|Audubon Poster © Sydney Hughes (2017)|
Andrew Nelson Lytle, A Wake for the Living: A Family Chronicle. New York: Crown Publishers, 1975—
Papa, my grandfather Nelson, rarely went to church. The evangelical sects seemed lacking in ritual and ceremony, and he had had the chance to know full well the hypocrites. I asked him once for a nickel to go to Sunday school. He enquired if a penny wouldn't make as much noise in the pan. [p. 31]
Aunt Tene and I were very fond of each other. She was thin as a straw but with a clear eye that never mistook its object. She managed to outlive one of those old-fashioned "consumptions" which was a medical term of the day for death's affair with life. During the Great Depression I used to borrow her burial money to go courting. "You might as well have it," she said. "It looks like I can't die." [p. 20]
I think I have already told you that I called my grandfather Nelson, Papa, as if I were a younger child…
I never heard Papa complain, but at times he was politely tart. Once, speaking out of a general silence, he said at large, "All old women ought to be shuck out every morning."
His intentions were not misunderstood. Aunt Tene without hesitation replied, "Well, every old man ought to be stood in a barrel of lye." [pp. 15-16]
Cousin Mary set an extravagant table and, I understand, ruined her husband. She took on great weight and died at Grandma's one hot July day…The wagon carrying Cousin Mary's coffin to the funeral cracked a wheel, as it jolted through a creek. Before the matter could be mended, the hot July sun made her well and Cousin Mary split the coffin.
"She wants out," a mourner said, downwind. [p. 113]
|Audubon poster © Sydney Hughes (2017)|