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Apr 2017
My dad and his friend driving out to the pasture to sit in the pickup truck and talk about what?  How the cows are doing, the upcoming hunting season, growing quail, fishing, the state of the country.
I don't know what these men talked about but they spent hours together.
While they were out talking Eunice and Marie sat smoking in the living room, discussing stuff. I could sit and listen to them for hours, but don't remember what they talked about. Maybe Marie would get out one of her poems or show my Mama some of her ceramics or paintings.
We girls would dance together the bop to the latest 50's music or we would ride our horses through the pastures and at night we would play Scarin' with their brother-a hide and seek game in the dark.
We spent every weekend together, eating greens, fried cornbread and chicken.  I always thought I was Marie's favorite because she was always so kind to me. She was a kind of Earth Mother, quite different from my own Mama.  Sometimes Sonny, the boy, would get in trouble because we girls would tell on him for throwing corncobs at us. Then Marie would go after him with a skillet, a switch or a paddle, whatever was handy.
Lamar had been in WWII and had been too close to a grenade. He developed terrible skin cancers which left horrid scars on his face. When I was 15, he died and Marie started working in the Catholic School so the three kids could still attend.
Here we were the Baptists (us) and the Catholics (them) never realizing that our friendship in rural Mississippi was a bit unusual.  Mama would lend her Bible to Marie because the Catholic church did not allow the people to read and interpret for themselves at that time.  
When we were really young, the family lived in an old unpainted two-story house with Lamar's Dad-Cap'n-a strict old grumpy German who we tried to stay away from.  We would come up from Louisiana when I was four and spend the night for the nine months we lived in Louisiana.
Saturday night baths were in a tub-four girls first, then Sonny last-he was a boy and the dirtiest.  No running water and a two-seater outhouse. Those were the days...
Written by
Sandra Lee
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