Rebecca Elson. Part VII
When we wrestled as 8th graders on the verdant or muddy yard at the corner of North Washington and Green Ridge streets in Scranton in 1967, if Timmy or Danny got you in a headlock, you knew you were toast and you yelled “uncle” and the match was over.
Later in the season, the lot would become a wiffle ball park and then years later a frisbee hangout.
In winter it rested and a magnificent bronze maple tree was left to watch the corner while we went off to live our lives elsewhere.
This I owe to my trusty search engine with which I am an accomplished voyeur, spying on the corner 50 years later. The maple is magnificent. Google Earth is our friend, unless you’re a conspiracy theorist by nature. The virus is separating people by personality traits.
Dr. Strangelove/Peter Sellers does “She Loves You” and Hunter Thompson and Jerzy Kosinski might reconsider their choices, had they known this Apocalypse lurked around the corner.
Scranton and northeastern Pennsylvania are suffering. The virus has them in a head lock.
The maple has immunity. This virus doesn’t eat trees. Pine bark beetles don’t eat people.
Don’t leaf yet. There are no, or few, elm trees in America because a fungus carried by a beetle killed the elm trees because they had no immunity. Likewise for the magnificent chestnuts. A fungus did them in.
“Under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands.” (Longfellow)
Dutch Elm; a cocktail, the specialty of the Hotel d’Mentia, made with Heaven’s Door whisky and prune juice.
Dutch Elm disease: a fungus carried by beetles
Sound familiar?
Fungi gave us penicillin. Too many antibiotics for too long give us antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The tetracycline antibiotic lines arose from dirt and have been recently tweaked into very effective treatments for hospital-acquired pneumonias in the elderly and people with poor immune systems.
Punch, counterpunch. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Yin and yang.
Brenda is a nurse and her father loved the Air Force more than he loved her, she realized at 14. There’s a black hole in her heart where love should have been but wasn’t and she needs to save Edie so he can love her.
The ER doc got straight A’s and went to Juilliard before Harvard med school but he wasn’t good enough for you know who, so now he punishes women with seduction masquerading as love. She wanted him to be a cardiologist. “After all I did for you, the least you can be is a cardiologist,” she is said to have said.
He liked gunshot wounds and car crashes.
A match made in hell, you might say.