Concrete Abstractions


Yesterday, three guys laid a cement pad adjacent to my house. Two guys were black men. The third was an Honduran immigrant, who by the way, spoke English as good as most Americans.

As the cement dried, the crew and I discussed possibilities for using the new pad. I am not trying to make cultural disparagements about race. Simply put, the black guys saw barbecue. The man from Olancho saw a floor for a Honduran family. I saw a place for a gardening shed, flowering plants and a colorful awning.

The dream of what may be placed upon this pad led me to think about how culture and past experience shapes our expectations. It is racist to acknowledge that older black men in the south want room to barbecue? Or that a young Honduran laborer wishes to house an entire family in a dozen or more square feet?

I don’t know.

All I know is that culture is a hard knot to unravel at times. It keeps up isolated as each group considers its mores and values superior to the other. I am glad that I didn’t laugh inwardly or outwardly when the differing suppositions were offered.

At least I understand the need to barbecue piggies or pave floors for grandmas back home. However as March gives way to April, I will be seeking good soil, things that bloom, and maybe even starting a compost pile.

Soon, the intense Louisiana heat will wither the flowers, burn up fields, and generally cause life to stop until October. Until then, enjoy a few finds that I discovered walking in the area this week.


8 thoughts on “Concrete Abstractions

    1. I love the pad! In this part of the world, where rain is almost as prevalent as the tropics, I needed a solid surface outside. I hope dreams are embedded there rather than bones of English kings.


  1. With the over-the-top, leftist-inspired fixation on race in the U.S. these days, I am distressed at seeing you bring it up. What’s the point? The black guy thinks BBQ because he’s a Southerner. I’d be thinking the same thing, and I’m white as the driven snow. Race has nothing to do with it.

    The Honduran’s reaction is cultural, not racist. I don’t understand why you want to push this race theme along at all.

    Now, moving on to other items, when are you going to provide us with a house tour, there where you live? Would be fun. Gracias in advance.


    1. I think race in this part of Louisiana is a very timely topic. When I lived in bayou country and in New Orleans, I felt racism was less an issue. Here, in St. Tammany, it’s a big deal. It’s quite stratified, the society here. My house is unremarkable in every aspect. It’s a small cottage among the pines near Abita Springs. I don’t see the point in giving a tour. Do you want to see my well? It’s the Cadillac of wells, I am told.


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