Archive for August 26th, 2009

How hot is yo mama?

August 26, 2009
Hootchie mama

Hootchie mama

It gets pretty hot in Tennessee.  High humidity, little breeze, and no air-conditioning at the time this picture was taken.  This picture was taken about July 1944, and the event was probably my older sister’s first birthday.  My family didn’t take many pictures.  I guess we didn’t have a camera, but my grandmother had a Brownie. 

By the time I was born, my mother was OLD.  Like 38.  So I never knew her as young, and I was surprised when I first saw this picture.  She was young, and pretty, and she was smiling.  I remember my first child’s first birthday, and it IS a wonderful, smiling kind of day.  At least I remember it vaguely.  I was tired.

Fast forward 13 years

Fast forward 13 years

This picture show my mother, myself, and one of my older brothers.  The setting is the same, but my parents no longer live here.  My grandmother lives here now.  My parents built a house nearby the year before this picture was taken.  I only knew my grandmother to live in this house, so I was surprised when I learned that my parents and some of my older siblings had lived here.  That seemed impossible to me.  You just can’t count on some things.  My parents were so solid and ordinary that I couldn’t imagine that they lived somewhere else besides the house I grew up in.  I found out later that they had lived many places, but, come on.  My grandmother’s house?  How was that possible?  Where did my grandmother live? 

I spent a lot of time in this, my grandmother’s house.  Sometimes I would spend the night there.  On Tuesday nights, we would watch Red Skelton.    And my grandmother loved Dean Martin.  She thought he was handsome, which was bizarre to me because she always said that she would never love another man except her husband, and as far as I knew, she never even looked at another man – except Dean Martin.  I said, “But he’s drinking!”  She said he was still handsome.  Every time I spent the night, she would say “let’s have a little sup of Coke.”  She made an evening snack of Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese cut into little squares and saltine crackers and a juice glass of Coca-Cola.  Every single time.  You could count on it.

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