Southern Fried Crazy

 

We love our crazy folks down South.  Oh, we may not want them right up in the house with us, not that it doesn’t happen from time to time, but certainly we need them to brighten up our holidays and remind us of how dull life would be without them.

My perennially pregnant Cousin Carol waddled into the family reunion this year with her nine kids and current live-in. He’d look like Willie Nelson if she cleaned him up a little.  Willie Albert Swain as toddlerExcepting her penchant for living in sin, Cousin Carol is fanatically religious, devoting herself to the food kitchens, fellowship nights serving evening meals, and community closets of all the local churches, though not their morning services.  “It’s hard to git nine young’uns dressed that early.” Some nosey relative asked her how many more kids she was going to have and she answered, “As many as God gives me.” I think the boyfriends had more to do giving her those babies than God did!  You can bet your sweet fanny she won’t have any more if she had to pay for them. At the conclusion of the reunion, she loaded up as much food as she could load in her decrepit station wagon, reasoning if she didn’t, y R would go to waste.”

For those of you who haven’t been to a family gathering in the South, this is every cook’s turn to shine.  They bring their most celestial dishes.  If Aunt Sue chases you down with her fresh coconut cake, you’re going to try it or else!  Don’t bother pleading allergies.  Aunt Bonnie makes the best fried chicken.  You have to have some of Uncle Joe’s barbecue, but watch out for Cousin Mattie Mae’s Three-Bean-Salad with the wigglies. You don’t have to take any of that. She has Alzheimer’s and won’t know the difference.  It may very well be the same batch she brought last year.

R G Holdaway Family with Johnny Bell early 1930'sUncle Chester couldn’t make it this year.  He got sent back up for counterfeiting, but he did set the boys up in bootlegging before he got caught.  They’re doing real good.  Aunt Jennie was really bragging on them.  Her girl Joyce is teaching at the high school and just married the Baptist preacher.  Aunt Jennie is so proud all her kids are making a good living and doing well.

I never get tired of bragging about my tightwad Cousin Kat who set up her tombstone in her bedroom because she “didn’t want to spend all that money and then not get any enjoyment out of it.”  There was my cousin Evil Larry, who ran around with his pants unzipped so he “all the better to pee on us” when he could catch us.  I never did learn to like him, though.  I adored my cousin Sue, but she was a compulsive liar from the time she could talk; delightful, non-malicious creations that kept me guessing.  She was great fun, but would have climbed on top of the house to tell a tale when she could have stood on the ground and told the truth.

1st row Kathleen Holdaway, Ellie  Blizzard,Johnny Bell2nd John a0002I don’t think I could pick a favorite.  I love them all, even the ones I hid from.  They gave me wonderful stories, ensuring that my rich, life never has a boring moment.  All I have to do is think back and recall.

(Oh and the Cat’s name was Old Greenie  She was 26 years old and had just given birth to her last litter of kittens.  Not long after this picture was made Old Greenie ate the kittens, starting at the feet.  My Grandpa was horrified and knocked her in the head.  See, my family even had crazy animals.)

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Southern Folks

sun hatFor some reason, people get the impression folks from the South are unintelligent perhaps because of the Southern accent.  I get this a lot since I smile and laugh a lot and am always friendly.  I could talk to a fence post.  It’s always interesting to surprise people with a witty return when they think I’m not too sharp.

Sorry, Your Highness, My Mother’s a Snob

My mother is always taking digs at the Queen. It’s not like she’s ever met her, nor even been slighted by her in any way.  They’ve never moved in the same social circles since Mother has always lived in the United States. Nor has Her Highness ever had the opportunity to snub her, except when Mother made a twenty-one day tour of Great Britain. The Queen failed to invite Mother to tea, even though she was in residence at Windsor Palace at the time.  Mother said if the Queen didn’t have the courtesy to invite her, she wasn’t about to beg for an invitation.  I reminded Mother the Queen may not have even known she was in the country, but the damage was done.  The only positive thing Her Majesty has ever done is be a year older than Mother.  Mother is vain about being younger, prettier, and having a better sense of fashion than the Queen.  She also accuses her of being a snooty, nosy mother-in-law.  Despite the fact that Mother has issues with the Queen, any time the Royal Family is featured in the media, Mother is right there. She is pointing out all the Queen’s flaws, insisting she’s gained weight since the last time.  There.  The truth is out…I hope the Queen doesn’t take it too hard.

 

Addendum:  I am ashamed to report how joyously my mother received the recent news that the DNA of King Richard III, Queen Elizabeth’s forbear, revealed there was some Royal hanky-panky going on, indicating he was not legitimate!