Just because somebody’s kin, you don’t have to like him, but you can’t bust your buttons telling tales about his funeral else kinfolk you do like might be hurt. Sometimes you just have to sit back and wait for another funeral, or maybe two, to take place before you talk. If you get in a hurry, the tales may circle back to bite you.
When my cousin Claude died, Beulah Lee, his wife, held the “Mrs.” title and the burial policy, but that one-legged woman up in Huntsville held the body. Somebody had to put Claude in the ground.
Sure wasn’t going to be me. I never liked Claude. When his car turned onto our street, I hid under the fig tree in the back yard and pretended not to hear my mother call. Claude would pin me to the floor and tickle me until I cried. I was three years old then and Claude was thirty. No, I would have left Claude where he lay; you make your bed, you lie in it, you die in it, as they say. But I was a foot soldier in this battle.
Now Beulah Lee was different and I liked her. Curly red hair. Pretty. She could do the splits and climb a telephone pole. Mother said that was how she got the big job at the phone company. The rule then was you had to work on the line before you could advance, which pretty well kept women out. Beulah Lee snapped on a leather tool belt and shimmied right up that pole. There wasn’t any stopping her after that.
The bought-and-paid-for burial-policy ground lay at the foot of a knoll in Riverton where Claude had lived with Beulah Lee since right after the war when they married. The problem lay in wresting him away from the one-legged woman and bringing him back home where he belonged.
(This story will be continued so stay tuned.)