Tubby The Talking Pig

My friend Cletus suggested I write a column about a talking pig he owned during childhood.  I told him I was a tad skeptical, that I had never heard a pig talk except for Arnold on Green Acres.  Even with Arnold there were times it looked to me he may have been pantomiming the lines.  There were a few episodes where his lips didn’t seem quite in synch with the words.

Cletus had noticed the same thing about Arnold, but he assured me he had a pig named Tubby who could talk.  He said the two of them thought Tubby the Talking Pig would be a good stage name for a celebrity pig.  They first considered traveling with Barnum & Bailey, but Tubby liked the idea of living at home and hosting a radio talk show they planned to call Swine Time.

Knowing that Cletus is prone to exaggeration, I suggested we watch some of the home movies I felt sure he had made.  Cletus told me he will always regret not filming Tubby, but the only camera his family had was a Polaroid Instamatic.

“Y’all probably had a tape recorder,” I said to Cletus.  “Maybe we could listen to the tapes y’all made?”  Cletus said they had a recorder, but he didn’t make any tapes of Tubby.  He said that without the video he couldn’t prove it was Tubby doing the talking.  He was concerned that people might have accused him of lying, an assumption I found too reasonable to question.

I asked Cletus about family and friends who had heard Tubby talk, and I suggested we get a few of them together to reminisce.  Cletus said he never told anyone that Tubby could talk, that I was the first person he had shared this with.

It was flattering to be the first person to hear about Cletus’ talking pig, but I was a little curious as to why he had not mentioned it to others.  Cletus explained that he and Tubby had kept quiet because they knew the farm might get overrun with visitors.  And Cletus was afraid that Tubby might get stolen.  The only security system they had was an ancient and highly unreliable hound dog.  Cletus planned to build a secure climate-controlled pen, then make a big public announcement, but it didn’t work out.

“What happened?” I asked.

Cletus said that he got in a little trouble at school one day and the principal gave him a paddling.  He said, “I told Tubby about it when I got home that afternoon, and I made certain he understood it was confidential.  Next thing you know Tubby was complaining about his food.  He said he was tired of being treated like a common hog and fed nothing but ground corn.  Tubby wanted a big bowl of fresh fruit at least once a day.  When I told him there was no way I could do that, he just laughed.  He said, ‘Cletus, if you can’t give me a fruit bowl every day, then I don’t think I can keep your little secret.’”

“So, what did you do?” I asked Cletus.

He said, “I did the only sensible thing I could.  I loaded Tubby in the back of Daddy’s truck and drove him straight to the processor.”

“You took a talking pig to the processor?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yep,” said Cletus.  “That’s where we went.”

“Cletus,” I said, “that’s a horribly tragic ending to what could have been a beautiful story.”

“It was a sad day for sure,” said Cletus with a painful look of remorse.  “But on the bright side, I’ve never tasted a better pork chop.”

I said, “Cletus, a talking pig could have made you rich.  It seems like you could have negotiated a deal with Tubby to keep one little secret.”

Cletus shook his head.  “It wouldn’t have worked,” he said with a somber yet confident tone.  “You can’t trust a pig to keep a secret.”

I knew better than to ask why, but I couldn’t resist.  That’s when Cletus finally said something close enough to the truth it almost made sense.  He said, “You can’t trust a pig to keep a secret, because sooner or later a pig is going to squeal.”

Posted in 2018 | 2 Comments

A Field of Doves

The Bible has many references to doves.  It’s how Noah learned the waters were receding.  It’s how the Holy Spirit descended at Jesus’ baptism.  Since early Christianity a dove holding an olive branch in its beak has been a symbol of peace.  I don’t know if doves ever play an intentional role in spiritual matters today.  They were, I believe, just spectators in an experience my friend Wayne Ward had in September of 2012.  It’s intriguing, though, that Wayne’s life was changed forever on a field of doves.

Labor Day weekend marked the opening day of dove season.  Wayne was helping his employer, Griffin Lumber Company, host a shoot.  They had 50 to 60 people there, a lot of them fathers who had brought their children.  After a barbeque lunch they were ready for the season’s official start at noon.

The weather was stifling hot with temperatures in the mid-nineties.  Wayne had his shooting blind set up but decided to wait until later in the afternoon.  He invited some of the older men to join him at the scale house and visit by the air conditioner.  About a dozen of them accepted his offer.

