Friday, December 6, 2013

"I Believe it's Fruitcake Weather"

Above: Tuman Capote (born.1924, New Orleans, LA - died 8) with his grandmother.

Whenever the expectant piety, hustle and sentiments of Christmas is broached,  I immediately think of  - not the nativity or wise men - but Truman Capote's tender short story, "A Christmas Memory" (published in Mademoiselle magazine in December 1956, it was reprinted in The Selected Writings of Truman Capote in 1963. It was issued in a stand-alone hardcover edition by Random House in 1966, and it has been published in many editions and anthologies).

The only connection between Capote's narrative and the following cartoon is "nuts."


 Capote's semi-autobiographical story action involves many tasks, but one is the gathering of pecans, candied fruit. and spices but also whiskey, locally made.That is, moonshine, crafted by a helpful Native American neighbor.

They send their cakes to carefully selected locals but also to such personalities as their favorite mailman and FDR, himself

The largely autobiographical story, which takes place in the 1930s, describes a period in the lives of "Buddy," the seven-year-old narrator and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and best friend. The evocative narrative focuses on country life, friendship, southern values, and the joy of giving during the Christmas season.  It also gently yet poignantly touches on loneliness and loss.

And Wikipedia gives us the spoiler:

It is their last Christmas together. The following year, the boy is sent to military school. Although Buddy and his friend keep up a constant correspondence, this is unable to last because his elderly cousin suffers more and more the ravages of old age, and slips into dementia. Soon, she is unable to remember who Buddy is, and not long after, she passes away.

As Buddy says later: "And when that happens, I know it. A message saying so merely confirms a piece of news some secret vein had already received, severing me from an irreplaceable part of myself, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string. That is why, walking across a school campus on this particular December morning, I keep searching the sky. As if I expected to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites hurrying towards heaven."

And like Buddy, Truman Capote left the South and made his fame in New York City,  

See Also: A recipe books by Marie Rudisill. 

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