Most days I drive past a place called CrossFit Naptown. I had no idea what this meant until Cate told me that Indianapolis used to be – and still is – called Naptown. Now there are as many explanations for Naptown as there are for Hoosier – which is what people from Indiana are called.
Incidentally I found out that my great, great, great, great grandmother – who arrived on the second fleet in 1793 as a convict - was not a thief per se. She was a receiver of stolen goods – probably a rat turd given the nature of society at the time – and instead of hanging her they sent her to Australia.
Almost certainly the rat turds belonged to the king’s swans and were not allowed to be poached by the serfs and churls who swarmed about the streets – which probably looked a bit like those in Indianapolis today.
But I think Naptown is quite cool and am not unhappy to be called a Naptowner – or a Napolite.
I am not sure when – and if – we become Hoosiers.
In Austria there was never any prospect that we would become locals. We were ‘Auslanders’ and would remain so had we lived there permanently and died in 50 years. When burying us they would say ‘nice people – but Auslanders’.
And bugger me dead but I found out tonite that there are still roller derbies in this and other towns.
You remember roller derbies? I used to watch these in the sixties. A number of people skate around a small track and attempt to assassinate each other. Every second lap someone is hit and somersaults into the crowd. They come back with a vengeance and cream the person responsible. It is almost as pointless as televised wrestling.
Anyway our girls are called the ‘Naptown Roller Girls’. I am not sure I can convince Cate that she should go and watch them roll but I will watch them assiduously.
When I was a teenager there was a roller girl who was at least six feet tall and blonde and so well put together that it took my breath away. I think she was called Elka.
I used to watch her every Saturday and dream about rolling along with her. She did not somersault into the crowds very often – she was more the somersaulter than the somersaultee. I loved her for this.
I will not try to find her now because she will be at least 80 years old and has – as we all have – been subjected to the forces of gravity and has been visited by the wrinkle fairy. We would disappoint each other immensely.