It was around 3 p.m. when the sound of gunfire became too rapid for Wayne to resist.  He went to his spot and made good use of his shells.  He drank plenty of water to stay hydrated and ate a few peanuts between shots.

Wayne felled a bird about four p.m. and went to pick it up.  He felt weak but managed to get back to his blind.  His peripheral vision quickly narrowed to almost nothing.  “It was like looking through a double-barrel shotgun,” he said.  He poured a bottle of water over his head, but it didn’t help.  He struggled to make a short but exhausting walk of about 30 yards to the edge of the field.

A friend he had invited from Albany was driving slowly by in his pickup truck.  He had brought his pastor with him and they had each gotten their limit of birds.  They were about to leave for home when they stopped to tell Wayne how much they had enjoyed the day.

“Brent,” said Wayne, “let down your tailgate.  I’m in trouble.”  Wayne sat on the tailgate then collapsed backwards into the bed of the truck.  They moved him from the truck to the ground and laid him on his back.  He didn’t appear to be breathing.  They called 911 but thought he was dead.

Wayne doesn’t know how long he was unconscious.  When he opened his eyes an ambulance crew was preparing to take him to Crisp Regional Hospital.  He has a clear memory, however, of another place he saw while stretched out in the dove field.  He was too emotional to talk about it until a couple of years after it happened.  Now he tells his story hoping it may be helpful to others.

“I went to a place that I don’t have the vocabulary to describe,” he recently told me.  “I was just as cognizant as I am now, but time didn’t exist.  It could have been ten seconds or ten thousand years.  I was suspended in the most beautiful white.  It was over me.  It was under me.  It was all around me.  There was no pain or sorrow or grief.  Nothing earthly existed, no family or friends, but there were no worries.  I felt the peace that passeth all understanding that I had read about in scripture.”

“It felt like hands were around each of my hands pulling me up.  I was fighting it.  I didn’t want to leave.  When I woke up there were probably 20 or 25 people gathered around me.  I saw the ambulance and I was baffled.  I had been on a trip I wish everybody could experience.”

Wayne was diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, something that’s fatal eight out of ten times.  The emergency room doctor asked him, “Mr. Ward, do you realize you died?”

“Yes, I do,” he replied, “because I went to a place.”

Wayne grew up in church.  His belief in Christ goes back to childhood.  But his near-death experience reinforced his faith in God’s Word.  He hopes his story may comfort others who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.  He doesn’t claim to have been to heaven, but he’s been close enough he has no doubt the hereafter is everything the Bible says it is.

A bird shoot with friends had seemed a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.  But lying flat on his back in a field of doves, Wayne Ward saw a place that’s perfect for spending eternity.  He knows there’s room for all who believe.  That’s why he’ll keep telling his story.

Posted in 2018 | 3 Comments

A Heritage of Volunteering

I don’t know if a willingness to volunteer can be affected by genetics or not.  If I had to make an argument for it, I would present Don and Ramona Giles as evidence that it may.

Don has been my friend since the fourth grade in Unadilla.  We were pals at school, then roommates at Valdosta State College.  Don taught me to study by osmosis.  He put his book beneath his pillow late one night and went to sleep.  He made better than I did, clearly proving that osmosis works.

After college we got busy with jobs and family for several decades, so we only saw each other occasionally.  Now that we’ve both retired, we stay in touch more regularly.

Don’s always had a lot of energy.  He pedaled 400 miles in Bike Across Georgia, then came home and helped start Biking Bleckley, a one-day ride.  Even more impressive is the energy he puts into volunteer work for First Baptist Cochran and the community around it.  His wife, Ramona, is just as active.  They share a passion for helping others, something they each learned during their childhood.

The good examples in their families go back at least two generations.  Don’s maternal grandmother, Willa Mae Rooks, began teaching the 7th grade boys’ Sunday School Class at First Baptist Tifton when she was 45.  She retired 50 years later at the age of 95.  Each year she visited the home of every class member, always doing more than the minimum.  Granny Rooks lived to be 102.  I don’t know if her life was longer than the norm because of her loving service to others, but I believe it was better.

Ramona has been in the choir at First Baptist Cochran for 36 years.  Don has been teaching Sunday School for 35.  He’s been a deacon for 33 years and currently serves as chairman.  They’ve been on an estimated 20 mission trips, mostly to help build churches.

