Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 16

imageAs Miss Laura Mae continued with her story of Myrtle and Little Jackie, he was about my age. Maybe he’d come to visit sometime and we could play.

“Myrtle like to threw a fit when she got back in the car, but I told her I didn’t want to hear no more about it. That boy told her he didn’ want no company. She could just hush up about it to me. She might be forty-five years old but I was still her mama and didn’ mean to listen to no fit throwin’.

She sulled up like a possum, but we went on to her sister-in-law, Judy’s. She sweetened right up when we got there, tellin’ ‘em what a fine place Little Jackie had. To hear her talk, you’d a’thought we got the royal tour. I had a real good time at Judy’s. She had a big ol’ pool. I didn’ wanna git in, but she fixed me up a cushion and I dangled my feet while the kids swam. I don’t think Myrtle liked it much when I stripped my shoes and stockin’s off in front of ‘em, but that cool water was just the thing on a hot day. Judy kept bringin’ me them icy lemon drinks. She tol’ me they was spiked a little but they sure was good. After a while, her husband got me in one a’them floatin’ chairs out in the pool with the rest of ‘em. Myrtle didn’ git in. She was just a’settin in the shade a’drinkin’ them lemon drinks. That floatin’ chair was a fine thing. I wouldn’ mind havin’ one to put in my pond, but I ain’t sure I could git in it by myself. Yes Siree. I had me a fine time at Judy’s. When I got out, Judy loaned me a nightgown and put my clothes in the clothes dryer while I took a nap. That clothes dryer was a handy thing, but I don’t know that I’d want one. Stuff just didn’ smell as nice as line-dried. We ended up spending the night since Myrtle wasn’ up to drive home. It wouldn’ a’hurt my feelings to stayed a week at Judy’s. That’s the best time I had.

Anyways, we headed home Tuesday mornin’. Me an’ Myrtle both kind’a had a headache, so we didn’ talk a lot on the way. When Jack got in Tuesday night, Myrtle started in, “Little Jackie wouldn’t even invite us in after me and his grandma made a special trip by to see him. I don’t know what is wrong with that boy. He thinks he’s too good for us since your daddy set him up in that furniture store.”

“Now, Myrtle, you knew when you went by there he wasn’t looking for company. You’ve tried to control that boy his whole life. Now leave him in peace. That’s the last I want to hear of it. When Jackie wants you to come see him, he knows how to invite you.”

After Jack left out, Myrtle continued. “I bet he had a woman in there and didn’t want me to know. No wonder he didn’t invite us in. Oh, I do hope he is getting serious. He’s such a good-lookin’ boy, I know he could get a girl. He’s a snappy dresser, too. Maybe he’s planning to get married. I do hope so. He worked so hard in college he didn’t have time to date, but maybe now since he’s working, he’s got a girlfriend. That was silly of me to go by there like that. Of course, he didn’t need no drop in company on the weekend.”

I didn’ think that was it, but I kept my mouth shut.

Thursday night, Little Jackie come over. “Hey, Mama. Hey Grandma. You’re looking good. How in the world are you?”

“Just fine as frog’s hair. You’re sure a sight for sore eyes. Tell me what you’re up to. I’m real proud your grandpa set you up with that nice store.” We talked all through supper.

Finally, Jackie faced his mama. “Mama, I hated I couldn’t invite you in last Sunday. You came at a bad time. I’ve been working a lot and I’d slept late. It wouldn’t have been a good time at all. You couldn’t have gotten through the place. I’m doing some work on it. I was going to tell y’all a little later, but now I’ll go ahead. That big old house is way too big for just me. It’s got six bedrooms……”

Myrtle burst in, “I knew it! I knew it! You’re getting married! I should’ve known there was some reason we hadn’t heard much out of you since you got that place.”

Jackie looked pained. “No Mama. Where’d you get such a wild idea? I am remodeling the house so I can take in boarders. I can rent those rooms out to single men and make a lot of money. I’ll still have my apartment downstairs and rent out the rest. Won’t that be a great idea! One fellow has already moved in and is doing a lot of the work. ”

Miss LauraMae’s House Part 15

nosy 2Miss Laura Mae was out of flour, so there was no biscuit for me, just toast. I didn’t like toast much. I had Ol’ Blue’s complete attention as I tossed him bits.  Chickens crowded around the steps, hoping to snatch a crumb. They didn’t enjoy a lot of success since Ol’ Blue snapped, causing one to to protest, “pluck!” flap her wings and flutter off a few feet, though none of them had much respect for his toothless gums.  Occasionally, he got up the steam to chase one and another was encouraged by a tiny reward while he was busy.  Even so, I did notice when the ladies lowered their voices.

