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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