Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Homemade Power and Light

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Homemade Power and Light

Article excerpt

When called upon

by the newly appointed

Governor to inaugurate Light,

to be Grand Turk's first High Custodian

of electric power-he practiced in his own family

yard: running two strings of light sockets

through his home,

from end to end, South to North,

East to West, the latter cable snaking out

his rear window

across the patio and wound twice about his wife

Manuela's clotheslines, then woven,

at last, in two loops atop

ivy trellis

bordering the neighbor's house lot and property

line, the last few glass

bulbs nodding to adjacent rose blooms

and multicolored


That first night, just after twilight,

he made a few minor adjustments

in the rough-hewn transformer

& threw the main switch -

intense flash

of combined lights and blossoms

lit up their whole

neighborhood like a fully charged Christmas tree.

Folks came running

from six sides. An all-night

yard party commenced, every household

`pitching in booze and snacks to celebrate

the isle's first homemade power-and-light utility . . .

In coming months, he would go rummaging

through derelict

old houses linking one and all

to his main cable. And then he'd install

outlets, fusebox

and rudimentary wiring in both vacant and occupied

dwellings, alike. …

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