Friday, April 5, 2013

That yakking parrot!

I finished two books while on spring break. The Tender Bar, a memoir by J.R. Moehringer. Moehringer mentioned his cousin, McGraw. Throughout the book I thought, "Such an odd name, and to think, one of our home town radio hosts is named McGraw."

At the end of the book Moehringer wrote that the last he'd heard, his cousin was a radio host in St. Louis. How about that!


A Walk in the Woods, a memoir by Bill Bryson about his experiences hiking the Appalcahian Trail was humorous and informative. He mentiond a place where we had camped, which triggered a memory. We were in line to pay a feisty senior woman tending a parking lot. She looked at Bill as he fiddled for his wallet, and she twanged, "Sir, if ye didn't wear yer britches so dadgummed tight, you wouldn't be holding up the line."

Bound South, a novel by Susan Rebecca White also triggered a memory. She writes about how she and her mother-in-law, Atlanta's elite, attended a funeral for their long-time beloved maid. They were the only white people in a black church. When they walked to the casket for the viewing, there in the maid's hands was the Bible the M-I-L had given her many years before. BUT, the deceased was a male!

This took me back to my early childhood. I remember my grandmother telling the same story about her neighbor's maid. The  line spoken by the fictional character was the same as the line spoken by my grandma's friend in the 1940s. "All those years, he helped me into my girdle!"

Reading can spark a memory or an idea for your own work, and that is why writers should also be readers.

One last memory to share, a family story about my great-great aunt who had a parrot that ratted her out. She had sneaked a portion of the household money and mumbled to herself, "I'll hide this money under the table."

When her husband rummaged through the cookie jar for the money, great-aunt claimed innocence.

The parrot squawked, "Awwwk! Mamie did it! Awwwk, under the table, under the table."

I wonder how long that bird lived.

4 comments:

Kim said...

I like Bill Bryson's stuff - I always want to know more when I'm done.

Young kids can be as bad as that parrot - you can't get anything past them, and they have the uncanny knack of making even the littlest of sins a big deal in the re-telling.

Bookie said...

I know reading must have been a real perk to your spring break! Last week I read a great novel that also turned my mind's wheels..it was The Obituary Writer...try it.

Sioux said...

Linda--I'd say, "I'll have to check out those books," because they sound good, but I have several books already on a pile to read, and one of them is yours (Wally Lamb's) so I'd better not put those on my must-read list...yet.

Daisy said...

Your first story shows what a small world we live in, doesn't it.

These are some great memories stirred up from reading. The parrot story was pretty funny! I enjoyed this post. Hope you have a nice weekend!