“… must be YANKEES!”

Funeral Procession
BobLee
March07/ 2020

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March 7, 2020

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BL alone

“… must be YANKEES !!!”

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It was 35 or so years ago.  Blondie’s first or second visit to “where I grew up”.  Blondie, me, my mother and “an aunt” were driving around town showing Blondie the various points of interest of a Southern semi-rural “town” – not a city… not a “village” … a town .  I don’t know why “an aunt” was with us but without her there would not be this story.

She – “the aunt” – was in the back seat chain smoking Chesterfields.  We came up on Vernon Avenue – a primary east-west thoroughfare.  There was a west-bound lights-on funeral procession going by… maybe 30-40 cars.

I was driving.  Obviously I came to a full stop because “I was raised right”.  Cars on the east-bound lane pulled over because “they were raised right too”.

The procession was about 3/4 passed when there was a space between cars.  A car across from us took that opportunity to Break Thru The Procession (!!) continuing on to wherever they were going.  As that vehicle hurried by us…

From the backseat my aunt snarled thru clenched teeth the phrase that would forever become part of our family’s lore…

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“…must be YANKEES!”

.Fergit Hell!

 

To get the impact of the phrase one needs to hear it with the full Southern-drawl contempt with which she sneered it.  The offending driver coulda been named William T. Sherman and as he passed us yelled Robert E. Lee SUCKS and my aunt could not have despised him any worse.

Observing proper funeral procession etiquette is simply what one does.  To not do so would be as unacceptable as a Southern bride NOT receiving – at least – three deviled-egg platters as wedding gifts.

If this story ended here it would be YEEEE HAA enough, but… WAIT! …. There’s More.

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When my coven of aunts learned I was marrying a girl from “Missouri” there was more than a little tongue-clucking amongst’em.  …

He’s marrying A YANKEE!.   

Anyone who has ever watched The Outlaw Josey Wales, or knows anything about why Quantrill’s Raiders pillaged Lawrence Kansas KNOWS  … MISSOURI WAS A SOUTHERN STATE in The War of Northern Aggression.

As I would learn later… Blondie heard their stage whispers and let’em have both barrels.  Blondie’s great-great grandsomething had had their farm in Southeast Missouri burned and pillaged by marauding Yankee troops when The North was taking control of The Mississippi River in the latter stages of The War.   Ergo, her family had been much more “involved” than my aunts’ had.  SO THERE!

AND…  for the next 25 years or so – when “my aunts” finally passed on to wherever “busybody aunts” pass on to – the relationship twixt them and Blondie remained a bit “frosty”.

Yesterday – over 35 years later – I was involved in another Funeral Procession down Vernon Avenue in Kinston.   This time as a participant rather than as a spectator.

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I have probably said this before, but regardless, it is worth repeating.  I grew up with some of  THE Nicest Folks on God’s Green Earth.  Hopefully so did you. … and have been fortunate to have maintained those friendships over many years.

Despite these “troubling times” we find ourselves in these days… when one hesitates to post a candidates yard sign in his front yard… fearful of violent repercussions from one’s neighbors… there ARE still “Nice Folks” out there.

There certainly are more than a few Not Nice Folks out there too.  I avoid the Not Nice Folks and… DO NOT attend the funerals of their loved ones.

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Yesterday – Friday – was the funeral for the 90+ year old mother of “Eddie” .   “Eddie” is one of those Incredibly Nice Guys.  If you had a problem with Eddie… it was a You Problem.

That goes for Ed… and Betty Lou… and Willie and Barbara… and Leo… and Coby and Brother Dwight… and Phyllis and Titus… and Teena and Ruth and MaryPage and Porgie and Mary Ella … and several dozen or so others of their “Very Nice” ilk.  If I left YOU out of this list do not be offended… YOU are probably among those “several dozen or so” others.

I’m talking “nice to the bone” Nice.  I don’t consider myself in that category.  I am “an acquired taste”.  Fortunately, enough folks seem to have acquired that taste over the years.  It’s not so bad.

I never knew Eddie’s mother but not paying my respects to him by attending the service was never a option.  As old friends do when they get together, we shared lots of hugs and laughs even at a somber occasion.

