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Weekend Soliloquy: Afrocity, Happy As A Little Black Girl July 31, 2009

Filed under: Sunday Soliloquy — afrocity @ 9:37 AM
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My driving my 1956 Desoto. She is my pride and joy.

Me driving my 1956 Desoto. She is my pride and joy.

Well gang, I am taking the weekend off.  My birthday is Sunday. It is a milestone year so I have much reflection to do as I pass from young adulthood to middle age.

I don’t share many things about my life but you may have guessed from my blog that I am a conservative which as a black woman leaves me in a socially and culturally compromised position.  Because of this, generally I am a loner.  I love antiques, history and art.  I am blessed with a career that allows me to work with relics of the past.

Collecting vintage clothing and furniture is my passion.  Speaking to the local vintage goods shopkeepers is usually where you can find me on an off day. Long hours of digging through racks of Victorian waistcoats and 50’s circle skirts is like heaven to me.

Me in my car 2

Yep 50's car, 50's clothing my perfect weekend without the racism of those days of course 😉

I have a 1956 Desoto that I love so much I never drive it. I leave it in another state with far less urban poison than where I live.  Overtime, my baby has outlasted the best of them because of my discipline.

Originally my mother wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer. I have tried each to a certain degree and could never fit in. I would be denounced for my practice of wearing vintage clothing to work.  Panty hose and navy blue suits makes for a very awkward Afrocity.

The differences between the period I live in and the items I collect was always a source of confusion for my family.  It was as if I was born too late, caught in a time warp.  Cars have airbags now. Women wear thongs and not bloomers. Most African Americans are no longer Republicans. Where did I go wrong?  This notion of technology makes for an  improved life has some truth to it. I love the Internet,  iPod Nano, and LCD TV set but when it comes to clothes, cars, and furniture one can tell that the relationship between the manufacturer and the product was strongly organic and spiritually intimate.  A well tailored knife pleated skirt and pin-tucked blouse in shiny cotton can stand up to the test of time. The classics never die. Try doing the same with a Banana Republic chino suit from 1996 and you’ll be lucky not to be laughed off the New York Subway.

My other mode of travel, my 1950's Schwinn Tornado

My other mode of travel, my 1950's Schwinn Tornado

My vintage items will endure the many cultural and style shifts that come with getting old but that is why I love them. We will be together forever until death do us part- then what? Hopefully they will get passed on to someone who appreciates and cares for them as much as I do.  Birthdays are happy occasions that remind us of our mortality.  If I am lucky to live to see my 100th birthday, I will be blind, possibly toothless but armoured with my experiences  and weathered by sorrow. Probing connections between the past and my present is like therapy to me. How else can one understand the absurdity of the Obama administration without looking to our founding fathers and their quest for freedom and liberty for all?

Me and my SchwinnI have not decided what to wear on Sunday, but it will be something old, maybe my skin, maybe that old Chanel gown hanging in my closet or the vintage Chloe suit I found at a thrift shop in Montreal. Of course I will remember momma and that picture of us at my very first birthday- the one where I ended up sitting in my cake.  One brief last detail, my father is standing me up. He already called to cancel the dinner I invited him to. He has more important things to attend, like his 40 year old girlfriend he met on Match.com.

Whatever I wear or do I am thankful to  God for another year of life and happiness and I pray that I have many, many more.

Autographed Letter Signed,

Afrocity

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52 Responses to “Weekend Soliloquy: Afrocity, Happy As A Little Black Girl”

  1. Bellamags Says:

    Happy Birthday girl. Man if I could celebrate with you it would be so much fun. You rock.

  2. LJSNAustin Says:

    I will be very blessed to celebrate your birthday with you soon! Love the pics–have a fantastic birthday!

  3. AfricanAgainstO Says:

    Happy Birthday Afro

  4. sofa Says:

    Happy Birthday!

    (and what a beautiful soliloquy)

  5. boldandbald Says:

    Happy Birthday, AC.

    One thing… Drive that car! What is the point of having such a beautiful vehicle if you don’t drive it?

  6. realwest Says:

    Hey Afrocity! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Approaching middle age, eh?
    So does that mean your gonna be celebrating the 10th anniversary of your 20th birthday or the 10th anniversary of your 30th birthday?! LOL!

    Enjoy it enormously! And as bold and bald said, DRIVE THAT CAR! Not just for the pleasure of it, but to keep all the lubricants going through the engine and transmission and what not. But mostly for the pleasure of it!

  7. Rose Says:

    Happy Birthday! Beautiful pics, Beautiful car, beautiful person. Great post.

