Friday, August 29, 2008


Our neighbor was a spiritualist. She had seances in her basement, while her husband repaired cars in his garage. Well, maybe not at the same time. He worked nights.

Her name was Daisy and I remember her with very dyed black curly hair and the brightest blue eyes.

We loved going to Daisy's house. John had a dog he called Yardbird, a medium yellow mongrel dog. John loved Yardbird far more than he loved Daisy. He loved Daisy once, but they had so many unresolved conflicts that it seemed that they were the Cold War. After Yardbird died John let Daisy buy Scottie dogs and she always named them Mr. Stormy. She loved her Scotties.

We weren't allowed to go to Daisy's house because of the seances. We all went, anyway. No one ever kept track of where we were. And, even though we weren't supposed to go there, we were allowed to take care of her bird when she and John went on their fishing trips. And, we went to the store for Daisy. She always gave us a dime for our trouble. That was enough for 2 candy bars.

So... we went to John and Daisy's as much as we wanted.

I only ventured downstairs once to check out the seance venue. It spooked me. I doubt that I saw anything because I didn't know what to look for, and what is there to see, anyway? A table and a few chairs. There was no crystal ball. I don't think that's required for a seance...

I don't know who she wanted to contact. They never had children. She had been married once before but I don't know that story. I think she had a brother who she had loved and maybe he was the motivation.

At some point Daisy gave up the seances. Before she died she was a Christian and had given her life to God. My mom had taken to visiting Daisy's house. My mom was an evangelist. She never had a neighbor who she didn't win for the Lord. Really. She was mentally ill, but God used her in many, many ways.

John died before Daisy and the Cold War ended, but John got the final victory. He left everything to a nephew. Daisy barely got away with the house and the brand new car, which she promptly took back for cash.

I knew how to get Daisy's goat and did regularly. I was a tease. She had a lot of chotskys on her mantel, etc. One was a little black angel. I knew better and never, ever said these words in my daily life, but whenever I visited Daisy I would point out "that little ni---r angel." She would be irate!

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