That I had a 102 temperature 24 hours earlier in a 3-day Battle with a really bad cold was inconsequential.  NO, BK, it was NOT “TrumpVirus”… just a really bad cold.

It never occurred to me during the visitation at the funeral home that there would be a for-real funeral procession out to the graveside service.  But THERE WAS!  Very Cool ….

With Blondie’s mom’s funeral in Missouri two weeks ago, I was conscious of how well “funeral home guys” keep everything organized.  I realize it is what they do … but – still – all “funeral home guys” seem to do it so effortlessly.    As we were getting in our cars, a funeral home guy walked around with a sign – Turn On Your Lights – AND – Your 4-way Flashers.  I would not have thought about the Flashers.

Eddie’s mom was not a local mover/shaker… “just” a very nice lady who brighten the world in which she lived for 90+ years.  And THAT merited a full-blown “Procession”.

The 25-30 cars procession got to drive right thru red lights and everything.  Folks in the opposite lane pulled over… no one honked at the intrusion in their own travels.  We drove down Vernon Avenue where that earlier one had proceeded 35 years ago… EXCEPT there was one noticeable difference this time.  Yep, you guessed it.

NOT one single YANKEE tried to break in line!

Here is a good article about Southern Funeral Processions … CLICK.

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Bubba Cunningham

A Shout-Out to my good friend BubbaTheRealAD over at UNCCH for being named World’s Best AD or some such.  I realize many of you don’t like him because he is “over yonder” at UNCCH… but I do like him… and its MY WEBSITE!

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High Drama in Triangle-area Sports Talk Radio.  DAVID “Smokey” GLENN is OUT with Curtis Media Group after ten years.  Glenn’s syndicated show was owned by Don Curtis but aired locally on  Jim Goodmon’s 99.9 THE FAN from noon-3PM.  Apparently Glenn and Curtis got cross-ways and – NO SURPRISE – Curtis won.  I suspect more details will leak out.  I haven’t listened to local Sports Radio for many years, but know this is of interest to some of you.  Joe Giglio – a good guy – escapes the financially imperiled N&O to join Adam Gold and Joe Ovies at 99.9.

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Several new Incredible Political Commentaries up on SAID WHAT for those who share my and Blondie’s views on These Troubling Times.

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More BobLeeSays … CLICK

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BobLeeSays has been a continually  functioning website since 1999… with over 2100 commentaries.  Many of which are Incredibly Insightful.   BobLee  is a BabyBoomer who ponders the HowComes of Life.

BobLee is NOT  –  “an Intellectual” … nor  “a Journalist”.   But he has been recognized as “an Internet Legend” … and … as The 2nd Smartest Guy on the Internet.  Alas, Everyone Else on the Planet is tied for THE Smartest. 

Reader Comments are aggressively encouraged.  In over 20 years, only six have been zapped.

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Larry
Larry
4 months ago

Other than trying to impose their political philosophy and culture on our southland, Yankees tend to concern themselves with everyone’s business but their own, I remember as young kid hearing the fans from the University of New Jersey at Durham chanting in unison at Kenan Staduim in their NY/Jersey accent, “Go to Hell Carolina go to Hell”. I found it and them distasteful then and nothing has changed. And I am a very old UNC alum.

WildatHeart
WildatHeart
4 months ago

My nephew Tripp was born with some mental handicaps so he could not do a lot of what his peers could. Like a lot of people like that he was as friendly as could be, developed a love for CB radios and through that medium and loving parents got to know most of the firemen and other first responders in Greensboro where he lived. He passed away unexpectedly at twenty-one. The funeral procession from the church to the cemetery managed to go by every fire station in Greensboro and at each one, all the firemen were standing at attention by… Read more »

Blondie Fan
Blondie Fan
4 months ago

BobLee, as far as Blondie being a Yankee (should that be capitalized?) is concerned, you need to keep thanking the Good Lord (both intentionally capitalized) that you betrayed your Southern upbringing and married her. As your aunt would say if she were being truthful, “you done good.” Ain’t nothing wrong with a man marrying up.

