Adele Elliott: Ice cream and art

August 15, 2009 6:22:00 PM

Adele Elliott - [email protected]


August is the cruelest month. (My apologies to that other Eliot, the one deficient in double letters.) 


August is my most-hated month. It is the time when summer drags on, like an unwanted house guest. Not much to do about it, just suffer and dream of cooler months. 


The last chords from Sounds of Summer have melted into the humid air. Students are returning to face an extra long school year, yet the temperature denies that autumn is near. In spite of back-to-school ads rich in images of changing leaves and soft sweaters, our season is stuck in triple-digit heat indexes. Who can concentrate on lessons, when our senses tell us to think of bathing suits and beaches? 


We did have a bit of bone-chilling last weekend, thanks to some of the city''s thespians. The Omnova Theater was the place to be for a one-act play entitled, "Not My Cup of Tea." The evening also featured a retro "radio" show. Lots of confusion in that one, with crossed telephone lines and wrong numbers, leading to some very scary moments. 


During the evening, the stage was littered with bodies, every one callously murdered. But, do not worry. All rose from the dead to take their curtain calls. 


Miss Cherri Moonpie Golden, sometimes known as "Simply Scrumptious," stole the show with an outrageous red, plumed chapeau and a terrifying scream. She was the only character to die twice, once in each play. All the "radio" performers wore charming hats; making me very glad that it wasn''t really radio. 


I''ll probably hear from readers who say, "But, I didn''t know this was happening." Some folks knew, since all three performances were packed. Half the fun of attending these functions is running into people we don''t often see. 


We also spent a cool Sunday afternoon attending an ice cream social at St. Paul''s Episcopal Church. There was wonderful home-made ice cream in many flavors, and live music by our favorite songstress, Marian Montgomery. 


St. Paul''s is the church where Tennessee Williams'' grandfather, Dakin, was the rector. I got a special tour to see the superb Tiffany stained glass window and the pulpit where grandfather preached. 


Both the window and the marble baptismal font are mentioned in Tennessee''s play, "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." But, you knew that. 


No matter your religion, this church is a must-see, exquisite example of classic Gothic design. For those who worship at the altar of history, architecture or literature, St. Paul''s Church is truly worth a visit. 


You probably still have time to meet Sylvia Higginbotham at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, from to 2-4 p.m. this afternoon. She will read from her work, sign books, and give sage advice to writers. 


Sylvia and her husband run their own publishing company, right here in Columbus. This is one of two presses (that I know of) in our small city. Columbus, and the entire state of Mississippi, are a constant source of surprise. This is just another example of the wealth of talent that we have. 


T. S. Eliot said April mixes "memory and desire." I say August mixes fire (without fervor), and longing (for a change of season). I am, certainly, much less poetic. Thankfully, we have ice cream and art to distract us from the hottest month. 


Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at [email protected]  


Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.