Friday, July 31, 2009

so long frieda

In the ever continuing examples of closing doors on our assignment in the fair mother city...

The sudden departure of Frieda Sanford.

About two weeks ago, Frieda announced that she and her daughter Jessie are moving several blocks across town by the first of August. Frieda and her long time boyfriend Manuel (owner of the house next to mine) are splitting up.

She and her three kids have lived next door as long as we’ve been here. And of course, we knew her, the kids, her sister, and her late mother from the izzy group food pantry days of yesteryear.

Living next door to Frieda has been fun. It’s also been culturally interesting and educational for me.

Frieda showed me probably the closest depiction on earth of Jesus’ words: sell all you have and give to the poor. Well, she never seemed to hold on to anything for long. Everything was always for sale or given away. Like maybe material possessions mean little to her.

And without Frieda’s knowing, she showed me what Jesus’ words of “I was a stranger, and you invited me in” might have meant. She always had some rag-tag group of come-and-goers sleeping in her house. She even housed an abandoned 17-year old girl for a period of time. That girl recently returned for a visit with her boyfriend. I think she’s now 21.

I am truly going to miss the backyard BBQs, the Christmas gathering with dollar store trinket gifts for all, the robotic small talk gatherings on her front porch, and yes...even the damn garage sales every two weeks.

We got our dog from Frieda’s late mom. The Bossman and I conducted a funeral service for her mother. I feel like an awkward white middle-class member of her family.

Her sons The Bulldog and The Tiger hit their culture’s right of passage by moving off to prison a few months ago. Now Frieda and Manuel’s fragile and shallow shack-up relationship has finally ended.

So long neighbor. Good times were had. You will be missed.

1 comment:


Agent B,

This is agent X. I apologize for not reading or commenting in a long time. Hate to be off subject here, but thought I would alert you that I have resuscitated the old blog.

Hope all is well with you. KIT

Agent X