Sunday, July 9, 2006
Southern Family Reunion
Doodle Bug launched herself from the small bluff, holding tight to the old vine, the wind whipping her auburn hair behind her, "Yeeeeeee-haaaaaaa!!" she cried as she skidded to the other bluff. Cousins whooping down the trail were not surprised to see her little escapade...Doodle Bug was brave that way!!! They all ran back down the winding trails of this Civil War Memorial Park, to the picnic area laughing and kicking up their heels.
Uncles, young and old were pitted against one another outside the pavilion playing the game of washers...Old Uncle Clifford, dug the pits with his pocket knife and they tossed the rusty washers to and fro with sounds of victory or defeat in between.
Doodle Bug noticed her momma helping to set up the table...and Old Uncle Jo-Jo standing behind her momma...Uncle Jo-Jo the drinker of the family, had had a little too much to drink, as usual.
He was leaning in close to poor momma and telling her, "Did ya know I caught her wiff anudder man?"
Momma, being Momma tried to be nice,"Oh, really..."
She walks away,but as soon as she turns around, there he is again, right up in her face, the smell of Old Crow whiskey fumes like a cloud around them.
"Yep, caught her wiff a anudder man, can tell you jes who it ishh too" he breathes into her face.
"Well, Jo-Jo, I gotta go," Momma says and points to the restrooms.
Momma makes her escape down the small walkway with a wooden bridge and goes into the park restroom, where she hides for just a little minute in a stall. She overhears some talk between some of the womenfolk of the family...."Poor little Suzy, born with her eyes crossed...you know I think she must be blind! Matter of fact I've told them she is blind...she just has to be blind with those eyes crossed thataway...poor little baby!!!" The front door slams as the prognosticator leaves.
Then a wham as a stall door hits the wall, Momma gives a little jump, startled.
"That woman just makes me madder than a hornet!!! Who does she think she is talkin' about my baby that a' way!!"
Then a voice of the offended woman's mother in law named Patsy, "Don't pay no attention to "Saint" Maggie, Roberta...you know her, she thinks she knows everything...and her kids can never do no wrong...well, I could tell you some stories...just not here in this stinky hot toilet..." and the front door slams again, Patsy's voice carries back to Momma, "You know it's hard to stay mad at her...she just does and does for this family..."
Momma thinks, "One of these days "Saint" Maggie is just gonna go too far and someone is gonna slap her jaws...and I'd love to be a fly on the wall to see that!!"
With it clear to go, Momma makes her way back to the pavilion just in time for her mother-in-law's yearly show. Norma Jean had climbed up onto a picnic table and wiggling her little size 6 hips and brandishing a empty ice cream bucket yells..."Attention eve' body!!!! Thankye for coming...I want to remind ever'body that we need donations for next year so we can rent this here pavilion again...I'm gonna pass this bucket and I want ever'body to put somethin' in it..." Momma knew she would not miss a soul either...some of the people here could not afford to bring more than a loaf of bread or a bag of chips but Norma Jean would have that bucket shoved under their noses just the same.
Then a hush settles over the crowd as "Saint" Maggie's saintly husband Fred asks the blessin' on this Glorious assembly and day and for the best food around..."Amen and Amen!!"
Lines form for fried chicken, ham, barb-b-que, salads of every sort...the tables groaning with food.
Up walks Cousin Colleen, late as usual and dressed in the latest trend of low rise jeans, and pewter sandal's.
"Don't tell me ya'll done started without Meeeee!!!" she sashayes up and plunks a bucket of chicken on the table.
Someone admires her new sandals and she says, "Oh they're puwther", meaning pewter but how's a 40 something woman supposed to say it right with braces on her teeth??
Then she preens as someone notices her new eye makeup "It's tattooed on!" she says, while wiggling down the food line and "Saint" Fred admiring her snug behind.
Doodle Bug notices her daddy sitting beside old Aunt Corine.
Corine looks at her daddy and says "Now, who are you?"
Daddy patiently explains "I'm Darcy's husband Dooley", and continues eating. Aunt Corine eats some more then looks at him again, "Now who are you?"
Daddy was patient after one or two times of this, but, everyone knew Aunt Corine had the Old Timer's disease and daddy is such a tease, this time he said "Aunt Corine, I'm just a poor hungry soldier done come up from the trenches of war down that hill yonder, to eat with you all!"
Aunt Corine looks at him blankly and says "Oh" and digs in to a piece of watermelon...daddy meanwhile moves a little further down the table.
The jokester, old Uncle JC is in his element as a long lost cousin from up Wisconsin way motors up on a motor bike with his newest girlfriend. Now the girlfriend is a beautiful black woman with long flowing hair. Noone has ever brought home a black woman or man into this family, but Billy Joe done did!!
Uncle JC says, "Well looky there... there comes Billy Joe and Flo Jo!!!" And then has the nerve to ask the poor girl if she was Billy Joe's maid!!! Her name was Tasha and she laughed and joked around with the Ol' Fart, and if she was upset with his nonsense she covered it well with her beautiful smile, and told "Saint" Maggie, "Yes, I've been around white people before." after "Saint" Maggie had had the nerve to ask her had she ever been around this many white people before.
Since Uncle JC didn't get much of a rise out of Tasha he walks up to a new member of the family and says, "Shellie do you have holes in your panties?"
Shellie looking shocked says "Why, of course not!!!"
"Well how in the world did you get them on then??" he hoots.
He then says "I'm just joshin' ya...see that mountain man over there?" Pointing to a stout bearded fella in overalls and flowing hair and beard with a black felt hat.
Shellie turns to look and says "Yes?"
"Well ma'am, he used to star in the Little House on the Prairie...if I wuz you I would get his autograph before you leave!"
Shellie looks awestruck as she makes her way to her purse and a pen and paper.
Of course the cousin has never been out of the state of Kentucky but Shellie won't know that till later and Old Uncle JC will make sure he is on hand to watch.
Doodle Bug's brother Digger walks up, dirty with sweat and sand from playing down at the playground, "Can I have an ice cream cone now, Momma?"
Momma smiles and takes him and Doodle Bug on up to the ice cream hut, and they all get a vanilla swigley cone and begin the steep walk up to the bluff overlooking the river.
Digger says "Momma I like this reunion better than the last one."
"Why is that Digger?" asks Momma.
"Oh Momma, you remember...the one we went to with your family...a funeral busted out in the middle of it!" he exclaimed.
"Oh yes," said Momma snickering to herself and thinking of her family that had a reunion at a church fellowship hall, and decided to go next door to the auditorium with the remains of an odd uncle that had been cremated, and sat wrapped like a Christmas present on the remembrance table,"I thought that was kinda funny myself!"
Laughing they reached the top of the bluff and looked out at the beautiful Mississippi river rolling along into the distance of a fun filled Southern day....
Tammy the Kentucky Gal
Kentucky girls are...the thoroughbreds of the South.