March 7, 2020
“… must be YANKEES !!!”
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…
“…must be YANKEES!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Several new Incredible Political Commentaries up on SAID WHAT for those who share my and Blondie’s views on These Troubling Times.
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.
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