Don went to Haiti this year to build a house for a mother with three young children.  It’s a small tin building with no running water or electricity and a rock floor.  Their mission group took a six-month supply of medicine for her daughter who has seizures and can’t communicate.  When Don shared a picture of the house and that family’s story, I was reminded I don’t have any real reasons to complain.

Don and Ramona assist with three or more cross country track meets each year.  Coach Shelly Cranford asked them to help back in 2003.  They’ve been volunteering ever since.  They set up the sound system, make announcements, and play old time rock and roll music.

This year they’ve been involved with several community planning committees.  The Mayor of Cochran appreciatively teases them about having “VOLUNTEER” stamped on their foreheads.

I asked Don how they got started with volunteer work and what motivates them to keep up a pace most of us would find exhausting.  I was surprised where their journey began.

On the last day of their honeymoon in 1983 they were standing on a beach as the sun was going down.  “We made a commitment to have Jesus Christ as the center of our new family,” he said.  “We read about Christ’ example of serving others and we strive to follow that, not always succeeding, but we try.”

A few days after Don retired from his longtime job with Georgia Farm Bureau, he became the volunteer President of the Bleckley Christian Learning Center.  It offers elective classes which junior high and high school students may opt to take off campus.  When he mentioned it to me four years ago, my unspoken thought was that it wouldn’t attract much interest.  I’m glad I kept quiet.

They’ve already had over 500 students participate.  Many of those students have also been involved in Bible reading marathons and prayer walks.  Don has helped advise others who have begun similar programs elsewhere.  Interest continues to grow in starting programs outside of Bleckley County.

The list of worthwhile causes Don and Ramona Giles are involved in is too long for one column.  They have a heritage of volunteering, but what nurtured it was a heritage of faith.  Strong faith has been evident for multiple generations.  It’s a faith that continues to be manifest in works. (James 2:14-26)

Don and Ramona made a commitment while standing by the ocean 36 years ago.  That commitment changed their lives and has given them opportunities to help change the lives of many others.  I don’t know if they’ll live longer because of their selfless service to others, but I know they’ll live better.  They’ve been living better for a long time already.

Posted in 2018 | 4 Comments

Second Chances

Most of us know someone who’s gotten a second chance after a near death experience.  It’s rare, however, when second chances are too many to count.  Scott Pate is thankful for his unnumbered blessings.  He readily shares his unusual story in hopes it will be a blessing to others.

I met Scott a few years ago when he moved from Albany to Dooly County.  Occasionally I would see him at Bank of Dooly, where I was employed.  He was friends with local pilot David Chancy.  He worked on airplanes and sometimes flew them.  That’s all I knew about Scott until December of 2018.

Our choir at Vienna First Baptist combined with Pinehurst Baptist Church last Christmas for a cantata.  Scott sat near me during a joint rehearsal.  He turned the songbook pages a bit awkwardly with his left hand.  Connie Christmas, a choir member from Pinehurst, asked me later if I’d heard Scott’s testimony.  She said it was worth listening to and told me he didn’t mind being asked.

Scott agreed to share his story with our Brotherhood, a monthly breakfast meeting for men that’s sponsored by our church.  “I’m by no means a speaker,” he said.  “But if you want me to come, I’ll do my best.”  He came one Sunday morning.  When he left there was no doubt what’s in his heart.

Scott agreed to my writing a column about him provided it pointed toward Jesus and not him.  He doesn’t take any credit for deserving second chances.  “I’ve done nothing,” he said.  “Jesus has done everything for me.”

In February of 2017 Scott had an annual physical, a familiar step in renewing his pilot’s license with the FAA.  He was shocked when his doctor diagnosed him with cirrhosis of the liver.  A second and third opinion confirmed he would eventually need a transplant.

He would soon learn that his liver was just one of several health issues.  He began having trouble swallowing and talking.  His speech would become slurred during even brief conversations.  His son took him to Emory University Hospital, where Scott’s stroke-like symptoms landed him in the emergency room.  The problem was determined to be myasthenia gravis, a breakdown in communication between nerves and muscles.  It can be managed but not cured.  He was treated and sent home with a plan.

Three months later, on the Monday after Memorial Day weekend, David Chancy took Scott to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.  He had lost 60 pounds, down from a solid 200 to a frail 140.  He almost died and spent ten days in CCU.  Scott views this close call as another time where God used a problem to get his attention.

