Sunday, April 18, 2010
Of course, he jumped a little when I gasped and exclaimed “Opera News! You’re reading OPERA NEWS.” I mean, this is the man who once accompanied his then-boyfriend and two friends to a performance of Bellini’s Norma starring Beverly Sills, a production that huge numbers wanted to see but couldn’t get tickets, and told me he was bored out of his skull. The man who agreed to come with me to Puccini’s Tosca, updated to Mussolini’s Rome (Tosca was very Wallis Simpson, Scarpia a wonderfully sexy brute) and said afterwords, why didn’t they just get on with it? (My reply was, “My darling -- girl meets tyrant, girl kills tyrant, girl jumps off building. How much faster do you want?”)
!t turns out that he had caught sight of the Sydney Opera House on the cover of the magazine and, having lived in Sydney for a year early in his career, was interested to see if there was more about the city inside. I’ve been kidding him about it ever since – making sure he gets the New England Opera Club mug when I set the breakfast table, etc., etc.
It doesn’t bother me at all that he isn’t into opera. He, like I, has been strongly into theater personally and professionally; for the rest I think it’s healthy for couples to have one or two separate interests. Nevertheless, a couple of my friends rushed to console me for what they thought must be a great disappointment in my relationship, and assured me that I could “train” Fritz to like opera. “Yeah,” I said to one of them, “with a whip and a chair?”
I like my husband just the way he is. One of the best parts of our relationship is that neither of us has ever thought of the other as a home improvement project -- “Marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow” Syndrome.
For many years, Fritz had this little statue standing on a rock out in the field just north of the Center’s parking lot. It was a gift from a close friend who eventually found THE man and now lives in Pennsylvania. It was made of concrete in a mold, stands 20 inches high, and in terms of style the1930s seems like a good bet for the time of its creation. A manly farmer in coveralls, he holds three shafts of wheat in one hand and the sickle with which he cut them in the other.
As the years went by and the bushes spread around it, the figure would disappear from May through October, appearing again with the falling of the leaves. Cracks had appeared in the surface with weathering, so I spoke with Fritz suggesting it be repaired and mounted on a piece of tree that had been cut down some while ago with a flat surface that could serve as the pedestal. He agreed. I soaked the tip of the wood in preservative for three days and gave the rest of it two coats.
So, as of today, he looks really good. The cracks turned out to be only as deep as the priming and the original finishing coats of masonry paint. I filled them with an exterior grade spackle, and sprayed him with a pale ivory paint we picked this morning. It will be a couple of days before I get it set into the soil in the middle of the new herb garden -- pictures then.
I always enjoy your updates - especially now when I now know you better.
That statue will be quite handsome of the herb garden.