At last, the Dowager Duchess has been found. Of course, the lady would tell you she was never lost, having herself known where she was all the time.
Electricity, via an emergency generator, was restored to the building at 10:30 Sunday night. Still no hot water. But it will come. I had been posting requests for information on different websites and was gratified by the responses I received. One person who apparently lives nearby knew who The Duchess was and emailed me during the night. He said he was heading over to the building and would ask the volunteers making the rounds to get a message to her for me. It turns out the information I had been given about The Duchess being downstairs was not correct. A message appears to have been mis-relayed. An easy thing to happen. She has been in her apartment this entire time. Anyway, about 20 minutes later I received an email telling me someone had just been to visit the Duchess and her computer was back online. So, I Skyped and she answered!
|SONS WITH THE DUCHESS IN THE ’60s. WATER WHERE THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WATER.
CHECK OUT THE DUCHESS’S BATHING “COSTUME” AND MATCHING “FASCINATOR.”
Fortunately, the Duchess’s next-door neighbors — a mother and adult son — had also not evacuated the building. My mother said she couldn’t possibly have stayed the week if it hadn’t been for him. In addition to the kind volunteers and emergency workers who have been climbing the stairs throughout the week knocking on doors, delivering food and water, and checking on residents, my mother’s neighbor regularly checked in on her and went above and beyond the call of duty.
Someone a couple of floors above had apparently opened the taps when there was no water flowing and then didn’t close them again before abandoning their apartment for the duration. When the water came back on, it came back on with a vengeance. My mother heard rain against her windows and thought it was pouring outside. But she then noticed it wasn’t pouring outside every window. She walked into one of the bedrooms and found it had become a lake. The Fire Department broke into the apartment above, turned off the taps, and cleaned up the standing water. The very kind neighbor then mopped up my mother’s floors! I’m glad he was there. I don’t do floors!
Oh, I didn’t have my external camera connected, not realizing I would be Skyping today. The Duchess uses the built-in camera on her laptop. So I could see her but she couldn’t see me. When I told her my camera was turned off but I was thrilled to see her beautiful face, she immediately started patting her hair into place. She said, “Oh, if I’d known, I would have put on lipstick!”