|Angers is also known for that whimsical artwork,|
The Tapestry of the Apocalypse.
So it was with these feelings of displacement that my roommate and I went walking one day. On this particular morning, I paid especial attention to the decorative carvings in the edifices of even humble structures. I saw fleur de lis, dates, saints, gods and goddesses--and then I stopped in my tracks. Carved into the lintel above a door was that most Southern (I thought) of devices: the pineapple. My whole life, I had seen this fruit adorning bed posts, door mats, knockers, brass finials, generic office decor, and Tour of Homes mansions. I expressed my astonishment at seeing it here, and my roommate blurted, "The pineapple is the welcome fruit!"
The lore explained to me by a 19-year-old hopped up on cigarettes and a triple shot of espresso went like this: Back in the old days, sailors who visited tropical locations returned with pineapples. After recuperating from the voyage, a pineapple placed outside let friends know the family was ready to receive visitors.
|Don't you just want it to hug you in|
greeting and kiss your cheeks?
For a region renowned for its charm and hospitality, it makes sense that the South is awash in the pineapple motif. My insulated, young self thought it, like grits, was a Southern thing. Little did I know then that the decorative history of this delicious fruit wound back centuries and spanned oceans. Finding this common thread in a foreign land made me feel less out of place. The pineapple served its purpose that day. It bade me welcome and gave me comfort, the ultimate gift to a guest.
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On that note, I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to the lovely new faces here at the Ball. I'm so glad you're here. Thank you for coming by, and I hope to see you often.