  8. Kei Says:

    Happy Birthday Afrocity!

    I too love old cars! Vintage clothes not so much, but I love old houses too. Enjoy your special day and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Hey, don’t give middle age a second thought, I think it is funner than being young. BTW, you are absolutely beautiful!

  9. J Says:

    A very Happy Birthday to you Afrocity. There is a craftsman’s pride tangible in the things you collect and take pleasure. They were made to last and to be well taken care of.

  10. Yup… happy birthday…. the classics never go out of style. I fear that I, like you, am also a classic. Probably why we never fit quite comfortably in the all too trendy world of Democratic Party liberalism.

  11. Happy Birthday, Afrocity! And best wishes for a lifetime of happiness, good health, and serendipitous vintage discoveries.

  12. sofa Says:

    Happy Birthday!

  13. Devon Says:

    Just found your site and I am thankful for that…great site and great pictures…You are so cute and that car is so cool..

    Be Blessed in the Lord

    From Dev in Canada

  14. kywrite Says:

    Happy birthday! I’d go vintage hunting with you; my mode of dress always confused my family, too. So I like to dress like I’m going to a Ren festival — every day. So what?

    BTW, that is a kickass car. You should drive it more often — that’s why you get nice stuff, to show it off.

  15. bob Says:

    Happy Birthday again.

    By the way, what engine does that nifty two tone DeSoto have? V-8, straight 6? Cubic inches?

    My uncle had a car like that.

  16. Happy Birthday!

    My aunt had a Desoto. Yours is much cooler! Love the two-tone.
    Hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful year!

  17. Peter Says:

    Happy birthday, Afrocity! How come you only have pictures of you when you were twenty?

  18. Afro, did you learn nothing from Obama? If you’re going to ride a back you need to have the front tire flat and a goofy looking helmet!

    On the happier side have a great birth-weekend.

  19. manbearpig68 Says:

    That sure is beautiful car! Especially with driver in it! It looks like it has been very well cared for. Better drive it though. Those cars need to breath and get some highway air.. Happy Birthday and you look about half the age of the DeSoto.

  20. Kathy Barkulis Says:

    Happy Birthday you beautiful girl. You make me smile with your words every time I read them. Have a great weekend!

  21. Happy Birthday Afrocity!! (Wow–so do you also tinker under the hood of that car? She is very pretty!)

    You know what they say: you’re not really ‘getting older’ you’re just getting wiser 😉 Cheers!

  22. ARESAY Says:

    Happy Birthday as a conservative American of Mexican decent I know first hand what you mean. But, isn’t it nice not to fall in line, to be your own person.
    Now more than ever, conservatives need to come together to fight for our country’s future. Starting a central site for conservative thoughts, blogs, events, etc. This blog has been added to the site. Please spread the word. Feel free to suggest ideas etc. To view go to, http://www.aresay.blogspot.com/

  23. madrigal Says:

    you rock dude!

    i love the car in the pics — AWEsome!

    hey, there is no problem with being bohemian (artistic) & conservative at the same time!!

    don’t let anyone define you…

    YOU know the branches sprouting from the tree

    happy B-day-

    xo
    madrigal!

  24. WMCB Says:

    Happy Birthday, hon! Love the car! That is one gorgeous machine. I collect a lot of vintage retro stuff, too, though a lot of mine trends into the early 60’s as well as the 50’s. (I’m a huge fan of almost anything mid-century modern.) My biggest vice is dishes, esp all the “atomic” and “boomerang” type patterns.

    Hugs, and have a great weekend. 🙂

  25. John morris Says:

    Have you watched the show, Mad Men yet? The collection of retro style stuff is amazing.

  26. valorie Says:

    Happy Birthday! Love the car and you are gorgeous! Hope you have a blessed day!

  27. Cars might have airbags now but that’s because they are small and made out of plastic, you don’t need an airbag in a Desoto because you could drive it through a brick wall without scratching the paint.

  28. loudmouthjewishbabe Says:

    Happy B-day Afrocity! Love your posts and pics! Cool car!

  29. Carolinagirl Says:

    Happy Birthday! I have monitored your blog for several months and this is my first time to post a response. I am so impressed with your style, your brilliance and would be proud to have you as a friend…Again, have a happy birthday and know that you have many fans!

    I corrected the misspelled words!

  30. boldandbald Says:

    Happy Birthday AC! Hope you take time to enjoy it. And DRIVE THAT CAR!!!!

