We call this house the Banana Pudding House because of its colors. I think this is a rental house, though it hasn't been up for rent in so long, I could be wrong.
The owner was a woman who adopted an Asian child. When the child was a baby, she used to push it in a stroller and sing to it. I heard that before she adopted the Asian child she had had a miscarriage. The story was that she kept a diary dedicated to this lost child recording the life it was unable to see. This seemed terrifically sad to me if true.
The Key Lime Pie House
This house used to belong to Miss May, but after Miss May passed away, some new people came and painted it the colors of a delicious pie.
You could sit with Miss May under her wisteria arbor and she would tell you all about the days before any of us lived here. She remembered when all the other houses around here were built one by one. She remembered when a big part of the area East of the Buffer Zone was an airstrip.
Once she called on the phone and told me how much she loved all her neighbors. She gave us all cakes she'd bought at Winn Dixie for Christmas gifts. If you were a child, she would pinch your cheeks and tell you she could just eat you up!
Miss May rented out the upstairs of her house. Usually she had visiting professors living there. Once she told me someone came to inquire about the rooms, but she was a "red white and blue" and there was no way she could share a roof with one of those. That was the first time I had ever heard this euphemism for black people.
Miss May owned a double lot and she wanted a high price for the extra land. The Banana Pudding House people came and tried to sweet talk her into selling, but she wouldn't be sweet talked.
Once during school board election, a man came to recruit her vote, pretending to be the candidate. Before the election, she was informed that the man she had spoken to was not the actual candidate. The real candidate was an African-American man. Everybody knew that if Miss May was aware of that then she would never vote for him. You may say it is a shame that she was such a racist, but she was eighty years old, and set in her old Southern ways. I think the shame is the devious imposter candidate who went about grubbing votes in such an unconscionable way.
Miss May was one of the last of several traditional Southern women types living in the Buffer Zone.
When the new people came, we found them reclusive. A man, a woman, a boy. They cut the wisteria down and used the remains of the arbor as a place to store garbage bins. They keep their blinds closed and only come out from time to time to walk a dog around the yard on a leash. The man cussed out my son for hiding in a big refrigerator type box he'd put out for the trash. Later, we heard he died.