“So, Myrtle insisted on dropping by Jackie’s after he said it wasn’t convenient?  That’s not right,” Mother whispered.

“Yeah, she’d been itchin’ to see Jackie’s place, an’ he kept a’tellin’ her it wasn’t a good time.  Well, that Sunday she just insisted on takin’ me to lunch at her sister-in-law’s in Dallas an’ said, ‘ as long as you’re with me, we’re just gonna drop in on Little Jack. I ain’t seen him in a while an’ I know you want to see his place.’  I didn’ especially care about  goin’ to see a woman I ain’t never met an’ sure didn’ want to go a’bustin’ in on Little Jackie of a Sunday morning.’  I’d a’heap ruther cooked at Myrtle’s and had a slow Sunday.  We’d been a’goin’ all week.

I told her ‘I’d love to see Little Jack, but I ain’t gonna be yore excuse for buttin’ in where I ain’t invited.  I’ll just wait in the car.  He’s coming over Thursday to see me.  Little Jack’s allus been standoffish an’ I ain’t goin’ in on nobody, grandson or not.’

‘Well, he’s a good boy an’ I wanna see his place.  Wait in the car if you want to.’

“She was purty het up,” Miss Laura Mae said.  “It was a real nice place, flowers in the yard, an’ all fresh-painted.  Myrtle prissed herself up to the front door, rung the bell.  She’s a hefty gal an’ looked plumb ridiculous in them high heels and short-tailed skirt.  You’d a’thought she could’a looked in the mirror before she left home.  Anyhow, Jackie come to the door in a robe an’ she pointed to me a’settin’ in the car.  They talked just a minute an’ Jackie waved to me an’ shut the door.  In just a minute, Myrtle was back in th’ car.  She moved purty fast for a tubby woman in high heels.  She was just a’sputterin’ when she got in the car.”

‘Well, don’t that beat all.’ Myrtle spewed.  ‘Little Jack said he was gittin ready for work an’ didn’ have time to visit.  That just ain’t right.  I know good an’ well he ain’t got to work Sundays.  He owns that store.’

“Well, I guess today wasn’t a good time for Little Jackie. neither.  I’ll just see him when he comes Thursday night for supper.’  Miss Laura Mae laughed.

“It kind’a ticked me after she tried to pushed in like that,”  she chuckled.  “You know he had somebody in there he didn’t want her to see.  After all, he is a man, full-growed.”


to be continued






Miss Laura Mae’s House. Part 11


I got my biscuit and settled on the back step, singing the alphabet song.

Mother launched right into her conversation before Miss Laura Mae got the coffee poured.
“Laura Mae, I just got the strangest letter from Mama. You remember I told you my brother in the army got married not long ago and his wife was expecting.”

“Sure do. How’s she doing?”

“Well, Mama got a letter from John saying Wanda, that’s his wife, had gone back home to stay with her mama till the baby came. He didn’t say anything at the time, thinking she’d be back. I don’t know if she’d left him, or what, but he hadn’t let Mama and Daddy know. Her daddy was high up in the military on a base up in Nebraska. Anyway, the first thing anybody knew was that he’d gotten a letter from Wanda’s daddy saying she’d had twins, a girl and a boy, and that she and the babies had been crossing a railroad track and hit by a train. He said her daddy said they’d all been buried and to never contact him again. He said he just let it be.

Mama and Daddy, of course, were all upset, and Daddy caught the first bus to New Orleans to see about John. When he got there, John said he was fine and insisted Daddy go straight back home. He said he didn’t have any leave coming and didn’t even want Daddy to spend the night. Daddy came on home, like he asked. My sister, Annie came in that weekend. When she found out what happened, she told them something strange she had kept quiet about since it didn’t seem right. She’d gotten a letter from Wanda announcing their marriage. She wrote and told her and John she was coming over for the weekend. Well, when she got there, John met her at the bus station and told her she couldn’t stay. Wanda had gone off somewhere with her mama and daddy and he had to work. Annie couldn’t imagine what was going on. She went back home and reread her letter from Wanda, and thought it looked like it might be John’s handwriting. Mama went back and pulled out a letter she’d had from Wanda and thought it was possible John had written it, too. They don’t know if the whole thing was made up or what. I don’t know what to think. It all sounds too crazy to be true, doesn’t it? Have you ever heard such a thing? Please don’t repeat what I told you. I haven’t told another soul, but I just thought I’d pop if I couldn’t talk to somebody. I sure don’t want Bill to find out. He already thinks my family’s crazy. He’d never let me forget it.”

