I met Alice in the parlor. She had just been telling me about how the shabby furniture in the waiting room was discarded from the doctor's own home, was not just faded pink and torn because it was old, but would have been shabby at the time. Then I crossed the hall of the Doctor's Office and in the next bit of posted text, in the same cheery tone as the parlor, Alice announced herself as the skeleton hanging from the rafters.
The Dallas Historical Village is a village in the sense that it has a church and a school and a handful of houses on a couple of acres, but not in the sense that any of it, the train depot or the saloon or the bank was built in the same place and meant to be one town. It is, perhaps, more remarkable that the two score historic structures all existed independently for a century or more, surviving for their different reasons, until some historians in a station wagon identified them to be saved. Saved, but moved, re-contextualized, uninhabited.
One weekend a year, the village opens at night, the paths illuminated by candles in glass bells that seem to float in the darkness. There are strolling carolers and children's choruses, the blacksmiths are there pumping the bellows and banging out $1 nails. Dustin and I bought gingerbread cookies at the bake sale and then faced the difficult decision of attending the Dallas Power House of Dance or the Old Crusty Minstrels. How strange to sit on the porch edge of the general store, watching tiny girls shake and shimmy in the cold. Stranger still with their backdrop an old Dr. Pepper ad painted over bricks: a lion holding a bottle exploding with printed words like "vim" and "vigor." Strange that while the girls danced and we pushed handfuls of kettle corn into our mouths, people in the Doctor's Office read, "For the story of Alice's demise, listen in on the Cell Phone Tour," and opened their phones, punched in the numbers on the wall, and set the phones to speaker.