Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Kay Cline brought in her latest creation - Leigh's Alehouse Annie. It reminded me of my grandmother - believe it or not. She didn't smoke cigars - only Kool cigarettes - and always wore Jungle Gardenia perfume. When she died, I wore her old mink until it fell apart because the smell reminded me of her.
My grandmother was the most blatant character in our lives - and we all LOVED her. She stood all of 4'10" tall. She was a blond - but the shade changed frequently. She was brilliant.
My grandmother and my great-grandfather were part of a group around the country chosen to write an encyclopedia. She had huge volumes she kept under her bed in her apartment above the funeral home. She worked on these every night in bed until she fell asleep. She only burned down the funeral home once from falling asleep while smoking in bed.
Mamaw had a huge Saint Bernard - Buff. Buff travelled with her everywhere. She always drove a huge Cadillac - you couldn't tell there was a driver she was so short. She always drove right down the centerline of the road - would have made a great pilot. Her cars resembled mashed beer cans from "all those idiots who hit her" in every parking lot - so she traded them in every 2 years. If Buff got hungry, she would dump a can of Kennel Ration on the floorboard in the back.
Mamaw taught Sunday School at the Methodist Church. Her class (they started with her when they were teenagers - and they refused to leave her as they grew) were all in their 30s when I was with her. She also played the organ for the services. She found most sermons to be boring. My job was to sit in the choir loft next to her and keep her from snoring during the sermon.
She had a cure for everything. I had a horrible case of poison ivy on my face when I was 12. It was a Saturday - no doctors available. She didn't want it to get into my eyes, so she took her best shot. Embalming Fluid. I not only got rid of the poison ivy - I also got rid of most of my skin. My face won't tan to this day.
My grandson just spent the last 5 days with me. I wish more than anything that he will look back on my life and laugh like we do about Mamaw's. Unfortunately - I can't hold a candle. Her piece de resistance - she bought an elephant. A real one. After the 1937 flood, the funeral home had lost all its' furnishings. There was an Oriental Rug company in Louisville going out of business. My grandmother took cash and went to buy rugs. At the same time , there was a circus going out of business and practically giving away its animals - so she bought a baby elephant. My grandfather made her return it - but to this day we all still laugh at the story. There is no way I can beat that.