, contributed to molecular research, advanced some mathematical concepts, lived on a sailboat, and worked for a Nobel Prize winner. Nothing in my life has pleased me more than to share my life with my wife and friend of over forty years.

View all posts by charles frenzel


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