Many years ago, I had a Cousin Mavis, who’d inherited a really nice farm, together with her brother Beau, in an idyllic mountain valley. She married Lloyd who greatly admired her farm. They had a daughter, Sally. Mavis quickly took issue with her husband’s carousing and tossed him out. Quite willing and able to take care of herself, she continued to live happily on her farm with her brother Beau and Sally. Beau did the majority of the farm work while Mavis taught school and kept the house running, The three of them had a good life together, bumping along quite satisfactorily. Beau never married though he was happy to keep company with a widow lady, saying, “No house was big enough for two women.” In truth, I’m sure he felt he already had a wonderful homemaker who shared his expenses, a doting niece, and a prosperous farm he had no wish to divide.
Her husband, Lloyd, was never quite reconciled to the divorce, realizing what a mistake he’d made in losing Mavis. Though he never lost his penchant for women and drink, he bought land just across the road, building a house there so he’d have a chance to worm his way by into Mavis’ affections and be in his his daughter’s life . Little Sally saw her father daily, just like he’d planned, but Lloyd made a point to keep an eye on what went on at Mavis’s place all the time. Unfortunately, this gave Mavis a bird’s eye view of his social activities, not a wise move for a man seeking forgiveness from a wronged wife. Despite his many raucous parties and interesting friendships, he was forever hopeful, lo these many years later, that today Mavis would welcome him back into her loving arms. Whenever an unfamiliar vehicle drove up, Lloyd was sure to amble over to check the guest out. The first time we visited her, Mavis said, “Oh Lordy, here comes Lloyd to see if y’all are my boyfriend.”
Mavis, Beau, and Lloyd lived this way for more than fifty years, till the lovely Sally finally inherited both places, uniting them, as Lloyd had always hoped.
About ten years after I got out of high-school, I got a call from an old friend I. Hadn’t seen since we graduated. We had a lot to catch up on. She had married her sister’s discarded boyfriend. Sally wasn’t the sharpest girl around. A couple of years after they got married, he was arrested for exposing himself to some kids on a playground. Sally was waiting for him when he got out of jail. She was sure the kids had lied on him. After all that waiting, he left her for another man. Sally thought maybe it was because she got fat while he was in jail. She kept hoping he’d come back, but he died.
A year or two later, she met a guy at a bar. They had a one-night stand. A few months later, Sally went to help her Daddy cut corn. She got dehydrated and passed out. Three days later, she woke up in the hospital and found out she’d had a baby. She hadn’t even known she was pregnant.
After that, she met a guy who was just crazy about her. He worked on a road crew for the state. She was kind of thinking about marrying him, but he his feet smelled so bad, she just didn’t know if she could stand him. What did I think she ought to do? I thought it might work if they slept with the windows open.
Sadly, one of the best and brightest of the senior class died. Sally was a lovely girl, studious, popular, well-liked by students and teachers, active in the community and church. She was swept away by a sudden illness just before graduating. Her funeral was attended by the entire community. Six of her friends were selected as pall-bearers. Eddie Continue reading