Folly Beach (Continued)
There have been so many stories about DuBose and me and all of them are wrong. Not diabolically wrong, but just skewed at an off angle, enough to make our lives seem like something other than what they were. In public we were both extremely quiet, especially DuBose. In private we laughed about everything and argued loudly over every issue of the day. Well, maybe I was the one who provided the volume. The point is, very few people really knew us.
Maybe my words will be kind of a memoir of the Charleston Renaissance. I don't know. But someone has to paint the mood of the time and set the record straight. I guess that will have to be me, the spitfire from Ohio who was never afraid of the truth. Or passion. Not that DuBose was afraid of passion or of the truth. He was never a coward. It's just that his heart pumped the holy blood of old Charleston. Let me tell you this, old Charlestonians would just as soon be caught in their birthday suit walking down Murray Boulevard as reveal their hearts to outsiders. But in Canton, Ohio, we ladies were perhaps more inclined to gently speak our minds.
DuBose and I may not ever have earned a lot of money at one time, but ah well, such is a writer's lot in life. After he published Porgy with Doubleday in 1925, we had a few more cookies in our cookie jar and were able to acquire a little house in the wilds on Folly. We adored the island and every peculiarity about it. Yes, we did. In fact, the happiest days of my life all happened on Folly Beach. We were young then, our heads spinning with creativity, and we thought we had plenty, because we were rich in so many other ways. Who needed a telephone anyway?
And we had daily rituals that brought order and all the dignity of a Park Avenue parlor to our lives. For example, to celebrate civility, my darling DuBose and I enjoyed our own private happy hour every afternoon around dusk. Right before the sun turned deep red and began its slow descent into the horizon, we dressed for dinner. We both loved Hollywood glamour and sometimes referred to Folly Island as Follywood for the fun of it. And why not have a little glamour in our lives? No, I didn't put on a long satin frock and call for Jeeves to make highballs. Oh, no. Our life was substantially more modest! I simply reapplied my makeup and cologne, put on a fresh dress, and brushed my hair. DuBose slipped on his velvet smoking jacket and carefully slicked his hair back, so that in the rose-hued early evening he resembled a very dapper Fred Astaire, but younger and with more hair. And he always smelled like something delicious.
Fade to Darkness