Look at that lovely tree all in flower!
Now, this tree is not in the Buffer Zone proper. It's around the corner. Notice the house in the background. That's a big ol' house of the sort that made us call our street The Buffer Zone.
Here's our type of house:
Actually, these are two houses. Though now they are owned by the same person and go together. The one on the right is a shotgun house.
Here it is closer up:
It's gotten all nice and fixed up.
There used to be two more of these shotgun houses on a little side street. They were not nearly so neat and went to waste and were torn down. The idea of a shotgun house, of course, is that you can stand at the front door and fire a shotgun through the middle of it and out the back. Amazing to think that families used to live in these!
Before the other two went to ruin, a man man in used to live in one of them. He was the perfect type of person to occupy a house like this. The front room was crammed with stacks of books, a writing desk, and an old black typewriter among other things that gave the place a sort of "traveling journalist" feel. In fact, I think he was a sort of traveling journalist. At the time I thought of him as Hemingway-esque or maybe akin to John Dos Passos. He wore a worn tweedy hat, some sort of army green type jacket, hiking boots, and sometimes walked with a cane--more for looks I think. He once had a yard sale full of eccentric things I didn't need or couldn't afford, but enjoyed looking at. One thing I remember in particular was a heavy black desk fan with a thick, cloth wrapped electrical cord. It's like he was a man out of another time.
When he heard I was going off to live in Italy, he gave me this book:
Which I still have.
It went to Rome and back, and I keep it like the old treasure it is.