Nobody told me about the whole WASP blue-blood Newport, Rhode Island thing, so when I first saw the mansions, I thought I’d stumbled upon the movie set for a Fitzgerald novel. Apparently this is a huge summer destination for those dear old-money families from Philadelphia, Boston, New York and everywhere else that had a nice lockjaw accent.
It was Betty Blake’s Christmas party, and I left my camera in the car, but it was a grand affair. Betty is (Tessa’s father) Blakey’s third wife, which, if you’ve seen Five Wives on DVD, won’t seem that strange to you. Since his death, the surviving brothers and sisters get together to commiserate on their ordeal, and it’s satisfying for me – a true outsider – to relish how much they gravitate to each other now that his outsized shadow is no longer stretched over them.
Getting to Newport was another thing, however. My present to Tessa, shipped via USPS because I no longer trust Fedex as far as I can throw one of their trucks, was lost in transit on the way to Texas. How was it lost, you might ask? It was burned on one of the Fedex planes. Yes, turns out the U.S. Postal Service uses Fedex to ship things. It’s like being stuck in an M.C. Escher painting.
Oh, and we hit the divider in the highway and lacerated our tire so badly that even Fix-a-Flat