“Now, Honey, I hate to hear all that, but don’t be worryin”bout me tellin’ yore business. That whole story doesn’t sound right, but I didn’t git to be this old without learnin’ when to keep my mouth shut. Besides, since I’m the only one you tol’you’d know where it come from, wouldn’t you? Has your brother ever done anything odd before?”

“No, he’s always been steady as a rock. He went in the CCC when he was fifteen, then on his off time he took any job he could get, and always helped Mam and Daddy as much as he could. He finished high school in the Army since our little country school only went to tenth grade. I don’t know what to think. I’m just worried to death about him.”

“Well, I know you are, but folks deals with trouble in all kinds of ways. You’ll just have to let him be.”

“You’re sure right about that. I’ve got three little kids and I couldn’t go see about him if my life depended on it. I do feel bad for Mam and Daddy worrying about him.”

“I know you do, but they’ll have to make their own way, just like he will. Things have a way of workin’ out.”



Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 10

One of my favorite eavesdropping episodes was about a friend of Miss Laura Mae’s whose husband was in prison and daughter in the orphanage.

“I got a letter from my friend Alice Marshall today. Her husband has been out of jail a long time now and her daughter Helen just had her fifth. Just look at this picture she sent me of Helen’s family. She is so proud.” she said, passing a picture to Mother.

I wanted to see that picture so badly I forgot I wasn’t supposed to be listening in. “Let me see! Let me see!” A daddy, a mother holding a baby, three little girls, and a small boy stood in front of a car. The woman and little girls had on matching dresses. The man and boy looked neat in dark pants and plaid shirts. “Their dresses are all alike! How did they get dresses alike?” I had to know.

“Helen can sew real good. She makes everything her and the girls wear. Ain’t that something?”

I had to agree. “Mother, can you make dresses alike for me and you and Phyllis?” It seemed like a small thing to me.

“I don’t know,” Mother said. “That would cost a lot of money. I don’t have patterns for matching dresses, and I sure don’t have that much material.”

“Please, Mother. Please……….” The whining did it.

“Stop that whining! Go play in the yard. You’re not supposed to be in here listening to grown people talking, anyway.”

I gave up and sat on the back step, feeling sorry for myself as Miss Laura Mae went on with her story. “I know Alice couldn’t see nothing but hard times when Martin got sent to prison. It was back in The Depression. He stole a hog ‘cause they was hungry an’ got five years in Angola. Alice moved back in with her mama in Baton Rouge, but it wasn’t long before her mama died leavin’ her nowhere to go. She got a job in a hotel restaurant washing dishes and got a meal with her shift. She rented a room in a boardin’ house, but didn’t make enough to feed Helen. She had to put the poor little thing in a church home. Poor child had to stay there four years. Alice went to see her ever’ Sunday, and kept tellin’ her they was all gonna be together agin. I didn’t see how they ever would, but Martin finally got out of jail. He was able to git a job at a sawmill and after a month or so, they got enough together to git a place an’ get Helen home. You never saw anybody so proud as Alice an’ Martin. I was real proud for ‘em. They had a couple of boys after than an’ done real good, but Alice always felt bad for puttin’ Helen in that home, but pore thing, she couldn’t even feed herself. Don’t you know Martin felt awful fer puttin’ ‘em both in that spot. He was a good man and never did git in no more trouble. I don’t believe he ever would’a stole that hog if he had’na been tryin’ to feed his family, anyhow. Them was some hard times, real hard times.”


Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 8

creekMiss Laura Mae had news for me when we showed up for coffee. “My grandson, Petey, is comin’ to stay for a few days. He’s about your age. Y’all can play together.”

Great! I was delighted. I was a friendly kid who’d have played with a rattlesnake, as long as it didn’t bite too many times. I played with Billy, but he was three years younger than I. I was always waiting when my sister Phyllis got off the school bus, but the prospect of a playmate at Miss Laura Mae’s house was thrilling.

