“Hey Boo, look this a way. Come on. Look at your Maw Maw. Smile big. This is for your Momma. Smile.”
Mrs. Gracie felt sure she got it, the perfect shot to send off to Eugenia so her daughter could see just how big her little boy was getting to be.
There were 18 pictures left on the roll. Well, she would just have to use up the rest of the role so she could get the photographs back from the drug store to go out in the Monday mail.
“Mary’s playing bridge with Virginia Pulaski tonight, Mary’s going shopping with Virginia Pulaski after church today” It wasn’t mean, though. He kind of sung it. Sing-song. In hindsight, it seems obvious he knew about the affair–he seemed to approve even…but, somehow the way he said it made it clear he was an obvious “other” in the relationship.
She named me Doonbox. I named her Wally. I met Wally and her Pa when I was just a little pup in the summer of 1921. That’s been going on 77 years ago now… 11 years to you humans. Wally’s Pa said they didn’t have enough money to feed me when Wally brought me home, but she talked him into it. Pa could never say no to Wally.
I remember that hot summer morning like it was just yesterday. That’s me, Billy, there in the middle. My best friend Matt is to my right and my other best friend Johnny is to my left. I remember that morning well, not only because that was the day my mom got her new camera, but that was the day me and my two best friends got into a lot of trouble…
Samantha would kill me if she knew I had this photograph. She’s the one flinging her skirt around while Charlene, Nova Lea, Pauline and Jeanette, her 1948 senior classmates, egg her on. They’re standing in front of the old Dempsey High School building where Samantha cut a wide swath as a teenager.
I found this picture as I was sorting through my dad’s boxes up in his attic. He’s getting ready to move in with me now that he’s having trouble getting around, so we have some cleaning and getting rid of things to do. But this picture, oh man. I had to put down what I was doing. It was so full of hope. So full of promise.
I couldn’t move; the whole room felt suddenly quiet. I turned to the painting in slow motion. When I turned back around, he had disappeared into the crowd. Mrs. Jackson just looked at me with her mouth slightly open.
Mom and I were cleaning the garage the other day and came across my grandfather’s old “mess kit,” or at least that’s what she said he called it. An old, battered trunk, it contains all that’s left of his military service during World War II.
When she was twenty Vina had the dentist pull all her teeth out cause she didn’t’ want the hassle of getting them pulled one by one throughout the years. She wore dentures from that day forth… Now, why would someone in his or her right mind do such a thing?
That changed the evening the landlord cornered Aunt Reeney in the alley behind the house and made a pass at her. She refused his advances, so he gave her a black eye and a split lip. Aunt Jo got a strange look in her eye and said she would take care of it.
“Mule” stuck fast. Larry hated it and his friends were never bold enough to drum up his sister’s nickname in front of him, but Larry knew that was what the town was calling her. It could have been worse and he supposed…
…His favorites were the Spaghetti Westerns and the big costume dramas like Cleopatra. Betty Davis was his favorite actress and he could do a spot on imitation of her.
They devised a plan to tell everyone they knew that they were going on a historical tour of the Great Southern plantations and mansions, and then agreed to take NO photographs of the Mardi Gras festivities, the city of New Orleans, or any of the sites they’d heard about in that “decadent city.”