Monday, April 13, 2009

Family Wreath

I one time heard Jeff Foxworthy say if your family tree doesn’t branch you might be a redneck. Well my family doesn’t have a tree it has more of a wreath. You see it has branches but some of the branches come back to each other. What do I mean? Well I tell you the tale of Old Granddad and you will see what I mean.

A long time ago back in the 1920’s my Great Uncle Bill, my daddy’s; dad’s brother married a woman named Effie. My grandfather, Jack, married a woman named Maybell. Jack and Maybell had many a trial and tribulation but none quite as turbulent as Aunt Effie and Uncle Bill. Are you with me?

Uncle Bill was a truck driver and he drove the long haul. Aunt Effie was a cook at a diner and was raising their two boys. Times were hard they had weathered the depression and they were in the early years of World War II. Everyone was sacrificing for the war effort. So Aunt Effie would send Uncle Bill off for his two or three day haul with a lunch bucket full of fried chicken and sandwiches. She would fill his thermos with the coffee for which she had saved her ration stamps. Uncle Bill would head off on his route. Now as time passed Effie noticed that much of what Uncle Bill took with him in his lunch box was coming back uneaten. This made her suspicious because like the rest of my family Uncle Bill liked to eat. So she started watching other things too. She noticed that Uncle Bill was coming home with more clean clothes than he should and they didn’t smell like her washing powder. She also noticed he started wearing tonic and he had never done that before. She smelled a rat and he smelled of tonic.

My mother had a theory about how to tell if a man is cheating on you. She said he will buy new underwear. Aunt Effie said she could tell by the shaving tonic they wore. She said a man who isn’t cheating will just slap a little witch hazel on but a cheater will slap on that smelly stuff. I have tested these tidbits of knowledge and both have proven to be true. I digress.

Aunt Effie decided that Uncle Bill had a woman on the side. She noticed him slipping off to the local diner two or three times a day when he was home. So she decided to follow him. He scooped up his hat and his change and said “Baby, I’m going down to the diner and pick up a newspaper. I’ll be right back.” Effie smiled and said in return “Alright, honey. I’m up to my elbows stuffin this bird so I’ll be here when you get back.” Then she watched him close the front door. She sat the hen in the pan washed off her hands. She darted out the back door without untying her apron or putting on her hat. She headed up the back way to the diner and then snuck in the backdoor around to where the phone booths were located. The door to the booth was cracked open a bit and she heard her husband say into the phone “Oh, Pookie, I miss you too. You know I’ll be back on the road tomorrow. I can’t wait to see you too…” That was all Effie could take and she beat that lying cheating, well you know what, right there in the phone booth. She divorced Uncle Bill and went on to live her next 40 years married to another man who did not cheat on her. Are you still following?
This is Jack isn't he a handsome man?

In the mean time May Bell and Jack had two lovely children and lived a fairly contented life. Then one day May went to visit her friend and had an aneurysm and died. Jack was crushed at loosing his wife but knew life goes on and married his next wife Fay. They lived in wedded bliss for another thirty years until one day Fay went out to mow the grass and had a fatal heart attack. Poor Jack had now buried two good women and here he was a spry 78 year old widower. What was he to do?

One day he was visiting kin folk in Weatherford and came across his ex-sister-in-law. They struck up a conversation and she sat out a batch of her homemade rolls and honey and the next thing we all knew they were hitched. I mean honestly if someone serves me homemade rolls and honey I want to marry them too. So this is how my grandfather married his brother’s ex wife. My great aunt became my grandmother. She and my grandfather lived out the rest of his days in wedded bliss. What did we call our new grandmother? We called her Aunt Granny Effie and is one explaination why our tree is more of a wreath.


The Texas Woman said...

I had Auntie Grandmas too but they weren't kin. It's what we called all older woman who weren't related but were close to the family. Your story is much spicier than mine.

The Texas Woman

Staci said...

Effie is my hero! By the way, I loved your Too Slim Easter story as well. Hope your Easter day was happy and that it involved new church clothes.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

And I bet even as spry as Jack was, he used Witch Hazel! Great story! You have to love them both.

Tatersmama said...

What a story! I guess it just goes to show that there's always "the one" out there somewhere and they're worth waiting for!

I had 3 sets of grandparents... See, my dad had been married before, but he lost his wife (and baby) in childbirth. So when he met and married my mom, Grandma and Grandpa Clifton (the first wife's parents) were still daddy's "family"... and they loved us like their own. :-)

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion said...

Great story, and he sure is handsome!

Anonymous said...

According to my family tree records, I am my own half 4th cousin once removed, 5th cousin and 7th cousin, so I can relate to wreaths!

There is also a rumor that my great grandfather, the traveling cancer cure salesman, had a second complete family. In addition, one of my aunts (by marriage) married two of my grandmothers brothers too.

Maybe I should qualify all that with I'm originally from Tennessee?

Girly Stuff said... is my question for you. If you are a 78 year old widow do you remarry yet ANOTHER man to take care of or do you stay single? I have had this conversation before and always like hearing what others say.

Jeff Foxworthy said...if your family tree is a straight might be a redneck. I remember that one...because I might be a redneck.

Rechelle said...

Oh no way! Too funny!

Debbie said...

I'm a Tennessean through and through and I know all about the tangles those vines and trees get into. Great story.

Bob said...

Aunt Granny? Who says family trees have to have branches?