What Did You Say?

My husband,Bud,used to work with Jeb, an older fellow who was deaf as a post, but couldn’t be bothered with a hearing aid.  Jeb followed the conversation as best he could, and guessed at the rest.  In his  younger days, he’d run a full-service filling station.  Jeb was filling up a lady’s automobile one day when she asked if he had Resr Room.  He heard whisk broom, not Rest Room    “No Ma’am we don’t.”. He said,  noting the dirt on the mat at her feet.  “But just lift your feet up.  I’ll blow it out with the air hose.”

Bo

I Am So Sorry, Rosie. (

Please excuse the offensive word used in context in this story.

Rosie was beautiful, the first black woman I ever knew.  She tolerated my stroking her creamy, caramel-colored legs as she washed dishes or ironed. Her crisply starched cotton housedresses smelled just like sunshine.  Normally, I trailed my mother, but on the days Rosie was there, she couldn’t stop suddenly without my bumping her.  Rosie ate standing Continue reading

“Spontaneous Combustion” or “Because I Love You”

Pop..pop..pop..pop..pop..pop..pop…the percussion of Daddy’s belt flying out of his belt loops would have brought me out of a coma. Of his various approaches to discipline, “Spontaneous Combustion” was my specialty and the one I experienced most, being both clumsy and a smart mouth. Things could be rocking along just fine till someone – usually me – broke a dish, made a smart remark, or embarrassed Daddy.   Though I never set out to be “smart-alecky”, I could always count on my big mouth.  What I thought was funny, didn’t always amuse him. I carefully memorized jokes, even if they were way over my head, to tell at just the right moment. My judgment of the right moment was poor, such as when we had the preacher’s family over to Sunday dinner and I told loudly a joke I’d overheard on the school bus.  Continue reading