Petey was a mean kid. He stuck his tongue out at me and pulled the corners of his eyes down behind Miss Laura Mae’s back before we even got out of the kitchen. He shoved me off the top step and the dog got my biscuit first thing. Laughing my skinned knees, he chanted, “Cry baby, cry. Go tell your mama!” I wasn’t the crying or the tattling kind, but made up my mind he was going to mess up and I’d be ready. I was insulted by his use of the word “gals,” a word I’d always despised. I knocked him off the steps, giving him a taste of his own medicine. He ran off to play with the Clarkston boys next door, which was fine by me. I wasn’t the crying or the tattling kind, but made up my mind he was going to mess up and I’d be ready.

I talked Miss Laura Mae out of a string and bacon rind for crawfishing. Crawfishing was simple. Just drag a bacon rind on a string through shallow ditch or creek and crawfish hang on. I had forgotten about Petey and had half a coffee can full before he slipped up on me as I admired my finest crawfish. As he tried to push me in the ditch, I dodged, swinging the big crawfish onto Petey. It grabbed a hank of his hair and hung on for dear life. You’d have thought it was a snake, the way he squalled like a little “gal” half the way back to Miss Laura’s house.

I snagged a few more before I made my way back with my can of crawfish, wondering if Petey had tattled, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“I brought you some crawfish, Miss Laura Mae.” She loved to put them in her soup.

“Bring ‘em here and let me see,” she said. “Ooh! That’s a pretty nice bunch. I think me an’ Petey might go back to the crick and get enough for supper,”

“That’d be good,” I said.


Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 7


We could hear laughter as we opened the screen door. Miss Laura Mae and Miss Oly were dawdling over coffee when we walked in, tears running down their cheeks.

I stared, having no idea people could laugh and cry at the same time. “You ladies are having a great time. No don’t get up. I’ll get my own coffee. What in the world is so funny?” Mother wanted to know. They both took hankies out of apron pockets, wiping their eyes before cleaning glasses.

“It’s just so good to be together again after twenty-five years apart. Ory was just tellin’ me about her ol’ man comin’ in drunk an’ blackin’ her eye one night. Once he went to sleep acrost the bed, she took a bed slat to ‘im an beat’im black an’ blue.”

She gave me my biscuit as Mother shooed me out to my roost on the back step.

Miss Ory broke in, “Yeah, Harvey was a Holiness preacher but it didn’t keep ‘im from gittin’ loaded an’ chasin’ anything in a skirt of a Saturday night. After I beat ‘im, he was so sore he could’n’ hardly move the next mornin’when it was time for preachin’. He got up in the pulpit an’ said he’d been a’cuttin firewood an’ a tree fell on him. It was only the Lord’s mercy that saved him. I wasn’t gonna let him got away with that. I got up an’ testified askin’ to Lord to forgive me for tyin’ ‘im up in a sheet an’ beatin’ ‘im up so bad for tomcattin’ around.

I was gonna leave ‘im after that. I wasn’t gonna take no whoopin’ from no man, but his brothers come by after church. They was deacons an’ their daddy had been the preacher there till he passed. They said if I’d stay, they’d see Harvey did’n’ never lay a hand on me agin’ but I was still set on leavin’. Then all three of ’em’said they’d church me if I left, an’ I’d go to Hell. The little fellers was listening an’ set up a howl. ‘Don’t make my mama go to Hell!’

They was a carryin’ on so, I didn’t have the heart to git up an’ leave, with them a’scared I was ‘goin’ to Hell. No youngun ought to have to worry ’bout somethin’ like that.

They was good as their word. If Harvey got out ‘o line, they’d straighten ‘im out. Harvey was still a Heller,but he ain’t whooped on me ner the younguns no more an’ that’s all I keered about.

One time after we had a row, all of a sudden he calmed down an’ took me fish in’. We left the little fellers with his mama an’ walked down to the crick. He wanted to go out in his ol’ boat, even though he knowed I’d ruther fish off the bank. I could’n’ swin an’ I was a’scared o’water. He said he’d been gittin’ them fine white perch just off the point. I do love white perch. Anyways, when we got a ways out, he stood up an’ was a’rockin’the boat back an’forth till he tipped us over. I knewed he meant me to drown.

