I just have a lot to say.
March 21st, 2014 by

Cheering in the Bathroom

Starla was a pee-wee cheerleader when she was about 5 or 6, so that would make Angie only about 2 or 3. I wasn’t born, so you’ll just have to trust my penchant for other people’s memories, or say I made it up. I’m fine either way.

It was Angie’s turn to spend the night with Granny and Granddaddy, which was always fun. Granny would let us play dress up with her few pieces of costume jewelry and her dressy shoes, which she kept in their boxes in the closet of the blue bedroom. (Her foot was only a size 4.5, so they weren’t too much too big for a little girl.) Hours upon hours were spent playing with large spools that she brought home from the sewing factory. But the pentacle was the closet in the apartment. It was large and oddly shaped with a top shelf big enough for 3 giggling sisters and/or cousins to have a clubhouse. Granny and Granddaddy didn’t have Squat, but the kids didn’t know it.

Granny and Granddaddy shared a bedroom but not a bed. Granny’s bed was a double, and Granddaddy’s was a single. The beds were perpendicular, meeting at the feet, so they could lie in bed and see and talk to each other. When one of the girls spent the night, we slept with Granny in her double bed. She would tickle our legs and tell us stories about The Monster and the Roachie Bug (the Roachie bug being much scarier than the Monster). 

At bedtime of this particular visit, Angie would not settle down. She talked, and she talked, and she talked. She said, “Granny, let’s go to the bathroom and do cheers.” This unusual request was acceptable to Granny, because she didn’t want Granddaddy to get frustrated, since this chatterbox was keeping him awake. So, they went to the bathroom and cheered. Angie had watched Starla cheer and knew just what to do. She stood on the side of the porcelain tub, yelled and clapped and jumped off. Repeatedly. As much fun as this sounds, Granny soon wearied of the cheering and took Angie back to bed. And told her to be quiet. And to stop wiggling. Angie said, “Granny, my head’s going in and out and up and down and around and around.”

Granddaddy’s name was Bascom Brown, but everybody called him “Bat.” Granny woke him up. “Bat, I think there’s something wrong with Angie. She’s acting crazy.” About that time, Angie asked, “Granny, can I have another piece of candy?”

Granddaddy smoked and coughed and smoked and coughed and made his own cough syrup with whiskey and peppermints—the pure sugar, porous peppermint sticks that would make that whiskey mighty tasty. It would also soak up the whiskey like a sweet, red-and-white-striped sponge.

“What candy did you give her?”

“I broke off a little piece of that peppermint from your cough medicine.”

“Gladys! You got the baby drunk!”

Angie soon was hard and fast asleep. She was not the reason that Granny didn’t sleep that night. Granny wasn’t a drinker. She was a fretter. Wouldn’t her small-town neighbors like to tell about the teetotaling granny who got the baby drunk?

When she felt sufficient time had passed, she fessed up to Mama. From the safety of the years, she loved to tell the story. She would wipe her eyes when she said, “Gladys! You got the baby drunk!”

Angie seemed no worse for her adventure. Although . . . some have said that in the springtime . . . when the pollen lies thick on the hood of your car and a tickle has settled in the back of your throat . . . if you follow her to the Little Girls’ Room and listen closely . . . you can hear her cough a few times and whisper, “2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar . . . .”

2013-06-25 09.51.48



2 Responses to “Cheering in the Bathroom”
  1. I loved this one. I can so remember the wonderful time i spent with aunt Gladys and Uncle Bat I stayed with them for 3 Months so I could finish the first semester at Newton Hi. when mom and Dad moved to Dothan. So many memories. Thank you for keeping them alive.

  2. Sharon Weyland says

    Just precious! It’s great hearing the little things that are truly the most important things! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.