Wednesday, July 15, 2009


there is a time in a mans life when he remembers the first time he saw an angel.

my brother, wendal and i were inseparable as boys of 7 & 8. i remember him as the day, where the sun shined so bright - full of wonder and questions - and i felt as the night - quiet and contemplative. when we were together, i lived the magic and mischief that all around us witnessed - the sparks of life and hope and promise. bubba told me our blond hair made us destined for good things - he would put his arm over my shoulder and whisper in my ear - "we can have it all, toebo" - "we're from texas and we got blond hair to boot" - at such a young age, he knew the allure of blond hair on southern folk - i feel him here now as i write this - another story for another time .

- for the sighting and presence of angels -

i don't remember the first time i saw aunt bobbie - i just remember her being in our life - like a big sister- someone must have said - this is your aunt - i remember her being there - her protective presence - and i remember her having blond hair - and her laugh - her laughter was music - and she loved to share the laughter with us - wendal laughed, i giggled - then we both would laugh at my giggle. i remember we both agreed we could trust 'aunt bobbie' - trust was a big thing for a boy of 7 or 8 to hand over - but we both gleefully handed our trust to aunt bobbie -

the circumstances that brought aunt bobbie to our house that early morning are unclear in my mind - i remember it as a summer morning - it could have been the birth of a sibling - it could have been that momma and daddy had too much to drink and 'daddy got mad' as bubba would say - i like to remember it as the birth of a sibling. it was also the morning i remember wendal and i received a nickname we would share -.

for all that aunt bobbie could do, she couldn't cook - well, she couldn't make gravy - a rite of passage for a southern girl, especially one from texas. which affirmed for bubba and i that she was an angel sent from heaven, as everyone knew that angels didn't cook. aunt bobbie's gravy was - well, like paste - the old school jar paste - tasted about the same too - it was lumpy without being too mashed potato-ey - the kid of stuff that makes a kids nose instinctively curl and their mouths go - eeewww. and it had none of the traits one associates with texas homestyle gravy - no
pepper - no bacon or sausage grease - and no tabasco sauce on top.

when we balked at eating the plop of white stuff (for no self respecting southerner would ever call that stuff gravy) over our oven fresh biscuits and did the 'i don't wanna' scoot out of our kitchen chairs - she called us biscuit butts. - the thought kept us laughing - "no you're a biscuit butt" - "no you're a biscuit butt" - "you're a biscuit butt" - "biscuit butt" - "aunt bobbie is a biscuit butt", we giggled in unison.

up til then he was bubba and i was toe or toebo - but now we had a name that said we were equal - the same - getting a nickname is a big deal in the south - but sharing a nickname with another was unheard of - and this one was just a bit naughty and grown up sounding - we felt crowned and christened. we were 'biscuit butts'.

our laughter echoed through the kitchen as we dashed out the screen door and onto the back porch - me as close behind bubba as a shadow - i caught a glimmer of light over my shoulder - i looked back and saw the smile of an angel as she watched us dart into the cool summer morning to spread our promise and laughter among the johnson grass and horny toads - as summer boys are want to do.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Troy I love so much how you write about our childhood good and the bad it makes it all seem okay
Ilove You so much...
Becky

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

T, loved this story. I felt is if I were there literally watching you and your brother being mischievous eating your biscuits and gravy. I too have started writing about my childhood. I've only created one post and hope to do more soon.