Mark Twain’s Mother

Her interest in people and other animals was warm, personal, and friendly. She always found something to excuse, and as a rule to love, in the toughest of them--even if she had to put it there herself. She was the natural ally and friend of the friendless. It was believed that, Presbyterian as she was, … Continue reading Mark Twain’s Mother

Martindale High School Girls’ Basketball Team

Martindale High School (Martindale, Texas) girls' basketball team, 1935. My mother, Crystal Barrow is front row, center, holding the basketball. In those days, players were allowed to dribble the ball once before handing it off. Tennis was her game. Lucyle Dauchy Meadows, my father's cousin, told me, "When your mother and your aunt Mary Veazey … Continue reading Martindale High School Girls’ Basketball Team

My mother brought home boxes of books . . .

My father worked up to three jobs to ensure our family never missed a meal. We weren't poor but neither were we wealthy or middle-class. Every so often my mother took a job to help make ends meet, including one at Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Northwestern University, where she worked as a cleaning woman … Continue reading My mother brought home boxes of books . . .

You’re Sixty

Today would have been my mother's ninety-eighth birthday. On last May 1, my father would have been one hundred. When I take the time to really think about that, it's mind-boggling. I can't imagine them at those ages. Mother used to tell a story about my great-aunt Lydia's sixtieth birthday. Lydia, her mother, her two … Continue reading You’re Sixty

Petting Zoos, Methodists, and Misbehavior

The petting zoo has come to BookPeople! Consequently, the average age in the coffee shop--aka my office--is considerably lower than usual. I estimate it at approximately two. Normally I filter out noise and activity to concentrate on writing. The ability to hyperfocus is a gift. Today, however, what's going on around me is more interesting than … Continue reading Petting Zoos, Methodists, and Misbehavior

“Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Mark Twain cared about words: Pa's boot with a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end; the sow lying in the middle of the street looking as happy as if she was on salary; and Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on. "The difference between the almost right word … Continue reading “Use the right word . . . “: Mark Twain’s Mother

Crystal

For my mother born in Martindale, Texas, 1917 In all her seventy-five years, she never grew old. * The courage that my mother had Went with her, and is with her still: Rock from New England quarried; Now granite in a granite hill. The golden brooch my mother wore She left behind for me to wear; I have no thing … Continue reading Crystal