Lawn Ornament

[Pineapple Fence, New Orleans, January, 2017]

“It’s come to this,” I thought, putting up a “In this house we believe . . . ” sign in my front yard Saturday. “I’m living at a time and a place where I must declare that ‘Kindness is Everything’!” But then I remembered how Bathtub Madonnas once adorned the tiny front yards of this neighborhood. And thought, well, didn’t my former neighbors* feel moved to declare the same thing?

And then a way-more disturbing recollection came to mind: how slave-dealing New England ship captains would display a fresh pineapple on their front fence to signal that they were open for business—or that recent sales in the West Indies had gone well; Party Time! C’mon over! (Which is why we’ve come to believe that Pineapple = “Welcome!” Not quite.)

So, maybe affirming that Black Lives Matter or that Love is Love, as precious or as smug or self-righteous as that might seem, is a good idea!

* Italian or Portuguese, now deceased or condo-zed, i.e. forced to move because their building had been converted to condos—or, possibly, because they no longer could afford their rent.

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  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, and Greetings and Salutations to you and to you and for you and for you, my so, so very For Always awesomely precious and dearly special soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!!! WOW, sister, WOW, Patricia!!!!! What an absolutely powerful blog post article this is here by absolutely AWESOME YOU, sister, written with such brilliantly masterful composition in the written word composed in such a lovingly heartfelt and sensitively caring manner!!!!! This very outstanding and engaging blog post article is just superb here with its very applicable title with the very poignant picture accompanying it which you have very graciously and generously featured and included with this very empowering blog post article, sisterfriend. Sister, I so, so very much love, enjoy, and appreciate how you have as usual as always featured and included very many marvelous and informative links here to some very interesting and eye-opening articles here which were such great reading reading through all of the links, my so, so very dearest and darling friend. Sister, I wish I had the very same awesome sign which you have that you placed in your front yard. I must if I can try to buy this sign and put it in the window of my apartment. I would put it in my front yard but living in an apartment complex landlord and management wouldn’t let us put our own signs out in our front yard, sister. Sister and friend of mine, WOW, this UUSC article in all of its great entirety is such a joy and blessing to read with all of the great pictures of the signs with it!!!! Wow, I so love and enjoy this article, sister!!!! In fact, what a great addition to your super blog post article here with all of the great links accompanying it, friend and sister of mine, Patricia! We believe, sister, and I say a very hearty and resounding, Praise be! Praise Spirit, Patricia!!!!!! My friend, what a great article about the Bathtub Madonnas, Patricia. When I was still living in the Cleveland, Ohio area I used to see Bathtub Madonnas and other similar ornaments all around town. I don’t see them as often where I live now in Iowa City, Iowa but I do still see these ornaments and very similar to these ornaments from time to time. This article, and the other great one about sweet Mary the mother of our Jesus are such so, so very cool full of such spirit and Spirit articles here, sister! Wow, all of these articles brought to my mind how I had been raised Catholic even though I left the Catholic Church one month after I turned twenty in March 1982 because the Church”s doctrines and beliefs conflicted with my emerging feminism and conflicting with my being a lesbian as I was struggling back then to come out to myself. Also, I no longer felt comfortable praying to Mary and the other saints although I love and cherish Mary and the other saints with all of my very heart and spirit. It felt wrong to pray to human beings and I felt like I must only pray to God, sisterfriend. Sister, over the years I have healed over the pain that I experienced from the Catholic Church and I have such a healing and blessed perspective that now I can see the good things about the Catholic Church although I still seriously disagree with a lot of the Catholic doctrines and beliefs, my friend. I so, so very much love and cherish and For Always will some of the so, so very dearest and darling sweet sisters and lay teachers who were my teachers growing up as a Catholic, Patricia, and some of the priests, but very, very especially some of the sisters and the women lay teachers, sisterfriend.

    Patricia, your very fine and excellent blog post article with its very powerful title and picture perfectly adding to and complementing your remarkable writing here remind me of the so, so very thoughtful blog post article which you wrote a long time ago about some people painting over with white paint the racist black lawn ornament statues in an attempt to make better and to smooth over the very vile and racist quality of those lawn ornament statues. WOW sister, WOW, it is very interesting and enlightening here to read about how back in the day the slave-dealing New England ship captains would put a fresh pineapple out in front on their fences as a way to let folks know that they were open and ready for business. Sister, it is very apparent here that the use of the pineapple in this manner was certainly far from being harmless and innocent. I thank-YOU, sister, for very graciously and generously providing this great info here which needs to be told for certain. Also, using the pineapple decoration to let people know of the successful West Indies purchases belies the fact of the racism and oppression of the very industry itself. Wow, sisterfriend, the links which you have very graciously and generously featured and included with your splendid blog post article are such great reads here, Patricia!!!!! The article by Valerie Protopapas is very thought-provoking. I’m concerned with how she minimized slavery in the South as well as minimizing the deleterious effects of slavery in general. Wow, sister, how insightful and enlightening it is with all of these superb links as they shed light on slavery in New England and some of all of that history like in Somerville, Massachusetts, elsewhere in Massachusetts, in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and throughout New England and the rest of the North, sisterfriend. Sister, I so, so very much love, cherish, and appreciate YOU, dear, dearest Patricia, and how you have as usual as always very diligently and conscientiously bring such vitally urgent and important needed to know information to light!!!!!! Sister, the Francie Latour article is very on point and in such a succinct and cogent manner makes very many salient points. This article is for sure a must read as well. Wow, did I so enjoy all of these articles which made me percolate a lot for sure, Patricia!!!!! It is very informative and educational reading about New England”s often hidden history and complicity with slavery. It is also very important to remember the very fine people like William Lloyd Garrison and Henry David Thoreau mentioned in this article and all of their very fervent efforts. Just as important are the great work and writings of the very proficient authors Elise Lemire and Anne Farrow. The great write-up about filmmaker Katrina Browne and her quest in seeking more about her ancestry tracing to the DeWolf family in Rhode Island reminds me of the absolutely fantastic blog post article which you wrote awhile back regarding the DeWolf family, sister. Wow, wow, wow,and wow here, and a zillion WOWS here, Patricia! What great and such fascinating reading from all of these superbly super links and with your very magnificent blog post article here, Patricia! Wow, what a great joy and blessing it is to read your very stupendous blog post article with all of the very helpful information and to very joyously respond with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments!!!!! Wow, sisterfriend, wow I feel even better and brighter with even more cheer after reading this blog post article full of such astute and acute sagacity with such greatly voluminous information and responding to it as well! Sisterfriend, I thank Jesus continually for YOU, Patricia, and for YOUR very presence in my very life!!!!! Now I am even more renewed, re-energized, reinvigorated, and rejuvenated after reading this very empowering blog post article here and responding with my very thoughts ,ideas, and comments!!!!!! YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!! YAY for our very sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! YAY!!!!! Please have a superbly super Saturday, the rest of a wondrously wonderful weekend, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed!!!!! Patricia, Spirit so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, and so do I!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with My and Spirit’s Peace and Love For You For Always, friend of mine, and with Such Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, sister of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

  2. Oh my goodness, Sherry!
    Your references to former posts just amazes me! (And makes me so happy, too.)
    Thank you for your close attention to this blog.

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