This is Chapter 10 of my memoir “Bits and Pieces”.
· I’ve been thinking. Right…hard to believe, but I have.
It’s amazing the family members I have yet to meet; not to mention the ones that have croaked and I never even knew existed. The death conversation with my mother usually starts in this manner:
’Ohhhh…you know so and so! Remember? Well that was your father’s third cousin. He’s the one that ‘passed away’ ‘.
Um…okay…I’ll buy that. Sounds plausible, so I feign the accorded emotion for the dead 3rd cousin; in which I have allotted five seconds. Second and third cousins of my parents whom I have had no interaction with are awarded five seconds of interfering with my happy thoughts. I assume that’s a sufficient amount of grief! Well, okay, so it’s not grief it’s feigned grief but..hey..they were thought about. Faceless as they are in my mind; they were thought about.
The people from my father’s side of the family always had a nickname which pertained to some animal, reptile, insect, or body part; it never failed. Just to give you a small taste of what I’m dealing with here….nicknames such as ‘boolee’, ‘bumblebee’, ‘buck’ (that was my father and lucky for him it was passable as a ‘real’ name), ‘ray ray’, ‘Dicky’ and so on and so on. What the fuck is a Boolee? (I’m not even sure if that is spelled right..and I DO know of him..just have NO clue what his real name is.) Being the avid reader that I was in those days I assumed that his nickname came from the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. A play on words of some sorts. A mixture of Boo Radley and Harper Lee. Alas, I believe I totally misjudged the meaning behind that nickname.
Where were most of these members of my extended family born? Why on a small mountain of course; where else? We are talking a town, if you call it that, with the population of 23. Scratch that, it’s not a town it is a hollow. All 23 residents in this hole were related in some way!
**Do you hear that? The music from Deliverance playing? Dueling banjos? Yeah…me too.**
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