The annual Essex Christmas bazaars and sales will occur the first weekend in December, in several venues. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the third through fifth, shops in town, including the art gallery, will be open for your convenience, and on the 4^th , Saturday, there are several special events. The Christmas Bazaar at the Community Church, featuring arts, crafts, elephants and Essexiana, will run from 10 to 2:30, with a $5 lunch available from 11:30 to 1. At 1:00, Kristin Kimball will be on hand to sell and sign copies of her terrific book, "The Dirty Life." She chronicles her life and struggles to become a farmer with humor, affection and disarming honesty. Also for sale will be Steven Kellogg books autographed by the author.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving on the 9:30 ferry on Saturday, the 4th , and will preside over a community breakfast at the firehouse starting at 10. All are welcome.
After meeting Santa, don't forget to drive out to Whallonsburg, where there will be a craft bazaar at the Grange, from 10 to 4. This sale will benefit our troops who are serving overseas.
I'm just back from a visit to the Gulf Coast of Alabama, where the effects of last summer's huge oil spill seem to be more economic than environmental. Shrimp, crabs, and oysters are readily available, at pre-spill prices. Fishing in the coastal marshes is supposed to be excellent, because most of the summer no fish were taken and got a chance to grow. I happily ate my share of shellfish, but wonder what became of all the oil and the compounds used to disperse it.
On the interstates, I spent a fair amount of time scanning the FM dial. In east Texas and west Louisiana, where rice growing and oil refining dominate, one can hear Louisiana Cajuns broadcasting in French, or a strange version of it, and hear Spanish from Hispanic stations. Of course, English is still used, so in one location you can hear French, Spanish and English at the same time on the airwaves.