DM Carpenter
DM Carpenter
4 months ago

In Sherrills Ford, NC, the Tax Refugees not only do not stop for funeral processions, they find the concept of pulling over (in both directions) for Fire/Police/Rescue Squad harder than Chinese Arithmetic.

DM Carpenter
DM Carpenter
4 months ago
Reply to  BobLee

Pickett/Pettigrew/Trimble Charge. More North Carolinians, than Virginians.

Doug Grimes
Doug Grimes
4 months ago

DG always had a best and worst of the weekend segment on Mondays. Yikes! . My first funeral was my grandmother’s whenI was 11. I was convinced all those cars pulled over just for her. My mom’s twin sister died in her 90s in 2016. She lived in Cary and her son is a retired NCSHP trooper. The funeral procession left Cary and proceeded to I-40 West for about 10 miles. Of course no one stopped in either direction but about a dozen NC trooper cars prevented any and all Yankees or Southerners from passing the procession as we barreled… Read more »

Teena
Teena
4 months ago

Love your thoughts of others & your kindness to all! U r one of my favorites

Charlotte Wuffie
Charlotte Wuffie
4 months ago

Great column BL. Thanks for reminding me of a southern tradition. Waiting for a Funeral procession to pass gives me time to reflect and to say a prayer for the family passing by. We can all spare the two minutes it takes.
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Love the pic of your precious granddaughters.
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However, I was deeply disturbed that your Home Page displays that your internet search showed “UNC staff directory “. I was under the impression you were on the outs with those no good folks and a persona non grata? 😁

Robert Kennel
Robert Kennel
4 months ago

Interesting timing, BL. Was in CA last week for brother-in-law military funeral. No procession into Riverside National Cemetery but ceremony very impressively handled by military folks with bugles and flags. . Came at same time my last book was printed with the last part on “Obituary Prequel”. Talks about full life cycle of birth, life, faith, death, obituary, and eulogy. Even wrote draft of my own obituary (amazingly short 🙄). . Something everyone should consider based on a great new book named “Dessert First” by a professor friend Dana Trent. You can Google up first amazing chapter. Thank God for… Read more »

Babs.Derm
Babs.Derm
4 months ago

I’ve always associated an “acquired taste” with Scotch, but I suppose it could apply to a person, as well! LOL – chain-smoking Chesterfields. Yes, that’s what a generation used to do!
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Those babies are adorable.

Ruth.E.M
Ruth.E.M
4 months ago

You are so right. Our EDDIE is one special man. I hope he does this response as I am so sorry for his loss. His mother was a very special, beautiful and thoughtful lady. May she smile upon her family and the rest of us “kids.” Thanks for the special message BL.

Gene Boyce
Gene Boyce
4 months ago

I enjoy asking “friends”, What brought on the Civil War? . The answer all but 1 out of 100 at best is all it was every bit about was “slavery.” When I follow with “What about the States’ right provision of the Constitution?” They respond, “What is that?” Like it does not and never existed and did not create the bombing in Charleston harbor. . Some of my best friends at the Court house (black guys who were great Judges and lawyers – and friends) always changed the conversation when I asked at lunch,, “Do you think any good whatever… Read more »

Charlotte Wuffie
Charlotte Wuffie
4 months ago
Reply to  Gene Boyce

Gene you have always been a champion of the people. You might not know it but we appreciate all of your efforts to right the wrongs, particularly the inheritance tax. Hope you are well.

robedixon
robedixon
4 months ago

Seems we were doing the funeral thing the same week. Mine being about 30 miles west of yours in a place one can barely call a town, Mount Olive. This was a family affair so we got to ride “up front” in the funeral procession. Just like yours before we started the service and afterwards the funeral guys were johnny on the spot making sure everyone felt comfortable and knew where and when they were to do something. . The funeral procession was from Mount Olive to Goldsboro where lots of my family is buried. During the procession all the… Read more »

robedixon
robedixon
4 months ago
Reply to  BobLee

Oh my…THAT was the discussion between my wife and I on the way back home, where to bury us. We own several “lots” in Onslow County where my father is buried that are..well.. free. Then we can buy some nice lots here in Johnston County where we are now living. Be interested to read your posting and take as it might help us make the decision.

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