His next stop was Piedmont Hospital to determine eligibility for a liver transplant.  A restriction was found in his coronary artery, something routinely repaired with a stent.   Things went terribly downhill during the stent procedure.  The lining in his artery separated and tore into his aorta.  He was brought back to life three times and was too weak for further surgery.  As the doctors tried to slowly build up his strength, his aorta unexpectedly healed.  Scott views his unlikely healing as a miracle.

For three and a half weeks he wasn’t aware of his surroundings at Piedmont.  While the medical team focused on keeping him alive, poor circulation ravaged his right hand.  He lost his thumb and four fingers.  He admits it can be frustrating, but he reflects on the Apostle Paul having a “thorn in the flesh.”  Scott has a daily reminder, not of what he’s lost but of what he’s found on a closer walk with God.

He almost died from taking Coumadin, a powerful blood thinner.  It was one more reprieve on his long list of close calls.  In addition to matters of health, he can only guess at the number of potentially fatal mishaps he’s had in the air and on the ground.  The odds of him still being here are far beyond improbable.

When Scott came home from his long stay in Piedmont, he randomly opened his Bible to Psalms 6 and read David’s plea for mercy.  Scott’s daughter framed those verses with a photo of her holding her father’s hand.  He finds comfort and confidence in David’s prayer, and in a clear picture of love.

Scott Pate’s story is one of second chances, of seeing opportunities in our troubles.  He has some ongoing challenges, but through his trials he’s gained a deeper appreciation for what’s important. “I’ve done nothing,” he said.  “Jesus has done everything for me.”

Scott believes he’s still here because God isn’t finished using him.  And I believe Scott is right.

Posted in 2018 | 6 Comments

The Wounds of War

A September column was about a friend of mine, Rev. Bobby Ward, who has been diagnosed with ALS.  I visited with Bobby and his wife, Teresa, in their home before writing that story.  Teresa mentioned that Lou Gehrig’s Disease has been connected to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant which was used extensively in Vietnam.  The wounds of war are not always readily seen.

I saw Bobby and Teresa a second time in late September.  I knew he had served in Vietnam in the distant past but not much else.  His youth, like that of many others, was severely disrupted by answering the call of his country.  He’s thankful to be among those who were upright when they came home.  He knows too well that many didn’t.

Bobby was born January 4, 1947, in Ashburn, Georgia.  When he was in the third grade his family moved to Almon, a small town between Conyers and Covington.  On his 19th birthday in 1966 he received his draft notice from the Army.  As an only child he could have gotten an exemption, but he didn’t think it was right to stay home when others were packing their bags.

It was a sad day in March for their small family as he left for basic training in Ft. Benning.  When he spoke of his mother and their closeness, it was obvious his words came from a place deep within his heart. “I was her baby boy, “he said softly, pausing to take a long sip of water.  “My father wasn’t one to show a lot of emotion.  I saw him cry that day for the first time.”  As Bobby described those parting moments in Almon, it reminded me that the pains of war reach far beyond the battlefield.

Bobby met his future wife, Teresa Martin, the day before he was leaving for Vietnam.  It was an uneventful encounter in which neither of them heard wedding bells.  He had no interest in small talk.  She thought he was somewhat conceited.  Bobby’s focus was on a very uncertain future.  The plane he would soon board had little room for romance.

Bobby was assigned to a transportation outfit at Camp Red Ball.  Their convoys hauled gas and diesel that was pumped from river barges.  They carried other things including 55-gallon drums of Agent Orange.  Years later it would be recognized as a contributor to multiple health issues including ALS.

In the Tet Offensive of 1968, the Viet Cong staged their biggest uprising of the war.  They tried to overrun the transportation compound.  Bobby recalls hearing the sirens blaring at three a.m. while soldiers scampered for bunkers.  Daybreak was announced with bombs, helicopters, and other enemy fire.

Bobby was in the back of a truck when he heard the whizzing sound of a mortar.  “Incoming!” shouted several people.  It hit about three feet away but bounced before landing again and exploding.  He sometimes wonders why he was spared while others were not.

He spent ten months and 22 days in Vietnam.  When the plane bringing him home landed at Hartsfield International Airport, Jane Fonda was there to greet them with a group of protestors.  “Baby killers!” they screamed along with other hurtful words.  There weren’t many welcoming committees for the tired young soldiers of Vietnam.