I heard later he was a’slippin aroun’ with that Garrett woman. I let his brothers know an’ they told him nothin’ better happen to me. Not long after that he had a stroke an’ needed me to take keer o’ him. Couldn’t of planned it better myself. He never was no more trouble to me, so it all worked out fine. I didn’ git churched an’ worry the kids, I still had my home, an’ Harvey could’n’ worry me no more. Things was peaceful after that, but I shore don’t miss puttin’on up with him ner makin’ them durn biscuits ever’ mornin’. I don’t aim to ever make another biscuit!”

To be continued


Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 6

“Kathleen, I hate to bother you, but Oly is comin’in on the bus Friday. Would you mind takin’ me to pick her up?” I listened in as Miss Laura buttered my biscuit.

“Sure, I’ll be glad to. Is that the one whose husband just died?” Mother asked.

“Yes, he’d been sick in bed a long time,” replied Miss Laura. “I was poorly when he died and couldn’t make it for the funeral, so Oly told me to just wait an’she’d come stay awhile after she got him buried. We never got to visit much. She was just a baby when she married an’ and I only got to see her once in a great while.”


I was fascinated with the idea of a baby marrying and couldn’t wait to see her. Maybe we could play together. As I stood on the step with my biscuit, I was lost in thought. imagining a pig-tailed girl my age steeping off a school bus, the only bus I knew a thing about.

Mother pulled in at Mitchell’s Cafe out on the highway on Friday. We sweltered in the July heat as Billy and I tusseled in the back seat. Mother and Miss Laura Mae fanned themselves as heat monkeys danced on the pavement. Dust fogged in the open car windows as a long gray vehickle with a picture of a skinny dog pulled up.

“Here she comes!” Miss Laura Mae clutched her big black purse and heaved herself out of the car as the bus door opened.

I sat up and watched for a little girl in a wedding dress to emerge, but no one got off but an old lady in a flowered dress. Miss Laura Mae hurried over, catching her in a huge hug smashing their identical pushes between them. Her curly white hair was caught up in a hair net and she wore the same black lace-up old lady oxfords as Miss Laura Mae. The bus driver pulled her bag from a bin on the side of the bus. Mother helped her load it in the trunk.

“Kathleen, this is my sister, Oly.” Sadly, I abandoned my hope of a playmate.

“Nice to meet you, Miss Oly. How are you doing?”

“Oh, I couldn’t be better,” said Miss Oly. “I ain’t baked a biscuit since June 6th, the day my Ol’ man died!”

Miss Laura Mae and Miss Oly laughed out loud as Mother replied, “Oh, that’s nice,” as she cranked the car.


Miss Laura Mae’s House Part 5

baconI dawdled a bit to talk to Miss Laura Mae one morning as she put plum butter and a piece of bacon on the hot biscuit she’d split for me. “Floyd died twenty years ago today. It shore don’t seem like it?”

That caught my attention. “Who shot him?”

She and Mother both burst out laughing. “Why nobody shot him, honey. He just got sick and died.”

“Looks like she’s been watching too much ‘Gunsmoke’.” Mother said, but I could tell she wasn’t really mad. “Linda, don’t be asking stuff that’s none of your business. Get your biscuit and go stand on the top step!” Mother sputtered. I certainly knew better than to ask nosey questions, but sometimes my curiosity got the best of me.

“She didn’t mean no harm,” Miss Laura chuckled, “But I tell you who I could’a shot.”

I lingered on the top step to listen in. I needed to know who Miss Laura Mae could’a shot.

“Floyd come in awful sick after work one Friday evenin’. He had a pain in his groin an’ it was all swole up. I couldn’t get him to let me call the doctor, but he was ready to go long before daylight. Betty Lou and the baby come to stay with the kids while me an’ her ol’ man Roy took Floyd in to the doctor in his truck. They done surgery soon as we got there, but Floyd had done got gangrene in his intestines. They wasn’t a thing they could do. I stayed with Floyd and Roy went on home to tend to stuff. I told him not to let on to the kids that Floyd was a’dyin’. I figured they’d find out soon enough when I was there to tell ‘em. Glomie was a’goin’ with Mack Thompson to the pitcher show that night like she’d been a’doin’ Saturdays for a while. They’d been a wantin’ to git married, but she wasn’t but sixteen and I told her she was too young. I got married at fifteen. I knowed what it meant to be tied down too young.

