Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Friendly City Dammit!

Oh, little town of ye olde gay friendly Hudson!

I bet you didn't know Hudson was called "The Friendly City" - I'll bet you thought "The Friendly City" was something Agnes had tattooed on her caboose.

Oh well. It's Hudson's official motto.

Agnes, honey, it's me, Rose Marie. Clean your act up, Hudson doesn't go for booze and dope! Everyone in town is talking about you, so why don't you keep your garish tales of your smokey late nights and your newbie New York City friends and their unleashed pets to yourself. We need uplifting inspirational stories of the glorious history of our friendly city to inspire our inmates and youth, not demoralizing tales of petty crime in alleyways. Why must you focus on the tawdry oral history of the hopefully long-forgotten lawless era, rife with prostitution, political corruption, gambling, alcoholic refreshment on Sundays, and Maybelline shoplifting sprees at CVS???

Is it any wonder that the Proprietors built the Hudson lunatic asylum at 4th and Columbia so enormous? The Library couldn't fill it with books if they tried, but trust me, they could fill it with residents of the Second and Fifth Wards in an afternoon.

The Grounds of our Lovely Prison

When old Tom Dewey was governor, things worked in New York. Not like this Eliot Spitzer downstate chump who wants to take our beloved prison away from us. It was a great place to send the inmates and our husbands. Now what will they do? And WHAT will it become? Some sort of fetish sex boutique hotel for lust-driven New Yorkers? Heaven forbid! Not while we have a Republican administration in Columbia County!

It used to be common to leave your Sedan DeVille or Riviera or LTD doubleparked all day on Warren Street as long as you had a "Hudson Police Supporter" sticker in your window - there'd be no problem. Today it's a $15 fine for just frowning at that woman in the parking uniform with the overprocessed hair. You know, I just saw a box of "Hudson Police Supporter" decals at the Watnot Shoppe closeout sale for two dollars and the smell brought back all sort of memories of times past but then that young lady from Newberry's or Woolworth's or whatever beat me to the Tanners with her $2.

Warren Street When Parking Wasn't The Enormous Problem It Is Today

My Hudson was a town where yellow gingham fabric was for frilled kitchen curtains, not for covering the Louisiana Purchase who lives on State Street between Third and Fourth. We taught our scrubbed obedient children to stay south of Warren and not associate with anyone with painted toenails or hairy forearms regardless of their sex. And if they did fraternize, well, then, they'd better not tell me about it.

I overheard from Tiffany Lampmann who's working the register over at Big Lots that the State of New York is giving the Hudson Opera House $1,000,000. That's a whole lot of smackeroos that otherwise would have gone to an antismack campaign in New York City. That calls for a party. At last now they can upgrade their programming.

Once, enlightning uplifting entertainment was found in Hudson, and the Opera House was our thriving cultural center. Madam Gazzaniga, Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party, lyceum lectures, traveling troupes, boxing matches, minstrel shows, musicale performances, Swiss bell ringers, Irish comedy, German yodelers - and even private affairs such as debutante cotillions and poultry shows.

It’s hard to believe that this historic building was vacant for thirty years, and once faced demolition by dynamite - or worse! City Hall moved out of the Opera House in 1962, moving up Warren Street to where the National Bank of Dairies and Apple Farms once was located. Peebles then took over, holding their annual coat, hat and glove sale there until 1967. Then the Hudson Department of Cats held their annual coat drive there for the next two years, and well, then the Hudson Order of the Opossum Lodge moved in, and it was all downhill from there. The smell! You can ask Agnes and Fredericka about that.

Today, if you look at the Opera House programming brochure, all you see is odd items like "Traditional Dances of the Indian Subcontinent or Thereabouts", "Afro Fission Dance and Drum", "Nonobjective Art by Local Malcontents", "Learn How To Speak Just Enough English To Get a Green Card", and some really suspicious things they call "Duo Concerti" and "Yoga".

Is it any wonder that the movie theaters left Hudson and moved out to Fairview? Who would let their children be exposed to this?

Groups of Hudson Residents Enjoying a Pleasant Afternoon on the Lovely Promenade

I wish you kids knew Hudson when I did. It was a little piece of heaven, a riverside brigadoon for people like us, a secret town ruined now every weekend with rich city people and their antiquities. The cost of living in Hudson used to be affordable because there was no education and there were never any jobs or hope. Now with the new city people buying everything, the real estate prices and cost of living have gone through the stratosphere and you can't live here on government assistance anymore, as if bad enough can only get much worse as ever always heading down the lilac path.