In April of 2000 Bobby went to the VA Hospital in Dublin to see Danny Mays, a fellow Vietnam veteran.  They knew it was likely their last visit.  Bobby stood by the bed just before he left and said, “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”  Danny told Bobby it was the first time anyone had thanked him.  He died two days later.

There are no doubt other veterans who have never been thanked.  Danny’s story is a poignant reminder that it’s already too late for some.

November 11th is Veterans Day.  It’s designated to officially honor those who served in our military.  It’s also an excellent time to offer our personal expressions of gratitude.  It can be as simple as a card or a phone call.  Or maybe a nursing home visit with an old vet who doesn’t have much company.  I have a veteran friend who loves warm buttered biscuits with pear preserves.  Maybe you do too.

If we hesitate it may be too late.  The wounds of war are not always readily seen.  To the men and women who have sacrificed to protect our freedom, “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”

Posted in 2018 | 12 Comments

Running Toward God

It’s not uncommon to run from God.  Like Jonah we board a ship for Tarshish instead of Nineveh.  Like Adam we try to hide in a garden our Creator spoke into existence.  Or like the man with one talent, we bury it rather than use it.  The roads are broad, plentiful, and landscaped with temptations.

My longtime friend, Jerry Pickard, wisely chose to run toward God at an early age.  He took the straight and narrow way many years ago.  With 48 years in ministry, he’s pausing to see how God will use him next.  Jerry retired on September 15th as pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Milledgeville after 33 years.  “I retired as the pastor,’’ he said, “but I didn’t retire from ministry.”

Jerry and I both attended Unadilla High School.  He was two grades ahead of me, but we spent a lot of time together in the F.F.A. String Band.  When I was in the ninth grade, the four guys in the band invited me to play piano.  I was the kid in the group and tickled to be playing with four juniors.  Jerry moved from piano to guitar, and patiently taught me to play by chords without relying on sheet music.  He and Charles Jones mentored me through country classics like Down Yonder and Wildwood Flower.

Even during our youthful days, Jerry’s faith was evident.  He had a spiritual maturity that many of us as teenagers were lacking.  He kept his language and humor clean and treated everyone with respect.  It didn’t surprise me when he followed God’s direction toward full-time Christian service.

I asked Jerry to tell me about his call to ministry.  “Those seeds were planted early,” he said.  “One of my first memories is of sitting between my parents at Unadilla Baptist Church.”

After high school Jerry attended Valdosta State College where he earned a degree in history.  He was President of the Baptist Student Union and became involved at First Baptist Valdosta.  He began to have a stirring in his heart and talked to Rev. Jim Pitts.  Jerry felt God might be calling him to preach, but he didn’t feel worthy.

“None of us are worthy to bear His name,” said Rev. Pitts.  “All we have to do is be willing and available.”  So that’s what Jerry did.  “I never ran from God,” he said.  “I ran to Him.”

After college Jerry taught school in Warner Robins and worked with young people in his hometown church in Unadilla.  Clark Standard was his pastor, friend, and mentor.  As God firmed Jerry’s awareness of a call to ministry, Rev. Standard suggested he enroll in seminary.

Jerry spent three and a half years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.  He and some fellow students began attending First Baptist Dallas.  It was a 40-mile trip each way, so they stayed after morning worship and waited for the evening services.  They volunteered to help with outreach, and soon began spending Sunday afternoons following up with visitors who had turned in cards.

Jerry benefited tremendously from the inspired preaching and effective leadership of W. A. Criswell and Jimmy Draper.  Rev. Draper invited him to become an intern.  “Seminary was an excellent place for learning,” said Jerry.  “First Baptist Dallas gave me the opportunity to use what I learned.”

Rev. Clark Standard moved from Unadilla to Britt David Baptist Church in Columbus.  He asked Jerry to pray about becoming his associate pastor.  Under the guidance of Clark Standard, his “father in ministry,” Jerry learned how to effectively pastor a local congregation.

Columbus was good in other ways too.  Another pastor introduced Jerry to his future wife Terri Brasington.  “We were set up without either of us knowing it,” he said with a smile.  “The rest is history.”

