Starry Night Part 2

When me an’ my brother Jim was boys, we heard they was gonna be having a camp-meeting at one of them snake-handlin’ churches up in the hills. Now we didn’ want nothin’ to do with snakes, but we thought it might be interestin’ to stir them church folks up a little. We slipped out with the Rascoe boys an’ caught us up some cats an’ a dog or two an’ had’em in tow sacks. We slipped up on the back side of the church an’ climbed up, pullin’ them bags behind us. With all that singin’ and testafyin’, and speakin’ in tongues, them church folks couldna’ heard the devil comin’ up the river in a sawmill, so we didn’ have a bit o’trouble once they got started. Them folks was naturally doin’ some carryin’ on!

Well, we give’em time enough to get to really git serious about their religion before we turned them dogs and cats loose on ‘em. Them cats tore outa’ them sacks, like their tails was on fire, screechin’ and spittin’, with them dogs right behind ‘em. Some of ‘em ended up bustin’ right up in the middle of them snake-handlers. I mean to tell you, they threw them snakes down an’ they all run outside screamin’ an’ carryin’ on about the rapture. You wouldn’a thought anybody that messed with snakes would’a got so stirred up about a few dogs and cats!

Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad is available on Amazon.  To purchase, click on link above or image to right.  Please be kind enough to leave review.

Starry Night Part 1

Like most of the people we knew, we didn’t have a car, so we never went anywhere at night we couldn’t walk, except for once. Mama got the news that there was to be a brush arbor revival in Cuthand, hosting a guest evangelist! To my everlasting amazement, we were going! We put quilts in the back of the wagon, since we’d be getting home long after dark. We hopped up in the wagon dressed in our best, headed for the revival, in a holiday spirit long before dark. I had no idea what a revival was, but couldn’t have been more excited than a kid headed for the fair!

We pulled up to find dozens of wagons parked next to a brush-arbor in a clearing, a simple roof of branches on a make-do support sheltering rough benches. Though it was summer, a few small fires were smoldering, their smoke intended to discourage mosquitoes. Before long, the song leader got us fired up with a rousing rendition of “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The singing was wonderful, but eventually gave way to the Hell-fire and brimstone sermon, something that didn’t thrill me nearly so much.

It was late by the time the preacher concluded the altar call, releasing us. After visiting a bit with our neighbors, we headed for home, long after the time I was usually in bed. I lay in the back of the wagon with Annie and John on the quilts, looking at the magical night sky. Travelling under its full moon and sparkling stars was a gift. A slight breeze cooled us, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. As the horse clomped along, Mama and Daddy told stories and talked amiably. With all those I loved around me, I never wanted this night to end.

 

This is from my book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad, available on Amazon.  Click on link to right to purchase.  I’d be grateful if you’d leave a review.

to be continued

Meet and Greet Invite

You are cordially invited to a Meet and Greet at the Hollywood/Union Branch Library today from 100 till 300 and tomorrow at the Broadmoor Branch from 100 to 300 to meet Linda Bethea, author of Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad and Kathleen Holdaway Swain, her mother, her collaborator and illustrator.    You can bring your own copy of the book for signing or make arrangements for purchase.  Numbered prints of Kathleen’s original art will also be made available.  Copies of the book have been made available at branches so you should be able to get on request list should you prefer to read the library copy. It is also available on Amazon in Kindle or paperback.   Please come.book-cover

lindabetheamother

Something for Nothing!!!!

Click on this image on the right for a link to get this ebook free from Kindle Saturday or Sunday only.  Please share!Book for orderI grew up in a family of competitive storytellers.  A little thing like a stubbed toe gets us started.  “Do you remember the time Grandpa cut his ingrown toenails out then fooled around and set his toe on fire?”  That is not a hypothetical example.  It’s beloved and oft-repeated tale. 

At family dinners, wild tales start as soon as we’ve said Grace and the food is being passed around.  “Remember that fifty-two pound turkey Daddy brought home to fatten for Thanksgiving on year!”

Someone else breaks in, “That old turkey was the meanest thing that ever walked!  We couldn’t even walk out in the yard without him flying over the fence and flogging us.  Mother was looking forward to him teaching those terrible Downs kids a lesson the next time they came out trying to tear the place up!”

The story is snatched away, “Yeah, and then………….”

It goes on and on.  I’ve always looked forward to getting these stories down before they were lost, and after I retired, I got serious about it, knowing there was a possibility I might not live forever.  Mother is hale and hearty far into her eighties, so with her help, I got down to business.  The icing on the cake is that Mother illustrated the stories.  Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad is the result of our collaboration.  It is available as an ebook on Kindle, in a full-color illustrated edition for family and friends and in a black and white print edition on Amazon.  For the next five days, as a special promotion, it is available free on Kindle.  Please take a look at it.