Well, Floyd died along about ten-thirty Saturday night. It was up in the morning before I got home. I let the kids sleep, and had biscuits in the oven before I went to wake ‘em up. When I went in the girl’s room, Glomie hadn’ ever come in. Myrt said she slept so hard she didn’ even know. I was scart to death. I didn’ know if her an’ Ray had had a wreck or what. Seems like we would have heard somethin’ though. Well, I had to go ahead an’ tell the other kids. O’ course they took it somethin’ awful. I was worried about Betty Lou. She was about four months along with a new baby, but she done alright. There wasn’t nothing to do but wait. After a while, Myrt came in a squallin’ an’ tol’ me she thought Glomie and Mack might’a run off and got married. Glomie had been talkin’ about it. I could’a shot her and Mack Thompson fer pullin’ such a trick.

Sure enough, about eleven-thirty that morning, just as neighbors was a’startin’ to bring food in for the mourners, here come Glomie and Mack, all nervous-like. Glomie thought all them folks was there to look for her. She was hurt that while her daddy was a’dyin’ she had slipped off and got married. I told her, ‘Well, you done made your bed. Now you got to lie in it.’

Mack turned out to be a purty good feller. He works and goes to church with ‘er ever Sunday and breaks up my garden ever’ spring. They been together ever’ since an’ had three kids. The oldest one is ‘bout to graduate, valedictorian of his class. You just can’t never tell how things is gonna turn out. Sometimes, it’s good God don’t let us run things.”


Miss Laura Mae’s House. Part 4


Once a month Miss Laura Mae caught a ride to the Piggly Wiggly with Mother so she could cash her check and get more for her money. “That randy ol’goat, Darnell won’t cash my check unless I trade at his store, an’ his ol’weavilly flour is way too high an’ ain’t fitten to eat, no how.” I was tickled when I found out she was going. As Mother and Billy went off to shop, I trailed her through the grocery store where we looked at things Mother never bought. She picked up jars of pickled pig’s feet, sweet pickles, vanilla wafers, tiny, little sausages, and Cheerios, considering them carefully before putting them in her cart. I admired the cute little cans of Del Monte Niblet Corn and Petit Pois Green peas as I turned up my nose at Mother piling her cart high with the ten for a dollar store brand canned goods. I decided then and there I’d only buy the good stuff when I got grown. Miss Laura Mae never failed to slip me and my brother Billy a little paper bag stuffed with B B Bats, Kits, and jawbreakers which we tore into the minute we were settled in the back seat.

Soon Billy was asleep and I was busy with my candy. I think the ladies forgot me as Miss Laura Mae launched into her story.

“That big ol’farmhouse over there reminds me of where we was livin’when Mama died. I was the baby, just turned fifteen. Mama’s diabetes shut her kidneys down an’ she did’n last a week. She just blowed up like a toad frog. Oly was married an’ livin’ way off in Carthage an’ Ory had just married Hugh Pearson. They was a’livin’ with his mama in a shotgun house on the Malley place. Miz Pearson was real hateful to Ory, claimin’ she “trapped” Hugh, even though it was over a year before the baby come. Mia Pearson swore Ory had a miscarriage right after they got married, but I know it was a lie. Ory was a’cryin’ to Mama about starting her monthly the day before she got married, thinkin’ it wouldn’t be decent to hit married like that, but Mama said they was nuthin’ to do but got married since ever’thing was all set. Hugh would just have to wait, so she could’n a been that away when she got married. They ain’t no way Ory could’a took me in.

I went to live with my sister Beulah after Mama died. Beulah was fixin’ to have a baby an’ was havin’ a good bit of female trouble. It seemed like the best thing, at the time. I had been goin’ with Floyd a few months before Mama died. He wanted to got married right off, but I still kind’a had my heart set on Bill Harkins. We’d been goin’ together awhile before, an’ I still thought a lot of him. I was kind’a hopin’ we’d make up. Anyway, about the time Mama died, the doctor put Beulah to bed till the baby come an’she had to have help with them other kids. I thought I caught Beulah’s ol’ man peeking at me through a knothole in the outhouse one day an’ then I was standin’at the stove puttin’on a pot of beans one day
when he sneaked up behind me an’ grabbed a handful of my behind. I popped him with the bean spoon. He claimed he thought I was Beulah, but I knowed it was a lie. Beulah was a’layin’ up in bed a few feet away, big as a house with his youngun. Floyd had been a’wantin’ to hit married anyhow, so I went ahead an’ married. At least I’d have a home.”

To be continued