Jerry pastored in Vidalia and Macon before being called to Northside Baptist in September of 1986.  I commented that a 33-year tenure speaks well for both him and the church.  “I had a very patient congregation,” he said with modesty.

I asked what advice he would give to young preachers.  “I would tell them to love the people and preach The Word.  People need a steady diet of The Word of God.”

Jerry doesn’t know where the next road may lead, but there’s no doubt of its direction.  He’ll keep running toward God.  Those seeds were planted early for him.  Jerry intends to keep planting them for others.

Posted in 2018 | 7 Comments

Matriarch of Metcalfe

It seems to me when a person reaches the 100-year mark it warrants a special title.  That’s why I’m bestowing the prestigious designation “Matriarch of Metcalfe” on Janet (pronounced Ja-net’) Horne Lanier McLendon.  I’m a tad late getting around to it, but I think she’ll be okay with that.

Janet, who turned 100 on July 13th, is a first cousin of my late father-in-law Bennett Horne.  They were born in the small south-Georgia town of Metcalfe and both ended up living in nearby Thomasville.  I got to know Janet a few years before I married into the Horne family in 1974.  She’s celebrated some milestone birthdays since we first met, but her sweet demeanor and spunky attitude are unchanged.

Jane and I went to the nursing home to see her in early August.  The first thing she said was, “I’m so glad you brought that good-looking man with you!”  I know she’s exaggerating, but it’s the same greeting I’ve loved hearing many times before.  Then she asked me if I was still painting.

Several years ago, I gave her a little book titled “Lessons From The Ladder.”  It was about painting our house and some of the thoughts I had while perched on the ladder.  She’s asked me on multiple occasions if I’ve finished that project.  We laughed once again as I confided I still lack the front door.  “But I have it on my list of things to do,” I said.  “It could happen at any time.”

It was probably a decade ago when Jane and I visited in her home and saw a pink Daisy BB gun propped by the door.  “You must be in charge of the Neighborhood Watch,” I surmised.  She laughed and told me it was her squirrel gun.  “It stings them enough to run them off, but they come right back.  That’s about all I can do,” she coyly lamented.  “The police don’t like to hear gunfire.”

She was still working in her yard during her early nineties, enjoying gardening and growing blueberries and figs.  Her house was in town, but she’s always been a country girl at heart.

I think she moved to Southern Pines assisted living about five years ago.  She was around 95 when she decided to let someone else do the cooking.  The first time Jane and I went there to visit, I asked if she still had her squirrel gun.

“Don’t tell anybody,” she whispered.  “I’m not supposed to have a gun or an electric blanket, but I’ve got both hidden where no one can find them.”

Jane and I made several trips to her apartment.  We’d look to see if her car was there before getting out, knowing she drove across town every day to see her brother Olin.  Though ten years younger than her, their roles were reversed.  He was in the nursing home and she was the visitor.

One day Jane and I saw a different vehicle where Janet usually parked.  We were surprised to learn she’d bought a new car.  She was 96, I think, and was tickled about its excellent mileage.  She enjoyed knowing that a gallon of gas per week would take her everywhere she wanted to go.

When Jane and I visited her in August, her room at the nursing home had a fresh look.  For her centennial celebration a granddaughter had decorated the cream-colored walls from floor to ceiling with colorful flowers.  She showed us her favorite and told us how much she enjoys looking at them.  She asked Jane about our yard, knowing they share a love for working outdoors.

The Thomasville Times was by her chair. “I read it every morning, and I enjoy the sale papers too,” she said with a smile.  “I look at what I could buy if I had a car and some money.”

She reads her Bible daily and misses her late pastor, Milton Gardener.  He used to stop by her house on his way to work.  He drank coffee with Janet and her late husband, Claude, five mornings a week.  He kept on visiting long after his retirement.  Jane commented how much Milton loved Claude and her.  She modestly replied, “I think Milton loved everybody.”

As we were leaving, I promised to bring her some BBs on our next trip.  I think they checked her for weapons when she moved in, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she has her pink Daisy beneath the mattress.

“Y’all be careful,” she said as we paused by the door.  “I love y’all so much.”

We love you too, Janet.  There’s a package of BBs on my desk to prove it, and a certificate showing you have been deemed the “Matriarch of Metcalfe.”  I didn’t run that by the mayor, but I’m sure it will be okay.  If not, we’ll just hide the certificate with the BB gun.

Posted in 2018 | 8 Comments