A Birdbrain View of Hudson

Today, Hudson has turned into a playground for snobby rich New Yorkers. It's now a tourist spot for those slumming shabby chic hobnobbing gadabout flibberdigibbets, instead of that cozy sleepy town that no one cared about at all. If you could have lived there then you would have seen a much different place, it was a better place back then when there were no outsiders, if you ask me. The things that made it a nice place, like neighbors peering over your shoulder, friendly cops who looked the other way if they knew you, priests who took long walks in the park with your children, liquor stores that delivered to your house and floated credit accounts, the natural beauty of our unique local Hudson cement... heaven... it's all gone away, kind of like what has happened in Florida and Jersey. I'm sad at what has happened to my home town.

Local Jobs Heading to China

But things change against my will, unfortunately, and well, they tell me that life goes on.

At least Hudson has a Wal-Mart. And that's all I'm going to say about it, if you ask me.

Have a nice day!

Hudson's Beloved Patron Saint, St. Whinefred


Trixie said...

Just like I said...


Doesn't CVS sell something for Rose Marie?

Tippy said...

wHO yOU caliInG A dry PuSSY???

i Just gOOglE-EaRTHEd LIbeRty oF the SeaS And alL i can seE iS A GIaNT PaRCHED REd MerKIN.

Rose Marie said...

Yes, CVS has something for me - giftwrapped boxes of Russell Stover Chocolate Covered Cherries, my favorite! How sweet of you to inquire.

Listen Miss Trixie Starr, it's 27 degrees outside right now. How about if I call National Grid and have your gas and electric turned off today? That gives your pipes the entire weekend to freeze.

Anonymous said...

What are the 250+ people working at the prison going to do for work anyway? Even if they built a new Widewaters WalMart, they'll only need two greeters to work each day.

Tippy said...

i WAS wONdEring wHo winifRED waS sO I tIpPyPEDiAEd heR... tHIS ExplaiNs A LOt.

Saint Winefride (called in her native Welsh Gwenfrewi; in modern English Winifred and various variations) was the 7th century daughter of the Welsh nobleman, Tyfid ap Eiludd. She had her head severed from her body by an enraged suitor, Caradog. He was displeased because her religious devotion and a pledge to become a nun caused her to resist his obstinate and depraved sexual advances.

In one version of this tale, her head rolled downhill, and, where it stopped, a healing spring appeared. These healing waters are now a shrine called St Winefride's Well in Holywell, the Lourdes of Wales. Saint Winefride's head was subsequently rejoined to her body due to the efforts of her maternal uncle, Saint Beuno, and she was restored to life. She later became a nun and abbess at Gwytherin in Denbighshire, after Caradog, cursed by Beuno, melted into the ground. More elaborate versions of this tale relate many details of her life, including Winefride's pilgrimage to Rome.

In spite of the slim records for this period, there appears to be a historical basis for this personage. Winefride's brother Owain is known to have killed Caradog as revenge for a crime. She succeeded the Abbess, Saint Tenoi, who is believed to be her maternal grand-aunt.

After her death (c. 660) she was interred at her abbey. In 1138 relics were carried to Shrewsbury to form the basis of an elaborate shrine. (This event was woven into A Morbid Taste for Bones, the first of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael novels.) The shrine and well became major pilgrimage goals in the Late Middle Ages, but the shrine was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540.

A well named after St Winifred is in the hamlet of Woolston near Oswestry in Shropshire. It is thought that on her way to Shrewsbury abbey Winifred's body was laid here overnight and a spring sprang up out of the ground. The water is supposed to have healing powers and be good at healing bruises, wounds and broken bones. The well is covered by a 15th century half-timbered cottage. The water flows through a series of stone troughs and into a large pond, which then flows into a stream. The cottage is in a quiet, peaceful setting in the middle of the countryside, and is maintained by the Landmark Trust.

A Norman church dedicated to Saint Winifred can be found in the village of Branscombe, Devon. There is some archaeological evidence to suggest an earlier Saxon church may have occupied the site.

English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins memorialized Saint Winefride in his unfinished drama, "St Winefred's Well."

In modern times, St Winefride has been unofficially adopted as the patron saint of payrolls and payroll clerks, unemployment and unemployment insurance, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

North Fifth Street said...

Ackshully Rosie, your suggestion of a "fetish sex boutique hotel for lust-driven New Yorkers" is a great repurposing of the Hudson Correctional Facility... a kind of "Fort Troff of the North..."

Anonymous said...

I thought Troy was the local "Friendly City", and that River Street was "The Friendly Street"

aaron said...

miss hedda hopper suggested the prison be turned into a fetish hotel. and if you do not enjoy it you still have a weekend full of antiquing.

Anonymous said...

Someone's cranky. Sounds like St. Marys got a small shipment of altar wine this week.

Five and Diamond Vintage said...

Winifred's Well, 2008 John Shaffer

I got a letter in the mail (not an email, a letter!) this week from author John Shaffer.
He has JUST (Jan '08) published this book about St Winifred's Well.

Tippy said...

MisS FiVE anD dIaMOnD - wHat Is a "letTer"?

Anonymous said...

Who pissed in Rose Marie's Cheerios?

Rose Marie said...

Pardon me?