    • afrocity Says:

      Look B&B, if I drove her how would she look in 10 more years? I am letting her spend her senior years in a nice temperature controlled garage, she gets an engine start once a week. I get down there about 5 times a year and give her a ride for maybe 30 miles to get an ice cream or some small trip. Also take into consideration that I live in the Midwest and we have cold winters, salted roads.

      Men always bug me about this and they see the car as a vehicle. She is but she is also a classic antique. Imagine you own Lincoln’s bed, would you sleep in it every night? 🙂

      • boldandbald Says:

        Probably not. I would imagine that mattress has got to be very uncomfortable by now. 🙂

        Besides, I am not saying that you should drive it every day or in the winter. I am just saying that in order to enjoy a car you must drive it. I am glad that you take it out once in a while, so I will stop bugging you. Though if I am ever out your way I want a ride!

  31. Diane Says:

    Happy Birthday Afrocity! I wish I knew you personally. You are a lovely, unique woman. You deserve all the best life has to offer. Thank you for your blog – it is a literal and visual treat.

  32. johninca Says:

    After seeing those photos, I don’t think I was gilding the lily all that much when I credited Afrocity with drop dead looks.

  33. Stateofdisbelief Says:

    Happy Birthday Afrocity. Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday also and we’re currently in Californiataking our newly minted 21-year old to celebrate her birthday in Napa Valley.

    • afrocity Says:

      Thanks SOD and Happy Birthday to your daughter, hmmm 21 years old heh? Can I trade? 😉

  34. Well it’s 12:15 on the east coast where I am, so happy birthday!

  35. meeee2 Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Enjoy every day of this milestone year 🙂

    Loved the 50’s…it was one great decade!

  36. Holly Says:

    I hope that you had a blessed birthday.

    I too am an unconventional member of Conservative thought, but I celebrate individuality and condemn the group-think mentality of so many of my peers. I refuse to let society’s perceptions dictate my vote and segregate me into a voting block with how they identify me as a human being. To the Democrat party, I am: religious, Conservative Republican, female, white, and gay. To them, I am not a whole individual, but a segregated being to be dictated. I will not allow that, and it’s refreshing to find another voice willing to fight for individualism and liberty.

    The Republican party needs to refocus on fighting for the American vote and when they do, they will transform skeptics into believers.

    Thank you again, your voice is welcome and whole-heartedly wanted.

    Holly

  37. bob Says:

    I got in deep do-do with my wife once, when I had an old 73 Cadillac and took it and had it repainted.

    Man, did it look great, and man did I get a tongue lashing.

    You did WHAT???!!!

    Those Cadillacs of about that time, the weak point was the transmission. Engine was great, would run forever, never use oil, but you could count on it, the tranny would go down at 100,000 miles every time.

    I took it down to Nevada one time (I’m in Idaho) when there was no speed limit, and opened it up on some of those forever highways.

    It did, indeed, do 120, fast as I’ve ever gone in a car.

  38. From a song from way back then; Happy happy birthday baby…

    And many more to follow.

  39. sstorm0730 Says:

    Happy Birthday from a fellow Leo female. Your car brings back a lot of memories. That is the first car I can honestly remember. Same colors, too.

    Enjoy your day.

  40. RalphB Says:

    Happy Birthday! That is one gorgeous automobile but it’s not as gorgeous as you. Best wishes in the years ahead.

  41. Happy Birthday, Afrocity. May I just second what Diane said in Comment 31? Your creativity and good common sense always make your blog so enjoyable. If you were nearby, I would sing Happy Birthday to you (and that would not be enjoyable for you), but since you’re not, here’s the next best thing (this is actually what my sister and I will look like in about 10 more years, but as someone else already said, wiser and better, not just older):

  42. looking for integrity Says:

    Happy birthday Afrocity!

  43. Susan Says:

    Happy Birthday, Afrocity
    Have been following your blog for a short time. Love it, and I find your positive spirit so uplifting. I also love retro, but mainly 30’s and 40’s items- am into the Art Deco era. But I have long wanted a 57 Chevy the color of your Desoto. Hope you have a wonderful birthday. You are such a blessing to us here in this cyberspace neighborhood.

  44. Happy birthday! I wish you every blessing of wisdom, knowledge, enlightenment, perfect health, excellent mentors, helpful people, creativity, love, happy and loving family, successful career, honor and respect, financial prosperity and abundance of every good thing for you and your loved ones now and always.

    Cynthia

  45. gxm17 Says:

    Happy Birthday one day late! Hope your day was bright and blessed. This certainly is a beautiful week for birthdays. My grandson will be 1 year old on Thursday. 🙂

    I’m a vintage collector too, mostly 60s and 70s. Thank goodness for eBay!


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